Tag Archives: Twitter

Social Scams and Why They Work

Over the last week, as New Zealanders begin to change their jandals (flip-flops / thongs) for shoes, I’ve noted a significant increase in the number of “warnings” being posted in my social network feeds. This is not uncommon and it’s not unique only to my network of contacts as these articles point out.

Scam ImageNow, for the most part, folks in my social stream tend to only get caught on an infrequent basis by these messages. I do my best to flick a link back if it’s an obvious hoax, as do others who we share as common contacts. I have been caught myself and have more than once shared something which, if I’d relied on more than wishful thinking, would/should have been filtered out.

So - why do these attacks work, why do the hoaxes perpetuate, and what can we do as a community to reduce our chances of passing on misinformation to our networks?

The simple answer is diligence. Continue reading

The Big Move: Weather Station is GO!

Okay – after a bit of fnarkling, we’re back with Temperature, Humidity as well as that ever useful Wind and Rain data.

Not only are we transmitting in elegant Flash interactivity, we’re also on Twitter – should that be your thing (note, this is currently set to tweet every 15 minutes).

So – there we go, weather data is being captured, next steps (after house wiring) is to get a live weather cam up and running so you too can enjoy our lovely view.

Tanking Twimailer (and Trying Topify)

Dump TruckYesterday Alain E. posted the following comment on my Twimailer article

It is like Topify.com before less interesting. And in addition their twitter account is not even working. I personnally tried both and prefer Topify (first because their have a much nicer site) because their emails are better and allow follow back right from the message. In addition, I had too many down time with twimailer…

To be honest, I’ve not had any issues with the [Twimailer] service to date, but this comment sparked my interest – which peaked when I read this article on Read Write Web. It appears that Twimailer has been sold (for a somewhat paltry sum) to an unknown, who is in turn trying to flick off the service to another buyer less than a week after acquiring it.

As a result of this article, I have gone into my Twitter settings, changed my email back to the one used prior to the Twimailer service AND changed my password. I’d suggest that others do the same.

It may seem a little reactionary, but as I use my identity not only for my private tweets but also in support of my work, the potential threat of hijack is too high a price to pay for continued support for a service which has failed to inform its network of some pretty key changes in it’s organisation. Sorry Twimailer, it’s over between us, I’m moving on – and trying Topify

So my thanks once again to Alain for peaking my interest, and to the guys at RWW for keeping across these technologies – these are the reasons that you get my subscriptions to your Twitter and RSS feeds.

Photo Credit: USFarmer / Redman

Security Companies on Twitter

twittercathakzSince moving from the R&D field into the amorphous world of IT security, I’ve been trawling the web to find good resources to add to my list of feeds and help me learn more about what we do as a collective, and how those stories are sold to the non-security folk.

It was with some interest that I clicked the  link IT security vendors worth following on Twitter when today’s Network World security email arrived in my inbox. The article itself makes for some interesting reading, as does the Ãœber list of IT and Network companies using Twitter.

For myself, I’m currently struggling with the streams I already follow and, while applications such as TweetDeck allow me to create groups of twitterers, the sheer volume of tweets I deal with day to day has convinced me to cherry pick some of the selected “best of” tweeters for inclusion on my watchlist. They are as follows:

And of course, you can always follow me on Twitter as @NZRob

Trying Twimailer

Edit 08 April 2009 – Twimailer has recently been sold, see here for my impressions as to why this may no longer be a safe service to use.

After a weekend-worth of new followers of my Twitter stream, I’ve decided to try out Twimailer – a service I was made aware of last week by my friend Simon who gave it a fairly good review.

Below is a quick overview (via Vimeo) of what it does, I’ll be trying it out over the next week or so and report back on how useful (or not) it has been.


Twimailer demo from jon on Vimeo.

To date, I’ve been managing my followers by:

  • tagging incoming messages with “is following you on Twitter” in the subject line
  • Intermittently reviewing the folder containing these tagged items, opening each email then opening the followers twitter link in a new tab, and archiving the email so I know it’s been dealt with.
  • I then had to review each twitter page to see if they had a useful and interesting bio, and tweet stream – or if they were a follow-whore who simply sends spammy links.

The problem of late has been that of volume – I’ve had so many new followers that this approach is not scaling – enter Twimailer, which does the review stuff for me and allows a one click follow.


Edit: 25/03/2009 – Sucess! this is one service which has made by Twitter managment one heck of a lot easier. I’d recommend it to all keen Twitter users for managing their follow/follow back notifications.

Expanding the mind

20090203-TwitterSheepI was discussing the consumption of information with a colleague this afternoon as he was telling me he, like I, has just started adding a bunch more RSS feeds to his reader in an effort to access different thinking above and beyond what we traditionally follow (i.e. dropping some of the IT specific feeds in favor of very different material, sciences, architecture etc.)

With this in mind, I thought I’d take a snapshot of who I follow on Twitter to see where my (apparent) interests currently fall – it makes interesting reading, at least I think so. If you’d like to do the same, try TwitterSheep – a link to my current cloud is here

I’ll make an effort to link to snapshots over time to track the changes.

Getting my (Online) ‘Lifestream’ going…

Photo by januszbcI’ve been using Twitter, Facebook, del.ico.us and friendfeed (and others) for quite some time now and, after reading this blog entry and clicking around Bwanas site a little, I found his lifestream page and decided to give it a go myself. Here’s how I did it (under WordPress)…

First we need to grab two plugins, Profilactic and SimplePie Core. SimplePie is merely an enabler and performance booster for those visiting the page, Profilactic is the plugin that does the heavy lifting…

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The Power of Social Networks

Given my not so recent addiction to Twitter it was no surprise, that a few minutes after a friend of mine Tweeting a story on the Australian iPhone release, I would be reading the referenced article. What did surprise me that, on the next refresh of my Twitter client – I had a tweet from a 19 year old biology student in Auckland, NZ telling me that she’d been sent my way by the original tweeter.
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