Sunday, January 6, 2008

Warring Review Strategies, Part Two - How Many Birds Can You Kill With a Single Stone?

As David Duke would say, "Yowza." As I discussed in my previous post, I ended up posting my single review tweet, trying to see how far it would disseminate. For the record, here is the tweet:

@twitcrit #* the post by @davewiner is correct. Why bother to televise the debate outside of nh if it is not live?

Let me point out several things about this tweet:

  • It is addressed to @twitcrit, which theoretically ensures that it will show up on the @twitcrit feed.

  • It includes the "hashstar" hashtag, which theoretically ensures that it will show up at

  • The "hashstar" hashtag also theoretically ensures that it will show up on the @hashstar feed.

  • It is exactly 140 characters long, which theoretically ensures that it will show up on Club 140.

  • It addresses an important issue - namely, the television networks' failure to televise ANYTHING (other than sporting events) live to those of us on the west coast, including last night's candidate debate. See Dave Winer's post if you're interested in the topic.
The tweet itself was posted a little after 6:30 pm Pacific time, and as expected it showed up at Club 140 by 6:35 pm. (Note that Club 140 only stores the most recent 140 character tweets, so if you decide to follow the Club 140 link in February 2009, you're probably not going to see my post.)

In addition, the tweet showed up at the page devoted to #*. (Again, it may not be there in February 2009; in this case, I'm not sure how long tweets for a particular hashtag are retained by

Unfortunately, as of 6:45 pm, the tweet did not appear at either @twitcrit or @hashstar. Perhaps I should read those technical limitations that I skipped earlier. Let's start with Jarvis:

Here’s how I’m doing it now: Following Chris Brogan’s example, I’m using a search at Terraminds, which creates an RSS feed of all tweets with “@twitcrit” within and I’m importing that into the twitcrit account on Twitter (so you can follow that) using Twitterfeed and also into a Twitcrit Tumblog. This has problems, though: Tumblr updates only once an hour, Twitterfeed only once a half-hou (and it includes only up to five entries). Arrrggghh.

Now, Stowe Boyd:

I took the feed from the #* tag at, and used to push that into a new Twitter account I set up, called hashstar (for #*). In principle, it should work as planned. All reviews in Twitter tagged with #* will wind up reposted at hashstar. However, Twitterfeed has real bandwidth limitations, so this will only work as a proof of concept. Smallest polling cycle is 30 minutes, and an upper limit of 5 posts.

Anyone have an alternative to Twitterpost that is less limited?

So both Jarvis and Boyd ended up using Twitterfeed for their proof of concept, which means that it may take up to 30 minutes for a post to show up. And if six people do the same thing in the half-hour period, it may not show up at all.

If you can't tell, I've been killing time writing this blog post waiting for the thirty minutes to finish up.

Oh, thirty minutes isn't up yet.

OK, I'll kill time by telling a story. I am not at liberty to divulge the true circumstances of this story, so I've changed the names and some of the facts. Enjoy.

Once upon a time there was a man named Barack that was a big, big fan of WidgetCorp's products, especially its "Village" product.

In fact, Barack liked this product so much that he set up a "Village Village" in honor of the product.

It was decorated in a rainbow of colors, which made it really groovy and caused everyone to feel united when they visited it. And although all of the sanitary engineers had to be paid, Barack refused to charge admission to Village Village, and bore all of the costs himself.

One Friday Barack was sitting at the entrance to Village Village, when lo and behold he was greeted by someone from his favorite company, WidgetCorp! This woman, named Hillary, turned to Barack and said, "'Village' is a registered trademark of WidgetCorp, so you cannot own Village Village any more."

"That's no problem, Hillary," said Barack. "I will gladly give Village Village to you, because it truly belongs to you. Consider it my opus of gratitude to your wonderful product. Here, have the keys."

Barack went home that night, happy because he knew that Village Village was now in the right hands, and would become even better than before. He was antsy all weekend, and couldn't wait to see what WidgetCorp would do with Village Village. Would they give away free ice cream? Barack wondered.

On Monday morning, bright and early, Barack put his shoes on his feet and ran as fast as he could to see the new Village Village. As he ran toward the love of his life, he saw a big sign near the entrance. He ran faster and faster, until he was able to see what the sign said:


Barack stood there, staring at the "CLOSED" sign and the padlocked gates, and wept bitterly.

Have I killed enough time yet? Let's see...ah! @Twitcrit has a tweet!

oemperor: @twitcrit #* the post by @davewiner is correct. Why bother to televi..

The second tinyurl redirected the reader to my original tweet, while the first tinyurl (identical to the tinyurl in my original tweet) redirected the reader to Dave Winer's post, the subject of my review.

Well, I certainly don't want to tell another story again, go I'll give you a YouTube video for your listening pleasure. Set to "By This River" by Brian Eno.

OK, it's three minutes later. I hope you enjoyed that, although I guess that those with a fear of flying may have felt differently about it than I did.

I love "side two" of "Before and After Science." (Would that be "After Science"?)

Anyway, I have digressed. Let me check @hashstar and see if my post has shown up.

No dice. I think I've waited over 40 minutes, but it's not showing up there.

However, I did push my review out to, @twitcrit, and Club 140. It just shows that even if there are different standards (@twitcrit vs. #*) for marking Twitter review tweets, you can still conform to the different standards.

At a loss of characters, of course.

[mrontemp business] | [mrontemp politics] | [mrontemp technology] | [mrontemp tags]

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