Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Thursday, December 23, 2021

To my dismay, I unintentionally used the IM/texting slang “IOW” not once, but twice in one day:

@popstat: IOW, like every other day for most of us RT @ElanaRoth: I’m working today, but so in vacation mode. But I also like money, so…toss up.

@popstat: IOW get a blog RT @tombiro: Pro tip: 99% of people aren’t reading your tweets consecutively. they’re not really threaded. just sayin’

Obviously, I had to resort to the abbreviation, as “in other words” never would have fit into Twitter‘s 140-character limit. Still, looking back on both tweets, that three-lettered opener seems to give my comments even more snark than they already carried. Such are the perils of social media communiques.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/23/2010 10:59pm
Category: Social Media Online, Wordsmithing
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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Because old-fashioned electronic mail doesn’t support the Texting Generation’s “social intensity”, online communication is structurally streamlining:

[Facebook] is rolling out a revamped messaging service that is intended to feel less like e-mail and more like texting.

The company decided to eliminate the subject line on messages after its research showed that it was most commonly left blank or used for an uninformative “hi” or “yo.”

Facebook also killed the “cc” and “bcc” lines. And hitting the enter key can immediately fire off the message, à la instant messaging, instead of creating a new paragraph. The changes, company executives say, leave behind time-consuming formalities that separate users from what they crave: instant conversation.

“The future of messaging is more real time, more conversational and more casual,” said Andrew Bosworth, director of engineering at Facebook, where he oversees communications tools. “The medium isn’t the message. The message is the message.”

“More casual” is the key. It’s important to remember that the users here are interested exclusively in one-time instant communication — no one is looking through IM archives for a message to reference back to. Email is suited for information that you might want to preserve, so the formal trappings of that medium make sense there. But for chatting within social networking and mobile contexts? It’s overkill. Naturally, users want to bypass that.

But speaking of overkill, why dismantle email strictly to accommodate chit-chat behavior? The inbox still has “official” utility, and that shouldn’t be impacted by preferences in the social media sphere. I’d think there’s room for both channels.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/21/2010 10:56pm
Category: Social Media Online, Society
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Monday, December 06, 2021

With so much of social media geared toward the shortest of short-form communication (status updates, tweets, etc.), it’s nice to see something like Figment inviting digitally-bred teenagers to expressively stretch out:

Figment.com will be… an experiment in online literature, a free platform for young people to read and write fiction, both on their computers and on their cellphones. Users are invited to write novels, short stories and poems, collaborate with other writers and give and receive feedback on the work posted on the site…

The young people on the site weren’t much interested in “friending” one another. What they did want, [founder Jacob Lewis] said, “was to read and write and discover new content, but around the content itself.”

It’s essentially a peer group centered around a common activity: Writing. As sociable a networking purpose as any — and better than most.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/06/2021 10:36pm
Category: Publishing, Social Media Online
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Sunday, December 05, 2021

In a digital domain where people have no problem getting poked, friended, and liked, apparently dating is off-limits:

In theory, Facebook should be a mecca for singles looking to connect. The site already contains pictures and relevant information on hobbies, occupation and location that romance-seeking men and women could use to determine their interest in an intriguing stranger. Moreover, it allows people to see their ties to friends-of-friends, adding a level of familiarity online dating sites can’t offer.

In the past few years, dozens of services and applications have been built to capitalize on the opportunity. But as [would-be dating service provider Sunil] Nagaraj realized, most of them failed to consider one factor: Not everyone wants to broadcast to the world that they’re single and looking for love.

“I wouldn’t mind telling my five good friends that I’m dating, but I don’t want my loose connections to know,” Nagaraj said. And Facebook, unlike predecessors such as MySpace, has moved away from being a site where people cruise for dates by allowing users to shield their profiles from public view.

So the most ubiquitous of social networks is considered to be incompatible with perhaps the most social activity of all. This would be ironic, except that it’s par for the course when it comes to online interactions.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/05/2021 03:53pm
Category: Social Media Online, Society
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Friday, December 03, 2021

If, as per celebrity tweet-advisers Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, mayonnaise on a vagina makes it shiny… Then what does mayo on a penis make it?

