Tag Archives: twitter

Twitter’s announcement disuading developers from creating Twitter Clients prompted me to read the updated terms and conditions – something I should do more often. I also found an old copy from March 1st via Google cache, so I could compare them.

There is indeed a new subsection: 1.5, but it does not explicitly forbid the development of client software. It does however indicate that they will be watching you closely if you choose to do so.

1.5.a: “Your Client must use the Twitter API as the sole source for features that are substantially similar to functionality offered by Twitter”

Somewhat ambiguous, but the important point is they can add clauses to this section whenever they like. Get it?

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* disclaimer: I have no evidence that Charlie Sheen drinks Kool Aid.

It’s no secret that the advertising industry is under pressure to invent new ways of reaching an increasingly savvy and cynical audience. It may be one step ahead of the average consumer – but not us cool Internet kids – we own this place. We trained our eyes not to look at banners, we laughed in the face of FarmVille, and now we’re hiding Groupon from our News Feeds (so last year). We win at Internet.

Sometimes though, I realise I’ve not been quite cynical enough. Like when I found out Cassette Boy was getting paid by ITV. These moments are a little reminder of how the world really works.

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This week I gave a presentation to London’s Twitter Developer Nest (DevNest), and soft-launched a new app that is currently in a prototype stage.

Spoiler alert: The project I demoed is a Web of Trust for community-verified Twitter accounts. The site is called cert.me.uk – it’s invite-only at this very early stage.

You can see my less-than-beautiful slide deck here. As it has no bullet points, there are notes for each slide below.

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TwitBlock is over a year old now. One thing we have tried to avoid is being an authority on what is and isn’t spam. We have deliberately avoided blacklisting accounts. The idea has always been to empower the community to collectively decide what is spam by bringing the most likely junk accounts to the surface. We provide some very simple analysis, and indicate how many other people also think an account is spam.

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Below is a mock-up of how I’d like to see Twitter implement fine-grained application permissions.

To create this badly photoshopped image for my DevNest talk, I took Facebook’s Connect dialogue and spliced it with Twitter’s new design for their Anywhere platform.

Take in its beauty, and then I’ll explain …

Twitter extended OAuth permissions

This image is a mock-up – it is not Twitter, or TweetDeck official. (just covering my back, ok?)

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Part of my DevNest talk last week was examining Twitter’s position on desktop clients. i.e. whether they wish to own the space that the likes of TweetDeck and Seesmic are occupying. They have quite purposefully owned the mobile space, most interestingly through their acquisition of Atebits which saw Tweetie become the official “Twitter for iPhone” and the most popular mobile client after m.twitter.com. I’m sure this will prove essential in reclaiming their brand.

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What’s the shortest lifespan of a spoof Twitter account, ever?
If you’re impersonating the police [‘s logo], apparently the answer is 47 minutes. Well, at least until you have to change your logo.

The @gmp24_7 account (parodying the official Manchester Police accounts @gmp24_1 -through- @gmp24_6) was created at 9:55 this morning and less than 40 tweets later at 10:42 was ordered (by the police, via Twitter) to stop using their copyright

What amuses me about this the most is that copyright infringement is what they got called on. (Apparently falsely according to lawyer @davidallengreen – unless he’s a spoof too). Personally, if I was told I may be impersonating a police officer I’d be a little more petrified.

For the record, this spoof account made no attempt to indicate it was a parody. That was a bit of an error, but they’re still tweeting apparently. I’m curious to see whether Manchester Police take any further action to shut this account up. Most famously @BPGlobalPR remained operational throughout BP’s recent PR crisis.

I look forward to the social media/PR pundits tearing this campaign to pieces. It seems rather brave to enter the public domain with something like this and not expect a backlash.

In my view, this campaign basically says “See, we’re working hard. Don’t cut our budgets“. Does anyone doubt that the police work hard? I don’t. The campaign in no way highlights the actual impact of budget cuts – other than more PR will be done on Twitter, because it’s cheap.