As part of our social media roadmap in the September 2012 issue of Fast Company, we asked social media’s savviest users about their best practices. Use this guide to share their rules, then add yours, and we’ll keep charting a course through this rocky terrain.
They’re sometimes called “bimbots”—the army of Twitter bots with pretty profile pictures. Who are the women pictured in those photos? This is the story of the quest to find out.
On July 4th, Odd Future band member and 2011 breakout star Frank Ocean posted a grainy screengrab of his new album’s liner notes on Tumblr. In the “thank you’s” section, he described falling in love with a man, and the heart-wrenching experience of being rejected. His story wasn’t really about sexuality so much as love—falling into it, accepting it, and requiting it. Those subtleties didn’t seem to matter on Twitter, where the 24-year-old was barraged with homophobic slurs and hateful messages—despite statements of support from Beyonce, Russell Simmons, and even (arguably homophobic) Odd Future frontman Tyler the Creator. Weirdly, the media portrayed Ocean’s story as a triumph for an industry where homosexuality is taboo. But a cursory look at Twitter told another, uglier story.
But what is the Internet, if not a vehicle for vigilante justice? After seeing the outpouring of hate on Twitter, five young Swedish designers decided to build a website that would leverage the power of the Interweb to defend Ocean.
Silenced By Twitter, Thunderclap Returns With A Bang On Facebook
The Kickstarter-style messaging platform that Twitter shut down less than two weeks ago is back. This time it’s taking its flash mob approach to Facebook—and taking calls from the White House, Al Jazeera, Glenn Beck’s crew, and the United Nations.
Beyond Meat is… Twitter!
Beyond Meat, a startup that makes vegan meat analogues, is making products that purportedly taste and feel like real meat (we haven’t yet confirmed this ourselves), have a better nutrition profile (no cholesterol, no saturated fat, but lots of protein), and will eventually be at a lower price point than the industrially-farmed stuff. The company has some surprising backers, especially the Obvious Corporation—a company founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and former Twitter VP of Product Jason Goldman—and venture capitalist powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Why is Beyond Meat garnering so much interest?
Before Twitter was Twitter, Twitter was Twttr. And before that, Twitter was Odeo, a podcasting company.
Making sense of Twitter’s history is a bit like trying to follow a discussion on Twitter: It depends on who you listen to.
What everyone agrees on is that it started out in 2005 as Odeo, a podcasting company founded by Evan Williams. When Apple iTunes moved into podcasting, Odeo found itself going nowhere fast, and so it needed to pivot. Here’s where it gets murky. The official story is that one of Odeo’s engineers, Jack Dorsey, had developed a messaging service that allowed instant updates; Williams gave back $5 million in seed capital he had raised to his investors, and Twttr (vowels were added later) was born…
Skype’s first international advertising campaign drives home the dehumanizing effects of its non-televisual competition, Facebook and Twitter. See more->
To illustrate how much Twitter drove our global dialogue, we culled the most talked-about topics into a crossword puzzle. Click here for the answers.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies: Twitter
He tells me a story about how his father, an engineer and semi-serial entrepreneur, helped him build a model of a mass spectrometer out of Legos, ball bearings, and magnets when he was 11. (A few weeks later, Dorsey’s father, Tim, tells me his version of the story, taking the time to teach me the concept of mass spectrometry. In the Lego device, the magnets were there to encourage ball bearings of different sizes to arrange themselves by weight, just as a real device would do with gases of different weights. “Did it work?” I ask. “No! It was a disaster!” Tim Dorsey laughs. “But we had a great time!”)
From our story about Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Square and Twitter. Read more->
Your profile photo is an important part of your online image, so if you still have an egg as your Twitter avatar or a blue-and-white silhouette for your Facebook page, it’s time to step things up. (Hint: This photo is a “don’t.”)
We’re big fans of @Jack here at Fast Company. You’ll find out why in our next issue.
They have these super cool cabanas at the Square office
Twitter exec Adam Bain predicts at least half of Super Bowl XLVI ads will include a hashtag.
The social media analytics company Bluefin Labs figures out what people are saying about TV on social media—now they’ll try to figure out why they’re saying it.
Eric Fischer used geotagged tweets to create maps of the most highly trafficked thoroughfares in major cities.