Category Archives: Social Networking

Thoughts on Twitter Censorship

As the entire blogosphere probably knows by now, Twitter has announced that they will censor tweets on a per-country basis when requested by said countries.

Censorship requests will be tracked and made public via Chilling Effects.

Twitter’s rationale for this move is that otherwise, countries would simply outlaw or bring down Twitter within their territories, whereas with this new policy only the offending tweets will be removed (and only within the offended countries).

Transparently reporting every censorship request would theoretically place Twitter outside the fallout zone and put the blame squarely in the offending parties.

But put yourself in Joe Totalitarian’s shoes for a second. Would you want your censorship requests filed and openly available for all the world to see?

While Germany might not mind going on the record censoring pro-Nazi tweets, totalitarian regimes would much rather go nuclear on Twitter under the lame-but-all-inclusive excuse of “people were using Twitter to plot against the legitimate government” than asking Twitter to selectively censor all tweets with the word “democracy” in them.

Twitter’s move may open the door for more transparency in modern democracies; what it will do for those countries were freedom of speech really needs a helping hand remains to be seen.

[also available on my Google+ page:]

Integrating Buffer into your iPad Twitter workflow

Frustrated that you can’t use Buffer from within your media consumption apps? Zite? Instapaper?

Read on to learn how to integrate Buffer into your info-pr0n apps for easy one-click, queued tweets.

Buffer is a web service that lets you schedule your tweets so they are published at pre-set times throughout the day.
Buffer schedules your tweets

I regularly read Zite and Flipboard in the morning and retweet anything I find interesting. At night, it’s time for Instapaper. While browsing throughout the day I use the Buffer bookmarklet to make sure my tweets go into my publish queue. No such luck when using Zite, Flibpoard or Instapaper since they’re not integrated with Buffer.

So I end up publishing a ton of info early in the morning and late at night, which may not be the best approach.

How can I use Buffer from within Zite, Instapaper and Flipboard if it’s not integrated into them?

I’ve found a nice workaround using a web service called IFTTT ( – If This, Then That) that allows you to create a workflow using a number of web apps, such as Delicious, Instapaper, Gmail, etc. [Hit me up for invites if you want to try it.]

The idea is to create a one-click workflow that allows you to share content through your Buffer queue without having to re-format e-mails, copy, paste or any extra steps you might be needing at the moment.

ifttt puts the internet to work for you by creating tasks that fit this simple structure:Using IFTTT to integrate Buffer with your iPad twitter workflowThink of all the things you could do if you were able to define any task as: when something happens (this) then do something else (that).

My IFTTT setup:

I’ve created two tasks that solve the Buffer issue for Zite and Instapaper.

I’ve connected IFTTT to my Delicious account, my Instapaper account and my Gmail account.

There’s 3 bits of magic that help make this happen:

  1. Instapaper offers an RSS feed of your liked items.
  2. Zite posts to your Delicious account using a via:zite tag.
  3. Buffer offers you an email address where you can send your tweets to queued.

Now, on IFTTT create two tasks:

1. Send Delicious bookmarks from Zite to Buffer:

if [there’s a new bookmark tagged via:zite in your Delicious account] then [send an e-mail with the bookmark from your Gmail account to Buffer’s e-mail address]

Now all you need to do to share articles from within the Zite app is click on the Save to Delicious button.

2. Send liked Instapaper items to Buffer:

Using IFTTT to integrate Buffer with your iPad twitter workflowUse a New feed item from channel to check your Instapaper Liked Items feed.

if [there are new items on your Instapaper liked feed] then [send an e-mail with the article from your Gmail account to Buffer’s e-mail address].

You’ll find your Instapaper Liked Items feed at the bottom of your Instapaper Liked page, where it says This folder’s RSS.

Just like any article in Instapaper and off it goes into your Buffer queue (please note that Instapaper takes a while to refresh your RSS feed, so this may not be instantaneous – not that it matters, since you’re queuing them for later anyway).

