Tips for live tweeting an event

If you use Twitter and are attending an event that you want to share with your twitter followers, you can live tweet it as it’s happening. While you can live tweet basically any event, these tips focus mainly on talks that you might attend as part of a conference, a meetup, a sponsored speaker series, or another presentation.

I’ve live tweeted several conferences (two as part of a job, such as #SUMIT14), talks, and series of talks as @smorewithface.

First, the basics on live tweeting an event, then some pro tips and best practices to follow before and during the event.

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2015 Resolutions, 2016 Music, and 2017

In 2015 I made some resolutions. I haven’t followed up on them since. In 2016 I made no resolutions, but I listened to a lot of music.

How the 2015 resolutions fared in 2015 and 2016

I did okay.

1. Stay off Twitter more, read fewer articles on the web, and create more.

I’ve continued to use Twitter over the past couple years. My use of it waxes and wanes depending on the news. I periodically delete it from my phone to get a break. My Pocket queue and a change in my commute mean that I’ve certainly shifted my web-based reading habits. I read 73 books in 2016 (that I bothered to add to Goodreads, so let’s round to 75). I’ve taken a few vacations without my laptop, and have spent a bit more time working with my hands—whether at the gym, climbing, or making things like jewelry.

2. Learn JavaScript

I still have not learned JavaScript. I gave up on it. Part of this is because semicolons are rude, and part of this is because I joined a company where Python is the primary backend language. I realized Python would be easier to learn and my interests shifted more toward data analysis (and maybe some digital mapping?) and further from interactive web content, so I worked on learning Python instead. I ran into the same issue learning Python as I did JS though… it requires a lot of time, and a lot of practice. Side projects are hard to maintain, especially when they’re similar to your day job. I still have some tabs open about learning Python, and I took more Python tutorials, so I have at least reading-level knowledge of both languages.

3. Read something huge, and write something huge.

Still haven’t read Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Still haven’t written up a magnum opus on the reification of geographical and political and linguistic borders on the web. I’m hoping to break it apart and start publishing bits and pieces here this year. We’ll see.

Goals for 2017

I’m meeting with friends this weekend to work through some. I’m setting some in terms of reading material, to better improve my knowledge of key (also depressing) moments in history. I can’t be a history nerd without being fascinated by dictators, oppression, and systemic discrimination. So I’m branching out to different geographical dictators and oppression in history this year. Beyond that, we’ll see what goals I end up with.

2016 in Music

2016 was a music-filled year, after a multi-year hiatus of drifting away from it being as central in my life as it deserves. These songs stuck with me for various reasons. They helped me regain some hipster credibility, branch out into less-explored genres, and reminded me how important it is to support artists you care about.

Songs that stuck

This year I bought the CHVRCHES album, the Bon Iver album, the Frank Ocean album, and The Little Prince soundtrack. In addition to a bunch of one-off songs, because shuffle is how I roll.

I listened to Jason Derulo a lot, and listened to a four song playlist of Carly Rae Jepsen, Ariana Grande, Ingrid Michaelson, and Adele for longer than I’d like to admit.

Shows I saw

I saw the following artists play live:

  • Justice and Sebastian (he might still go by SebastiAn)
  • Broods and Two Door Cinema Club
  • Daughter
  • Still Flyin’, Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone, and Slow Club
  • Tallest Man on Earth and The Head and the Heart
  • Cold War Kids

If I had to rank them, CHVRCHES would be first.

I started the new year by binging on SoundCloud recommendations from The Burning Ear and the related tracks that SoundCloud plays. A great way to fall into a rabbit hole of discovery, and a totally different experience from Spotify’s more carefully-constructed and curated experience of the Discover Weekly and other playlists.

Stats that were gathered for me, passively by

Last.FM tells me things about last year in music too.


My listening increased after I moved. CHVRCHES was a continual favorite. I listened to a lot of different types of music, but mostly stuck to indie. Hey Rosetta! – Trish’s Song is a great song to listen to if you’re trying to fall asleep.

2017 in Music

In 2017 I have tickets to see these artists in concert…

  • Less Than Jake
  • Mike Doughty and Wheatus
  • Jens Lekman
  • Radical Face
  • Matt Pond PA
  • Gibbz
  • Knox Hamilton and Colony House

And that’s just the first three months. City life suits me. Forging ahead into 2017 suits me. Here’s to more reading, more music, more learning, more blogging, and more self care in the year ahead.

Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu: Watching and Sharing on the Web

I like to share with my friends. I’ll send them links to articles in Pocket, book recommendations on Goodreads, and music recommendations in Spotify. I’ll also post SoundCloud songs on Facebook, quote articles on Twitter, and email other articles to friends. All of these sharing methods augment word-of-mouth, letting me seamlessly share my experiences with others within or outside of an application.

What’s missing is the ability to easily share recommendations in the apps we use to watch TV and movies online. The word-of-mouth augmentation that social media provides is pretty minimal when it comes to TV and movies.

