Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

My Hierarchy of New Media: How I Use Social Media These Days

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

So many choices, but really, only a few matter.

Too much media? Maybe. More like too much noise and not enough sound.

Since I consume vast amounts of noise and sound, you might wonder what I consider to be the best media and how I take it all in. Or not.

Anyway, media power users have their own methods of choosing, consuming, and digesting media. It’s probably not the same for most people.

Here’s most people: I use Facebook. Also, I check my email. And if I’m savvier than 3/4’s of my friends I Twitter. And Skype to call the kids. Sometimes, if I remember, I use Foursquare. And if I’m kinda diligent, but if I’m the majority (92%) I’m not, I use LinkedIn.

Clearly, that’s not me. Please know that I haven’t actually audited my life. This is just a survey of how I perceive my own use. Reality might have different percents of time, but this is how my mind works when choosing my media.

So, most mornings, I check my email–usually in fear. I hate email. There’s too much of it and no matter how many Gmail filters I create, there’s too much crap. The “Mute” feature has been helpful for all the chains of email I get.

While I’m packing my kids lunches, getting them ready for school, I might check Twitter and fire off a couple RTs of good stories. Because of the news cycle, many journalists have their stories go up early on East Coast Time which is an hour before me. So, if I check things at 7 am my time, it’s still 8 on the East Coast. This is all done on my iPhone, unless I am printing homework or something for the kids at the computer.

Aside: I own a Mac i7, MacBook Air 11″, iPad 1.0, iPhone 4G.

By about 8 most mornings, I’m at my desk. I throw on my Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 Headset
(doubles as back up microphone for podcasting–I’m looking to buy some sweet cans) and fire up Spotify. I don’t effectively use Spotify–a social music sharing app. I haven’t got my full music library uploaded from iTunes yet. It takes some time that I haven’t made for it. I have followed a couple friends who also use it, but haven’t explored their music choices nearly enough. I get into music ruts and play stuff to death depending on the mood I’m in. Still, Spotify has better sound quality than iTunes (yes, I can hear it). No, I don’t use a media player like this. I don’t even open iTunes, really, unless I want to buy something or upload something, etc.

A note about Spotify. Sometimes I spam my Facebook followers and sometimes, I don’t. Set your listening session to “private” if you don’t want to share it with Facebook, or just don’t link the two.

I check my email again.

I check Twitter again. Speaking of Twitter, I don’t use the native Twitter, I use old-school Tweetdeck v.038.1. No, I haven’t updated. Twitter, who now also owns Tweetdeck, seems intent on committing user interface suicide. They hate their users, especially their power users. I find this irritating. The new Tweetdeck is native and not based on Adobe Air. Air is definitely a resource hog. Still, I’ve heard nightmares about the new version. Other power users use Seesmic. Again, I got in a tech rut and like it.

For those who don’t follow too many people and who like seeing a stream of tweets, but like a pleasant UI, download Echofon Pro for your desktop.

For Twitter on my iPad I use Echofon Pro and for pleasure, use Zite or Flipboard–both fun interfaces that are easier to read. I find that they bring my attention to different media in different ways.

It’s important to keep in mind that with all the customization, we’re limiting our own point of view. If keeping the big picture is your priority, make sure you follow diverse people and keep your interests broad. If you don’t care about having tunnel vision because your social media intake is purely for pleasure, just be self-aware. There’s lots you are not seeing.

Speaking of new versions that suck: Skype did the same thing with their upgrade. So, I roll old-school with Skype, too. I’m using Version Skype is a free internet-based phone and messaging app. I use it almost daily but almost exclusively for my podasts.

After email and Twitter, I hit Pinterest and reluctantly, Facebook (this is variable as I can go days without checking it). On Facebook, I’m still slowly whittling away at acquaintances and trying to only follow people I actually know. This has caused some heartburn, but when I had “friended” 5000 people, I was hating everyone and couldn’t keep up. Am I missing some networking opportunities? Maybe, but at this point, people can find me all sorts of places, so Facebook is going back to its intended purpose for me: keeping up with actual friends.

Pinterest I’m still exploring so I’m spending more time in it. I kind of use an emersion therapy on myself to learn the language of the new media. Pinterest speaks to my OCD, my desire for categorization, and my desire for more relevant search.

