Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Twitter is Still Stupid

Almost a year ago, I wrote about how Twitter is stupid, but could easily be made smarter.  A nice time to make it better would be when completely revamping the web site.

So when I finally got "New Twitter" today, I had hope that it would fix all the little retardations that made the old Twitter impossible to navigate if forced to use the web site (rather than a good standalone client application).

Somehow, it's even worse.

New Twitter looks nice, and makes it easy to follow conversations, find related tweets, and see photos and other media without leaving the web site. So yeah, it's an improvement in some ways. Unfortunately, it's still got this one little flaw: it's impossible to fucking read your Twitter feed in any way that resembles how people actually read stuff.

Am I missing something? Because as I see it now, here is how you're supposed to catch up with your friends' updates:

1) Log in to Twitter.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of the page for some reason.

3) Start reading from bottom to top for some reason.

4) Get to the "last" tweet, which is actually at the top for some reason.

5) See that there are X number of new tweets. Click to display them.

6) You now have to scroll down X tweets to get to where you left off. Methods for accomplishing this include:

  • Scrolling down and skimming every tweet until you find one you recognize, like some really boring version of Where's Waldo.
  • Going down exactly X tweets, counting by hand. Might have to use your fingers.
  • Look for the really thin line that indicates where you last refreshed. Oh, they got rid of the only method that made sense.
  • Voodoo.
7) Start reading bottom-to-top again. Read the tweets you already scrolled past.

8) Retrieve new tweets, repeat semi-random up and down scrolling.

9) Go to hospital for severe eye strain.

That may seem overly complicated, which is exactly my point.

It'd be better if it went like this:

A) Log in to Twitter.

B) See the last tweet you read at the top of the screen.

C) Scroll down until you get to the last tweet at the bottom.

D) Click to refresh. Keep reading top to bottom like a normal human being.

Isn't that better?

Seriously, how does anyone use the Twitter web site (new or old)? Maybe I'm just not very tolerant of having to put a lot of cognitive effort into reading what should be a simple chronological timeline. Or did I forget to click some kind of "make this web site useable" option? Someone tell me in the comments, because I'm genuinely baffled by this.


Friday, September 24, 2010

LOLA 2010 2

Here are a few more pictures and words about LOLA fest 2010. (Part 1 is here).


This tank/candy/paint thing was one of the few visual art installations at LOLA. It wasn't all visual though, because it constantly radiated sounds of distorted voices and music, like a broken toy. I found it kind of awesome.

I took a closer look at the plaque near the other tank (see here), which contained some hidden gems. Look at that last line.



Let's forgive the unwieldily abuse of dashes and the implication that flowers are capable of drawing meaning from various fields. Instead, let's look at that last part. "...gives dramatic visibility to tank while reminding Londoners why it there." Seriously? If you're going to be putting a sign up in a public place for all of London to see, isn't it worth taking 5 minutes to proof read? Visual artists don't need to master their words like they do their paintbrushes, but they could at least avoid caveman-speak.





This guy from Fond of Caribous Leaf Tiger Leaf Bird was wearing his hat inside-out. It's either the next cool-thing-to-do or ... not.

Closing out the festival was Text of Light, featuring Lee Ranaldo. The band pumps out improvised noise while an (unrelated?) experimental film from the 70s plays behind them. Ranaldo is one of the best guitarists of all time, having co-founded Sonic Youth, so I expected, you know, a little guitar playing. All I got was this:




I've seen quite a few "noise" bands like this before, and after a while, I sorta get it. It's not appealing in the same way music is, but it is another way of pleasing the mind through the ears. In a more indirect route though, because the sounds are not inherently pleasant. More like nightmarish. This experience, it's like a horror film for the ears.

OH ALSO: I finally got a chance to run into the famous Forest City Fashionista, who I rudely interrupted while she chatted with James Reaney, who wrote a London Free Press article about LOLA, which I am in. Or at least one of my crappy tweets is in.

All in all, I had a blast volunteering at LOLA. Many thanks to Titus Ferguson for successfully heading up the digital team. I'm already looking forward to next year.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

LOLA 2010

I was incredibly lucky to be asked to join the digital media team at LOLA Fest this year. For the past 3 days I've been wandering Victoria Park with a shiny new BlackBerry, taking pictures and video, tweeting, and making sure the not-always-live-stream has stuff on it.

I'll write more later, but here is a sampling of the excitement I've experienced so far.



This guy, from the Rhys Chatham Trumpet Trio, was playing the drums with a creepy-ass doll.


The Holy Roller is covered in poppies.

