Tag: twitter

20 favorite Twitter follows in 2014

It is clear by looking at my Twitter profile that I don’t follow a whole lot of accounts. But every now and then, I’ll find something on Twitter that stands out from the crowd. Here are 20 of the Twitter accounts I enjoyed in 2014, and I would certainly recommend them if your tastes align with mine.

People_followed_by_Jamie_Todd_Rubin___jamietr____Twitter Leo Widrich
Joanna Stern 99U
Damien Walter on Twitter Abandoned on Twitter
Michael Harren on Twitter Upshot on Twitter
Shroud on Twitter FiveThirtyEight on Twitter
QuantifiedSelf on Twitter Michael Rich on Twitter
ThinkUp on Twitter Stephen King on Twitter
Anil Dash on Twitter 27 Good Things on Twitter
Mara Wilson on Twitter Buffer on Twitter
Stacey Harmon Little Red on Twitter

Any recommendations? Drop them in the comments.

Charting Twitter Follower Counts Over Time

There was a time, two or three years ago, when I paid close attention to Twitter statistics, and in particular, that ever important Number of Followers. It’s a number so in vogue that I’ve seen in mentioned in half a dozen TV shows. Somewhere along the way, I pretty much stopped paying attention. The last time that I can remember really watching the number was nearly a year ago, when I was about to head off on vacation. The only reason I kept an eye on it then was because I was about to it 2,222 followers.

Well, it’s a year later, and for some reason, the number caught my eye today, probably because it is creeping close to 3,000 followers. The thing is, it has been a climb, but a very slow one. When I looked at my follower count today, it stood at 2,975. That’s an increase of 732 followers over the course of an entire year! Wil Wheaton I am not.

Back in August, I was playing around with the APIs of many services, including Twitter. I decided to write a little script that would capture changes in my Twitter follower count over time. My script grabs my follower count once per hour–24 times a day–and stores the data in a comma separated file. With more than four full months of data, I thought I’d plot it out today. Here is what it looks like:

Twitter followers over time

The chart begins with me at about 2805 followers and ends with me at 2975 followers. That is a change of 170 followers over 4 months. Or about 1.4 new followers per day on average.

In August there is a big jump–due in large part to my articles at The Daily Beast and 99U. But then things pretty much smooth out and go sideways. I wanted to see if I could predict if I would hit 3,000 followers (I have 25 more to go) before the end of the year. But generating a trend for this chart doesn’t work well because the data is skewed in August.

Still, I can predict a range. The difference in follower counts over the last year is 732. That is about 2 new followers per day. Over the last 4 months, that number is 1.4 new followers per day.

Starting with the low number, and considering that as of today there are 27 days left in the year, then 1.4 * 27 = 37.8 new followers by the end of the year–which would put me over the 3,000 follower mark, with 3013 followers.

If we take the larger number, we get 2 * 27 = 54 new followers by the end of the year. This also puts me over the 3,000 follower mark, with 3,029 followers.

Of course, the trend is volatile. The number can go down, or it might go up significantly. In any case, now I have reasonable confidence that I will pass the 3,000 follower mark by the end of the year. And with that I can stop paying attention once again–until January 1, of course, when I will just have to check to see how my prediction panned out.

My IFTTT Twitter RSS-to-Evernote Recipe is Finally Failing: 2 Workarounds

Last year, Twitter changed its API so that IFTTT could not longer use it as a trigger. Previous to that, I had an IFTTT recipe that sent all of my tweets to Evernote. I came up with a workaround that used Twitter’s RSS feed to send all of my Tweets to Evernote. That worked for a long time, but it looks like, as of yesterday, it has started to fail:


I think quite a few people were using this IFTTT recipe as a convenient way to automate getting their tweets into Evernote. Now that it is now longer working, the big question is: are there any alternatives? I think there are at least 2:

Option 1: Use the @myEn feature in Evernote

The @myEn feature is fully documented on the Evernote blog. But the gist of it is this:

  1. Follow @myEn on Twitter
  2. The @myEn account will follow you back
  3. The @myEn account will send you a direct message with a link.
  4. Click on the link to link your Twitter and Evernote accounts.

Once this has been set up, any time you include @myEn in a Tweet, that Tweet will be automatically captured in Evernote.

Option 2: Forward Tweets to Facebook and Use IFTTT to send Facebook updates to Evernote

You can configure Twitter to automatically send your Tweets to Facebook. Each time you Tweet, your tweet will be relayed to your Facebook account. Of course, this only works if you have a Facebook account. You can set up this integration in your Twitter settings, under your Profile settings:


Once this has been set up, you can use an IFTTT recipe to forward all of your Facebook status updates to Evernote. I have created an IFTTT recipe for those who want to use mine.

