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Archive for the ‘Human Interest’ Category

Dustin Curtis awkwardly ending all conversations in ‘you should follow me on Twitter here’

In Human Interest, Startups on May 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

Dustin Curtis, the designer who wrote the blog post that popularized the “You should follow me on Twitter here” message seen today on so many blogs, has now started using the phrase in everyday conversation.

“I was like, ‘Where? What?’ He didn’t point or anything. He just said it,” said Shannon Foster, a barista at a coffee shop near Curtis’ home.

Friends of Curtis say the awkward line isn't as bad as the time he wore his personal logo, pictured above, as a mask for a week.

Curtis’ popular phrase has yet to catch on in conversation, likely due to the fact that spoken words cannot be hyperlinked.

“I’m trying it out for a while,” said Curtis. “Actually, I’m trying a few phrases and seeing what works best. Just like I did in the blog post.”

Curtis is committed to finding a way to gain Twitter followers from everyday conversations. He has tried several methods, including a t-shirt, which he considers a cliche.

“There’s just too many Twitter shirts these days,” said Curtis. “You’ve gotta stand out.”

“You should follow me on Twitter here,” he added.

You should follow Founder Daily on Twitter here.

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Black people better at Twitter, according to Berkeley study

In Human Interest, Technology on April 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

A recent study out of Berkeley has found that Americans of African descent are better than their lighter-skinned compatriots when it comes to tweeting.

“Not just better,” said Ashley Wessley, a graduate student and the study’s author, “but clearly better.”

Spike Lee was noted as an exception in the study, his Twitter feed described as 'SMS diarrhea.'

The study followed Twitter’s trending topics for several months, collecting data from millions of tweets. Trending hashtags examined by the study include #idontunderstandwhy, #younotfromdetroit, #notsexy, #isturnedonby, #iwasthekid, #whenyourblack, #isbetterthan, #blackpeoplemovies, #imthetype, #iseewhyyoumad and #deletemynumberif.

“After I collected the data, I applied the NBA principle and I arrived at my conclusion,” said Wessley. Established in 1995 by Harvard sociologists, the NBA principle states that if it seems overwhelmingly obvious that one race is better at something, they probably are.

“There’s almost always at least two trending topics that are 90% black people,” said Wessley. “No other race has that.”

Wessley attributes the gap in tweets to poor tweeting habits from other races, particularly whites and Asians. “Fully 86% of tweets from white people amounted to different versions of ‘Hey, I’m on a plane!’ and Asians aren’t nearly offensive enough in their tweets to be interesting to readers,” she said.

That offensiveness might be the key to Twitter equality.

“Be less politically correct,” said Wessley. “It’s okay to tweet bad stuff. Your life doesn’t have to be presented as perfect. It’s just Twitter and nobody really gives a shit anyway.”

Wessley expressed relief at the completion of her study, a major project in her final semester.

“I’m super relieved,” she said. “If I had found white people were better, I never would have been able to publish.”

Dave McClure furious at plainly styled pitches, e-mails

In Human Interest, Startups on April 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

Dave McClure is pissed.

“Not just pissed,” he says, “but bold and italicized pissed.”

He adds, “Hell, make it red text too. I’m really that mad.”

The 500 Startups founder has had some time to catch up on his e-mails after the launch of 22 startups at the 500 Startups Demo Day, only to be disappointed by a complete lack of effort on the part of senders.

“How am I supposed to know which words are important?” he asks, shaking his screen. “None of them are bold. Not even one blue word or green word.”

McClure asks, "Can you bold the word pissed when you publish this? I dont think they'll get it otherwise."

For McClure, it’s not a new problem. The prominent angel investor pours hours into carefully selecting words to bold, italicize and highlight on his blog and in his e-mails, but fails to get the same response in return.

“It’s like I’m holding the door open for everyone, and everyone is slamming it right in my face,” says McClure. “The other day I had to sit through a PowerPoint presentation which used one typeface for the whole damn thing.”

“I just zoned out,” says McClure. “I once invested in someone who gave me a ride when I needed one. This isn’t hard, people. Control+B. Control+U.”

“Or Command if you’re on a Mac.”

Social media guru uses QR code for suicide note

In Human Interest on April 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Michael Schulton, a self-proclaimed social media guru, will not be remembered for the grisly way he ended his life or for his disturbing final tweets.

Instead, he’ll be remembered for the creative way he wrote his suicide note: In the form of a QR code.

Schulton spent all 4,096 characters rambling about his failures in life, love and business.

“I was always impressed by how Mike could make things fun and neat with technology,” said Shannon Sperrod, his roommate and finder of his lifeless body.

“One minute, I’m horrified,” said Sherrod, “and the next I have my phone out, curious about this QR code. It was really engaging and interactive. He was great with that stuff.”

The note contained instructions to tweet it out, which Sherrod did. It got a total of 5 retweets and eventually 2 Likes on Facebook.

Attempts were made by Founder Daily to interview his Twitter followers, which number at 58,023, but only Viagra offers were given as replies.

Funeral services for Schulton will be held on Friday. His friends on Facebook can check for the details on the event he set up.

Billion-dollar homepage owner confident display resolutions will increase

In Human Interest, Startups on February 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Anthony Bodelli knows a good idea when he sees it, and he recently capitalized on the Million Dollar homepage idea by creating the Billion Dollar homepage.

“Yeah, Alex Tew had a great idea: A website worth a million dollars,”¬†said Bodelli with a sheepish grin.¬†“But you know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”

Anyone can purchase display space on the website, at just one dollar per pixel. With over 31,000 pixels on each side, Bodelli has plenty of inventory left. He’s sold just 41 pixels, all to friends and family.

Most of the pixels have gone towards spelling out the word ‘cock’.

“I had some friends beta test it for me. So far I’ve mostly had complaints about all of the scrolling required to get around the page,” said Bodelli.

The width of the homepage is about 24 times what most monitors can display.

“Technology will catch up,” said Bodelli. “It always does. It’s just a matter of time.”

Headhunter struggles to find social media expert with 7 years Facebook experience

In Human Interest on February 9, 2011 at 5:19 am

Philip Dimbold always gets his man. It says so on his business card. He’s a headhunter.

But today, he gloomily checks his e-mail inbox for new applicants for a social media position.

“Five years. Four years. Five and half. Seven including Friendster,” he says, checking through the list. “Close, but no cigar.”

Several of his clients have paid Dimbold to find social media experts with certain levels of experience with the mega-popular social network Facebook. He’s yet to find any that have seven years under their belt.

“The demand is there. Clients are very specific about what they want. In certain fields, there are these mysterious dropoffs in experience levels,” says Dimbold. “I went through 200 applicants last week looking for one that had ten years of Ruby on Rails experience. Nothing.”

Dimbold attributes the mysterious dropoffs in experience levels to better learning, “It takes a while for schools to get the hang of these things.”

“I know that’s the reason,” says Dimbold, “because every time I get someone that actually does claim to have seven years of experience with Facebook, they turn out to be some kind of idiot.”