Answer: Fattening.

There’s tongue-in-cheek advice for you. Or something-in-cheek, anyway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/03/2021 01:26pm
Category: Comedy, Social Media Online, Women
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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Is Facebook too behemoth-like for your friending tastes? Then maybe you should give Smiley a try.

Sure, Smiley. Why not? I know, it looks pretty cookie-cutter and amateurish. That’s because it is. I only found out about it from a subway-plastered flier, which consisted of nothing more than long run-on text in all-caps, exhorting anyone who bothered to read it to join up. Oh, and that this little site supported videochatting, pointing out that Facebook did not. As hokey (and even suspect) as the pitch was, I couldn’t help but be a little touched, and even more curious.

It’ll be the miracle of the century if Smiley ever grows to challenge Facebook. But who knows — with the do-it-yourself social networking sites and software services out there, the odds are that some homegrown walled garden will achieve some measure of success. Unless the concept of decentralized social networks is inherently unworkable — which it probably is.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/01/2021 10:31pm
Category: New Yorkin', Social Media Online, Society
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Saturday, November 27, 2021

This is hardly a scientific sample, but I’ve noticed a peculiar trend today in my Twitter stream: Multiple references to jeggings. Yes, all in tweets from women.

Since “jeggings” isn’t showing up in the trending topics list, I’ve gotta believe this phenomenon is strictly localized to my Twitter experience. Obviously, I follow some like-minded fashionistas.

I wonder if there’s a distinct connection between this musing and the just-completed Thanksgiving festivities. Is the level of snugness in these go-to denim leggings an indicator of holiday overeating? Maybe it’s something to look out for in a month’s time, when Christmas indulgences will prompt a similar skinny-pants body-fat index. For ladies only, of course.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/27/2010 08:06pm
Category: Fashion, Social Media Online, Women
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Monday, November 15, 2021

twittering classicing
Call it a case of social media collateral damage. Thanks to some controversial comments he made about escrows on his million-dollar income, goalie Dan Ellis earned some online backlash, including a “Fake Dan Ellis” Twitter account. From which came forth an especially biting zinger:

@FakeDanEllis: Does anybody have change for a diamond? #DanEllisProblems

So now, I can’t come across any reference to the Tampa Bay Lightning backup and not think of that mocking tweet. Not that I think Ellis deserved all the flack he got — would someone earning $40,000 a year and complaining about a proportionate tax bite get the same negative reaction? But the joke definitely sticks. The hashtag punctuates the poor-rich-boy tenor.

The real Ellis has since quit Twitter, citing the now-poisoned context. Luckily for him, NHL players typically don’t gain nicknames from online chatter. Although he could do worse than “Diamond” Dan…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/15/2010 11:19pm
Category: Comedy, Hockey, Social Media Online
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Thursday, November 04, 2021

daand da
This is too good to not steal repurpose: A surrealistic play contained within a single Twitter post.

@hotdogsladies: “MAKE ROOM FOR DADA: A PLAY” ACT I ME: Aw. I broke the ice cube tray. ELLIE: Is it chocolate? ME: Why? ELLIE: I like chocolate. [exeunt]

With four characters left over from the 140-limit, too. Impressive. Of course, only a dada theme would make sense (or, more to the point, not make sense) within the cramped context of a tweet.

Maybe this will inspire a slew of tweeted playwriting? Some director can trawl the Twitterverse for a couple of dozen such quickie plays to curate and produce, presenting them “A Night of Social Media Theater”. Imagine the buzz…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/04/2021 10:53pm
Category: Comedy, Creative, Social Media Online
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Sunday, October 31, 2021

in the dark
I’m unabashedly swiping this photo of a goblin-green lit Empire State Building taken by @PRCog this past Friday. Because I kind of fell in love with it.

