Twitter Finally Embraced + Twitter Bug

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Tom Keating
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Twitter Finally Embraced + Twitter Bug

twitter-logo.jpg I begrudgingly joined Twitter in December last year, but after joining and playing around with it for awhile I stopped using Twitter. It seemed like its only purpose was to stroke one's own ego by collecting a vast army of "followers". Although rumors have it that I have an 'ego', I just didn't care that much to build up my own Twitter following nor did I care to "follow" other people. I'll leave my "stalking" of people for the real world, thank you very much!

Further, did I really want to "tweet" that "I'm going to lunch" or "Headed to bed" or some other mundane fact? I've heard Twitter can be quite addictive leading users to obsessively "tweet" through all hours of the day & night, leading to lower work productivity, not to mention less sleep. So I personally saw Twitter as tech-crack, a technology drug that once you were hooked, you were never getting off of it. I figured the best course of action was to avoid it at all costs. As it is, I have enough information overload with hundreds of daily emails, dozens of RSS feeds, and dozens of websites I visit daily to stay up on technology. It's a delicate balancing act to read and digest useful information and not burn out. It's taken years for me to perfect my own system. I saw Twitter as something that would irrevocably damage the delicate balance I had finally attained.

Well, I hate to admit it, but I was wrong about Twitter. I was right that Twitter is an ego-kick, but it is NOT just mundane tweets. There is useful information to be had in Twitter, especially if you follow like-minded individuals that follow the same interests as you, i.e. VoIP, telecom, gadgets, electronics, unified communications, etc. An excellent article titled 'Welcome to the Hive Mind; Thumbnail image for startrek-borg.jpg Learn How to Search Twitter' written today put twitter searching and use into perspective. The definition of a hive mind is "a collective consciousness or groupthink". For example, the Borg in Star Trek : The Next Generation were a "hive mind".

The Blog Herald also today explained Twitter's use well when it said, "Most tweets are short, uninteresting and unpolished nuggets. Sometimes they are brilliant, but most often they are not. Every little thought that ends up on Twitter is a blog post not written, and since most of the tweets are unpolished nonsense, it really isn't a loss for traditional blogging."

So I have finally realized the value of Twitter. It essentially is a micro-search engine allowing you to see what other's in your field of interest/experience are thinking or writing about. I have dunk the Twitter Kool-Aid and it is good!

luca-filigheddu-twitter-bug.jpg Now onto a mildly annoying Twitter bug. I follow Luca Filigheddu and his picture/avatar is not displaying under my Following sidebar on Twitter. Instead his full name is displaying (See image), which takes up the space of 3 avatars! I figured out that Twitter uses Amazon's hosted image servces for the profile images and apparently Luca's image doesn't exist on their servers.

Here's the code in the HTML Source file:

<img alt="Luca Filigheddu" class="photo fn" height="24" src="" width="24" /></a>

If you click the hyperlink above to Luca's avatar using Firefox you'll get this funky XML error:
<error><code>NoSuchKey</code><message>The specified key does not exist.</message><key>profile_images/60398980/luca_viso_2008_mini.png</key> <requestid>D691819C4CD424CE</requestid> <hostid>6YSnzpa4feSypq9JANMH/JPi+WEIPG3eb/ijcggG18ph49kGgGZYAi73u6X8QsM9</hostid></error>

Interestingly Internet Explorer gives a 404 error while Firefox displays the XML error above.

So if you visit my Twitter profile you'll see this bug. You'll also see it on other people's profiles that are also following Luca Filigheddu.

Check these Twitter profiles out and see the bug for yourself: (make sure to follow me if interested)

I suppose the "bug" might be a good thing for Luca. I randomly came across some other Twitter profiles and Luca's full name was displayed in the Following sidebar. He might get a few extra followers that way since his name is more prominent that the 24x24 pixel avatar pictures.

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