Moving into 2017 I knew I needed to do more to increase engagement on social media for both WP in One Month & How I Built It. Simply promoting isn’t a great strategy; while I convert most listeners and students through my personal Twitter, I want change that. I tried doing it manually for a while, but it was too time consuming. After toying with the idea, I decided to upgrade to Buffer Pro for a year to see if it would help me while also saving time. About a month in, I have some thoughts.
- MOOCs being embraced by US Universities: It seems like Massive Open Online Courses are being embraced as a form of distance learning. I think this will be the next major change in higher ed, especially considering the constant rising cost of college.
- Noted critic on Twitter: “It’s toast. Over. Done. History.”: This seems a bit extreme but he might be right; as younger generations start to use social media they might be looking for something less mainstream, or newer.
- The Best Launcher for Android: It’s Nova Launcher. I use it instead the S4’s default because it looks like stock Android and has a lot of great features. I recommend it.
- Netflix Currently in Negotiation for Another Season of Arrested Development: Yes. Yes. Please.
- Clever Hacks give Google Glass many Unintended Powers: I just picked up Google Glass and love it (review forthcoming). These are some really interesting hacks, and Google seems to be responding quickly.
Podcasts I’ve Been Listening To
- Stuff You Should Know (@SYSKPodcast)
- Shop Talk (by @chriscoyer and @davatron5000)
- The Gently Mad (by @avclark)
- Happy Monday (by @sazzy and @joshlong)
Finally, with Google Glass I’ve created a new blog called People Reacting to Glass. It’s a lot of fun and you should check it out (and if you have Glass, submit your own photos)
BRG is reporting this morning that a new study suggestsÂ Facebook and Twitter are more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol. The way the study was set up is Blackberry users were polled several times a day, asking what they wanted to see in the last 30 minutes; they were also asked to rate their own desire.
I really don’t like studies like this; they are comparing something people enjoy using to 2 very addictive substances. Possibly the biggest flaw here is that people are asked to gauge their own desire. In a world where people say, “Today, I had to have a serious talk with my boyfriend about his Miley Cyrus obsession.Â FML” (src) and a meme exists citing “First World Problems,” people probably cannot accurately gauge their feelings/desires. Desire is relative to personal experience. It’s like how college students call themselves alcoholics because they drink every weekend. Some are kidding, but some really mean it. But I’m a little off-topic now.
My point is that studies like this (and statistics in general) really do not show us any useful data. Of-course people are going to use Facebook and Twitter more than cigarettes and alcohol. There is no law prohibiting minors from the use of social networks (not Â that I’m opposed to that). Plus, Facebook and Twitter are free. (To be fair, that latter point was cited in BGR’s article.)
Until people start neglecting their responsibilities to use Facebook and Twitter, we can’t say that social networks are more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol especially.
- What is the Internet? (video): This video has been flying around the Internet all week. One note is that this was in 1994- less than 17 years ago. It’s amazing how much has changed since then.
- Shutting Down the Internet (pcmag): There is a bill in Congress that would give the President the same power Egypt has, to kill the Internet is need be.Â What does Congress have against the Internet? This is a terrible idea and it will be a sad day in America if it’s passed.
- Google, SayNow, and Twitter team up to make Tweeting from Egypt possible via voicemail (engadget): And this is what make great American companies so great.
- The TSA’s new Body Scanners Spot Bombs, not Dongs (gizmodo): Big change from November, and a big win for everyone who spoke out against the full body scanners.
- Microsoft’s Bing uses Google’s Search Results- and Denies It (google blog): This post explains the experiment Google ran to confirm Bing was stealing their results. Microsoft doesn’t really have a lot of wiggle room here.
- The White Stripes Split (spinner): This is upsetting, though I do like the Raconteurs a lot more.
- Five Ways the Google-powered Tablet is Better than the iPad (lifehacker): I watched the event last week that demoed some of the cool stuff Android 3.0 (called Honeycomb) does. A lot of it is very well done.
- Setting the Record Straight (bing blog): Oh God, it’s a flame war, big corporation style.
- Current Crop of Tablets, Compared (lifehacker): Really helpful- The Moto Xoom looks like the leader of the pack.
- Verizon can now throttle top five percent of bandwidth hogs, downres multimedia transfers (engadget): “Here at Verizon, we like to do 1 really popular thing, follow by a bunch of really, REALLY unpopular things.”
- Palin: America out of Step with Reagan’s Values (usatoday): While she’s right, she isn’t the person to bring us back to them.