For everything but news, Pinterest beats Google and even Twitter by a mile. I don’t like Twitter’s search. Pinterest is visual–humans are visual. It is easier to find a product or something I’m interested in by scanning pictures. Now, my friend Robert Scoble says Storify is better. I haven’t used it yet, but have downloaded it and am starting to play, so I’ll let you know. Pinterest does have some limitations but that’s one of its strengths–simplicity.

If I have clients, I’m checking their stuff everywhere too and monitor it via Tweetdeck. There is no multi-user monitoring device for Facebook. That’s irritating. I’m doing word searches. I’m getting Google alerts. And of course, I’m also making phone calls. Phones: the original technological social media!

If I’m focusing on blogging, I write a blogpost. I use WordPress. I still have my Blogspot blog for backup. I have plugins for YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest. Writing takes uninterrupted time. I try to get my post done and then go check on socmedia stuff again.

If I see patients, well, everything is on hold until I’m not with them.

Google+, the socmedia that Twitter fans love to hate, is still my favorite social media to learn and grow as a person. It all depends on who is curating the content and because I’ve been choosy and kinda anal about how I organize the people I follow, Google+ continues to be my “breath of fresh air” social media platform. It is where I learn new things, therefore I love it.

When I go some place and happen to remember, I check into 4Square. Meh. I check in as I’m leaving because it’s all so stalkerish. It can be helpful when I travel, though. I just don’t care to know that someone is at CVS, nor do I care to share such mundane details.

Perhaps the biggest shift in my new media consumption is to ignore most blogs unless I find the information through another media like Twitter or Pinterest or more rarely, Facebook. I still use an RSS feeder and through Flipboard on my iPad, it’s truly an enjoyable experience. But really, I read blog posts via Twitter or not at all. I am too harried to go from site to site. Ben Domenech, Jim Geraghty (and of course mine) and a few others have good wrap up emails that make my life easier. Most of the time, I am beating Drudge now, in my own Twitter feed. So why go there?

After work, if I can wrest it from my youngest’s hands, I get on the iPad and read, play Words With Friends, play cards, and do home stuff like, and play with Pinterest more.

There is rarely a time when my phone, computer, or some form of tech isn’t with me. It’s simply integrated into my life. With family obligations pressing in at certain points and little time, Twitter because a way to stay involved and continue sharing news without a huge time commitment.

So there ya go. Twitter is easiest and most mobile, thus the ubiquity of my use. People ask how I can tweet so much. It’s everywhere with me and easy to use, so why not?

Protecting Bloggers And Citizen Journalists

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Who is a journalist?

If a person with an iPhone captures a picture of Congressman in a bad situation is he a journalist? Should he be given the protection a journalist receives?

If a person digs up corruption between a major Democrat donor and the White House and posts it on some obscure blog, should he receive the protection a journalist receives?

If a journalist has his own blog and opines about the news or entertainment of the day but isn’t writing for an “official” news outlet, should he receive the protection a journalist receives?

Right now, bloggers are exposed. If a big corporation, a rich/important individual, the government or someone in power wants to harass a blogger, he simply has to sue them into compliance. Even if the powerful has no case, the lawsuit itself can put an independent journalist out of business.

Jason Stverak, president of the Franklin Center, an organization promoting alternate news channels, says this:

This past December, federal judge Marco Hernandez of Oregon issued a ruling in the libel trial of Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox that has dangerous First Amendment implications.

Hernandez ruled that blogger Crystal Cox was not entitled to the same protection under media shield laws that other members of the press enjoy. This ruling made it easy for a jury to find her guilty of libel. That result threatens the First Amendment rights of all citizen-journalists.

With the Internet increasingly serving as the dominant source of information, a national debate has been taking place asking the question, who is a journalist? Legal scholars, journalism academics and First Amendment advocates all have their opinions and as expected, there is little agreement.

But why is this issue so complicated? Bloggers, like all citizens of the United States, have First Amendment rights. Has the definition of a journalist changed? Or has perception and therefore legal definition simply not adjusted to modern technology?

This case disturbs me as a blogger. I’ve had sources feed me stories–nearly every blogger has sources. There should be shield law protection. Period.

Bloggers, journalists, and all citizens need to join to push Congress and the courts to recognize a citizen’s right to report and be protected when he does. Sign up here.

Maggie Thurber reports more on the citizen journalist front. As the internet becomes the only place people find and consume their news, protecting journalists, and by extension their sources and livelihoods is essential.

