All posts filed under “Weird Stuff

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Breaking news via Twitter

Today has been a big news day. The international financial markets went crazy, and the US Federal Reserve cut a key benchmark rate by 0.75% about an hour before US markets were going to open after a long holiday weekend. Last night was a major Democratic party debate, where the candidates started really doing battle with each other. Heath Ledger was found dead in his NYC flat. There were other big stories, but it’s late and these were the big surprises of the day.

What’s odd about all this? I found out about both of the “Breaking” news stories from Twitter.

I know that the tech-saavy people have already experienced this phenomenon, but as I’ve described earlier, I’m much more of a Twitter voyeur than a true Twitter-community participant, so it’s never happened to me. To be on the receiving end of breaking news twice via Twitter on the same day was fascinating.

While there’s really no implication of this in anything, it’s still interesting to note. Perhaps I’ll pay more attention to Twitter in the coming weeks/months.

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For Firefox users…

If you want to break through the bulls**t on the Internet, sometimes you need a helping hand. David Friedman blogs at Ironic Sans (a great blog), and a while back he posted a Firefox plugin to “Uncensor the Internet.”

All you have to do is go to his page, and click on the appropriate link to start using the plugin.

Most of the time, you’ll never need it… strangely enough, if people are going to “swear” on the Internet, they mostly just go ahead and do it. But others (like me, occasionally) choose to moderate things a bit. In my post I would just like to point out that I was just quoting Jimmy Carter… he’s the real culprit there!

Anyway, I highly recommend Firefox, and David’s plugin is a great one for you, too.

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Smith Center, Kansas

This little town was featured on the front page of the NYTimes website today. It’s a heartwarming story. (Link is here.) Essentially this little town is an absolute football powerhouse, having not lost a game in several seasons, now.

But as I was reading it, I had a blinding flashback… I’ve BEEN to Smith Center, Kansas!!

Back in my Solar Car days, I stayed with people in the town during Sunrayce 97, which went right through town. From what I remember, they were very supportive of the whole event, and the whole town opened their doors to let us stay in their homes. (There certainly weren’t enough hotels for hundreds of college kids to stay in!)

Now I do sometimes get a little confused between Smith Center, Kansas and St. Francis, Kansas, which was another little town we stayed in on the race. (If memory serves, we stayed at the county sheriff’s home in St. Francis, but it’s been a decade so I may have forgotten a few details.)

Anyway, it’s a funny little thing to see a town like that featured in a national paper, and realise that I’ve actually been there. Strange…

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Voyeur vs. Exhibitionist (on Twitter)

I realized the other day that while I (and many others) rarely twitter my “status” or “what I’m doing,” other people are doing so constantly. That’s when I realized there are really just two different types of people: Twitter Voyeurs and Twitter Exhibitionists.

Examples of Twitter Exhibitionists:
Guy Kawasaki – Who’s constantly twittering about “truemors.” (For a while I was really confused about what Truemors did, until I just realized it’s a user-generated Fark.)

Hugh McLeod (gapingvoid) – Hugh is an interesting blogger, and an interesting Twitter-er. He’s updating Twitter FAR more often than his blog, lately.

Examples of Twitter Voyeurs:
Me– Every once in a while I update what I’m doing on Twitter, but just not that often. However, I do have Twitterific to read what people are doing.

Is there a middle ground? Somehow I don’t think so. The Twitter Exhibitionists seem to be the people that were consistently blogging, but now are Twittering instead. That makes me think they’ve simply “shifted their paradigm,” to use consultant-speak. Twitter Voyeurs like me either don’t have much to share, don’t want to share the insignificant details of our lives, or have a majority of our friends and colleagues not on Twitter. Perhaps there’s a middle ground, but I haven’t really seen it.

So are you a Voyeur or an Exhibitionist? Or do you think you are one of these middle-ground characters??

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