- You can Now use Basecamp on your Mobile Phone (37signals): This excited me. Also, they went with a mobile-optimized interface instead of native apps. I think this is a very smart move.
- CSS Properties that Affect Type Rendering (typekit): I’ve has some issues with this recently, so the article is very helpful!
- How to Tell when Your Rates are Too Low (freelance switch): I experienced this over the summer- very true!
- The New Bulletproof @font-face Syntax: Now with support for mobile platforms.
- Pettitte calls it a Career After 16 Years, 5 Rings (yankees): I’ve been watching Andy since I started watching baseball. I will miss him and his rock-solid post season performances
Some other news: Â Today is Super Bowl Sunday (go Pack!), as well as Ronald Reagan’s birthday. Also, I worked on a simple Reading List plugin for WordPress this week. You can see it in action on my blog here, though I have made some changes that I will release this week.
I’ve been using Twitter for Mac for a few days now after TweetDeck went AWOL and started using up all of my CPU on me; I’ve got some thoughts on it. I used Tweetie (the amazing Twitter app for Macs) for a while and loved it (who didn’t?); when they stopped updating it, I stopped using it. Now that it’s back as the official Twitter app for Macs, I’m back in and have high hopes. Here’s what I think.
- PowerBalance Admits Their Wristbands are a Scam (gizmodo): Surprise! This would be the number one DUH moment of the week, if it weren’t for…
- Childhood Vaccines Cause Autism Claim is a Fraud (cnn): The doctor altered the medical histories of all of his subjects.
- Google Released Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ Video (bgr): Looks slick! First device with it is set to release Q1 of this year.
- Josh Groban Sings Kanye West’s Tweets (perez hilton): Hilariously funny. Best thing I saw all week.
- Muse Aims to Play First Concert in Outer Space: This is wild and crazy. Welcome to the future!
- Verizon iPhone looks set for Feb. 3 Launch (bgr): There’s been a lot of buzz lately surrounding the Verizon iPhone. Rumor has it that the Verizon event on Tuesday will be the official announcement.
- Good Code (xkcd): So true. So true.
- Assange Threatened to Sue of Leaked Cables (wired): As in, he was going to sue The Guardian if they published the story early. Of course he did.
- Mario Furniture: I want to go to there.
- Angry Birds for Blackberry: Lol. I hope Blackberry becomes good again.
- Android SMS fix is on the Way (bgr): Last week I posted a story about a pretty bad SMS bug in Android. Google says they’ve fixed it and are rolling it out to users.
This week I also redid my About.me Page to make it simpler, and created a Twitter account for my company. You can follow @manifestdev for updated on the redesign, news, specials, and web development related links!
The other day I installed Sparrow, a GMail desktop client for Mac (review on that soon). Without thinking anything of it, I put in my username and password. When it told me I had the wrong username and password, even though I did not, I started to get a little worried (turns out it’s because I didn’t have IMAP enabled in GMail). You see, I was willing to give this brand new software a try without knowing anything about the developers or the software, except that it looked cool, and I willingly gave the username and password to my primary email account of the last 6 years. That got me thinking about how many of us just trust 3rd party applications.
- Facebook is not worth $33 Billion: So there was this time in the late 1990s when Venture Capitalists invested billions into websites without any strong models to make money. Good thing nothing bad came from that. (also, what ever happened to valuing a company based on the money it makes?)
- Think You Know Baseball?Â No, You Don’t: This is a shining example about why statistics can be used to prove whatever you want. This guy doesn’t actually tell us anything of substance. “A metric called Win Probability Added (WPA) goes plate appearance by plate appearance to see just how much a player helped or hurt his teamâ€™s chance of winning. Value is added for big plays at crucial moments.” That is a completely made up, BS stat, probably because the guy doesn’t like Derek Jeter. You know what matters? Wins and Losses.
- Degrees that Hiring Managers Want: Toping the list is heath care/nursing. IT is also on there.
- What it Means when You say ‘Literally’: Wrote about this a while ago. This drives me insane….not literally.
- With no Jobs, Grads ‘Gamble’ on Education: This is pretty interesting. I think it was grad school that made be the developer I am. I was also able to get an assistantship, which meant school from free.
- Wait. What Does Your Startup Do?: I get way to many pitches for websites like this. “It’s like a Facebook for orphans.” 37signals said that there is a social network that doesn’t exist today, there is probably a reason. Think about that, because it’s true.
In other news, Facebook was down for the good part of a day and Twitter was hacked. Crazy!