- The Internet is not done with the Rickroll yet. Once it gets its teeth into something, it just keeps tearing and gnawing.
The Doom Rickroller Weapon:
More of those in the Song Chart Pool
- Chicken Chicken Chicken: Chicken Chicken – This is every managing editor’s horrible vision of what would happen if SEO people finally ran the world. Note: Look for the extremely useful pdf. [via crvs]
- “Obama Is Viral” – Newly christened blog Heybeus makes the point that Obama’s campaign has been an internet meme magnet. Among the links Matty and Natasha provide, they list three distinct sites all specializing in Obama/lolcats jokes: Lolbama, Yes We Can Has, and I Can Has Nomination?. The 2002 version of me does not believe that this will happen in the near future.
- “Empty Gestures Have A Posse” – Heh.
- Garbage Can Thoughts – @ivey hits on something here.
- FAIL DOGS – They’re cute, they’re lovable, they’re trying to do something and not succeeding at it.
- Mike Tyson’s Brunch Out – “tâ€™s basically what would happen if you took the Nintendo version of Mike Tyson to brunch at Essex on the Lower East Side.”
- Crank Dat Truth To You – Via GodTube, a preacher attempts to bend Crank Dat Souljah Boy to his evangelical purposes. The sound mix is mercifully bad.
- Wash Your Hans
- “No Sex Policy” Campaign – That it’s on a white van makes it even better. [via Leah Jones]
- Free Riffs! – Great overdubs of political ads, done by the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 people.
Update: As of 11:40 EST on 2/27, Twitter reports that the bug has been fixed. It looks like it’s back to normal, though I do think I see at least one person in my following list who wasn’t there before the bug. Maybe that will be a fortuitous meeting :) More details now up on the Twitter Blog. Big ups to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for keeping us in the loop.
(note: the below is the original blog entry, most recent update is what you just read, up above this message)
Twitter is acting very strange right now.
Every time I hit “log out” on Twitter.com, it pops me in to an authenticated session as some other random user. Each time I hit it I come up as a different user.
I first noticed this when @misc mentioned it in my twitter feed. Then I noticed I was receiving tweets from people I am not set up to follow. No news on TechMeme.com or in my news feeds about this yet. Nothing on the Twitter blog. At least one conversation started in Get Satisfaction so far.
It’s trippy. As @laughingsquid (or someone in his account) put it: “Twitter ate the brown acid tonight”. It reminds me of that big Hotmail panic in ’99 when you could access any Hotmail user’s account you wanted to for several hours one day.
And yet, no error message and none of the usual “We’re working on something” pages with the cute birdie or hehful pun on them.
Update: The Twitter folks must be aware now. The usual “something’s up” page is up now and the service seems to be down:
I haven’t made much progress in deciding on what to use as a hipster domain holding page system since I last wrote on the subject. In short, that’s some kind of page to use as a placeholder on all of those oh-so-clever URLs you’re stockpiling. Although I’ve had few deep thoughts in the interim, I did decide to start testing out some ideas. Since I have a bunch of dormant domains, I’ll set each one up a little differently and see what feels and works right to everyone involved(this means you too).
First up for consideration is a WordPress theme called LaunchPad by Ian Stewart, a blog theme with no content, specifically designed to attractively hold domains while you decide what the heck to do with them. I came across it on the Weblog Tools Collection blog. The theme is mainly just a fairly attractive blog front door with an email subscription submission form that hooks in to Feedburner’s FeedMail service. To set it up, all you have to do is set up your feed at Feedburner.com, note your feed URL and ID, and pass those on in the LaunchPad options menu.
So far, it seems like a decent option. The setup of the theme itself is easy, though going this route does mean you need to set up a WordPress install on your new domain, which is a consideration. The page it generates is fairly good looking, though I’d probably make a few tweaks. It gives your users a call to action to sign up for future updates, which I like. It doesn’t have ads or sponsored links or paid content or any way to make money, and depending on your perspective that could be a boon or a boo. It also doesn’t have any content that could be of value to a random visitor. I’m not sure yet if that’s the way I’d want to go. But it is simple, clear, and doesn’t insult the intelligence of the visitor. All good things.
Last week I invested in yet another brilliant domain name, Rickeypedia.com, and that’s where I have LaunchPad set up. I have no idea what Rickeypedia will be yet, except that it ought to be an information resource relating to Rickey Henderson, one of the most entertaining baseball players of the modern era. If you have ideas or would like to put something there yourself or lend a hand, I’m all ears. In the meantime, check out the LaunchPad theme there and let me know what you think of it. I’ll be trying out other approaches on other domains, until I figure out what I like best.
Update(finally:) Comments closed below. Followed up here.
Explained in less than 140 characters: What’s #irritating about #this sentence?
It kind of looks like a representation of someone with food in their mouth while they talk.
