Three rows of orange-ish colors with the text 'fake hues' over the top of them in white.

Social Media Jujutsu

Jujutsu1 is a martial art focused on using your opponent’s momentum against them– clever redirection of force rather than trying to meet it directly. This seems like it might be an option for some of today’s social media woes where people are trying to continue to take advantage of the good aspects of these tools/communities while opposing some of their attempts at manipulation. There are major alternatives like Brontosaurus Mastodon but many people aren’t going to make that jump.2 So consider this post more of a way you might mitigate harm while continuing using tools meant to bend your mind and warp your perceptions. Twitter Numbers One way these interfaces play games with your mind is by showing all kinds of numbers. You’ve got a score card for likes, retweets, followers etc. It becomes a shortcut. Is this tweet funny? 453 people fav’d it. Should I fav it too or is this just a bandwagon thing now? How good was my tweet? Did enough people retweet it? That extends even to following people. How many followers do they have? Are they worth following? It can make you skip really looking at the content. One path out of Twitter’s attempt to manipulate you via numbers is Benjamin Grosser’s Twitter Demetricator. It’s a browser plugin3 that removes all those numbers replacing them […]

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Tweets as Presentation: Reflecting on #pressedconf18

I took the opportunity to participate in the #PressedConf yesterday. Described as “. . . a twitter conference (#pressedconf18) looking into how WordPress is used in teaching, pedagogy and research.” it was a pretty impressive number of people and topics covered on Twitter in roughly 20 minute “Tweet storms.”1 Presenting on Twitter was something new to me and I tried to think through some interesting ways to approach things. Given how limited Twitter was I tried to tackle complexity in a few different ways while taking advantage of the way Twitter treats different content integrations. The Post I ended up deciding to build out a WordPress post with various sections that were associated with a number of the Tweets I’d make. I used good ol’ anchor links in the Tweets to be able to link specifically to those sections without having to resort lots of little posts. For example – brings you to the Custom Composition section directly. Not very visual on the Twitter end and probably cheating in the scheme of things. The Videos I tried to tackle other complexity through videos. I made a number of new videos and took advantage of a few others I’d had to try to show more details. I kind of wonder if this worked well. They appeared in two different ways. Some […]

Trump Dump Data & Playing with TAGS

Image from page 60 of “Children’s ballads from history and folklore” (1886) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Driven mad by curiousity after this Matthew Baldwin tweet, I built this little thing. It uses the amazing Martin Hawksey’s TAGS for gathering the Tweets in Google Sheets and then displays it with Vue.js (which I’m sort of learning). It led me to realize that I could extend TAGS without much effort. My first attempt was to write two custom functions to get favorites and retweets. Turns out that was pretty straight forward given all Martin’s work. The TAGS element (TAGS.get) links me into Martin’s library and that’s that. So very easy once you know and then you’re just navigating the Twitter API. Turns out I can do something similar to get the Twitter bio. Initially, I just stuck these in like you’d do normal functions … =getRT(A1) or whatever and it soon ate up all the processing time allowed for my Google Scripts. That caused other things to break. Lesson learned. I then opted to set the value in the script and write that value to the cell. This little script runs on the spreadsheet change trigger and checks to see if there are any blank cells in the Favorites column (column U) […]

Shifting out of IFTTT

Kin Lane mentioned that IFTTT, a service entirely built on APIs, doesn’t have an API. That bothered Kin and the more I thought about it it bothered me. So I figured I’d start disentangling myself from IFTTT. One of the things I did with IFTTT was to send out a Tweet any time I posted something new on my blog. Crazy to think I set that up in 2012. Granted, I could have replaced this with any number of plugins but I thought this would be fun and bit of API work but most interestingly it’d put me (mostly) in charge of how the tool worked. The following script is just cobbled together from something I found to get an RSS feed into a spreadsheet and a script I used a while back to send a tweet from a Google SS. Next steps will be to start playing with adding amusing variables to the message. The first message kicked through with a minor error but progress! Grabbing Flickr Photos was blogged & can be found athttp://bionicteaching.com/grabbing-flickr-photos/ — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 20, 2016

YouTube View Count to Tweet

I was just messing around a bit more with mashing up the YouTube API post from earlier with the Twitter post from earlier today. This Google Script will get the view count of a particular video (Gangnam Style) and send out the total views and the time elapsed watching the video (assuming I did the math right). It has no real purpose (other than the scale of the number amuses me) but it’s one of those things with concepts that I’ll be able to apply more usefully in the future. That’s a gut feeling but I’m pretty confident. Don’t forget to add the Twitter library as directed here.1 1 in the Apps Script project, include the library MKvHYYdYA4G5JJHj7hxIcoh8V4oX7X1M_ with the identifier set to Twitter

