Twitter needs third-party developers

Many of the features and characteristics of Twitter as we know it are the result of contributions from third-party developers.

Yet on Thursday, Twitter announced new restrictions in its API policy, limiting the scale and function of third-party applications. From the ReadWriteWeb:

Twitter has today announced user caps for third-party Twitter clients, effectively limiting the maximum number of users any outside client can ever have. [More on ReadWriteWeb]

Twitterific was one of the early Twitter clients, released on Jan. 15 2007, less than a year after Twitter was launched. Before Twitterific, this is what Twitter looked like.

A scan of Twitterific’s history reveals the pronounced influence a third-party app had on what we know as Twitter today:

A warning was added when tweets exceed 140 characters

First use of a bird icon.
First use of “tweet” to describe an update (see page 86 of Dom Sagolla’s book.)
View conversations
First native client on Macintosh.
First character counter as you type.
First native client on iPhone.
And more.


Media smitten with VP pick secrecy

A survey of political media on Sunday suggests that the real story around Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was the clandestine orchestration to keep the news under embargo.

Baseball Caps And Rented Cars: How Romney’s Team Kept VP Pick A Secret – NPR

When Mitt Romney settled on Paul Ryan and how he kept it a secret – Washington Post

Efforts to keep Ryan choice secret worthy of spy novel – CNN

How Romney Kept Paul Ryan’s Pick for VP a Secret – ABC

Paul Ryan selection shrouded in secrecy – Fox News

Cloak-and-dagger tactics helped Romney keep Ryan a secret – Los Angeles Times

Ryan Disguise and Woods Detour Keep Romney No. 2 Pick Secret – Businessweek

Inside the VP Pick: How Romney Decided On Ryan – and Kept the Secret – TIME (blog)

Paul Ryan, Vice President Pick, Disguises And Hikes Through The Woods – Huffington Post

Ryan’s clandestine journey to Romney’s ticket went from ‘surreal to real’ – CNN

Really? The Republican ticket adds a daring, young knight of the conservative party and talk is about the paparazzi-like coverage of the vetting process? Romney’s campaign ties itself to a host of divisive issues, namely Ryan’s budget-reducing overhaul of the federal government, and the press still goes for campaign-trail buzz?

“Have a serious debate” has long been a cliche among press and pols alike, but there is little to show for investing in more substance. In this case, perhaps the topic should be what the Romney campaign aims to do should they secure the White House, rather than what kind of french fries they prefer to stop the bus for.
Howard Kurtz’ “Reliable Sources” had a relevant discussion of the matter. Some excerpts:
DEBRA SAUNDERS: “[Journalists are] understaffed and we’re overworked…we can just write a really quick easy story…it’s like a re-write job. Editors are asking for more and more stuff from us.”
BILL PRESS: “There is a laziness than a part of the press corps…”

Google Search Insights: Paul Ryan


Much of my news diet, Twitter stream, and cocktail chatter among friends is rife with talk of the just-announced Republican VP candidate, Paul Ryan. So amplified has been the subject that earlier this week Wikipedia froze editing on the pages of possible VPs.

Given the cacophonous levels of conversation, I thought I would examine the Google Search Insights for “Paul Ryan.”

Search interest over time:

Regional Interest:

1. United States
2. Ireland
3. Australia
4. Canada
5. United Kingdom
6. Netherlands
7. Germany

Here, I am struck by the amount of searches for Paul Ryan in Ireland. Could it have something to do with Ryan’s statements on the economic turmoil in Europe? From a quote in the New York Times on 28 Jan. 2011,

“Just take a look at what’s happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn’t act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody.”

But were that many people in Ireland paying attention to what a Republican congressman from Wisconsin has to say? Also worth noting is the great amount of searches for Paul Ryan from 2006 to 2007, during the time of an Irish rugby player name Paul Ryan.

Categorical breakdown: Law & Government (25-50%)News (10-25%)Arts & Entertainment (0-10%) ,  People & Society (0-10%),Business & Industrial (0-10%)Beauty & Fitness (0-10%)

Top searches


Notes from the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate

Following the national news of the day, some of the interesting items said and learned about Paul Ryan and the state of the election.

“If the ticket was a new home, envision Governor Romney painting the outside of the house and Paul Ryan painting all the rooms, inside, which are the details that the new buyers fall in love with.”
– Brad Dayspring, former top aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), as told to BuzzFeed.

Mr. Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900. He is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center. (The statistic does not provide scores for governors and other vice-presidential nominees who never served in Congress.)”

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate EPA Limits On Greenhouse Pollution.

Paul Ryan Voted To Block The USDA From Preparing For Climate Change.

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate White House Climate Advisers.
Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate ARPA-E.

— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) August 11, 2012

“The choice is a sort of highly leveraged credit-default swap between the Romney campaign and the party base. Romney’s whole campaign might be an impenetrable framework of lies and fraud, but if it goes bust he just bought a AAA-rated security with the base. Like a prudent manager of a global fortune, he’s covered his worst case scenario and provided an out in case of non-performance.”

– Anonymous comment

— Andrea Saul (@andreamsaul) August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the VP Candidate

[UPDATE 11 August 2012, 15:16 p.m. PST]

News of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s (@MittRomney) selection of Paul Ryan (@PaulRyanVP) as his running mate spread quickly on Twitter. The conversation peaked at 3,749 Tweets per minute at 9:29 am EDT this morning as Ryan took the stage at a rally in Norfolk, Virginia.

