Best Way To Gain New Followers! You Won’t Believe The Secret!

Tweet interesting stuff. Be an interesting person. Stop giving a shit. Why would you want to gain more followers? Gain some weight! Have a cake! Or two! And a bratwurst!

How I read the internet

This is a blog post that was stewing in my drafts folder since March. I had it half-finished when Google announced that they’d shut down Reader which pretty much took away all my motivation to keep writing. A few days ago I was asked about how I keep up with “the tech news” – and given that Reader is really going to be shutdown at the end of this month, I actually did decide to take stock.

Basically these days I have five main sources where I get my pretty constant news fix:

  • Twitter – yes, Twitter. I do follow quite a lot of people who tend to post links to interesting articles plus a bunch of bots from aggregators. It’s probably the place with the highest amount of serendipity1. I also harshly judge people who link to Techcrunch or Mashable but that seems to happen less lately.
  • My Fever installation. I don’t actually use this as a proper feed reader, I mostly use it for the ability to use it as a personalised meme tracker like Techmeme. Given that I use it like that, I subscribe to a whole bunch of feeds in it that I would never want to read but that are pretty good as source for links.2 These are mostly high-volume pages like The Verge or ReadWrite, but also feeds from aggregators like Techmeme, Reddit or Hacker News or things like the most popular items on Pinboard. Here I really get the most talked-about links and it’s usually a good overview of what is happening right now.
  • Podcasts. I listen to a lot of them. These are only those that have some tech news angle. The News is a super-fast update, which I often skip after reading the show notes.3 The Frequency is fun and often has some stuff that I didn’t read or see somewhere else. The guys from the Accidental Tech Podcast sometimes cover current events in the tech – well, mostly Apple – world, so there’s that. I’m kind of missing a more web-focused podcast at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I could find one if I actually looked.
  • Digg – Digg? Yes, Digg. It looks nice and tends to have links to well-written, longer articles.
  • (And now it gets really sad.) A feed reader. But I have no idea which one I actually want to use. Before they started to annoy me, Google Reader was my everything when it came to reading online content. First thing I opened after I started the browser. Reeder was one of the first apps I bought and always on my iPhone home screen.
    And now what?
    I actually have no clue. I could use Fever for the intended purpose, get rid of all the feeds I don’t want to read2 and sync it with Reeder on the iPhone.
    I could use Netvibes which has a nice, clean feed reader web interface – but no apparent way to sync to the phone.
    The Old Reader and Newsblur are too far away from my personal taste, so there’s a no, too.
    Feedbin or Feedwrangler would be something I’d try – I don’t mind paying for a good service – but they both accept payments only through Stripe and for some reason that doesn’t work with my card at the moment.
    I do have an installation of Tiny Tiny RSS running, but oh boy. That’s both ugly and doesn’t sync with my phone.
    So, I have no clue what to do at the moment. Digg has promised a feed reader which is supposed to sync with the same API as Google Reader – except for some tweets or posts by people with early access mentioning an apparently nice early version, I haven’t heard from that since. But those seem to be the options at the moment. I’m not even going to consider using Bloglovin even though I do of course have an account there.
    I might just pony up the 30$ for a second Fever license and use one as an aggregator and the other one as a proper feed reader. It sounds very silly but at the moment it’s the most tempting way to get back into the feed game for me.

  1. No, not the bad movie. 
  2. I know Fever has the Sparks feature for that, but it somehow never really worked for me. 
  3. The 5by5 master feed works great in Fever, by the way. 

A House with Its Own Twitter Feed

The Web We Lost

Anil Dash turned his blog post on the web we lost1 into a talk at the Berkman Center at Harvard:

[Direct link]

He posted a bunch of links on his blog that expand on the ideas put forth in his talk. Good stuff, all around.

  1. And which was interestingly enough really popular in the German blogosphere

Embedded Tweets – now with Twitter Cards

As a little follow-up to yesterday’s post and with properly good timing, Twitter changed the way they render embedded Tweets:

Even more reason to add Twitter Cards.