I almost wrote poopies.


This guys seemed to have been killed by Exit 2012. But fortunately, he opened his eyes a moment later, then proceeded to do some sit-ups.



I kind of love this little moment of bromance that I accidentally filmed while Fond of Tigers played.

I was given a backstage pass to explore everything LOLA has to offer. Here is an EXCLUSIVE OMG INSIDE LOOK at the green room that the bands get to hang out in.


That bowl is made out of an old record. That's right, only the best for LOLA artists.


Here is Land of Talk from the backstage side. I was looking forward to seeing them most, and they did not disappoint. Plus, I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Powell when I recorded the interview Katrina Hass did with her. She is such a compelling person; I'll post the interview, with its delightfully awkward moments, when it's available.

There's still another day of LOLA awesomeness. Come on down to Victoria Park if you can, but if you can't, follow along at my Twitter, LOLA's Twitter, or the best of all worlds by searching LOLA on Twitter (this also shows up on screens all over the park, so feel free to make yourself famous). There's also the live stream. Wave when you see me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spoiled

You know how outdated media companies could combat piracy? By seeding file sharing sites with files that have spoilers in the file names. I'd be reluctant to try searching an illicit download site if I'm likely to come across Harry_Potter_6(DVDRiP)_SNAPEKILLSDUMBLEDORE.avi or SurvivorS01E11_Richard_Wins.XviD or Six_Feet_Under_hey_guess_what_everyone_dies.mov.

I don't want to encourage them, but it's not like dying industries read blogs or are capable of trying anything creative.

This new Apple TV, however, is at least a step toward aligning media distribution with this newfangled "internet" thing. There is a sweet spot where it becomes worth paying money to avoid the hassle of searching for something that is otherwise free. At $99 for a device that can instantly dish out 99¢ TV episodes, that sweet spot's hit, at least for me. I'd rather just pay my loonie than take the time to hunt an episode down across multiple sites, download it into submission, then drag it back to the device I consume it on. Sometimes it's better to just order a burger instead of killing your own cow, y'know?

Plus, if I can cancel my cable subscription, it's a net gain.

By the way, I have a full time job now, so all my blog posts will either be really short, or rambling nonsense that randomly goes nowhere, fueled by sleep deprivation and the crushing weight of adulthood.

So, how about baklava eh?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Today someone told me I look like Matthew Fox. Well, I assume Matthew Fox; she actually said "that guy from Lost" and I just assumed it wasn't Sawyer. Wait, what if she meant Hurley? JIN?!



Monday, September 06, 2010

The Horrors Delights of Internet Dating, Volume 9

Like I've said before, not every dating profile is a disaster. Believe it or not, some girls are actually interesting enough to manage to get a little twitch out of my shriveled black heart.

One of the first things people see in a profile is your username. It's delightful to see names that aren't just a combination of your real name and random numbers.



I GET IT.



COCKY.




PROBABLY A NIGHTMARE.



Ok ok, a variation of your real name can be okay if you're awesome about it.

Pictures are, of course, the most important part of a profile. But I think a lot of people underestimate the impact of a great caption. 


I don't know how it's possible to be a serial killer only on the internet, but in any case, I'd totally let her stab me to death then play around with my blood.


It's good to be realistic. This person would probably also get along famously with a retard in tinfoil:


Speaking of the letter B:


Uungh yeah, burp my name baby.

Sometimes it's good to be reassured that a girl doesn't already have too many penises in her life: 


It's also good to know when she has one too many:


But she appreciates good grammar, so it's tempting. As you know, I am a grammar snob (at least when it comes to written profiles), and I am given hope for my romantic future when I see I'm not the only one.


Seriously.


Maybe the lack of punctuation here is ironic.



Cute. Possibly too cute.


It's true. When it comes to undesirable qualities, poor apostrophe usage is right up there with being a demon child.

A desirable quality, however, is knowing what information is important and using Plentyoffish's tag line to get it out of the way immediately:




Speaking of balls:



Ok. Uhh. [Insert segue].


Obvi I sent this person a message. She seemed pretty cool but then I forgot to reply for a few days and then I just never replied. Which is how it usually goes. The internet: I'm doing it wrong. Otherwise I'd be going on actual dates with these people and have a whole new level of horror to blog about then have blow up in my face when these people read it.

As you can probably tell, what my aforementioned shriveled heart really needs is a good shock. Especially after skimming 20 profiles that are almost exactly the same, it is so nice to see something that comes out of nowhere. 


BE MINE.





See also: Volume 8.