Skip to main content

Twitter? What the hell?

Twitter has been in the news on several occasions in the recent past. It all began with a few celebrities using twitter, then it caught on to CNN and Ashton Kutcher going head to head for who gets a million followers first. Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in what was the first demise of CNN on Twitter. This event was closely by Oprah's grand entry into twitter. It was at this point that many people actually joined twitter. Oprah happened to be a major occasion on twitter, with many geeks anticipating that twitter would be overwhelmed by the interest brought on it by Oprah and her millions (if they haven't hit a billion) of fans worldwide. In fact, we gave a Before Oprah and After Oprah Twitter ages.

Twitter has continued growing, with it been claimed to be the fastest growing social network in the world, with a growth rate of about 1300% per month. Ironically , a Harvard research says that only 10% of twitter users contribute to 90 % of the content on twitter; the content is known as tweets.

This is probably because many people do not know what twitter is about, and go ahead to compare it to Facebook. They later realize that this are different services, and this further confuses them to an extent they are unable to utilize twitter. I shall explain twitter by telling you of a recent occurrence.

The Iranians went to elections last week. Like the Kenyan elections, there were suspicions of results been prepared in a kitchen rather than been tallied. Many Iranians were angered by the alleged cooked results, and out they poured into the streets in droves. They posted tweets on twitter and urged other Iranians who were against the outcome to rally in the streets; this soon broke out to riots, just like Kenya.

Tweets, in case you are not aware, is the equivalent of a Facebook status update, or what you post on twitter for the rest of the world to see. Unlike Facebook, anyone can follow anyone in Twitter (which means that you see the tweets for anyone you would like to on Twitter). Tweets are restricted to 140 characters, the equivalent of an SMS. You can also post your tweets via SMS. Unlike Facebook, you do not have to approve for anyone to follow, thus strangers, enemies, thieves, former girlfriends, the president and any Tom , Dick and Harry can be your follower(for the default setting).Alternatively, you can choose to approve followers before they follow you, or block people from following you. On that note, a tech magazine reported last week that a man was claiming that his house was robbed when he twitted that he was away on a 3 week vacation.

So you should be careful not to "snitch" on yourself, or expose private information on twitter, since anyone can find it. You can search for people on twitter by searching "@person" where person is the twitter user name of the person that you are searching for. You can also search for certain information or news by searching for "#info" where info is what you are looking for.

Going back to the Iran example, information about the elections is available on twitter if you search for the keyword(a search term) #iranelection . If you want to hear it from the horses mouth, i.e Mir-Hossein Mousavi(the opposition leader who the Iranians are demonstrating for) tweets, you search @mousavi1388. In case I want to copy mousavi1388's tweet and post it on my tweet, I retweet(RT) it as "RT@mousavi1388blahblah" . If i want to indicate it as related to the Iran election, I add #iranelection to it. Quite simple!

Now, twitter is mostly used to spread news; if you want to invite your friends for a beer party or a study, Facebook is the tool to use, not Twitter.On the other hand, if you are a firm who would like to tell your clients about an event, Twitter is convenient for you.For example, if you have that no 58 matatu that is so on demand,you can tweet its location perhaps every 20 minutes or so, or tell your clients you are stuck in a jam. This is why twitter is a favorite for brands & celebrities.

As for Iran, the incumbent government decided to block the use of SMS in the country and to clamp down on the media,YouTube and other information channels. The Iranian population been a quite internet savvy one(yeah, quite a number of them make viruses and hack) started organizing demonstrations and spreading related information via Twitter.All news about where the next demonstration would be and what the government was doing was spread via Twitter.

Even CNN missed this for 2 days; as the Iranian government forces cracked down on demonstrators, CNN was rewinding the clip that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the elections! Infact, there is a Tweeter feed(a feed is info about a certain topic)about this; #CNNfail !

In short, twitter is an important tool to search for breaking news, and for what is happening in the ground that the government may not be that keen it getting to you.
Remember to follow me on twitter here: http://twitter.com/gramware
You can read more about twitting in Kenya here: http://moseskemibaro.com/?tag=twitter.
You can also read more about the act of tweeting , known as micro blogging here: http://www.geeks.com/techtips/2009/what-is-microblogging.htm

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes, happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voi…

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

Why do people vote for Cruel Leaders?

Why do Kenyans, or any other electorate for that matter, vote for cruel politicians or so-called leaders?
The common argument is that the voters are ignorant, or were “misled” or had “no option”. But this is not true.

People know who and what they are voting for. People intentionally vote for cruel politicians especially when the voters form part of a majority - clan, tribe, race, nation, class or other majority.
It is not that they do not know the politicians are cruel. They simply assume that the cruelty will be experienced by others - the minority - and will never be experienced by them. They deal with the conscience by arguing that those experiencing cruelty must have done something wrong to deserve it.

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not. 
Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school.

A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus. 
This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you could withdraw your pocket money next to the kibanda where you had your one meal of the day.
The peanut butter though is a far cry from the peanut butter you remember. It does not taste that good, and turns into some sort of stone barely third way through the jar. The stone is not the kind that …