In both cases, set the e-mail’s subject to the title of the bookmark/article ({{title}}) and the body to the url ({{url}}). You can edit to your liking to add additional info to your tweets.

For Flipboard, we can take advantage that Buffer’s email address begins with “add” and the emails are formatted in a way that plays nice with Buffer. Simply select Email Link, begin typing “add” until autocomplete shows the Buffer address (usually at the top) and send away. (The reason I don’t use this same approach with Zite is that Zite truncates the article title when e-mailing).

There you go. Buffer integrated with my most-used info-pr0n apps. Sweet.

Use this link to create your own Buffer account and receive one extra tweet space in your buffer:

How do you integrate Buffer into your daily workflow? Let me know in the comments.

And if you enjoyed this post, please retweet it and follow me on Twitter @cgranier.

Unboxing “The World According to Twitter”

Today I received my autographed copy of “The World according to Twitter” (TWA2T) by David Pogue and a couple thousand of his Twitter friends. In the tradition of tech geeks everywhere, behold: the unboxing of TWA2T!

Here we go:

1. The original package with a dog logo. I had NO IDEA what this was.


2. Anticipating it could be Pogue’s book, I quickly ripped into it:


3. YES! My own copy of The World according to Twitter:


4. Here it is, in it’s full glory:


5. I jumped to the first page, to find the book autographed to me – that’s my Twitter name there, @cgranier:


6. The index shows every contributor, cross-linked to the page(s) where their tweets ended up. In the end, three of my tweets made it into the book, on pages 98 and 181:


7. Here’s one of them:

What’s your brilliant idea to improve the modern automobile:

Car’s paint color should change (à la mood ring) to indicate temper of driver. –@cgranier


8. And the other two:

Rewrite a famous quotation in the style of the half-wits who leave comments on YouTube.

2 B R NOT 2B, DAT IZ DE ? –@cgranier

Dewd, like I don care where u go, but 4 me, I haz liberty or kill me. FTW! –@cgranier


I spent the better part of the evening reading through the book and couldn’t stop laughing. It’s simply hilarious (well, at least the other 2,521 tweets). The wit and creativity of its contributors had me in side-splitting laughter from the beginning. Get a copy or two. I’ll even sign it if you want 😉

UPDATE: Here’s a short video David Pogue made, documenting the book signing:

Pogue’s Twitter-Book Signing Day from david pogue on Vimeo.

David Pogue attempts to sign 1500 books in one day.

UPDATE: Here’s an excerpt from the book… 28 free pages:

The World According to Twitter

If you’re in the book, leave me a message with your username so I can look up your funny tweets. And please feel free to share this post with all your Twitter friends. I’ve made it really easy: just click the retweet badge located at the top and bottom of this post, or just click here.


The Pros and Cons of Twitter as News Source

In just one day, Twitter proved its worth as a viable news source while at the same time demonstrating how easy it is to spread false information.

While Twitter makes the spread of information quick and painless (when Twitter itself isn’t acting up) it also makes the spread of false news that much easier as well. Louis Gray reports how today, the long debunked myth of the Subway guy’s death, resurfaced on Twitter via some highly connected folk like Kevin Rose of Digg and Adam Ostorow of Mashable. Read Louis’ highly informative post, “Smart People, Stupid Tweets. Fake News Spreads Fast on Twitter“, for more information.

I’ve posted before about the large number of news organizations using Twitter for breaking news, but Louis describes the problem perfectly:

“The combination of a rush to publish and a low barrier to entry for microblogging makes posting quick notes to Twitter extremely tempting for people who are trying to break news.”

In the process, fact-checking seems to get thrown out the window, much the same way gossip spreads. The problem isn’t so much those who post false news, but -as is also the case with gossip- those who repeat it (and often embellish it) without checking out the facts.

