Saturday, July 18, 2009

Redneck rules for Twitter

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google's reranking of Twitter: Best explanation ever

Wallace Shawn as Vizzini in the movie "The Princess Bride" gives the best explanation ever given of how Google re-ranks sites when it decides a new algorithm is needed after deciding a new way of looking at things is needed:

So Google re-ranks sites when it is using a new algorithm to try and figure out what matters and what doesn't by going back and forth between it's changing views of different sites until it settles on the truth.


Google has rolled out some dramatically new algorithms to better rank Twitter user pages because Twitter is too new for Google to properly understand how it fits in on the web. This causes Twitter user pages to go up and down in their Google Toolbar rank for some time. One of our Twitter sites' ranking has gone 2;4;6;4;6;2 (and isn't done yet, based on the rankings of similar pages) and one of the Twitter founders' pages has gone as low as 0 in the bouncing.

When Google uses a new or newer algorithm to rank sites (which they do all the time) ranks have to go up and down for awhile. In a broad sense, everything on the web links to everything else, so as you re-rank the first sites in a chain, it affects the next sites in the chain, and so forth. The interesting part is when the rankings of the chain come back to affect the first site, and that site's rank can suddenly change dramatically.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Consumers no longer loyal to brands: Everyone is a researcher now.

Summary: The way in which consumers are  researching and buying products have changed dramatically. Research right up to the point of purchase is now much more common than brand loyalty.

New McKinsey research shows that extensive researching when considering purchase is now a much more common consumer behavior (full article).

It even extends to the moment of making a purchase decision: They are now commonly made only after reaching the point of purchase (store or website). Previous brand purchase makes that brand considered, but not selected. Brand loyalty has gone away for many purchase types.

I personally call this the "Google" or "Sherlock Holmes" effect: because there is easily accessible relvant information, and friends and media encourage checking this information ("Google it!") people are much more likely to behave like researchers than they did a generation ago.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Mass suspension of Twitter accounts underway: what to do if you are affected

Update 8: Official statement from Twitter’s status tumblelog:

Earlier today, we accidentally suspended a number of accounts.
We regret the human error that led to these mistaken suspensions and we are working to restore the affected accounts—we expect this to be completed in the next several hours.

One additional note: some the accounts suspended were using the third-party site Tweetlater. However, Tweetlater is not to blame for these suspensions nor is it in violation of our Terms.

Update 7: Many accounts are now reporting that Twitter has UNSUSPENDED their account.

Update 6: Official response from Twitter to @TweetLater on their suspended account:  “Spamcloud hit. We’re working on restoring accounts.” (This was reported by Jesse Stay.)

Update 5: Some (few) Twitter users have reported their accounts were unsuspended after about 10 minutes.

Update 4: Some have reported that creating a support ticket with Twitter on this issue results in the ticket being deleted right away. Probably best to wait.

Update 3: Some feel Twitter may have created an unintended consequence in fighting off this attack.

Update 2: Here are some links to places that may also post updates on the situation as they learn more:
  1. @Twitter_Tips 
  2. Jesse Stay
  3. Mashable 
Update 1: Check the date on any tweets from official Twitter accounts such as @Spam. Some people are retweeting old messages about old issues that are NOT relevant any more.

Original post:

You have two choices. First, you can wait to see if you are unsuspended soon (many think this is a Twitter error of some kind). This is what I recommend. Many commentators are pointing out accounts that seem EXTREMELY unlikely to merit suspension have been suspended.

Three places you can check for updates from Twitter on this issue are the known issues page, the Twitter Status page, and the Twitter blog.

Or you can put in a support request. Here's how to do that:

  1. To put in a support request, click here and make the appropriate choices. Note that this link has been removed from it's old location on the Twitter support site so don't tell people to go to the help site and click the support request link—it's not there anymore (this may change).
  2. Experiment with searches like this to see what the latest news it.
  3. Don't create lots of "What happened?" or "Help me/my friend" tweets. It just clogs up the channel we are all checking for news of what is happening, and doesn't affect Twitter's response at all.
Note: Some people are creating tickets at You might also want to wait on that, as a huge influx of tickets will be unlikely to get a response. 

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