Bloggers Honoring Bloggers: Award Nominees To Be Voted On At Blogbash CPAC

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Blogbash was created for one purpose: to honor the unpaid, activist bloggers who are making a huge difference in the conservative movement. They are, as Pamela Gellar said, “the ones who will change the world.”

This year, we’re adding something special: A tangible way for bloggers to honor bloggers by nominating posts, blogs, tweets, podcasts for awards. Seeing all the amazing things bloggers have done over 2011 in one place is inspiring.

Below, you’ll find the nominations for the different awards and you bloggers will be able to vote for the winners.

You’ll also note the categories of awards to be chosen by committee.

This is so exciting! Please tweet this post and share all the great work bloggers are doing!

See you Thursday!

Activism Post

(The Right Sphere) Brandon Kiser, Editor and (Tea Party Brew) Dennis Pedrie, Editor — Greater Food Bank of Boston/Occupy Boston, encouraging readers to donate
(RedState) Breanne Howe, Writer
(LaborUnionReport) Peter List, Writer

Investigative Post

Welfare Reform (Christine Rousselle – The College Conservative)
Occupy Wall Street (John Sexton – Verum Serum)
Weiner-Gate (Ace – Ace of Spades)

Sunlight Post

James O’Keefe, Project Veritas, New Hampshire Voter Fraud Expose
Matt Boyle, Daily Caller, Fast & Furious
Doug Powers, at Michelle Malkin on Solyndra

Best in Show: Podcast

Jimmie Bise, The Delivery Show
Andrew Lawton & Ben Swenson, Strictly Right
Fingers Malloy, The Snark Factor

Best in Show: Twitter

@rumpfshaker (Sarah Rumpf)
@iowahawkblog (David Burge)
@RBPundit Rebel Pundit

Best in Show: Video

Attack Watch: Ezra Dulis, Misfit Politics
New Hampshire Voter Fraud: James O’Keefe, Project Veritas
The Story of Citizens United, A Critique, Lee Doren

In addition, there are more awards that will be awarded, selected by a Blog Bash panel of your esteemed colleagues, including:

Best State-level Blogger
Changing the Narrative
Friend to Bloggers (Julie Laughridge Award)
Bloggers Stand With…

We will honor one pioneer blogger with the Legacy Award. And, of course, we will honor the Blogger of the Year.

Learn more at

Blog Bash: What Was I Thinking?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year Javier Manjarres was honored at BlogBash. The year before, Ed Morrissey was honored by Freedom Work’s Dick Armey:

Three years ago, I thought it would be cool to do something fun for bloggers at CPAC. Everyone was gathering there, why not have a casual get-together for people who work so hard.

In fact, my thought was little more than a Tweet-up sort of deal. Ha!

Turns out, I wasn’t the only one thinking about doing something for bloggers. Ali Akbar, who himself, a young blogging buck, along with Aaron Marks, a young finance and tech genius who helped online fundraising for elections, also wanted to do something for bloggers.

So, we three started Blogbash. Like most things in my life, it started as a modest idea and morphed into something else entirely–sponsors, food, drink, cake, swag, speeches, awards.

Blogbash became a thing.

We continued the tradition last year. And this, year, Ali, Aaron, and I have been working nearly full time putting together the best Blogbash yet. Hours of work, endless conference calls, dealing with caterers, procuring bartenders –and we’re doing it all from out of state. Aaron is in Pittsburg. Ali is in Dallas by way of Georgia. I’m here, north of Houston.

We have helpers (learn more about everyone here): Devon Wills has worked on getting bags, shirts and other things printed up. Others like Lyndsey Fifield and Abby Alger will help organize in DC. In other words, it takes lots of work by lots of dedicated people to pull this off.

It’s important, too, to know that some groups have loyally supported bloggers by way of Blogbash–Freedom Works is chief among these. We are gratified to have their help again. We’ve had new supporters, too, like Heritage Foundation, Injustice the Film, etc.

This year, we’ve had groups clamoring to support the bloggers–some candidates, more industry groups. This is heartening for the conservative movement as a whole. Many industry groups have been afraid to “come out” for fear of punishment by the Obama administration.

Please go take a look at this (still incomplete) list of sponsor

Please make sure and thank them and remember them. Blogbash approached nearly every single group who asks bloggers to pimp their stories, candidates, ideas, etc. With sponsorships as low as $300, it didn’t take much to participate.