What is my preference?

I prefer the second method for 2 reasons:

  1. I almost never update my Facebook status directly. I always do it through tweets, which are then sent to Facebook.
  2. I don’t have to add any additional information to my Tweets. I don’t have to remember to add “@myEn”, for instance, and I don’t have to use up 5 characters of the Tweet message by adding @myEn.

Anyone else have suggestions? I’d be interested to hear them.

ETA: Turns out option #2 doesn’t work nearly as well as I hoped. This appears to be because Facebook distinguishes between status updates and Wall Posts. Twitter->Facebook integration appears to be a wall post, and not a status update. So I am still looking for better alternatives.

The Twitter twipping point

I noted today on my Twitter feed that I have reached what I call (in Elmer Fudd-like tones) a Twitter twipping-point; that is: the point at which your number of followers exceeds the number of people you follow. As of a little while ago, I followed 198 people and had 199 followers. I’m not really certain what the significance of this tipping point is, but it felt significant enough to call out.

I will say that Twitter has overtaken Facebook in my social networking toolbox. It used to be that I checked Facebook first and foremost and kept checking throughout the day. Now, I find that I check Twitter first and am following it throughout the day. I am only checking Facebook once or twice a day–and even then, I see a lot of duplicate stuff because of all of the relays people have (myself included) from one to the other.

I like Twitter because it follows that Shakespearean adage: brevity is the soul of wit.

Facebook/Twitter integration FAIL: a quick fix?

Yesterday my integration between Twitter and Facebook broke once again. This morning, rather than go through the elaborate steps I worked out last time, the IT guy in me rebelled and decided to experiment. Here’s a simply fix that I tried (in intuition) and in this case, it worked for me:

  1. Go to Facebook
  2. Go to Apps
  3. Click on Twitter
  4. Under Apps Permissions UNCHECK Facebook Profile
  5. When the litte spinner stops spinning, RECHECK Facebook Profile

That’s it. Once I did that it jogged loose whatever was wrong with the integration and when I tweeted 20 seconds later, it showed up on Facebook instantly.

If you are running into integration trouble, I’d give this a try first.

Upgrade to WordPress 3.1 and Feedburner

Last night, I upgraded the site to the production release of WordPress 3.1 and there are some definite visible improvements. One of the most convenient is the improved ability at linking within the site. I haven’t fully investigated all of the other goodies packed into this release, but I must say that since I switched to a self-installed and managed WordPress site, I’ve been very impressed by the quality of the software and its ease-of-use.

WordPress 3.1 is supposed to also have some enhanced search capabilities. I’m eager to look into that as soon as I can find the time.

Also, yesterday, I finally redirected the RSS feed for the site to Feedburner in order to get more metrics. This appears to be a pretty cool tool, but I’ve temporarily stopped the redirect in order to test out a theory. It seems that once I did the redirect, the SFWAauthors twitter feed stopped picking up my site. That makes me think the feed is based on RSS and when I changed the RSS feed, SFWAauthors could no longer find my blog. If this post gets picked up by the SFWAauthors feed, I’ll know that is indeed the case and can have that updated accordingly.

Twitter-to-Facebook integration FAIL

Over the last few days, a lot of people have been experiencing a major FAIL relaying tweets from Twitter to Facebook. I experienced this annoying failure as well, and here are the steps I took to fix it two days ago:

From Facebook

  1. Go to Apps -> Twitter
  2. Disconnect the app (click the “Want to disconnect…?” link toward the top of the app screen)
  3. When prompted to confirm, click OK
  4. Logout of Facebook: Account -> Logout

From Twitter

  1. Settings -> Connections
  2. Under Twitter for Facebook, click Revoke Access
  3. Sign out of Twitter

From Facebook

  1. Sign in
  2. Go to Apps -> Twitter
  3. Sign into the app (Twitter username/password)
  4. Click Allow
  5. App permissions -> Check Facebook Profile (be sure to wait for the spinner next to the check box stop spinning)
    • If you get a popup here, follow the instructions. I didn’t get a popup box every time I did this

From Twitter

  1. Sign in
  2. At this points, Tweets should go to Facebook

Note: this worked for me when I followed these steps a few days ago. The integration seems to be messed up again this morning, but it looks like it has to do with issues on the Twitter side. I’ve been getting some timeouts even accessing the Twitter site, so issues today may be different from what was going on a few days ago.