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

Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt Blog

January 28th, 2010 |

Catholic priests, under a lot of pressure already due to decades of scandal associated with the Catholic Church, received word from their holiest of holies, Pope Benedict XVI, that part of their new job description should be taking The Word to the internet using social media and blogging. In fact, the Pope urged priests to use all of the media tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel, seeking to engage in conversations with people of alternate religions.

This latest  “commandment” from Vatican City comes after years of the Catholic Church’s growing web presence, culminating, perhaps, in the Vatican’s online site, The Holy See.  The site offers the latest sermon from the Pope, information on the Vatican City State, and other nuggets of inside info for all people, whether religious, agnostic, or…backslidden. In case you missed something from the Pope, feel free to check out the Vatican’s YouTube Channel (yes, that’s what I said). Plus, Pope Benedict has his own portal, Pope2You.net, that broadcasts news on Benedict’s travels, his messages, and also includes a Facebook app to allows users to create “Pope postcards” to send to their friends.

The Pope urges Priests to use “cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities” according to a Vatican message. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis