The Twitter backlash begins: Welcome to a world of pain and spam

A couple of days ago, Hugh quit Twitter to work on writing his book. Now I’m considering quitting Twitter, but nobody’s signed me up for a book.

The reason? Spam, spam, eggs, bacon and spam. Well, without the eggs or the bacon. The sheer volume of new followers I’m getting these days who are blatantly spammers is getting increasingly frustrating. Sure, I can block them one by one, or simply ignore them, but if Twitter could implement a “flag as spam” a la Blogspot, then we could help each other and avoid 10,000 other users getting the same spammy follower message.

Such a pain, Twitter spam takes over my inbox

To add to the frustration, a friend pointed out that spam followers could very well use your RSS feed to create random copy for spam emails or blog comments in the future. I haven’t come across it yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already happening.

I guess for now, the less drastic route for me to take will be to create a rule where all notifications of new followers will go straight into a mark-as-read folder. It won’t solve the problem that my feed could end up as spam material for some unscrupulous asshole out there, but it’ll have to do for now.

What this means is that if you start following me and you want to have a conversation, you’ll need to send me a message @vero for me to react and add you as well. Crappy, but it’s the best solution I can think of.

Anyone got a better idea?

SXSWi 2008: "Self-Replicating Awesomeness: The Marketing of No Marketing" panel notes

For this panel, I ditched the laptop and only used pen and paper so my notes are less than clear. In fact, I’m lucky if I can read my own handwriting, but the highlights for me were finally meeting the lovely Tara Hunt, a fellow Canadian expat and inspirational blogger.

My notes might be a bit garbled but sue me, I was too busy listening.

“Self-Replicating Awesomeness: The Marketing of No Marketing” panel notes
Panel: Deborah Schultz, Chris Heuer, Jeremiah Owyang, Tara Hunt, Hugh McLeod, David Parmet
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Reminiscence: Reaching for your dreams

Meeting for dinner with old high school friends, originally met some 12 years ago when we were rather younger, unavoidably sends me down Memory Lane. Tonight, literally, in fact, since I had to cross campus to come back to my sisters’ cute apartment above a pub within spitting distance of their classes.

These friends now work, like me, in fields they love, doing stuff they’re passionate about. Paola’s a journalist with an astonishing amount of experience under her belt for her age, and ju (lower case j, capital J is a whole different high school person…), who’s running along with some top notch production crews, doing lights, sound and all sorts of stage stuffs.

We work in very different worlds, but there are a few things that seem to ring true with all three of us.

  • We all left the family nest and our hometown as soon as the opportunity arose to further our budding careers by taking a gamble and working somewhere else.
  • We worked our asses off in high school… (Well, they did, I kind of freeloaded off ju in music theory, for one. I do apologise for that, in hindsight.) Joking aside, we did work hard and spend a lot of energy on extracurricular activities.
  • We all made a point of being pro-active in making our passions happen, rather than taking on normal desk jobs and just hoping it would happen by some form of magic.

Looking back, I can’t help but be proud that while we were what one might consider to be slightly uncool… or outright losers, probably… we’re now getting to a stage where we can live our dreams. As Hugh says, “Then you get to a certain age and you realize that the time for “One Day” is over. You’re either doing it, or you’re not. And if you’re not, a feeling of bitter disappointment starts hitting you deep into the marrow.”

I don’t believe in waiting til “a certain age” comes. I’m making the most of where I am now, what I’m doing and I’ll be damned if I let anyone else control my destiny. Thankfully I’m married to someone who’s even more energetic and passionate about achieving dreams now rather than “some day in the future”, so it’s a good match.

My dad would suggest that one also needs to stop and smell the flowers, but I don’t think we struggle to do that either. In fact, early tomorrow, I’ll probably go for a stroll around a frozen Sunday morning university campus again for old times’ sake.

Wine Relief: The first cross-blog auction?

crossblogauction_hughredose_350.jpgHugh McLeod, of gapingvoid fame, and Tim Atkin, of virtual wine, have come up with my favourite fundraising idea of all times: A cross-blog auction for one of Hugh’s cartoons and a selection of wines from Tim’s cellar. Cool cartoon and nice booze, how can one go wrong?

If your pockets permit, go have a look at the wine selection and make your bid. Last time I checked, they were up to £300, and we’re still nearly a week away from closing date!

Otherwise, if your pockets aren’t so deep, why not buy a Charlie & Lola book or a red nose instead? It’s all in the spirit of Comic Relief!