I’ve been asked about a half-dozen times in the last couple of days what’s behind my curmudgeonly policy of removing people from my Twitter list who use # signs embedded in their messages. Why do people do this? According to the Twitter Fan Wiki: “Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.” There’s also a site, hashtags.org, that lets you track individual hashtag words.
Key phrase here — “only added inline to your post”. Imagine what Flickr would look like if all of the metadata was visually stuck to your photograph. Or what your blog would look like if you had to have a character before every word in your text that was also a keyword. Ick.
As I was polling Brian Oberkirch this morning to get a gut-check on just how curmudgeonly I am on this subject, he pointed me to this NPR story. It’s about a technique that scientists can now use to trace your life’s movements in time and space by the isotopes in the DNA found in your hair. Since clouds in different parts of the country have different isotope levels, if it’s been affected by rainwater the water you drink and food you eat writes something of a record of where you’ve been into your hair. Wild. As Brian succintly put it via IM: “The isotope count is a permanent record. So that is metadata…that in no way interferes with functionality.” It doesn’t change your hair color or do anything at all to your hair visibly. It’s there, but it might as well not be because you can’t see it. Brian added “…Ambient metadata ftw.” It’s several minutes later and I’m still sitting here marvelling at both the smarts behind this new technique and at how well Brian’s example crystallized the way things should be with metadata.
I want my Twitter to remain as human a form of communication as possible. I read and follow the people I follow because they’re primarily publishing for the immediate hearer, not for some database somewhere or machines rigged up to listen at particular frequencies. There are plenty of tools that allow you to mine the data in Twitter without getting in the way of the flow of conversation. Twitter’s “track” functionality allows you to receive updates any time a particular word pops up in Tweets, and persistent searches like Terraminds will pull in via RSS whatever search you like. And there are any number of apps in the cottage industry that is Twitter add-ons that will help you find things in the Twitterverse. The functionality gained here is not worth making Twitter messages ugly and cluttered. Metadata needs to live outside of the line of fire.
There have been few enough people I have unfollowed for using Hashtags that I can still remember all of them. That’s been about six out of the 200 people I follow. Some of them I follow in other ways, just not on Twitter anymore. If Hashtags became widely adopted, I’d probably have to rethink my stance but that would really bum me out on Twitter in general.
So both because I don’t want to see those # signs littered throughout messages and because I want to register my dislike for invasive add-ons like this, I unfollow people when I see them using hashtags. I’ll certainly add you back if you ask nicely. It’s a zero-tolerance policy up front, but then there’s some leeway on the back end. It’s just my preference to have my Twitter be as human eyes-friendly as possible, and to guard against systems that threaten that. It can’t be an accident that Twitter’s developers have shyed away from visible metadata and markup, with the possible exception of the @username convention, which itself is more like grammar than metagrammar.
Chris Messina has written about using them in disaster relief coordination and I can’t say I have a huge problem with that. When bad things happen, people flip out and anything that can help pull people together is a positive. I certainly wouldn’t stop following people in the middle of a disaster because I saw them using hashtags. And my analogy of slurred or impeded speech extends here — in an emergency you’ll hear all sorts of verbal utterances that would be considered irritating or inappropriate under normal circumstances.
If you want to follow me(and don’t use hashtags :)), you can request to follow me at http://www.twitter.com/extraface. I wish there was a way Twitter allowed you to send me a message providing some context, but in the meantime you might consider dropping me an email as well, just to say “hi! I’d like to read your tweets.”
Earlier today while I was on the phone I heard my dog Toofis making more of a ruckus than usual in the backyard. I peered out the window and saw something like this:
When I put the phone down, got Toofis inside, and took a closer look, it turned out it was this:
Aww. My neighbor across the way helped me identify it as an albino ferret. As I’m pretty sure they’re not indigenous to my area, I’m pretty sure it’s a lost pet. We’re getting the word out and already have a lead or two on who the owner might be. And in the meantime, another of my neighborhood friends has volunteered to foster it. I have really great neighbors.
Here’s the full Flickr set from the afternoon. Anyone have a good idea for an interim name for the little fuzzball?
Update: I’m very pleased to report that we’ve lined up both a foster home and a potential permanent home for little Afton/Spiderwoman/Whitey/Mrs. White, assuming no one comes forward to claim her as theirs. Since the initial discovery we also discovered this Craigslist listing from February 3 reporting what has to be the same ferret found. I have a feeling the original owner no longer wants it.
As my first real WordPress Theme I have a feeling Extraface(currently at version 0.3) is going to be a work in progress for some time. I’ve been trying out some different things in the comments section over the last week or so, and tonight I uploaded some changes the templates and stylesheet. I’m not done with the changes to that section yet but felt like seeing some outward progress.
I’m basing the current comment design around the comment style in the Micro blog theme, which I first saw in use on Michael Ivey’s blog. Micro is unfortunately not available for WordPress, but there are versions for Mephisto and Blogger.
Here’s what comments look like now:
You’ll also notice that there are now 30 x 30 icons next to commenters’ names. Those are what are called Gravatars, or globally recognized avatars. If you have set up a (free) account at www.gravatar.com, then my blog (and lots of other blogs as well) will recognize you by your email address and display the picture of your choosing next to your name. If not, it shows a default image of my choosing.
A big thanks to Judson Collier, who I hired to take a first shot at styling the comments to kick off my recent work. I was at a point where I hadn’t done much with it in a great while, and saw a Twitter message of his looking take on small internet jobs. It worked out great. Getting a fresh set of eyes on it was exactly what I needed to get myself involved with it again. He cleaned up some of my CSS, helped me think through some changes, and continues to help me move through the project.
I do hope to get the Extraface theme in decent enough shape to release for general use soon. Maybe I’ll make 0.5 the first release candidate. If nothing else, that will help motivate me to go back and clean up my own messy code, and develop better habits in the process.
- The Curative Power Of The Rickroll:
Suggested dessert course: I Rick Roll My Senior English Class – I love the awkwardness as the shooter is the only one in the entire room laughing, but he lets the Rick clip go on and on. Even his “Rick Roll. I Had To Do It.” finishing slide gets nothing but stone-faced silence.
[The Rick Roll defined]
- Home Brew DSLR Lens – Got duct tape, an eyeglass lens, a DSLR body and a Planters Nuts can? Bing bong, you got a lens. Hoping to see more appear in the 2-photo “Homemade Lenses” Flickr Set.
- Underwear Without Suspension – I was going to pass on this when I saw it in this morning’s Daily Candy, but Melanie’s commentary adds an extra layer of heh and brings it up to spec:
either wear panties or don’t, girls
it shouldn’t be this complicated
i saw that earlier and it wasn’t nearly as funny without the mel take
i mean, i’m all for innovation in fashion and otherwise, but this preoccupation with how your crotch is concealed/revealed is ridiculous
who is this for? gals who think it’s slutty to go commando
yeah, really classy to stick a pad on your business
- Corporate Heh Honorable Mention – Sony’s games division gets a heh for their 2008 Game Developers Conference shirts that tease fans waiting for a Playstation3 feature addition called “in-game XMB”. Commenter DaiMacculate sort of stole the show on the Kotaku write-up, however, with this nerdiest of nerd riffs, complete with :P emoticon “…Last thing I want to do is deal with the antiquated vocalizations of the carbon units inside the shirts…”
- Silly MySpace – The MySpace team loves to crow about how their design ethos is that users should be allowed to do whatever they want in MySpace land. Scoble recently wrote: “…MySpace has a philosophy. One that says that users should be free to express themselves in pretty much whatever way they want. If that means yellow text on a blinking purple background, so be it.” This Eric Rice heh is a tiny example of how their oft-clunky UI can get in the way of all that philosophizing.
- Puppywar – Puppies face off in a hot-or-not style battle for cuteness supremacy.
- Jack Horkheimer’s Greatest Hits – Another in the tradition of “I’m not really sure what it is, but I like it.”
Friend of Extraface Melanie has asked me to put the call out to all of you to see if anyone has information on a forgotten artifact from the fast food past. It was apparently called a “Jazz Cap,” and it was either sold or given away at Wendy’s restaurants. I have no recollection of it, and the Internet’s memories are hazy as well based on the searches I’ve done on Melanie’s behalf. Apparently it was some sort of painter’s cap with a crazy eighties color scheme. I have no idea what she’s talking about.
Wikipedia was not much help, but it did momentarily sidetrack me in this mesmerizing list of all of the advertising slogans Wendy’s has used in the US and Canada since 1970:
1970 – Present: Quality Is Our Recipe
1978: Juicy hamburgers and lots of napkins
1980: Wendy’s Has the Taste
1981: Ain’t No Reason to Go Anyplace Else
1982: You’re Wendy’s Kind of People
1983: Parts is parts
1984: Where’s the beef?
1986: Choose Fresh, choose Wendy’s
1987: Give a little nibble
Circa 1990: The best burgers and a whole lot more (also was printed inside the hamburger wrappers during the 1990s)
1997 – Present: Eat great, even late
2002: It’s hamburger bliss.
2004: It’s better here
2004: Always Great, Even Late.2005 – 2007: Do what tastes right. (primary slogan)
2005 – Present: It takes flair to be square.
2007: That’s right.
2007: Uh Huh.
2007: Hot Juicy Burgers
2008: It’s waaaay better than fast food. It’s Wendy’s.
I’m offering a valuable prize to every commenter who submits a true or nearly true memory that involves a Wendy’s Jazz Cap, and an even more valuable prize to anyone who can furnish a photo or accurate hand-drawn illustration. Submit any recollections in the comments below. We thank you.