Finally, this year, we’re adding to the already big party atmosphere of BlogBash. Bloggers can nominate their peers.


Best Investigative Post

Best Activism Post

Best Sunlight Post

Best in Show: Podcast

Best in Show: Twitter

Best in Show: Facebook Fanpage

Best in Show: Video

Conservative bloggers are doing amazing work shining the light in dark places, causing real change. They are making a difference. Please nominate the posts, podcasts, social media stars. They will be voted on AT the party.

What started out as a friendly get together, has become that and much more–an event filled with surprise guests, renewed relationships, and rewards recognizing our peers phenomenal work.

It’s been an honor to put this together. Unlike the left, where the blogging community is almost entirely corporate, now, on the right, bloggers tend to be unpaid and independent.

Blogbash is a yearly token of appreciation for hard work and sacrificial commitment.

Pinterest: Why You Should Be Interested

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

A couple years ago, I immersed myself in Twitter over a Thanksgiving weekend. This weekend, I’ve done the same with Pinterest.

Some thoughts:

1. It’s going to change online search. People are more inclined visually anyway. So, imaging putting in “pink bedroom” and imagine hundreds of people sorted pink bedrooms which you now see after it has been filtered through Pinterest. Like Twitter, it’s a smart, people-driven search.

2. Artists, graphic designers, architects,interior designers will love it. In fact, I’d force my clients to do two weeks of “Pinning” before I worked with them. It’s one thing to describe what you want. It’s another thing to see it. This could be a way to diminish communication problems. A person can collect art, websites, logos, homes, living rooms, etc. and then show their designer/decorator.

3. Marketing to women has just changed. You know how I know Pinterest is a big deal? Every techtarded woman I know is on the damn thing and has ten boards going already. Women make something like 80% of home-focused purchases. Everything. Still. Retailers better make sure their website interfaces work with Pinterest so women can “pin” what they like. That includes you snobby tech sites.

4. Bloggers better make sure EVERY post has a picture so it can be “Pinned”. Have a favorite book? movie? military installation? gun? car? Just post a picture so it’s shareable.

Now, Pinterest has some shortcomings, but if they’re smart they’ll fix them soon:


Share-ability. I’d really like to be able to tag people I think would be interested in something within Pinterest. Ironically, I can share something on Twitter or Facebook and tag, but it’s not easy (is it even possible?) in Pinterest.

Maybe (not sure) more ability to text modify the comments below a picture. Maybe some simple commands like bold, italics, underline like Google+.

Ability to make a board private or shareable with only a few people. I can see business and family applications here. A group project where you can share all sorts pictures and ideas? Pinterest is ideal for that, but not if the whole world sees what you’re up to.

Finally, Pinterest needs a killer iPad app because, really, it is a match made in visual social media heaven.

For those scorning it — namely dudes– get over yourselves. It is a fantastic organizational tool. I’ve saved the best part of Pinterest for last:

You know all those things you see online and you hate your bookmark bar and lists because they’re a hot mess? Pinterest really is logically made to organize. It is fascinating how people break things down already based on their interests/needs. I especially love my Tech board. I’ll see something cool and then forget about it. By pinning it, I can come back to it. Do I want to buy it? Do I really like it? Maybe.

At least squat on your name on Pinterest. It’s going to be a big deal. It’s the first social media that I’m aware of that is dominated by women out of the gate. Facebook was both guys and girls (college students) to start with. Twitter and Google Plus (predominately male to start and then women joined). Friendfeed? Well, that was dominated by Robert Scoble. Heh. Get your name before someone else does.

Follow me on Pinterest here.

Hot Conservative Men And The Men Who Could Have Been

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Well, there’s one way to get a male’s attention: make sure he doesn’t make the Top Twenty Hottest Conservative guys (in case you guys think you don’t want to see that nonsense, I would suggest that you look at the judges). I have received direct messages, emails and got regaled by the bitter Matt Lewis on his podcast this morning [30 minutes of hilarity]. Somehow I doubt that John received the same sort of hew and cries from the women. Women are stoic that way.

If nothing else, objectifying men in this shameless way has revealed the gender differences. Women are unsure of their beauty and few would dream of nominating themselves, much less complain when they don’t make the list…it would be a confirmation of what they secretly suspect.

