Why Won’t Twitter Let #JewishRapNames Trend?

February 25th, 2010 |

Twitter is antisemitic. At least that’s what I thought this past weekend, when #jewishrapnames, a random hashtag I started using early Saturday morning, blew up all over the 140 character micro-messaging service hours later. I began a series of tweets around 3am Saturday morning. The first one was “50 Schpent #jewishrapnames.” What followed were a few more tweets from myself and followers. In all, perhaps 50 names were tweeted with the tag. I thought nothing of it and by 5am was fast asleep. But when I woke up in the afternoon on Saturday, I saw a few @ replies from people who normally never reply to me, and thought maybe I was onto something.

Around 8pm on Saturday night, I started sending #jewishrapnames tweets into the Twitterverse again. The same core group of followers from the night before began adding and retweeting them. Within an hour, a Twitter search for #jewishrapnames yielded many results. It seemed as if just sitting on the search page would show that there were roughly 10 tweets coming in per minute. Not enough for a trending topic, right? At this point I decided to keep going and kept tweeting, realizing the hashtag was catching on. Another hour passed and after @SamanthaRonson got in on the act, her one million+ followers all joined in. At that point, it seemed as if there were tweets coming in every second.

By midnight Saturday, the real time results from Trends Map was showing #jewishrapnames trending in New York City, San Francisco, and globally in a few different countries. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t able to take a screenshot of where it was trending at the time (silly me), so the real time results are a little sketchy as of now. But a Twitter search will still yield over 100 pages of results. That’s a lot of tweets. Is it enough to become a trending topic? Perhaps. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paul Cantor

#OMGFacts – Tastelessness Can Ruin You!

January 19th, 2010 |

If you were on Twitter during the last few weeks, you probably ran into a trending hashtag at one point called #OMGFacts. This tag was used to state trivial facts, ranging from the mundane to the insane (as if Twitter doesn’t already have enough of these uninspiring trending topics). While I don’t know how this trend got started, I do know that it spawned its own Twitter account. I did not follow the page (nor care) until January 18th, when people began retweeting this from said account:

OMGFact - The one that broke the camel's back

Now, people are asking who would post such an incendiary message. I’ve come to find out that the owner of the account is @AdorianDeck, a 16-year-old male from California. He’s the one responsible, not only for the OMGFacts Twitter account, but also for the OMGFacts blog. Upon tweeting this gem, he caused an uproar. The backlash was so intense that he not only took down the Twitter account, but the blog as well. He then tweeted the following message from his personal Twitter page:

“Deleted it. Only cared about #s and $ recently. Greed. Stopped thinking about things, I’ll just say…I’ve learned so much. No regrets. – @AdrorianDeckRead the rest of this entry »

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Hacking for Haiti

January 18th, 2010 |

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I’d like to take a break from our regularly scheduled social media programming to discuss a nationwide activity that occurred over the weekend. I, along with several other tech savvy individuals in various cities across the US and in London, participated in the CrisisCommons project CrisisCamp, a technological call to action in an effort to aid Haiti. These impromptu sessions, organized only a couple of days beforehand, allowed participants to see how social media and open source development can aid as a direct response to Haitian citizens. As an attendee of CrisisCamp Brooklyn, organized by Ohad Folman of Freelancers Union, we started off by brainstorming several ideas only to hit a roadblock that many of us had not considered, having grown accustomed to living in the wired world – how do you reach out to people through technology when the area is without order or electricity?

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Lauren Cannon