Server Up? Notifications via Twitter/Google Script

flickr photo shared by Thomas Hawk under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license Reclaim Hosting has a great status page that alerts you when stuff is not working correctly. We had a brief outage this morning and I just thought it’d be nice to see if we could proactively send out a message based on that status page but only for things relevant to our server. I asked Tim (as you can see in the tweets below) and ended up with an API that happily spit out a JSON feed. @ReclaimHosting ha ha – LOVE IT https://t.co/UrlIvwa91S — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) February 24, 2016 Based on my recent experiments with JSON and Google Scripts I didn’t think it’d be too hard to write something to send out Tweets based on that feed. I found this snippet that dealt with the authorization portion for Twitter.1 Once I had the JSON parsed and assigned to variables, all I had to do was set it to check every 5 minutes. Now we can hook it up to the ALTLab account if we’d like, have it notify various people, etc. etc. Fun stuff . . . all done during lunch. The following script will check a JSON feed and send a Tweet out from my account letting @vcualtlab know we should check on […]

Red Dot It on Twitter

Given the level of despair and rage resulting from Twitter’s move to the like/heart option, I have decided to save the world. It seemed a worthwhile way to spend two minutes. This codepen was handy in figuring out how to make the arrow part of the tooltip the right color. The following chunk of CSS thrown into a plugin like Stylebot will now enable you to simply red1 dot something. It is simply a circle which could mean anything. Instead of the tooltip displaying the word “Like” you now have a blank canvas upon which you can think any word you want.2 [EDIT] Another option that’s probably simpler and more fun, although unlike Gizmodo, I didn’t copy him. Install Stylish for your browser, add this rule, and use any emoji you want. pic.twitter.com/vDAC039CeZ — Robert McNees (@mcnees) November 3, 2015 1 Change the color if red is offensive. 2 In reality replacing the text via javascript seemed a bit too much effort for this sort of nonsense. I can justify two minutes but not ten.

Hashtags of Inclusion

flickr photo shared by AndrewDallos under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license I’ve been thinking a bit about how hashtags function on Twitter when used in course in particular. These thoughts are shaped mainly by seeing how #vizpoem, #curiouscolab, and #thoughtvectors have played out vs some of the other hashtags we’ve used like #vcualtlab or #vcuglobalhealth. There’s not a right way or wrong way to do this but there are certain things that seem to happen when the structure of the hashtag is less tied to an institution. The VCU prefix pretty much means that only people within the VCU structure will use that hashtag. It is less likely it’ll become part of a larger structure for other people to use when thinking about/organizing the topic. #thoughtvectors is an example of a hashtag that has spread beyond the course in both time and people. While I believe Gardner coined?/hashed? the hashtag based on Doug Engelbart’s quote, its first use on Twitter was by Jon Becker (at least according to this site and this site). Since that time it was used extensively during the course (nearly 4000 times) but it’s still being used today long after the course officially ended. More and more it’s used by people who have no obvious relationship to the course and probably no knowledge of […]

My Twitter Evolution – Episode 1

I joined Twitter in November of 2007 which is roughly seven and half years ago. That’s a fairly long time and both my use and my thoughts about Twitter changed quite a bit over that time. Consider that Twitter only produced about 5,000 tweets a day back 1 then compared to 50 million a day now. I thought it’d be interesting to look back at my blog and see what I thought about Twitter in those early days.2 The first post I can find is from a few months after I joined and the post was titled My Secret Shame (best of twitter 1-30-08). The title alone lets you know I really was kind of embarrassed to be on Twitter. Clearly not too embarrassed to write about it in public but it still felt like it could be a waste of time. Back in those days you couldn’t embed the tweets like you can now so I hand-copied in the text and attributed them but I linked to the author’s blog instead of the tweet itself. That shows pretty clearly that I saw the Twitter element as much less important. Surely you’d want to go to the blog itself. Other than liking three specific tweets I had this to say- *I’m not advocating for twitter, I’m still debating it. Today […]

Catfish Literacy?

To play off a bit of David’s post on social justice MOOCs, there seems to be a base need for tools for helping identify evil people on the web. That’s not in a dox type of way but more like a way to guide people in determining if accounts have ill intentions.1 That’s probably a messy description but it was brought about by a post I saw on Facebook last night. Essentially,2 it was a conversation between two people I know- one black male (in Richmond) and one white male (in Baltimore). It was a passionate conversation. The white guy added a screenshot from a Twitter account (included below) into the mix that seemed to confirm all his greatest fears about what was happening in Baltimore.3 It’s a high emotion situation in lots of ways which never helps people critically evaluate items that confirm their fears but I felt like this account had to be fake. Then I wondered if I could prove that? I did a couple of things4 when I looked at this account which are second nature to me now but which could be built into a tool or made into some sort of guide. Step one– I looked to see when the account was created. This account, @brothertooturnt, was started on 3/27/15. Recent creation and total […]