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James Rutherford

Web, design, Newcastle, games and fun!

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Tag: Twitter

Dropbox gives me storage space for my files on the internet and appears on my desktop like a normal folder.

I can allow a number of computers to access the same Dropbox account, to share files between them quickly and easily. It also permits me to share certain folders within my account with specific other Dropbox users, or a group of people. This means that I can swap large Photoshop files with my clients very simply- without having to set up a special FTP area, or post a CD.

Pro Tip: Be a little careful when sharing files that may be edited by more than one person- with some software it’s possible to overwrite each others’ changes.

You can sign up for Dropbox here. Their free tier offers you 2GB of space to play with, though you and I will both get 250MB extra space for free if you use my referral link. Not bad!

TweetDeck helps me manage Twitter.

It’s especially useful for managing multiple accounts, or to keep a search stream running on particular terms or hashtags.

Pro Tip 1: By default, TweetDeck notifies you of any new posts, which is distracting. You can turn this off by finding the ‘Settings’ menu (the icon that looks like a spanner), selecting ‘Notifications’, clicking ‘Advanced Options for columns’ and unticking the alert sound boxes. I have streams set up for new posts, mentions and DMs on my main Twitter accounts, but alert notifications just on the latter two.

Pro Tip 2: You can filter out stuff you’re not interested in by using the ‘Global Filter’, also in the ‘Settings’ menu. I currently have mine set to filter out: ‘@runkeeper, rnkpr.com, 4sq.com, gowal.la, go.nike.com’.

You can download TweetDeck here. I also use TweetDeck on my iPhone- it’s a little buggy, but still my favourite Twitter client.

Spotify keeps me fed with music.

It’s a little like having your own personalised radio station- you can choose from a large catalogue of music, cue up and create playlists.

They no longer offer the tier that I have, but you can get 5 hours usage a month (ad-supported) for free. Paid for accounts offer uninterrupted music and the facility to download it to listen to offlline.

You can find out more about Spotify here.

TrueCrypt gives me peace of mind. Last year, my computer was stolen (and thankfully, recovered intact). TrueCrypt seamlessly locks a hard-disk drive with a password.

Pro Tip: Best time to set this up is with a clean, fresh computer! I have essentials (Windows, TrueCrypt software, web browser and virus software) on my primary drive and am trying to put everything else (programs and data) on my larger, encrypted drive. The justification being that [1] I should be able to operate on a basic level with the primary drive and [2] That I can remove the second drive and use it elsewhere if the primary drive fails.

You can download TrueCrypt here.

Late last night here (4PM PST) Twitter held a press conference to make some announcements about their service.

They unveiled the new version of the user home page, which will be split into two panes – one for the timeline (which will now scroll automatically) and one to give extra contextual information on any selected tweet. A message about a video, for example, will be presented alongside the video itself.

While this isn’t game changing, it demonstrates that they’re keen to feed people a richer aspect on the information (going from ‘tell’ to ‘tell and show’), and to retain people on their site – most probably as a step towards monetisation by contextual advertising.

They claimed that currently, 70% of users access the service via their website – which surprised me given the prevalence and quality of handheld clients and power of their API. I’d expect Twitter to update their official client apps soon to mirror the functionality.

Staged roll-out of the new version of the service (#newtwitter) is happening already and will continue over the next couple of weeks. A preview in the promo video below:

They were also keen to emphasise that users did not have to post their own content to take part in Twitter- perhaps as a strike at convincing advertisers that engaged users are far more numerous than active posters, or perhaps they’re looking to directly increase their appeal to content creators and distributors.

Not mentioned in press conference, but likely relevant: They’ll be rolling out their own link shortening service over the coming months. This will give them a deeper hold on the peripheral information and the way people are using it (click-throughs, propagation, etc).

References:

Twitter’s overview page.

Another take on Twitter’s strategy from Usrlab.

Tyne Twestival took place at The Tyne Bar last night.

Tickets were available for £4 (or £20 for generous donors), and included two free £3 drink vouchers. Even my rusty mental arithmetic can tell you that’s a good value night- especially when the ticket cost is a charity donation… thanks, sponsors!

So, a night of drink, chat, cupcakes, raffle prizes and live music- and a good opportunity to put faces to Twitter names, and meet some new people to boot.

There was a good mix of people I knew, knew of, and didn’t know at all- and it was certainly well attended. The outside area was a bustling mass, especially for the raffle call (which was compèred by the rather smooth Paul Smith).

Personally, I shied from the music- I prefer something a bit less attention-grabbing when there’s good chat to be had – though I appreciate it adds to the atmosphere of a space like the Tyne Bar pen.

Altogether, Tyne Twestival 2010 looks to have raised more than £1450 from ticket sales, and another £590 on the night for charity Concern, neatly smashing the £1500 target. [Update: £2,803.05!]

See: Thomas Jackson Photography, Shepy’s photos, Specular’s photo set, , Audio clip (warning, it’s a bit ‘Eurovision’!), wishli.st blog entry, Brittany Coxon (photo set, video1, video2, video3).

YourFilm video:

(more photos linked as and when I find ‘em!)

Follow: @TyneTwestival for future events.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/travellingman06/sets/72157623582427025/

Newcastle / Tyne Twestival will take place tonight from 7pm at The Tyne Bar.

It’s a social meet-up event for folk who use Twitter, featuring local bands and competitions, organised to fundraise for a charity – Concern.

I know a slice of the attendee list, follow a larger chunk, and know of most of the rest, so it should be a nice mix of familiar and partly familiar for me.

We seem to be well on the way to making the fundraising target, but I believe there are still tickets available. Grab one and come join in the fun!

Twitter: follow @TyneTwestival / search for #TyneTwestival

Tickets and more information: Newcastle Twestival Website