Tag Archives: Twitter

Why ask Who Nelson Mandela is – on Twitter?

Not 24 hours after the great man’s passing, there is a Tumblr site documenting ignorant people taking to Twitter to ask Who is Nelson Mandela?A few add the hashtag #RIPNelsonMandela, some go so far as to say “I thought it was a type of beer,” or “Is it a fruit?”

The tragedy here is not that these people do not know who Nelson Mandela is. The tragedy is it appears they don’t really care to know the answer or that they’re displaying their ignorance.

Had they typed those exact words into a search engine and not Twitter, they would have their answer. Instead, try celebrate their utter lack of knowledge and curiosity with flippant Twitter posts. They are displaying the anti-intellectual bias that is celebrated in American culture.

We have in our pockets devices that can link to most of the knowledge of this world, yet so many of us make a deliberate choice to remain ignorant. Rather than despair, I choose to remain curious. My life’s work had been to provide information to broad audiences using clear, concise language. If there is a large part of the population which doesn’t care to know, I want to know why.

Aside: this started out as a Facebook post, then I remembered my promise to myself to blog any thoughts longer than a paragraph instead. I must say though, the WordPress mobile experience leaves something to be desired…


Assembling your posse: the slides, the Storify

First, the presentation itself:

If you head on over to the Slideshare page (link below the embed), I have notes underneath the slides that put everything in context.


And – the Storify:


RSS is dead? Long live RSS!

RSS iconGoodbye Google Reader, I will miss you.

In case you missed it, Google is shutting down Reader in July. There are lots of stories about it, I’ll only point to this one from TechCrunch, and this one from Marketing Land that lists some alternatives.

I know I will miss Reader, because I already tried to get rid of it once before, without much success. I want a service that will sync read and unread feeds between all my devices: laptop, tablet, desktop, smartphone. For instance, I had FlipBoard on my iPad, Reeder on my iPhone and NewsRack on my laptop. Each one of those apps, plus my IFTTT recipes, pulled in my one source for feeds: Google Reader.

When I tried to disengage from Google, my system became awkward and unwieldy between all the devices. So I went back to Google and have incorporated it into my workflow quite nicely. From Newsrack and Reeder I check news sources and post to my social networks – both work-related and personal.

Now I’ll be on a search for something that works just as well among all my devices, and I don’t have much hope of finding one. Any suggestions will be most welcome.

Someone on my Facebook network (actually the friend of a friend) suggested that if Google really doesn’t want to be evil, it would put Reader source code on GitHub and let the open access developer community take it over and make something of it.

Someone else suggested a more evil alternative: “I think what will happen is, adding feeds to your personal stream in Google Plus, and sharing website feeds via your profile will be announced. I don’t think anything is being “Spring Cleaned” anymore, I think that most of Google’s popular features are being enveloped into ‘Plus.”

That would be a shame, because despite its popularity with a small number of people, Google Plus has not caught on the way Facebook and Twitter have in terms of social sharing. I haven’t used Plus much, but I need a service that will allow me to aggregate my own news sources in the way I want, not depend on others to curate my news sources for me (as much as I love Twitter…).

I’d be willing to pay a certain fee for it.

I wonder if Google will be listening.