For men, who all seem to view themselves as incredible specimens no matter the package, it’s an affront to not be nominated and worse, to not be on the list.

As my friend Stephen Kruiser says, if men weren’t confident like that, men and women would never hook up.

Anyway, the women judges were all kinds of wonderful. They had diverse tastes and some of the people who didn’t make it scored well–they may have just inspired strong feelings both ways.

The list of men is great from the perspective of getting to know what people are up to in the movement. There are many great men and women doing impressive work.

Armano: You Are The Media. Do You Trust You? Me: Trust Is Topical

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

David Armano a Twitter friend (we’ve never met, but I value his perspective and suspect I’d like him in person) has a must-read piece about trust in the media. And since we are all media now, who do we trust? His whole piece is worth reading, so please go look at the research, and then come back here for my thoughts.

It’s simple, really. We trust those who we respect, but we respect different people depending on the circumstances.

So, when I ask an opinion about guns on Twitter, I listen to the recommendations given by former military, current CHL instructors who are police chiefs. I could listen to my brother, and I do, he has some valuable insight, but I more heavily weight the expert.

The same is true for nearly every topic. I have a friend who I call when I have a economics questions. I have a friend who knows everything about Texas tax policy. Then there’s the local blogger who knows every dirty nook and cranny of Houston politics.

My brain doesn’t have enough room for all this information. It doesn’t need to have it. I have trusted advisers everywhere who can help me.

When it comes to social media growth, development and research, I trust David Armano. His advice and information over the time I’ve been on Twitter has been solid. Had he flaked out at some point, I’d discard his advice. So far, he’s still reliable.

There are an infinite number of “experts” who are regular people just like me but who have expertise in a slice of information. They become my friends. I value their perspective even more.

Or not. There are some people I don’t particularly like, but they have extraordinary insight in an area and I respect that.

With social media, who qualifies as an expert is fluid. People can observe another’s intellectual implosion online and a once-valued expert becomes a former expert in short order.

Where my opinion conflicts with David’s perspective is this: I may have a couple thousand friends on Facebook and Twitter (which I do) but I won’t trust them just because they give me an opinion. Human interaction is far more nuanced than that.

Just one example: I asked my followers on Twitter to recommend a cake company in Washington, D.C. Five people recommended the same place. But one of my friends recommended that place plus a place that was even better that was near her home. In addition, she said she’d help me pick up the cake. So I Googled both cake shops, called both cake shops, got stellar service from the out-of-the-way place and called in assistance from my friend.

Did I trust all the recommendations? Yes. Absolutely. But I also made my purchase decision based on intangibles and finally, the old business stand-by–customer service.

Social media is a tricky thing to study. It’s not like Google, where every metric can be broken down. It’s more human, more fickle, but the data a user gathers can be infinitely more helpful and accurate. I choose Twitter and Facebook over Google every day. Or rather, I get their recommendations and then Google the filtered information.

I trust my friends. I also verify. And an “expert” is all in the eye of the beholder.

Web Surfers Have More Depression

Thursday, February 4th, 2010


A “dark side” to the internet suggests a strong link between time spent surfing the web and depression, say psychologists.
British scientists found that the longer people spent online, the less likely they were to be happy.

A small group of the worst affected individuals were both depressed and addicted.

But it was not clear whether using the internet causes mental health problems, or whether people with mental health problems are drawn to the internet.

More work is needed to answer this “chicken and egg” question, say the researchers.

Well, if a person tends to be a solitary person, he might enjoy hanging on the internet. But then, he does self-reinforcing things, like look at porn, and gets stuck behind his desk even more. Then, he is kinda addicted..he exercises less, gets less natural sunlight, interacts with real people less and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Or, the person starts depressed and the internet doesn’t force human interaction or exertion.

I don’t think there is one cause here, but it does seem to be a risk for introverted people.

Live Blogging – Tweeting – U-Streaming (I hope) The SOTU With A Twist Of Lime

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

So, I’ll be live blogging over at Right Wing News and here at my blog. I’ll try embedding the code for the U-stream too. This is new to me. We’ll see how it goes.

Also, if we can make it work, Tab Hale will be doing a simulcast and for sure live blogging on Right Wing News. She’s a braver soul, so if we make this video stuff work, it will be her win, most likely.

Hawkins will be live Tweeting for ABC news, I think.

There will be a whole lot of new media going on tonight…but mostly drinking while doing new media.