Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

A New Find On Twitter

I love twitter.  Use it (some would say) too much.

From time to time one can find gems on twitter, tweets from celebs, friends asking questions, links to cool stuff etc.

Today was different, I found this in error:-



Following 29 ‘cats’ and 3,852 updates all with a cat-like symbol starting them..

Is this some kind of underground twitter club?  Freaks me out!  Go look at @plug


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Recently Twitter has started to go mainstream (well in the UK and US).  These past few weeks have seen Twitter mentioned on the BBC (see Declan Curry from BBC’s Working Lunch), radio and in most of the UK Newspapers, especially since Jonathan Ross started “tweeting”.

What is becoming clearer and clearer as time progresses and more interesting people join twitter is that the second it reaches non-geeks, it could kill off Facebook.


Facebook is useful for following main reasons:-

  1. Finding old friends – since the demise of Friends Reunited in the UK all my old school pals are on FB.
  2. Keeping up to date with what people are doing through status-updates (notice the once empty box now says “What are you doing now?”).
  3. Looking at photographs of friends.
  4. Emailing friends/people.
  5. Live Chat.

That’s all.  Throwing stuff, the apps etc, are totally useless in reality.  Humans are interested in looking at people, seeing how they are doing (what they are doing now) and interacting.  People are far happier to talk online than in real life to long lost friends, this is a fact as I often bump into old school friends (I left school in 1991) that are also FB friends, they are generally embarrassed to talk and normally offer a simple “hi” and wander off into the bustling high street..within an hour I’d get a “great seeing you today” message on FB!

Why is Twitter Useful?

  1. Right now, none of my non-early adopter friends, ex-colleagues or family are on it, however, it is great for meeting new people relevant to both work and play, I have a real mix of people that I find addictive to watch and talk with on and offline.
  2. Keeping up to date with what people are doing instantly.
  3. Sharing links to interesting information.
  4. Finding out who is in whatever location you happen upon ie “Who fancies a coffee in Oxford Street, right now?”
  5. Talking to people instantly.
  6. No limits on the number of people that can follow you and you can follow as many as you want (unlike FB).
  7. Direct Messages (email?).
  8. Getting out emergency notices, fast, such as this on Techcrunch today.

There are similarities to Facebook and it seems FB are actually copying “What are you doing now?”.  I think the second my friends born in the 70’s and technophobe work colleagues and family are introduced to and understand twitter, I would actually stop going to Facebook, FB offers me nothing more than Twitter and I prefer the fact that Twitter has flowing conversation.  The one thing Twitter needs is personalised homepages for each user and perhaps groups for friends, family and work (as we are discussing right now), and maybe allowing photos (the one thing Facebook has over Twitter).  Partnering with Flickr could fix that instantly.

There have been rumours of Twitter talking to Facebook regarding a potential acquisition (although it has been denied).   Of my followers not using an automated service to update their status’ the average friend updates three times per week..Not really live or helpful is it.

Maybe I am wrong and the fact Facebook has 150m users and twitter only 6m users in comparison means something..

I am however,convinced that Twitter, once understood and not just with geeks and people told they *should* use it, will take over Facebook.  Maybe in two years, and the revenue will be SMS based along with businesses paying to use it internally.  I know of many offices that have put bans in place stopping staff “wasting time on Facebook” – Twitter would be seen as a useful tool by bosses.

Your thoughts dear reader?!

UPDATE: It seems I am not alone with this line of thought other people are seeing the benefits including the UK public en masse

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So you just logged into Twitter and found you have a whole bunch of followers missing, “what did I say wrong?” you ask yourself..

Fear not!

Twitter is finally deleting all the spammers from your followers, from their blog:-

Also: we’ll be releasing a change later this afternoon that will start removing deleted and suspended users from your list of followers. As this hasn’t been cleaned up previously, you may notice your follower counts go down. This is to be expected.

Phew, you weren’t so out of order after all!

Mine took a hit of 101 just now, follow me @kevindixie


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I love Twitter, it is a great site, I can be found and added as a friend here.

They just deployed a new look and feel, not sure if I like it but am sure it will grow on me..only the changes seem to have affected the new found reliability guess who came back?

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As many of you reading my tweets or coming here from Fuelmyblog will know that we are currently on vacation on a small island called Aegina near Athens (Greece).  The view from our room is incredible and simply breathtaking:-

Apart from spending a few hours on the beach there, we have visited a few ancient Greek Temples like the one below:-

The island is surrounded with beauty and is of course very hot, everyone with any brain will retire to their rooms between 1pm and 5pm as the temperature can be as high as 50C which is 122F..This gives me the perfect opportunity to work using the Hotel’s wifi.

Anyhow, back to Apple..

The day before I left for Aegina, I picked up one of the new iPhone 3G’s, I suspect I was the only one to do so to save money, I am currently paying over €250 per month with roaming data charges and sms’s etc and felt that the iPhone with unlimited data, 500 SMS and phone calls free would save me a fortune.  What I didn’t take into account was just how cool this “phone” is.  The camera is great, takes fantastic shots (no zoom but who cares) and the app’s, ipod etc is fantastic.  What I didn’t realise was how many people were interested in the iPhone 3G that are not on Twitter or read Techcrunch…

I was sat in a bar in a tiny town last night, taking photos of the kids eating an ice-cream.  Nothing unusual at all, then a guy tapped me on the shoulder and in his best English (he was Greek) asked if it was the new iPhone 3G?  I nodded, turned around and there were 6 men sat behind me all smiling and pointing “have you tried the maps yet?” They asked to take a look and using the wifi from the port, tried the maps out and were all smiling like kids as it showed their little island..

