Archive for March, 2009

Twitter made interesting by twistori?

March 31st, 2009

Twitter got off to a blazing start with developers and geeks alike, but now seems to be drawing in the Facebook crowd as well. I have to admit that I was initially pretty slow on the uptake, I just didn’t see the point given that I’d already bothered putting effort into Facebook and most of my friends (be they real friends or Internet friends) were over on Facebook, not on Twitter.

People also seem to use Twitter in a variety of different ways, some people use it as a dumping ground to talk about daily activities to do with life and work, others use it to ask questions and seek responses, some repost as much of the Internet as they can in abbreviated format assuming that we can’t use Google to find things we might be interested in, and finally those who call themselves the hardcore users pretty much treat it like it’s an IRC channel.

Personally, I’m unfollowing more and more people just so I can narrow it down to things that I actually want to read about, rather than feeling like what I’d imagine someone would feel like if they’d newly acquired the power of telepathy, too much bloody noise invading your head at once and no way to control it other than to block it all out.

On the flip side though, it’s interesting to look at what aggregator services are doing with Twitter, such as the one currently being promoted if you actually log in to the Twitter site rather than using a 3rd party tool such as TwitterFox or Tweetdeck.

Twistori offers you up six very emotive slices of the public Twitter timeline, broken down into love, hate, think, believe, feel, and wish. Every few seconds you have a new public tweet scroll past correlating to the slice that you’ve chosen, and it’s really interesting to watch the variety in what people are talking about when it gets down to something specific like that, when there is some comparison to the tweets rather than them all being unrelated.

It’s an interesting concept, I wonder if something similar will come along that will let you enter your own keywords to filter the noise on Twitter and present it in such a simplistic, readable fashion.

Trust – High street vs Online

March 30th, 2009

After a fair few years of wear and tear, being scratched, dropped, sat on and so forth, I decided that it was finally time to replace my glasses with a new pair. It’s always a struggle for me to choose new glasses, it took me about an hour to pick the first pair that I owned, and I probably only slightly improved this time around because if you’re wearing them all the time then it definately has an impact on how you appear to others.

So anyway, we all know the first step is having your eyes testing thoroughly again. To me this is always a bit of an extended affair, better or worse? worse? better? They look the same! Stop twiddling bits of glass in front of me.

Your average eye test in the UK costs around £20, mine was a little more but that’s because I ignored all the adverts and didn’t go to Specsavers, where it’s a fair bit cheaper. That’s a reasonable cost considering the value added by actually being able to see properly and not suffer headaches!

My sight had changed slightly, with the left eye getting slightly better (never quite understood how they do that) and the right eye getting slightly worse, which means that it was reason enough for me to get new glasses.

I’m an avid Internet citizen, so at this point I probably should have had the common sense to walk out of the opticians and go and look online for a pair of frames that I liked, and save a considerable amount of money. That’s not what I did though, instead I picked my designer pair of frames, which weren’t the exact ones I wanted, and spent a whopping £277. I can understand the lenses themselves being expensive, especially with them being thin lenses and coated as well to prevent me seeing halos around absolutely everything thanks to my astigmatism.

So why didn’t I purchase online? I can only guess that it’s down to trust, or perhaps lack of blind faith. I can pick up a pair of frames in my opticians and try them on, make sure that they suit me, and have some option to have them tweaked when they are ready to be picked up.

If I were to buy online, I’d be relying on my imagination to try and picture the glasses on my own face, I wouldn’t be sure how well they fit, how comfortable they are, or have much come back for tweaking the fit if they fall off my face when they arrive.

It seems that the high street still has a place in a lot of consumers lives, even if it comes at a cost. Next time I’ll have to challenge myself and buy online from one of the many up and coming vendors such as:

If you’ve bought glasses online, feel free to give me a shout and share your experiences.