Goodbye Twitter

@Anthropith twitter passed away quietly.

Apart from a few fledgeling months in the first part of 2009, @anthropith was always very much for one thing. After a few years of good service, it lost that purpose. With that gone, it gradually declined into raving obsolescence. It’s private partner, @JVonHogflume was hacked in early 2013, and since then they and other feeds were both bothered by repeated intrusions.

@anthropith fought the decline bravely, but frankly, the bother wasn’t worth the return and it was laid to rest, to join its long departed equally unlamented Facebook brother.

It is survived by other social media: The new @ollieopath twitter, LinkedInPinterest and Instagram.

Gone, not missed. No flowers, just like you asked.

New Threads

The blog has been an interesting experience this year. I started out blogging diligently at least once, but often twice a day and you read it in your droves. But as time has gone by and I’ve blogged less often, you’ve kept reading just as much.

As the date of publication for the guidebook approaches, I’ve pulled the posts directly associated with it (don’t want to cannibalise my own sales too much!) so along with the whisky, sweetie and ad reviews, I’ll be launching a new thread of blogging in the next few days.

Before I do, I’m going to tweet out lots of links to existing posts, just as a catch up.

(I’ll see how many people unfollow me on twitter when I do – current followers: 1407)

Followers, Lurkers and Stalkers – A Short Rant

Social media is a funny old thing. It opens your life up to others in a way that was never possible before. We actively encourage people to connect with us, even though we know little or nothing about them.

These people become followers, friends.

But there are many ways people can connect with us without us even knowing. For instance, over my twitter accounts I have over 5,000 followers. Although some follow more than one, mostly they are unique to the account. Of course I have the accounts for different reasons, so that’s what you’d expect. But in any month I interact with maybe only 100-150 of them.

What are the rest of them doing there?

Although my ego would like to think otherwise, most of them are probably ignoring me. My tweets come up in their timeline and they might glance at them or just pass right over them. Why do I think this? Because it’s how I treat most of the people I follow.

Some though, are ‘Lurkers’. They follow me, read my tweets, and say nothing. They stay well off my radar. Gradually they get to know me a little better and maybe one day they’ll reply to something, retweet something or start a conversation with me. Great.

Then there are the stalkers. These people might not even follow any of my social media, but they regularly read my tweets, my blogs, look at my last.fm, my pinterest, and anything else they can find of mine.

Why? Curiosity perhaps? Maybe something I once said or did piqued their interest, maybe they’re an old friend or an old girlfriend and they just want to see how I’m getting on, or maybe they’re someone who once crossed me and are paranoid enough to think I still give a crap and want to see when I’m plotting their comeuppance.

I put a lot on the internet. Not everything. I haven’t updated my LinkedIn for a long time, for instance. Mostly because my current client needs confidentiality, and the project I’m working on in what’s left of my own time isn’t something I want anyone I’m not friends with to know about just yet. I don’t put up anything online about my relationships, because they’re no ones’ business but my friends’. Even when I had facebook, I didn’t want to put up any kind of relationship status: the important people all knew, why would anyone else care – and if they do care, isn’t that a bit creepy?

But what’s there online is open for anyone to see. And if it isn’t open it’s none of my ‘stalker’s’ business. Earlier this year one of my protected twitters was hacked, and read by a few people. Because they weren’t part of my life, they didn’t know what I was talking about on there, and they ended up making prats of themselves by misconstruing it in the most egocentric and paranoid way possible.

The lesson is: Know me or don’t. If you know me, that’s great. Hello. If you don’t, then read whatever you like that’s out there. Draw whatever inference you like, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that anything I write is about you. That’s a little like hearing me talk on the phone while I walk past, and thinking I’m talking to you! Why would it be about you, and isn’t that just incredibly egotistic?

The other lesson is, whatever anyone puts out there, I might read. Although why I’d bother is an open question.

The Story Monkey

After migrating anthropith.com to this blog instead of a ‘real’ website, I’ve let The Story Monkey, which had it’s own section, to lay fallow. It’s still alive, on life support, gradually building the whole novel, so now it has its own section on this blog, too.

Last year The Story Monkey tweeted through Chapter 20 of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice. I loved doing it, and you (seem to have) loved following along. You’re still following, after all!

It’s just my hobby, a homage to one of my favourite books, so it always has to take a back seat to whatever I’m doing to pay the bills, but I’m gradually programming the whole book for a presentation. I’ll follow a slightly different format to before, so to receive the whole story, you’ll need to follow all the character accounts. I’ll post them a little while before I begin. I’ve had to roll back from a couple of start dates before, so I’m not going to give one again until I’m ready to go, but I’ll keep you all updated through the twitter.

As before, it’ll be co-ordinated through @TheStoryMonkey. Once they’re all ready to go, you’ll just need to click on the follow buttons I’ll post, and the story will unfold as the characters tweet to each other.

In the meantime, tell everyone else about it! Tweet

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The Red Queen

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” – The Red Queen

Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through The Looking Glass has an insight. It’s one that’s been quoted often, even becoming part of evolutionary theory: that as your prey or your predator evolves to escape or capture you, so you must also evolve. Not to gain an advantage, but just to keep the status quo.

You have to keep running just to stand still.

And so it is with technology. We’re all familiar with smartphones getting better and better, and other manufacturers improving, leapfrogging, falling behind… But it happens under the bonnet, too.

Last week Twitter shot down it’s API v1. It’s true that v1.1 is better, more robust, more versatile, but it means I’ve spent my week going back over all my old twitter automations, rewriting and updating them. The end result will be no different. You as a client or a user will notice no changes. But it’s a slog, lots of work. Lots of running just to stand still.

Would it have been so awful to leave v1 running in the background?