As for the rest of my All Hallow’s Eve? This gothic-style cameraphonephoto is probably the extent of it. I was planning to roam about, catching at least part of the Village Halloween Parade, and gawking at the street-displayed costumes. But, it’s already bitterly cold this afternoon, and it’s looking like near-freezing weather with winds tonight. So I’ll pass. At least I’ll have some Halloween candy to supplement my football-watching.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/31/2010 04:28pm
Category: New Yorkin', Photography, Social Media Online
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Earlier this month, a meme flowed through the InterWebz regarding the layout of this calendar month:

October 2010 has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays - something that only occurs every 823 years.

I admit, I came across it on Twitter, and pretty much took it at face value. After all, if five full weekends came along routinely, I’d notice it, right?

I guess I don’t, because it happens all the time. In fact, it follows a 5-6-5-11 yearly pattern, with leap year accounting for the extended gap. But nothing at all to suggest that 823-year action.

So someone, apparently, threw that made-up number into the mix, and it propagated quickly through social media chatter as assumed fact. No one’s come forward to brag about their “gotcha”, as hollow as it is; so the motive probably will remain a mystery.

Regardless, this October did treat us to an “extra” two leisure days. Not that I did anything extra-special with the extra time. So no gain, no loss — and on to November and the close of the year.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/31/2010 03:00pm
Category: History, Social Media Online
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Monday, October 18, 2021

A horror ha-ha from Dustbury, via the Twitterized version:

Q: What do vegan zombies crave?

I generally despise the subgenre that is zombies, mainly because it’s been done to (living) death. (Although really, I never cared for the original Night of the Living Dead to begin with.) But a good joke is a good joke, pun and all.

And I contributed the headline, to bring it all together. Isn’t that the point of social media collaboration — to use your collective brains? Or rather, braaaaaaains…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/18/2010 10:22pm
Category: Comedy, Movies, Pop Culture, Social Media Online
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Thursday, September 30, 2021

hide, seek
It’s not like there’s anything unique about an outdoor advertisement being defaced by a sticker decal. But the cameraphoned example above (Flickr-embiggened here) displays a streak of creativity: Pretty model’s face, already fairly anonymous in a fashion-advertising sense, made even more anonymous by blocking out her eyes. For a slapdash application of street art/promotion, it’s well done.

The quasi-conspiratorial Hidden Friends label definitely adds to the effect. It appears to be a loose artists collective, that may or may not have acquired its name from a common Facebook user setting. Applying the phrase offline heightens the almost oxymoronic meaning…

I snapped this photo near the corner of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue. If it was eyecatching enough to make me pause in my usual mid-day running around, then you know it’s got impact.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/30/2010 10:17am
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Fashion, New Yorkin', Photography, Social Media Online
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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

It took more than half a century for the television industry to figure out that the ideal programming-development environment takes place in 140 characters or less. That’s the conclusion I’m drawing from CBS, the network that’s already turned one Twitter feed into a sitcom, and is now ready to repeat that improbable Web-to-tube formula:

Last week’s premiere of “$#*! My Dad Says” garnered a respectable 12.5 million viewers, which could be an indication to CBS that Twitter accounts really do make for good TV shows. CBS and [Ashton Kutcher's production company] Katalyst still have to make a successful pilot before “Don’t Tell Steve” becomes part of the CBS comedy line-up; but clearly, if you have a crazy friend, roommate or family member, tweeting about what he or she says is a winner.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense, actually. Hollywood powerbrokers have notoriously short attention spans, so what better vehicle to pitch a concept to these mercurial decision-makers? I don’t think the follower numbers even matter, other than the critical mass they represent to get in front of the right eyeballs. The idea can come from anywhere; the bite-sized channel that is the tweet is just becoming amongst the most convenient. (That’s if this whole developmental scenario isn’t just an elaborate set-up, which I still half-suspect it is.)