On the other hand, Twitter -and even more so, Summize and ESPN’s website- proved vital for anyone trying to follow the EURO 2008 semifinal game between Germany and Turkey. A storm knocked out the International Broadcast Center in Vienna, leaving anyone watching the game around the world staring at a blank screen.

I jumped on Twitter for more information, but Twhirl quickly informed me that I had “exceeded” my tweet limit -even though I haven’t been on Twitter all day. It seemed “information blackout” was the note of the day.

Summize, however, saved the day by aggregating relevant commentary from all over the world.


ESPN’s own Live Commentary from their online GameCast provided just enough information to “see” what we were missing. It seems that ESPN reporters had access to the radio broadcast of the game and were able to fill us in with the details.


Just another day on the information super highway.

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Go Viral with the 3 Stripes

Who knew the graffiti scene was so complex? This successfully-viral ad from Adidas, takes us behind the scenes with a graffiti artist:

The production quality of the ad is top-notch, the content is interesting (did you know there are several types of paint can nozzles available? I didn’t) and branding was subtle but effective. I have the Adidas brand burned into my head – even though I don’t recall them selling any particular product with this ad.

I found this via Chris Brogan’s blog.

Did you like the ad? Pass it around then and tell’em where you found it.

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5 Mindset Shifts Every Media Executive Needs to Make

Media executives thinking about distributing their content online (and they all should) need to make important mindset shifts in order to understand what the digital revolution is all about, how it affects their business and what benefits it can bring to their operation.

I’ve outlined five mindset shifts every media executive needs to make:

1. Digital Is Your Battleground

OLD: We sell advertising space on television and throw in a bonus on our internet properties.

NEW: We sell advertising space on our Internet properties and throw a bonus on our television network.

Drastic? Yes! But you need to start thinking this way if you want to understand where your company is headed. Digital content distribution will eventually be your main revenue stream.

You need to start thinking digital:

  • Have all your content ready in digital formats suitable for distribution via downloads, podcasts, iTunes, streaming and cellphones.
  • Convert your advertising rates to digital format and train your sales people in the new lingo: figure out how much you charge per minute per thousand viewers and use this as a starting point.
  • Think about how you’ll monetize your shows online and plan accordingly: pre-roll, mid-roll, banners, page sponsors, and subscriptions are all valid.

2. Engagement Is The New Rating

OLD: What matter is the size of our audience.

NEW: What matters is how engaged our audiences are.

You’re used to thinking about how many million viewers your shows garner. You need to start thinking about how many ways your shows intersect with your viewers’ lives. Study Lost and look up how many online communities have grown around the show.

Let your audiences interface with your content. Make it shareable in a way that lets you track views and advertising. Turn your content into a social object. Make it either:

  • part of the conversation,
  • a conversation starter, or
  • a gathering place.

If you’re creating content for TV or film, plan ahead and create additional content for digital distribution: side stories, character background, games, behind-the-scenes footage. There’s only so much you can tell in a one-hour show… develop your story online.

Don’t be afraid to listen to your audience, or to talk to them.

3. Your Earnings Will Come From Elsewhere

OLD: How are we going to make money online?

NEW: How are we going to make money if we don’t go online?

Of course you need to make money. And enough people have lost their shirts online to make even the bolder ones worry (think of them as the pioneers, with the arrows stuck on their backs). But look at it as an investment… just like you invested in HD technology, Beta SP, Nielsen reports and new studios: make a business plan, plan a strategy, hire a consultant, set-up a team, start small, think big, or not. Your current market is shrinking, it’s time to look elsewhere.

4. There Are More Than 24 Hours In A Day, There’s More Than One Distribution Channel

OLD: We deliver content 24 hrs a day on one channel.

NEW: We deliver unlimited content via unlimited distribution channels.

Forget about a 24-hour day. You now have access to unlimited audiences willing to watch any content at any time. Many of them are even willing to consume multiple content simultaneously. The programming grid is a thing of the past. You still need to offer quality content, but when it’s always 5pm somewhere, the meaning of prime-time changes.

