The revolution will not be tweeted, says the New Yorker

John Robb quotes from the New Yorker article, then adds thoughts of his own.

Social networks are effective at increasing participation—by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires…. Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice. Malcolm Gladwell’s recent article (Small Change) in the New Yorker (where he contrasts the +/- of weak tie networks with hierarchies).

I think the problems Gladwell cites have more to do with the death of protest movements as a means of social change than any deficiencies seen in weak tie networks.

This is a primary reason the left is so comatose lately. Protest movements have been their major way of organizing for decades. But mass protest in the street is mostly a meaningless spectacle now, full of sound and fury and accomplishing nothing. That’s one reason the left is adrift. They don’t know what to replace protest movements with. Yet. Hopefully some new ideas and strategies will emerge, and soon.

The New Yorker article is absolutely worth reading. But I suggest that while social media probably can not ignite a spark, it can certainly spread the flames fast and far.

Use Feedburner to post RSS to Twitter

I’ve been using Twitterfeed to auto-post from here to Twitter. Unforunately it’s now doing sporadic updates and seems unreliable.

However, you can use Google Feedburner to auto-post from your RSS feed to Twitter. Choose the feed, Publicize / Socialize.

Added bonus: Configure your blog to use PubSubHubbub (WordPress has a plugin) and the Twitter update will be near-instantaneous, like within seconds. Sweet.

Automate putting blog content onto social networking sites


How to get your blog content onto Twitter, Facebook, and Friendfeed using free services.

I had been using the excellent and free Twitterfeed to autopost to Twitter but just switched to WP to Twitter, a WordPress plugin. Here’s why. Twitterfeed reads the Polizeros RSS feed and takes about first 120 characters of new posts, adds a tiny URL, then posts it on Twitter. This often results in truncated posts that break in the middle of a sentence because everything has to fit into 140 characters. Sometimes the meaning isn’t clear, and plus it looks autoposted. With WP to Twitter, when I create the post for Polizeros, I tell it exactly what to post to Twitter. While this may take a little extra time, the result is that Twitter posts now are full sentences with no truncation and thus are much more understandable. I can also tell it not to post to Twitter, which can be handy.

Once a post is on a social networking site, you can configure other such sites to autopost from it. For example, I have Friendfeed configured to autopost from Twitter. (In fact, they both autopost from each other, and don’t duplicate content either.) One important thing. If I post to Friendfeed first, the link that the autpost to Twitter has will be the Friendfeed link, not original link to here. However, if I post to Twitter first, the Friendfeed autopost link will be Polizeros link. This is what you want. So post to Twitter first.

I also have Facebook configured so status messages (and nothing else) get posted to Friendfeed, then Twitter.

You can also use Posterous to post wherever you want via email. If I take a photo on my iPhone, then email it to, it gets posted onto Posterous and also Facebook. It will repost to multitude of services.

TweetLater allows you to publish to Twitter in the future, say one post a day for two weeks, that sort of thing.

BTW, Google Profile is a great place to list all your sites as a reference for others. Here’s mine.

Search engine wars heat up

Battle lines are drawn for the war of web search dominance
Facebook buys Friendfeed. Their real target is Google, not Twitter.

Twitter vs. Facebook: Who will win in real-time search?

Comparison of their search engine features.

Because it’s all about search. Real-time search. Google doesn’t have that yet. Facebook now has 300 million users and is the 4th largest website on the planet.

My guess. Someone big, like Microsoft or Google will buy Twitter. Or attempt to.