Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, February 20, 2021

Call me old and crotchety enough at 38 to be sufficiently out of touch with the college-campus mentality. Yet I can’t help but draw a parallel between the latest carping about how students feel entitled to a minimum grade of A or B just for showing up to class, and the late student takeover of New York University’s cafeteria which was just quashed in a practically comical manner.

Specifically: I’m guessing the busted protesters are going to be demanding straight-A’s for the semester, to reflect their commitment (or, failing that, to compensate for their anguish, in similar vein with the campus myth about getting a 4.0 for a roommate’s death).

In both cases, the presumption is that a sustained-enough period of whining (sorry, make that “effort”) will result in accedence by the authority. Obviously, the former mindset fed into the latter effort.

I’m wondering what other scattershot agenda items the NYU dorm-commandos would have added, had they held out an extra day or two. First it was affordable tuition and transparent fiscal reporting, then the curveball of Gaza-related financial/educational aid (which abruptness of appearance pretty well cooked the goose)… What was next up? Demands for free MP3 downloads on university servers?

I was, in fact, lurking around NYU over the past couple of days, doing my usual work/client shuffle. I didn’t have time or desire to go in for a closer look. The only outward indicator I got of the action was an unusual stretch of trash strewn across a half-block of 3rd Avenue early this afternoon; I’m not sure it was related, but I given the proximity, I assumed some protesting sympatico had a hissy-fit and made the mess.

Vive la revolution…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/20/2009 07:54pm
Category: College Years, New Yorkin', Society
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Finally, an actual enticement for me to get on Twitter: The prospect that it’s replacing RSS reading for many people.

This is where Twitter as a feed service comes in to play. Take an honest inventory of your [RSS] subscriptions. How many of those do your really want to follow every day? I’ve worked very hard to build a community. There are folks who are regular visitors and commenters on my site and we have interaction on nearly a daily basis. I want to know when they post something new, I want them to know when I’ve posted. In addition to my community, there are some sites outside of my clan that I like to pay attention to. All of these folks are on Twitter.

Yes, I realize that using Tweets as nothing more than a feed-output channel — that posts a hyperlink, to boot — violates the spirit of the microblogging service. But really, it’s all about going where the eyeballs are. Bottom line, people can subscribe and login to as many online outlets as exist, but the intake of all that media is severely limited to what’s absorbed via the head (usually the eyeballs, when talking about the Web). If people have only so much screentime, and they choose to spend it checking Twitter, then that’s the place to deliver blogging updates.

My perspective on this may be somewhat unique, as I’ve eschewed both Twitter and RSS up to this point. In rejecting both, I see the similarities in them: They’re intended to send and deliver limited, stripped-down bites of content, in the interests of quick consumption. True, RSS feeds don’t have to be limited in length like Tweets and their hard-cap of 140 characters; but from a site-publishing perspective, I prefer truncating feed outputs to an excerpt that will satisfy a feed subscriber looking for a quick-fix update, while also enticing them to click through to the full-site post.

So it’s easy to see why a lot of people easily trade their feed-reading time for an all-in-one Twitter experience. Ultimately, it’s just a choice of a particular channel through which to get the same push information.

I’m going to venture a guess that adoption rates are going to define this choice: People who never got on the feed-reader bandwagon from a few years back will more likely bypass RSS reading for Twitter updates. Similarly, oldschoolers who swear by RSS readers will stick with them, even if they also use Twitter for its more conventional purposes.

All of which comes back to me… As inappropriate as it might be to join Twitter for no other purpose than blog-pimping, that’s the only reason I can see for picking it up right now. So if I start Tweeting all over the place soon, it’ll be primarily/exclusively in the form of short-linked URLs consisting of the latest, greatest post from these here parts. Be forewarned!

UPDATE: Just in case, I’ve gone ahead and reserved my corner of the Twitterverse: @popstat. Next up is finding a WordPress plugin to automate pushing this blog’s latest posts links out as Tweets. The adventure begins…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/20/2009 12:51pm
Category: Bloggin', Internet, Social Media Online
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Here’s an unexpected discovery of painted-on color at the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones streets. Cameraphoned, of course, and promptly Flickr’d.

Not sure if this establishment, ZP Auto Inc., is contemplating a name-change to “Homecandy”. I can’t imagine such a rebrand, from gearhead black-and-white to rainbow-colored giddiness, would be good for the auto-repair business. Not even in NoHo.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/20/2009 10:38am
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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