5. What You Think You Know About Your Audience No Longer Applies

OLD: We must adapt our programming to our audience.

NEW: We can distribute any content to any number of audiences.

Want to create a news show, a sports channel or a cooking network? Why not all of them? If you’re a general programming station. think niches. If you’re a niche-content producer, think multiple niches. You have the know-how and production capability, you don’t need to constrain yourself to one particular audience. Experiment with old content, new content, new versions of old content, old versions of new content… it’s the Internet, there’s an audience for anything.

What do you think?

(Disponible en español en

A List of News Organizations using Twitter

Several traditional media organizations are using Twitter to distribute breaking news and alerts in a timely manner. Many media employees are also using Twitter to inform their followers of news as they happen, before they get back to the newsroom.

I’ve tried to condense a list of traditional media organizations using Twitter, with links to their Twitter accounts and graphs of their Twitter usage. I’ve only included those that have recent activity.

If you know of a news organization using Twitter as a distribution outlet, drop me a message through the comments form below, indicating their name and Twitter account.

You can follow me on Twitter at @cgranier.

A Spanish-language version of this post is available on my regular column at Technosailor.


Charlotte Oberver, Charlotte, NC @theobserver (stats)

Clarín, Argentina @clarincom (stats)

Courier-Mail, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia @cmbreakingnews (stats), @cmail_breaking (stats)

Diario Correo, Ecuador @diariocorreo (stats)

El País, Madrid, España @el_pais (stats)

El Porvenir, Monterrey, Mexico @El_Porvenir (stats)

El Siglo Web, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina @elsigloweb (stats)

El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia @eltiempocom (stats)

El Universo, Ecuador @el_universo (stats)

Financial Times @FTmedianews (stats), @FTfinancenews (stats)

Honolulu Star Bulletin, Honolulu, HI @starbulletin (stats)

Knoxville News Sentinel, Knoxville, TN @knoxnews (stats)

LA Daily News @ladailynews (stats)

La Nacion, Chile @nacioncl (stats), @lanacioncl (stats)

La Tercera, Chile @latercera (stats)

LA Times @latimesbreaking (stats), @latimesworld (stats)

Milenio, Mexico @Milenio (stats)

Nashua Telegraph, Hudson, NH @NashuaTelegraph (stats)

The New York Times, NY @nytimes (stats)

The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC @newsobserver (stats)

The Oregonian, Portland, OR @oregonian (stats), @OregonianBiz (stats), @OregonianTraff (stats), @OregonianSports (stats)

The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL @orlandosentinel (stats)

Times Online, London, UK @timesonline (stats), @TimesNewsUk (stats)

USA Today @ondeadline (stats)

Radio & TV

BBC @BBC (stats), @bbcsa (stats), @todaytrial (stats), @BBCClick (stats), @bbcmundo (stats), @bbcbrasil (stats)

CBC News, Canada @cbcnews (stats)

Channel News Asia, Singapore @ChannelNewsAsia (stats)

CNN @cnn (stats), @cnnbrk (stats), @CNNNewsroom (stats)

Fox News @foxnews (stats)

KOAT, Albuquerque, New Mexico @KOAT (stats)

KPBS News, San Diego, CA @kpbsnews (stats)

News 2 Colorado, Denver, Colorado @News2Colorado (stats)

NPR News @nprnewsblog (stats), @nprnews (stats), @bryantpark (stats)

Radio Cooperativa, Santiago, Chile @Cooperativa (stats)

RNZ Radio New Zealand News @rnz_news (stats)

RTÉ News, Ireland @RTEnews (stats), @RTEbusiness (stats)

VenezuelaPress, Venezuela @VenezuelaPress (stats)

WICU 12 News, Erie, PA @WICU12News (stats)

WLWT, Cincinnati, OH @wlwt (stats)

WOSU Public Media, Columbus, OH @WOSU (stats)


