Pollution in the Twitter Stream

15 12 2010

Twitter has launched its advertising package with promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts available to all.  Whilst in various ways users have been able to boost their follower numbers for some time, now followers can simply be purchased via twitter itself, something that fundamentally alters the ecosystem.

“Whether you’re gearing up for a big product release or event, or just looking to expand your presence online, building a strong base of Twitter followers who will share your content and amplify your message makes all the difference…unlike a “like” action, a new follower stays with you.” says the twitter ad blurb.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out for Twitter.  My hunch is that it will turn established users away.  The growth of Twitter has been phenomenal, according to the official blog there have been 25 billion tweets this year.  That’s a pretty stunning total given that at the start of the year 7.3 billion tweets had been posted in three and a half years.   However the pace of growth is slowing.  There were 5 billion tweets between the 31st July and the 20th September, that’s 50 days. It took 52 days for another five billion to be posted.  Twitter has made it much more difficult to monitor tweet volume since they moved away from sequential numbering of tweets.

So if twitter has flatlined and in terms of tweet volume it appears that it has, adding adverts to our twitter stream is hardly likely to  boost loyalty and usage.

Cage Against The Machine For Xmas No1

13 12 2010

Applause Machine (Signal Green)

It’s one of the joys of the Social Web that people now and then, through social networks, are able to overcome the ambitions of media barons.  It sickened me when Simon Cowell and his acolytes for years dominated the nation’s Christmas music fayre.

I was  foursquare behind the struggle to have Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s climactic masterpiece Hallelujah on the top spot ahead of the X-Factor version, but the public was split and that allowed the Burke cover to prevail.  Last year it was different we were united in our Rage Against the Machine.

This year the crowd may face another split.  The obvious choice is the original Biffy Clyro version of Matt Cardle’s anodyne exhortation of the sanitized and renamed ‘Many of Horror’.  I’m fan of Biffy Clyro (really, I’ve seen them four times including once in Pontypridd), although I’d take ‘Blackened Sky’ or ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’ over ‘Only Revolutions’ every time.

There has also been a groundswell behind Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen, a slightly grating ditty popularised by Family Guy.   However if we are going to do it again there is a clear front-runner,  John Cage’s 4’33.  Composed in 1952 the musical score instructs the performer(s) not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece.

A Facebook page is in place to promote a new recording of 4’33 by Cage Against the Machine which includes Suggs and Imogen Heap amongst others.  Let’s make December 25 a silent night.  Join the group and more importantly, buy the single.

If you’ve had to sit through the X Factor this year I’m sure that you’ll agree; silence is golden.

Cameron I Forbid You to Like The Smiths

2 12 2010

Since the then newly crowned PM Tony Blair invited Noel Gallagher to Downing Street,  politicians have been trying to borrow cred from the music business.  Who can forget (if you are old enough to remember) Neil Kinnock singing and swinging to the beat of D:Ream’s  “Things Can Only Get Better” after the ’97 Labour election victory?

Gordon Brown’s was famously said to have a soft spot for the Arctic Monkeys but when challenged by a men’s magazine, he was unable to name a single track from their debut album.  To be fair to Gordon he apparently was asked to choose whom he preferred The Monkeys or James Blunt.  Fair call Gordon.

Today a new political threat emerged from the social web.  Apparently the Prime Minister has been professing his love for Manchester icons ‘The Smiths’.  It’s not impossible that he does quite like them, he was just seventeen when they released their first album.  However the band’s guitarist isn’t having any of it.  He tweeted today “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.”

Not much chance of gaining any reflected cool when the band so publicly disowns you.

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