Both Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) tend to perform better in the Index than the candidates at the top of the ticket. But while President Obama (@BarackObama) has generally scored more positively than Governor Romney over the past six weeks, Ryan has most recently generated more positive sentiment than Biden.


“Now would be a good time for that app to go off,” tweeted Ethan Klapper, social media editor at Huffington Post.

IB Times

The overnight vetting of Paul Ryan.From August, 2010, the Times’ “A Young Republican With a Sweeping Agenda”

From August of this year, Ryan Lizza’s “Fussbudget”

Lizza also shares this photo from Ryan’s high school yearbook, in which Ryan was named “biggest brown-noser.”

Paul Ryan’s classmates vote him “Biggest ‘Brown-Noser.’”…

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) August 11, 2012

Here’s Ryan on C-SPAN in 1998, when he first joined Congress.

Here’s his big ol’ house in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Paul Ryan has a nice house here in Janesville

— John Dickerson (@jdickerson) August 11, 2012

Some other notes:

First prez election with no military vet on either ticket since 1932.

— daveweigel (@daveweigel) August 11, 2012

Last year we found Florida voters opposed Ryan plan by 16 points, North Carolina voters opposed it by 23

— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) August 11, 2012

Some early analysis of the pick from Lizza and The Atlantic’s James Fallows (who is not a fan).

The best early analysis is Ezra Klein’s “Seven Thoughts on Ryan”.

But if you’re looking for detail, here is a 290-page opposition research book on Ryan, released by a Super PAC.

Undoubtedly, more to come.

– @pbump

Paul Ryan VP selection: How it played

Mitt Romney announced his selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate for the White House on Saturday, a move that has charged both parties. In front of the USS Wisconsin docked in Norfolk, Va. Romney introduced the 42-year-old congressman as a person who will help lead the country “to widespread and shared prosperity.”

Leading up to Saturday’s announcement there was increasing conversation among press and pundits over Ryan’s potential for the Romney ticket.

On Friday at 11:06 p.m., Romney communications director Gail Gitcho tweeted, “.@MittRomney will announce his VP pick tomorrow in Norfolk. Download the VP app to be the first to know.  #Mitt2012.” Shortly thereafter, an press release to reporters trumpeting: “MITT ROMNEY ANNOUNCES VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN NORFOLK SATURDAY.” ABC’s Jonathan Karl reported that other frontrunners – Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – had been told they were not the pick. Near early dawn, the Romney app officially announced Ryan as the running mate.

More on the announcement and the Romney campaign at Reuters.

#storify by @PE_Feeds: Social Media 101

My friend @PE_Feeds collected a great discussion on social media practice and put together a @storify. It was prompted by a piece by the New York Time’s Nick Bilton & ensuing discussion by Bloomberg’s Jared Keller.

@MarsCuriosity just landed on Mars

A lot of people watched @NASA’s livestream, over 225K by my watch. Many followed along on Twitter.

Mentions of “mars OR curiosity or NASA or MSL” on 5 July 2012, per Topsy.

The first images from Mars.

@ReutersTech hacked

Reuters reported that the Reuters technology Twitter feed, @ReutersTech, was compromised in the early hours of Sunday.

The account username was changed to @ReutersME (link now dead), Reuters Middle East, and began posting false reports regarding the Middle East, Syria, Al Qaeda and the Obama administration. Prior to the bogus tweets that began at 01:24:17 a.m. EST, posts were of technology news. The New York Times Lede Blog has moreReuters statement.

The tweets scrolling through my stream were met with surprise, that I had either missed such developments (i.e. the first tweet was claiming the Syrian regime had apprehended a spy network in Aleppo), or that Reuters was breaking so much news at such an hour (it would have been in the 08:24 a.m. in Aleppo).

Reuters has not provided information on who was behind the hack but is currently investigating. The Times article suggests  supporters of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad could be behind the attack, as well as the hacking of Reuters’ blogging platform on Friday. The article also notes one of the rogue messages linked to, “which is run by a libertarian radio host in Texas who promotes the conspiracy theory that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were carried out by the United States government.”

Below, a screenshot I took of the commandeered @ReutersME (formerly @ReutersTech) account.

Here, one of the tweets isolated. Note the amount of retweets, 19 a short time after posting.

I collected most of the tweets here on Storify.

I am interested to see what further information comes out from Reuters. I have the utmost respect for their digital team, and I must admit that they would are by no means easy prey for hackers.

July 2012 Email Stats

I feel like I did a lot of email this month, likely more than the previous. Let’s have a look.


Over July 2012, I was involved in 936 email conversations, 211 less than June. These conversations consisted of 1293 emails received (+6 from June) from 186 people and 464 emails sent to 132 people. The average emails exchanged per day in July was 30.2 (-8.1).

My prediction was incorrect, by a great margin.

Monthly Traffic – Note the lack of email on the 21 July, when I was at remote resort for a friend’s wedding. Good for me!

Email by day of week: Mayhem on Monday.

Email by hour of day: People are still getting a jump on me in the morning.

Time before first response: Still room for improvement, but I am taking care of a lion’s share of my email the day of.

Word Count: I am attributing the skew in long emails to all of the Obama For America and Joe Biden mailers I have been receiving. Under 30 is my strike zone it appears.

I started 22.65% of email exchanges.

Perhaps my misperception of the quantity of email I sent is due to my email correspondences being of greater consequence.