47 News, Tokyo, Japan @47news (stats)

ABC News, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia @abcnewsbrisbane (stats)

AgendaTwiMedios @agendatwitter (stats)

AmericasReport @AmericasReport (stats)

Breaking News Alerts @BreakingNewsOn (stats), @LivePressAlert (stats)

CNET News @CNETNews (stats)

ESPN Headlines @espn (stats)

Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles, CA @LAFD (stats)

Mahalo News @mahalonews (stats)

MarketWatch @MarketWatch (stats)

Marketwire @marketwire (stats)

Motor Awards, Venezuela @MotorAwards (stats)

MSN Noticias, España @msnnoticias (stats)

MSNBC @msnbc_world (stats)

Noticias Emol @twitter_emol (stats)

Poynter, St. Petersburg, FL @Poynter (stats)

Sina News, China @sinanews (stats)

Sunchales Hoy, Sunchales, Santa Fe, Argentina @sunchaleshoy (stats)

Thailand News @thailandnews (stats)

The Potsdam News, Potsdam, NY @ThePotsdamNews (stats)

Correspondents, Media Employees

Adam Boulton, Sky News, London, UK @SkyNewsBoulton (stats)

Darren Waters, Technology Editor, BBC News @djwaters1 (stats)

Ginny Skal, WNCN NBC 17, Raleigh, NC @ginnyskal (stats)

Jim Long, NBC @newmediajim (stats)

Wayne Sutton, WNCN NBC 17, Raleigh, NC @waynesutton (stats)

Let me know of any other news organizations using Twitter as a distribution method… Use the comments form below the article.

You can follow me on Twitter at @cgranier.

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Kluster to go live on Monday

Kluster, a website where entrepreneurs will be able to promote their ideas, receive input from users, vote on the best improvements and then share the profits is set to go live on Monday.


A Google search for Kluster reveals nothing more than their website (and a bunch of links to a long forgotten music band), which is quite remarkable. Google News has some additional details here, here, here and here.

Ben Kaufman, of mophie fame, is behind this interesting venture.

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Counter-Strike vs. Wii: Two Sides of the Same Social Coin

Counter-Strike and the Wii offer two very different social experiences that you should study when planning your social media strategy.

Exosocial Networking

Counter-Strike is an online cops-and-robbers game where you collaborate with and compete against players around the world to complete missions. Real time chat and voice communications keep the team on the same page, while your screen shows the position of every other player in the game. Counter-Strike is the type of social experience considered anti-social by the rest of your family members: you’ll forget most of them even exist. But you’ll forge great new friendships with your squadron teammates (and your enemies too).

Endosocial Networking

The Wii, on the other hand, is the ultimate in-house social tool. You’ll find yourself enjoying countless hours with the rest of your family and even get to know unknown facets of your significant other’s personality. I’ll bet it’ll bring most of you much closer. You can even invite friends over to join the fun.

While both Counter-Strike and the Wii will keep you at home, one will connect you with people across the world while the other will connect you to those close by.

Why is this important to your business?

When planning a social strategy for your business, you need to keep in mind both examples.

Are you connecting with your customers but failing to create the in-house bonds that will turn your workforce into a team? Or are you focusing on in-house, team-building exercises but failing to create a strong, lasting connection with your clients?

It’s important that you explore both sides of the Social Networking coin, building a strong team that knows each other’s strengths and creating a strong relationship with your client so that you can anticipate his needs and improve their experience with your product or service.

Which tools or techniques are you using to create social bonds in your business? What’s your Counter-Strike and your Wii?

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The MiamiTwits Twitter Group

Following Technosailor‘s lead, and using his code, I’ve setup the MiamiTwits Twitter group for people in the Miami, FL area (and anyone else, really) who wish to subscribe.

All you need is:

  • a twitter account (of course)
  • follow @MiamiTwits
  • send a direct message to the group (e.g., d MiamiTwits Hello Miami!) and it will be automatically broadcast to the entire group.