Posts Tagged ‘Social Networks’

Twitter: @locksmith:springield:ma

May 24, 2008

I would like to add the following API to twitter or to have a service that would have made it easier for me today. I have to tell you a short story to set up the situation I was in today.

My wife (Shannon) and I decided to go to Six Flags Great Adventure today to get in some thrills and excitements before the beginning of the holiday weekend. It was to be my first real vacation day of the year (no computer, no cell phone, no work). We dropped the kids off to school and made our way to Springfield (actually Agawam but Six Flags is mostly referred to as being in Springfield).Superman Ride of Steel

We arrived at the park at 10:45 parked the car, took just what we needed (wallet, money, sunglasses, cell phone: wife’s only and the keys) and made our way into the park. We felt like we should have had on our “Hockomock YMCA Band Camp” t-shirts – wholly $hit was there a ton of kids there. Digressing a bit – sorry.

We got our season passes and were drawn inward. No real plan we just started walking as we passed the old wooden rollercoaster and the “free fall” we saw what we had both been anticipating since the day we decided to take this trip about 3 weeks ago: “Superman – The Ride of Steel”. 200+ foot initial drop 77 miles an hour and an amazing feeling of weightlessness at the top of every hill. Naturally I was stuck with everything in my pockets – including the sunglasses.

As we took the first deep everything felt good – wicked fast – wicked scary. We then approached the second hill – “way to fast” I am thinking – “dude we are going to launch off the top of this hill like a rocket” (note: this is where the feeling of weightlessness comes in) – as we were sucked down the backside of the hill I now knew that this ride, the one without the shoulder harness – just the bar and a sealtbelt, did not need any loops – just steep turns and many hills with which to launch off. After hitting all the major humps and feeling weightless about 5 times you head into the “slow-down” area for most coasters – accept this thing is still cranking.

The ride comes to the close after two small humps that still produce the feeling that your shooting out of a cannon – when it happend.

Shannon: “What was that” (sounded more like a yell than a statement)

Me: “I don’t know”

I didn’t. Just as we came over the apex of the last hill a little black thing flew in front and landed in the car in front of us. It was moving too fast to recognize.

Shannon “Your key”

Me: “No”

Clearly the key was nestled deep in my pocket along with every other valueable I collected from the car. My broken sun glasses (casualty of the Superman Ride) should have been proof enough that it couldn’t have been the key.

Alas, after I checked every deep pocket I had – it was no where to be found. The only key to my 2003 Volkswagen Passat – had been eaten by the Man of Steel. So – here we are (after visits to Guest Relations and hearing countless times that they would not be able to search for my key until the end of the day) at the need for my service.

After a call to the local dealership who stated the ONLY solution that I had was to tow the car to their dealership (I am 100 miles from my house mind you) and that they could get me a new key on Tuesday (the day I leave for Washington, D.C. – from boston at 7 AM). Uh… yeah right. In order to save my car and this weekends camping trip – I needed a locksmith.

This is how I would have liked to started my search:

Twitter: I am at Six Flags Great Adventure in Agawam, Ma. Lost my key on Superman ride – anyone in the park capable of helping me? @SixFlagsNE:help

The extra extension on the @SixFlagsNE would mean i needed help. There were thousands of people there that day. Why not connect us – all better. @SixFlagsNE:Line on Superman short, @SixFlagsNE:Batman closed, @SixFlagsNE:need locksmith.

Twitter + Brightkite.com equals locksmithI just signed up for Brightkite (still have 3 invites if anyone is interested) and I think that this is something that they may tack on to this – but for now this is for keeping in touch with your friends. I need it to help me when I lose my key on the Superman Ride. I can definitely say that we are headed to this communication level.

When I was at the park I could feel everyone in the park – and I am sure that there was probably someone that could have helped me.

Oh yeah and if you are curious – here is a link to the YouTube movie for the Superman Ride if you like roller coasters I highly recommend this and, If you look real hard at 1:31 of the film – I believe you can see my key – right below the track on the last hill. R.I.P switchblade VW key – I will miss you.

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Talking loudly on Twitter

April 26, 2008

Earlier this week Louis Gray wrote about his “Tweets vs. Followers” theory. His post cane be sumarized as:

I feel there are different categories of Twitter users, from those who have a listening audience, measured by a high “followers” to “updates” ratio, those who are engaging, seen with near equal “followers” and “updates”, and those who are more noisy, with a lot more “updates” than actual “followers”.

Twittering NoiseI guess I take offense (in a very lightly term) to the statement that there are more “noisy” people who have “… a lot more ‘updates’ than actual ‘followers’…”. While those that have a lower ratio between “tweets and followers” are “engaging”.

So if I have 2500 followers and 1400 tweets than essentially I am not even saying “hello” to all of the people that I am “engaging”. I think that what Louis is saying is that there are some people out there who are just blindly talking. And I would agree.

I have been followed on Twitter by various people and since I am using Twitter as a means to meet more people I used to be in the habit of of following people back that followed me. I have seen the type of people that he is talking about. They post their every move:

I just ate my apple
Got my apple out of the fridge
I think that I would like an apple
Boy, I sure could use an apple

I think that there is an interesting discussion here and it goes beyond the numbers of “tweets and followers” but what was Twitter really designed for.

I use Twitter for a couple of reason.

Reason 1: Keeping in touch with people I meet
I travel quite a bit and I meet some interesting people whom I have a lot in common with. In most cases, these people that I meet also have something common with each other (even if they don’t even know each other). Twitter is a great medium to touch them all with thoughts and questions easily.

Reason 2: Mini-Blog
Blogs take a lot of work and there is some distance between writing for fun and getting paid. I like to write and I like to “talk”. Twitter is an awesome medium for talking (quietly =). Sometimes I will have a quick idea that maybe doesn’t require an entire blog post. You can get an amazing amount of thought into 140 words.

Reason 3: It’s fun
I love to hear what other people are doing (at least the ones that I know). So Twitter keeps me smiling when I hear a friends joke or funny event. Inside jokes on Twitter are great.

I only have 66 followers yet I have posted almost 700 times. If I look at the people that I converse with the most – many of them have the same ratios that I do:

@reneemck 280 – 27
@protoolspc 205 – 30
@gregpc 1223 – 182
@mhostad 561 – 65
@knochie 754 – 43
@georgedearing 2451 – 305
@tpryan 1234 – 95

So one could argue that if you are communicating with 20 of your 2000 followers you are probably either more noisy or more popular than someone that actually communicates with more than 1% of their followers but you are certainly not more “engaging”.