So congratulations to @shhdontellsteve, for getting a TV shot off of goofing on a roommate. Hopefully, they’ll cast some recognizable star, ala William Shatner for @shitmydadsays, which probably has more to do with the audience draw than anything else. If not, I can see this twit-trend coming to a halt quickly.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/29/2010 09:22am
Category: Comedy, Social Media Online, TV
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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

When CBS decided to turn Twitter feed @ShitMyDadSays into a TV show, it decided to go cutesy-ish by subbing “$#*!” for the offending scatological terminology in the original title.

A necessary move, but maybe not the most DVR-optimized one:

It seems DVR designers quite understandably never suspected that a network would launch a TV show that started with the word “$#*!.” There may be a way to find such symbols within the DVR interface, but a casual survey of customers subscribing to a few different video services found nobody who could manage to type the first word of the title.

Which isn’t to suggest DVR users cannot watch the show. Users can browse through the nightly grids until they get to Thursday evening, where the show is clearly listed in all its “$#*!” glory. Or, heck, you can even watch the show live.

It’s amusing that our technological interfaces still can’t accommodate commonplace (if unconventional) input like this. Just when will machine language catch up with freestyling human expression?

Will this scheduling impediment significantly impact the viewership for the William Shatner-helmed comedy? At the very least, it seems that hashtags are out of bounds when tweeting about the latest episode…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/22/2010 10:33pm
Category: Social Media Online, TV, Tech
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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Here’s one woman’s vision of where the decade-long plotlines in “Mad Men” are headed:

@amychozick: Hope #MadMen runs ’till at least 1969 when Sally Draper will drop acid, burn her bra and join the Weather Underground. #poorsallydraper

Not bad. But, television being television, and based on the medium’s previous depiction of the advertising industry during the ’60s, I couldn’t help but retort with:

@popstat: nah, by ’69 she’ll learn witchcraft, have a daughter named Tabitha, & Don will be played by a different actor #Bewitched

I think January Jones would make a swell Samantha Stephens. And Jon Hamm can be replaced, Darrin-style, by Neil Patrick Harris. Meanwhile, Roger Sterling gets a pizza named after him

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/21/2010 10:34pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Social Media Online, TV
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Monday, September 13, 2021

no comment
Just a little housekeeping note for this little ol’ blog: Today, I removed the CommenTwitter plugin for WordPress, which I’d installed more than a year ago.

Frankly, it never lived up to even my modest expectations. I can count on two hands (barely) the number of times someone other than myself actually used it to send out a comment to Twitter. I guess I’m one of the very few who thought it was neat to tweet out a comment snippet with backlink…

On top of that, the plugin appears to have stopped working recently; again, since it got so little use, I can’t say how long it’s been out of commission. In any case, that served as enough of an excuse to finally de-commission it, which I’d been thinking of doing for a while. It wasn’t as simple as just deactivating and deleting the files — I actually had to dig into a couple of theme templates to remove some hard coding. Luckily, I must have had some foresight when I first added that, because it was pretty painless to complete. Done and done.

Not that I’ve abandoned the concept of tweet-ability for this blog. I’m still using WordTwit, which auto-tweets a link to each post as soon as I publish them. And I’ve since installed the official Twitter Retweet Button, which more or less supplants what CommenTwitter was supposed to fulfill, in an even simpler way from the user’s perspective. (Not that the Retweet Button has seen a lot of action on this site, but I’ll stick with it as a more elegant solution, regardless.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/13/2010 10:36pm
Category: Bloggin', Social Media Online
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Despite all the buzz, the geolocational social media features offered by Foursquare and other sites are slow to catch on with privacy-wary mainstream audiences.

And somehow, I don’t think that offering up an MTV-sponsored check-in badge for every visit to the STD clinic is going to hasten adoption:

The badge itself is lime green and black, with the letters “GYT” emblazoned in the middle.

Foursquare users can go to their own health care providers, or they can find nearby clinics by visiting [the Get Yourself Tested website] and entering their ZIP code. Once they’ve checked in, users will have to post — or “shout” in Foursquare lingo — the letters “GYT” to their friends.