Apple managed to somehow reach this tiny island..they are truly the masters of marketing..

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One of my favourite sites is twitter, it allows me to instantly see what is going on, read blog posts as they happen, get news before it appears on major news sites such as the BBC and the Guardian, but more importantly, it lets me connect with the World instantly.


A few days ago, I asked a simple question (you only have 140 characters to get any message across) “Global Fuel price check, how much is a gallon or litre of diesel/gas where you live? Please answer with Country/State and price, thanks!”…the results were interesting and I have published them below, it shows us instantly how much the different government’s tax us and also how prices vary from state to state in some cases.

smartiesplace @fuelmyblog currently at $1.55 a litre in Melbourne Australia

HellaSound @fuelmyblog $4.29 in San Francisco, CA

webduck @fuelmyblog $4.057 in Port Orchard, WA

supermom_in_ny @fuelmyblog On Memorial Day (Mon) I paid $4.11 a gallon for regular and I live in upstate NY…not NYC!

lezzles @fuelmyblog Re. fuel prices – it’s only $0.17 in Caracas.

AngelaChenShui @fuelmyblog approx US$1.20/litre for high octane gas; US$1/litre for regular, Jamaica

hawksdomain @fuelmyblog USA – Kansas $3.79/gal on the way to work this morning… news said it would be up to $3.90 by the end of the day tho

blm03 @fuelmyblog It was $4.29 over the weekend in Chicago, IL USA

Archit @fuelmyblog $5.77 per gallon for Petrol in West Bengal, India.

Cantalyssa @fuelmyblog USA/ South Carolina $3.78gas $4.55 diesel (per gallon)

John_C @fuelmyblog Jacksonville, Florida, USAGE current gas price: $3.938/US Gallon.

WritingJourney @fuelmyblog $4.18, Michigan, U.S

aragornsbeard @fuelmyblog About €1.50/litre here in the vendee, France.

And my Mother texted (SMS) me saying the price is £1.189  for petrol in Hertfordshire, England.

So, there are 4.55 Litres to a gallon so to compare averages where available:-

USA Average across answers was $4.05 per gallon which is $0.89 per litre or £0.45 per litre

In India is is $5.77 per gallon which is $1.26 per litre or £0.64 per litre

In Australia it is AUS$1.55 a litre which is £0.75 per litre or for the folks in the US $6.73 per gallon

In Caracas, Venezuela it is $0.17 per gallon! which is $0.037 per litre or £0.02 per litre (rounded up)

In the Vendee in France it is €1.50 per litre or £1.18 per litre which is $10.56 per gallon!

In La Rochelle in France it is €1.41 per litre or £1.10 per litre which is $9.91 per gallon

in Hertfordshire, England it is £1.189 per litre or $10.69 per gallon.

So now you can see why half of Europe is on strike due to the fuel prices right now..

This is what makes the internet such a great human resource.

Thanks to everyone that took part 🙂

If you haven’t yet added me as a friend on twitter I am known there, surprisingly(!), as fuelmyblog.

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This blog is not going to read like a diary of events from day one of founding Fuelmyblog, that would make a great book!

I want to write about other experiences and findings that I feel either help the community or all of us in day to day life. My post today was going to be all about the first coder I found for Fuelmyblog. I’ll put that off until next time.

Right now I am sitting on a train at 10pm UK time traveling down from Wakefield back into London. Wakefield is in the North of England, you can see on the map below, the journey back to Hertfordshire (near London).   It takes around 2 and a half hours, and it is now 10pm.

map of Uk

What is so incredible for me is that now, I find myself working at 10pm (in fact I find myself working at 3am lots too!). In previous “real jobs” when I finished work at 5.30pm, I would now be collapsed in front of the TV, trying to put to bed the fears and disruptions the next day would bring.

Not now, I am traveling on a National Express train and have to say, it is really great. I feel compelled to write about them and their service. The coaches are clean, comfortable and “silent”, people are asked to turn mobile/cell phones to silent and respect others when they answer the phone. It is pleasant and the only sounds are the gentle tapping of laptop keys.  Right now, I have a vicar sitting beside me reading what looks like a bible, and another guy sleeping in front of me. The overall ambience is of total relaxation and strangely calming.

From time to time, a buffet cart passes by with the server quietly and respectfully asking if you would like anything. I missed my first train this morning due to a total lack of parking, instead of paying over £100 for a new ticket, the guy on the service desk managed to play with things and found me a way of only charging me £30.  Expensive but in fairness a good saving and something they didn’t have to do.  When you are miles away from home (right now, over a thousand) it is nice to feel relaxed and in control, National Express Trains seem to have created this.

Oh and the Wifi is free of charge..Yes, I am writing this using good solid Wifi at over 100 miles per hour, my ears are popping from time to time but the web is constant! I would totally recommend anyone visiting the UK to take these trains, you will not find a more pleasant mode of transport in the UK, by booking online you can make huge savings, I paid £30 return today, this can be found for as little as £18 return, which from London to Scotland could be a great deal.  If you book your train tickets on the day of travel this could cost over £200 each way..be very careful!  The site can be found here

Technology has enabled us to connect with one and other in ways it would never have been possible just ten years ago. I am glad that services such as trains are embracing technology and helping us stay connected, without the wifi, I couldn’t have said goodnight to the kids via webcam on Skype, had a chat with a friend in LA on twitter and emailed a guy in Australia.

This is not a sponsored post!  I just write about great service and things that I feel everyone should know about, if a service is bad, should I write about it or forget about it and never use them again? So please help me here, should I write about the odd product or service that is bad? Do you/Would you?

Next up..Kanhai, the coder from India..

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