Twitter Cards for WordPress blogs

What Open Graph is for Facebook, Twitter Cards are for… well, Twitter:

Twitter cards make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

While Facebook parses Open Graph tags from every page, you have to sign up for Twitter Cards.

Before you do that, you need to have properly working Twitter Cards metatags on your page, which is fortunately not that complicated – either follow their instructions for your CMS or enjoy the fact that you are using WordPress and install Niall Kennedy’s Twitter Cards plugin. If you’re lazy like me and don’t want to fiddle around with your theme’s function.php, just use my Twitter Cards Enhancer plugin which includes the tags automatically. To get the proper attribution tags, you’ll have to fill out two (new) fields in your WordPress backend, though:

Put your blog’s twitter account under “Settings”:

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 10.56.50 AM

And each author on your blog should put their twitter account under “Users” → “Your Profile”:

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 10.57.14 AM

Once you’re done with that, use Twitter’s test tool and apply for inclusion. When everything works out as intended, tweets that include your posts will start to look like this:

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 11.10.45 AM

Or probably better.


Millions of people use Twitter on a regular basis, but how many of them are bona fide masters of the microblogging medium? If you ask them, more than 181,000. That’s according to new data from internet marketing strategist B.L. Ochman, who recently found that as of January 2013, no less than 181,354 Twitter users include the phrase “social media” in their bios. Of these users, nearly 22,000 identify as “social media mavens,” 21,800 consider themselves “social media ninjas,” and 20,000 think of themselves as “social media evangelists.”

181,000 Twitter users think they’re really good at using Twitter

December 29th, 2012

December 29th, 2012

I don’t know how this happened.

übergang vom warenfetischismus zum selbstarchivismus

The thing about Flickr

I know, I know, there’s not that much action anymore on Flickr, but I still judge every single web start-up and social network by how it fares in comparison to Flickr and hardly any get even close.
Twitter used to – we all know how that’s going.

Simple sms-blogging.

Das edle Ziel purer und guter Technologie

Mich erinnert das ein bisschen an den Wall Street Banker, der im Herzen tiefer und ehrlicher Marxist ist.

Why Your Complaint About Your Complaints About Twitter Is Wrong

Hockey Nut Bra

The kind of stuff you have to deal with when being popular, err, when having a first name as your twitter handle.


Es fing alles vor etwa einer Woche an, als Marc plötzlich meinte, es müsse seine wütenden Tweets in einen eigenen Account auslagern, selbstverständlich komplett in Großbuchstaben:

Das kam so gut an, daß sich der übliche Verdächtige auch einen Rage-Account machte:

Und dann ging es sowieso direkt bergab:

Während die ersten beiden Herren mit viel Inbrunst vor sich hin ragen, überlege ich mir im Moment noch, wie viel Rage überhaupt aus mir herauszuholen ist.

Ich tendiere ja dann doch eher zu leiser Verzweiflung, vielleicht sollte ich mir @despairminik holen.

Twitter personae

On Twitter I am mostly myself – or only a tiny bit more over-sharing and neurotic than the real me. And I guess most of my followers can at least guess that this is the case.1

I still often censor myself. Following many comedians on Twitter or listening to their podcasts started an urge in me to often tweet extremely offensive and/or personal stuff that does not actually represent me, but would be funny. For people with a certain kind of humor, but still funny.

So I am in a bit of a conundrum, really. Some of my followers are potential future bosses and/or2 romantic interests. And I am not too sure how well this kind of humor would go down with these people. Especially when it does not even go down well with me if I’m not in the mood for raunchy humor.

And now I have no idea what to do with my occacional outbursts of really terrible jokes™ – I’m not really willing to start a second3 twitter account for that. The people I do want to read my “funny” tweets are already following me. Which is pretty surprising in itself.
Maybe I should just post them here instead. It’s not like somebody is reading them here.

  1. While on the other hand I take everything anyone else twitters for face value. Hah. 
  2. Not really “and/or.” But who knows. I’d not say no to working under an awesome lady boss. 
  3. More like 12th, amiright? High five!