The goal is laudable, of course. And at least Foursquare isn’t offering up mayorships for frequent testers — I imagine such a crown would cure this targeted younger generation of its inherent open-book lifestyle attitude (and lead to a lot fewer dates).

Although I guess that, if this confluence of digital and biological intimacy somehow catches on, it might revive the now-obsolete term for sexually-transmitted ailments. Thereby giving “social” a whole new meaning altogether.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/31/2010 10:58pm
Category: Science, Social Media Online, Society
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Friday, August 20, 2021

go 4 it
Lots of buzzing over this week’s rollout of Facebook Places, including the obvious lifting of the social-media-meets-location concept from Foursquare.

Maybe too obvious, judging from the current Places logo, shown above. Notice how the streets intersect within that little map glyph-box, to form a familiar numeral? It’s hard to miss:

“Bahaha. It’s a 4. In a square. And on that night, tongue and cheek were reunited.”

And to infer further, that giant location marker can be seen as poking its way into the heart of that geolocational map. Or dropping like a bomb. You make the call.

If this wasn’t an intentional subliminal visual, then some Facebook designer drone is getting fired today. At least he’ll know where he’s at.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/20/2010 08:18am
Category: Creative, Social Media Online
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Sunday, August 15, 2021

button fly
Blog-housekeeping note: Starting today, I’ve installed Twitter’s official Tweet Button onto this blog, for both individual posts and aggregate post pages.

This replaces the Topsy Retweet Button that I’d installed as a plugin back in March. I’ve long since deactivated that one, as it started exhibiting some bugs a few months back. It doesn’t look like Topsy is even supporting the plugin anymore, so I’m 86ing it. The only thing I’ll miss is the included feature of pulling in “reaction tweets” as trackbacks onto the linked-to posts; but that was the main feature that was bugging out, so I’ll just have to find an alternate solution for that one.

We’ll see how the Tweet Button flies around here. It’s currently in a butt-ugly placement at the end of the post content and atop the post-footer info; if I find the motivation, I’ll hack through the CSS to make it line up prettier. For now, it’s functional, which is good enough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/15/2010 07:47pm
Category: Bloggin', Social Media Online
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Thursday, July 08, 2021

More than a year ago, we were expecting future sports-transaction news to be delivered directly from the players, via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

But when you’re LeBron James, and you’re the preeminent free agent of this 2010 National Basketball Association offseason… Well, why settle for a measly Twitter account when ESPN will give you an hour of airtime to announce “The Decision”?

Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that representatives for James contacted the network, proposing the idea of a dedicated special. The sources said James’ representatives requested they be allowed to sell sponsorship for the broadcast, and ESPN agreed.

“Due to the unprecedented attention and interest surrounding LeBron’s decision, we have decided to make this announcement on national television,” James’ business manager, Maverick Carter, said on lebronjames.com.

Old media trumps new media once again, when it comes to the monumental events. And indeed, James announced his choice of the Miami Heat tonight, a moment that was blunted only slightly by the leaks earlier that indicated he had decided on south Florida.

Considering how commoditized other aspects of sports business have become, having a marquee player build a television special (really, an advertising vehicle) around his contract signing is a natural. The NFL Draft is a major offseason viewing event, and “free agent frenzy” coverage is a major staple in all major-pro sports media (including college signing days and the like). Since the audience interest continues to grow, we can expect future dedicated event coverage like this, stemming from the players or the teams/leagues. It’s a significant step in that a player like James now commands enough clout to control the message so thoroughly, and on an enviable national-broadcasting stage.

The only thing, regarding James’ @kingjames Twitter handle: Typical of many celebrity accounts, he’s amassed a few hundred thousand followers while following nobody. A deft move, simultaneous with James’ live announcement on ESPN, would have been that zero-following changing to a 1 — with that one being the team he finally chose. Perfect orchestration, and a nod to the online fanbase. Maybe for the next mega-free agent circus, next NBA offseason.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/08/2021 11:54pm
Category: Basketball, Social Media Online, SportsBiz, TV
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