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Archive for September 4th, 2009

State Police License Plates

State Police License Plates

Tomorrow marks the start of the Labor Day weekend…meaning NO labor!

Like many of you I’m thankful to have a job and will hit the roads for some relaxing “wind in the face” time over the holiday.  Be safe!

It’s no secret that law enforcement agencies are putting more officers out on the roadways.  In fact, fatal crash statistics tracked by ODOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) (.pdf) indicate the Labor Day holiday period is historically the second deadliest on Oregon roads.  On average since 1970, seven traffic-related deaths occur in Oregon each year during Labor Day holiday.  Eleven people died during last year’s Labor Day holiday period in 9 separate fatal traffic crashes.  Nine of the deaths were alcohol or drug involved.

Enjoy the long weekend!

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Twitter Follower - a.k.a. "Jasmine"

Twitter Follower - a.k.a. "Jasmine"

There needs to be a neon sign on Twitter pronouncing the online equivalent of “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.”

And speaking of neon maybe we should blame it on John Mayer (@johncmayer)?   He was one of the early celeb adopters of Twitter to lure fans.  And as we all know in social media, where celebs go, D-listers, sex peddlers and the rash of come-ons follow.

What am I ranting about? In a word, is hookers!  Twitter over the last month has ramped up and displayed similarities to the old porn days of MySpace—and that should be a red flag for Biz Stone, founder of the company.  Over a ten-day span in August I received 33 new “followers” whose profile pages depicted naked or scantily clad women.   In fact, my recent tweet telling blog followers about how to stay cool in the Wenatchee heat during a Canada trip instantly got me an “@-message” saying: “Here’s how I cool down in my Kelowna home.” When I clicked on the link, let’s just say I nearly missed the glass of ice tea!

Okay some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking…  “Hey @macrant, I’m bored at work and so what if the profile is littered with pictures of semi-clothed bodies?”

Here’s what’s objectionable.  They waste my time processing “Twitter Trash” (a.k.a. SPAM) vs. researching and writing blog posts.  Twitter has no Askimet filter like WordPress and it is so time consuming and clunky to eliminate SPAM that it’s as if they want to encourage porn?!   Reporting spam on Twitter is like calling the DMV… 2 languages, 7 level deep phone menu for just the hours of operation… waaaaay too cumbersome a process.  There’s no reason why Twitter can’t catch most spam, or at least make it super simple to report.  Hell, most all “new followers” don’t even have a real name. We’re not at the mercy of viral-marketing geniuses here…. are you hearing any of this Mr. Stone?

Sure Twitter features a “block” or “message” on a person’s profile, but it doesn’t offer a “report spam” button. You have to follow an account called “SPAM,” and then copy the URL and send a direct message to that account with the complaint.  I did this for “Holly” and “Jasmine” and a couple others who I think got suspended. Fine. But I don’t take the time anymore and I suspect MANY users don’t either or won’t figure out how to report the names—or go to the trouble. I think it takes double the number of steps to flag a spamming account than it takes to create a new one… there’s a no-win to the battle.

It seems Twitter management has taken a hands-off “live and let live” approach.  I have one word.  Craigslist!  They had similar ethos about content traded over its platform, but after a lot of staff expenses tied up in legal/law enforcement activity, even they now crack down on spam and solicitation.

Hey, I’m all for tolerance, but Twitter should stop wasting our time or they will suffer the consequences of declining use by real people.

Photo courtesy of Japan Dolls Convention.

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