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Physical technology and inherited meeting places

Digital technology is central in our social and personal lives. Laptops, smartphones, and the apps installed on them allow us to communicate more frequently & at greater distances than ever before. This capability is reshaping those communications. This centrality of the role of tech mirrors the importance that churches once had in peoples’ lives. The Internet Archive could be aiming to bring this back, in a more physical manner.

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The Politics of Crisis Communication

Some mentions in Zeynep Tufekci’s post The Politics of Empathy and the Politics of Technology got me thinking about crisis communications for incident response.

Facebook will have to decide which incidents are “serious and tragic” versus which ones are “ongoing crises” where Safety Check would not be useful. Iraq is not officially at war, but suicide bombings there are almost horrifically routine. Their new policy raises many important questions that should be carefully considered. Will Baghdad bombings be considered endemic? How many in a year to declare something endemic or chronic? Are we just acknowledging that people in the regions of the world suffering from chronic crises have no way to feel “safe”? Who gets to check in? “Useful” as defined as useful to whom? Would you not want a “Safety Check” everyday if your loved one were trapped in a region with a dangerous and fast-moving epidemic like Ebola?

When your platform takes the role of defining a crisis, that’s putting the media in social media.  By enabling Safety Check for “unnatural” disasters, it stops being a nifty feature and becomes an essential tool for communication during a crisis.

Activating Safety Check constantly would lessen its value as a signal. Right now, it functions as a forceful push, and you get a “notify” on your phone when a friend in the affected area checks in as safe. Getting hundreds of these notifications per day would reduce its efficacy. However, not getting the notification when you were worried about someone would also be a problem. This type of system requires decisions to be made about when to activate, and when to hold back.

Avoiding alert fatigue is key when it comes to crisis communications. Facebook is both defining the crisis and communicating about it.  It’s easy to send a message to millions of people when they log into your service on a daily (or even hourly) basis. It isn’t easy to do it well.


Where Scanning the Internet Gets You

From awhile back, Brian Krebs talks to three researchers at U-M about their ZMap tool. An efficient and comprehensive way to scan the Internet, they’ve recently built a search engine called Censys that searches across their daily data collections from the ZMap scans.

From Krebs’ interview with the researchers (Zakir Durumeric, Eric Wustrow, and J. Alex Halderman):

“What we were able to find was by taking the data from these scans and actually doing vulnerability notifications to everybody, we were able to increase patching for the Heartbleed bug by 50 percent. So there was an interesting kind of surprise there, not what you learn from looking at the data, but in terms of what actions do you take from that analysis? And that’s something we’re incredibly interested in: Which is how can we spur progress within the community to improve security, whether that be through vulnerability notification, or helping with configurations.”

Using ZMap allows them to quickly collect this data (compared to other network scanners), but the researchers aren’t just scanning the Internet because they feel like it. They’re taking action based on the scan results—notifying people when their machines are vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.
Beyond notification, they can take other steps:
“So, that’s the other thing that’s really exciting about this data. Notification is one thing, but the other is we’ve been building models that are predictive of organizational behavior. So, if you can watch, for example, how an organization runs their Web server, how they respond to certificate revocation, or how fast they patch — that actually tells you something about the security posture of the organization, and you can start to build models of risk profiles of those organizations. It moves away from this sort of patch-and-break or patch-and-pray game we’ve been playing. So, that’s the other thing we’ve been starting to see, which is the potential for being more proactive about security.”
Internet scan data can help us better understand organizational security posture and develop different models of risk profiles in organizations. With those risk profiles, improving an organization’s security posture could be a matter of identifying the inefficient elements and focusing on them. Security posture is culture as much as machines. While SIEMs can identify risk factors in your machines, models of organizational security posture can identify the risk factors in your culture.

Kill Legacy Apple Software

Benedict Evans pointed out in a recent newsletter, “there’s a story to be written about Apple feeling its way from a piecemeal legacy technology stack for services, evolved bit by bit from the old iPod music store of a decade ago, to an actual new unified platform, something that it is apparently building.”

I’d argue for a focused set of decoupled applications, rather than a new unified platform. iTunes has bloated beyond practicality. The App store doesn’t work well for users or developers. Here’s where I think the future of these applications lies.

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Affective Computing and Adaptive Help

Several months ago, I saw Dr. Rosalind Picard give a talk on Affective Computing. I took notes and thought a lot about what she said but let my thoughts fester rather than follow up on them. Then last week, I read Emotional Design by Donald A. Norman, which reminded me of Dr. Picard’s work and my initial thoughts about affective computing.

There are two elements to affective computing:

  • People interact with technology and devices as though it has a personality (and devices and interfaces without personalities can be distasteful to use).
  • Cameras, wearables, and other technology can be used to determine the emotions and affective responses of a person using technology with surprising accuracy.

Websites and applications are personalized by tracking your browsing history, collecting advertising preferences, device usage, and demographic data. Using affective computing, they could soon be personalized by tracking your emotions.

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