Woven Together Differently

Adventures in social media enlightenment

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What if Twitter were like a gently flowing river?

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I never wanted to be one of those people who says they don’t have time for social media. Not least because I have spent my professional life telling people – oh, but you do have time for social media! And it’s not so much that I don’t have time. I could make time, and I do where I can. I sometimes spend my commute catching up on Twitter or writing blog posts (case in point, I’m writing this post on the train). I also usually find myself checking Facebook in the evening, after dinner.

There is time and I make it where I can. But even where I make time, I don’t always have the head for it. After an early morning, a commute, a full day at work, cooking dinner and getting ready for work the next day – my brain can’t really handle any thing more complex than the thought of going to bed. I find myself of an evening, scrolling through my various news feeds, only to realise that my head is somewhere else and I haven’t actually read anything. At the end of the day, Twitter and Facebook are just a bit too overwhelming. When my brain has spent all day processing and juggling various bits of information, the last thing it wants is to be bombarded with more information.

I like to drink Yogi tea. Mainly because of the little zen sayings that they put on the teabag tags. These nuggets of wisdom are kind of like tweets – only more calming. As I was reading a tag the other day, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I’d get more out of Twitter if I just received the odd tweet here and there – on the teabag tags during my tea breaks, on a napkin when I eat my lunch, on a sign post as I take my afternoon walk, spray painted on a fence seen from the train window (my favourite piece of train ride graffiti is the ‘It was all a dream’ outside Rotterdam Centraal).

I think my brain could just about manage that.


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A round-up of Google Maps interestingness

1. View tweets sent from a particular location on Google Maps
Google maps tweets

This week, whilst searching on Google Maps, I came across a feature I hadn’t noticed before. It seems that if you have the Hootsuite bookmarklet, you can also see results for tweets sent near the location you’re looking for. You can set the radius to between 500 metres and 25 kilometres and even add it as a stream on Hootsuite.

I can imagine this feature might be useful for someone wanting to research a particular area or a company organising an event. It’s also really fun to play around with!

2. Paintings of cities superimposed on to Google Street View

Image by Halley Docherty

Image by Halley Docherty

Halley Docherty has created a fascinating series of collages by superimposing paintings of cities on to their modern day Street View. I love the way the original painting and the moment in time captures by Google merge into one another. It is also fascinating to see how much the cities have changed, but also how some – like Venice and Amsterdam – have remained unchanged for hundreds of years!

3. Google Faces


This project from Omformative created a face detection algorithm to find faces on Google Maps. Some of the images – like the one above – are really stunning. I was also fascinated to learn about the phenonmenon of Pareidolia!

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This much we know: people don’t like change

Small change. Image by Adam Bartlett. Used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Small change. Image by Adam Bartlett. Used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Twitter recently launched a new design. I must have been part of a group to receive the new design early, because I was already perfectly comfortable with the new look when everyone else started angrily tweeting about it. In fact, my boyfriend was on Twitter as it happened and let out a cry of dismay. From my vantage point I tried to offer comfort:

That’s not to say that I too wasn’t initially dismayed. But once I recognised this gut reaction in myself, I took a minute to step back and look at the new design objectively. Once I did that, I realised it actually wasn’t that bad. Okay, I thought, I can live with this. Continue reading