Tag Archives: twitter

Art in 140 Characters

Is it pos­sible to encode and com­press an image to such a degree that the raw data can fit in a single Twit­ter mes­sage (140 char­ac­ters) that, when decoded again, is still recog­nis­able? The answer to the ques­tions is a resound­ing Yes, as con­firmed by a cod­ing chal­lenge inspired by Mario Klingemann’s attempt to com­press and encode the Mona Lisa down to 140 char­ac­ters.

Klingemann’s attempt, dubbed the Mon­aT­weeta II, is def­in­itely an image recog­nis­able as the Mona Lisa, but it must be said that some of the entries to the main cod­ing chal­lenge are truly breath­tak­ing.

The win­ning tweet (with a char­ac­ter to spare):

咏璘驞凄脒鵚据蛥鸂拗朐朖辿韩瀦魷歪痫栘璯緍脲蕜抱揎頻蓼債鑡嗞靊寞柮嚛嚵籥聚隤慛絖銓馿渫櫰矍昀鰛掾撄粂敽牙稉擎蔍螎葙峬覧絀蹔抆惫冧笻哜搀澐芯譶辍澮垝黟偞媄童竽梀韠镰猳閺狌而羶喙伆杇婣唆鐤諽鷍鴞駫搶毤埙誖萜愿旖鞰萗勹鈱哳垬濅鬒秀瞛洆认気狋異闥籴珵仾氙熜謋繴茴晋髭杍嚖熥勳縿餅珝爸擸萿

via @spolsky

Identification through Anonymous Social Networking Data

Anonym­ity is “not suf­fi­cient for pri­vacy when deal­ing with social net­works” is the con­clu­sion from a study that has suc­cess­fully man­aged to de-anonymise large amounts of san­it­ised data from Twit­ter and Flickr.

The main les­son of this paper is that anonym­ity is not suf­fi­cient for pri­vacy when deal­ing with social net­works. […] Our exper­i­ments under­es­tim­ate the extent of the pri­vacy risks of anonym­ized social net­works. The over­lap between Twit­ter and Flickr mem­ber­ship at the time of our data col­lec­tion was rel­at­ively small. […] As social net­works grow lar­ger and include a great­er frac­tion of the pop­u­la­tion along with their rela­tion­ships, the over­lap increases. There­fore, we expect that our algorithm can achieve an even great­er re-iden­ti­fic­a­tion rate on lar­ger net­works.

There’s been some mer­it­ori­ous cov­er­age of this study. This from BBC News:

The pair found that one third of those who are on both Flickr and Twit­ter can be iden­ti­fied from the com­pletely anonym­ous Twit­ter graph. This is des­pite the fact that the over­lap of mem­bers between the two ser­vices is thought to be about 15%.

This from Ars Tech­nica:

It’s not just about Twit­ter, either. Twit­ter was a proof of concept, but the idea extends to any sort of social net­work: phone call records, health­care records, aca­dem­ic soci­olo­gic­al data­sets, etc.

via Schnei­er

Text as UI (On Twitter)

Put­ting me in mind of Dustin Curtis’ mul­tivari­ate ‘split’ test­ing to increase click-through rates to his Twit­ter pro­file (pre­vi­ously), Jakob Nielsen dis­cusses his iter­at­ive design pro­cess for a Twit­ter mes­sage advert­ising his latest usab­il­ity con­fer­ence.

The mes­sage went from,

Announ­cing LAS VEGAS and BERLIN as the ven­ues for our biggest usab­il­ity con­fer­ence of the year http://bit.ly/UsabilityWeek

to,

LAS VEGAS (Octo­ber) and BERLIN (Novem­ber): ven­ues for our biggest usab­il­ity con­fer­ence ever http://bit.ly/UsabilityWeek

I am by no means a high-out­put Twit­ter user and I dis­like ‘How to Twit­ter’ art­icles with a pas­sion. Nielsen’s latest I quite like because he notes that, in the case of Twit­ter and oth­er micro-blog­ging ser­vices, text is a form of UI in itself.

It’s a com­mon mis­take to think that only full-fledged graph­ic­al user inter­faces count as inter­ac­tion design and deserve usab­il­ity atten­tion. As our earli­er research has shown, URLs and email both con­trib­ute strongly to the Inter­net user exper­i­ence and thus require close atten­tion to usab­il­ity to enhance the prof­it­ab­il­ity of a company’s Inter­net efforts.

The short­er it is, the more import­ant it is to design text for usab­il­ity.

Tests On Language and Click-Through Rates

By vary­ing the lan­guage used in a sen­tence at the end of his art­icles, Dustin Curtis increased click-through rates to his Twit­ter pro­file by 173%.

Dustin describes his mul­tivari­ate (‘split’) test­ing of dif­fer­ent call to action sen­tences, reveal­ing the most per­suas­ive, in a visu­ally excel­lent art­icle.

This puts me in mind of how both Tim Fer­riss and Ram­it Sethi tested vari­ous titles for their products; The 4-Hour Work­week and I Will Teach You To Be Rich respect­ively.

While we’re on the sub­ject;

  • You should sub­scribe to my RSS feed here.
  • You should fol­low me on twit­ter here.

via @zambonini