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Tech Culture: Epic Fu: How to be a Twitter power user
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Tech Culture: Epic Fu: How to be a Twitter power user

10:25 /

This week we run down all the Twitter tools you'll ever need to make yourself a Twitter god or goddess! Find local Twitterers in your area, phone in your Twitters, discover the best links in everyone's Tweets, and tons more. Plus the FU of the Week is served by an IBM master inventor who connected his house to Twitter, and the Artist of the Week is the designer of the infamous FailWhale!

[ Sound effect ] ^M00:00:04 >> Zadi: This episode of Epic Fu is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force and GoDaddy. ^M00:00:09 [ Music ] ^M00:00:13 >> Zadi: Hey guys, I'm Zadi and this is Epic Fu. This week we're going ga ga for Twitter -- Twitter mania -- this is Twitter -- wait, this is Twitter, right? You have 140 characters to tell the world what you're doing. As a Twitter fan Ricky says, "Twitter is a way of life." Twitter is the creme de la creme of the social web. All the big hitters of the new media world are there and more importantly, I'm there. Now that you know the basics let's master the art of twittering. Stick with me kid you'll be a Twitter star. Thanks to the power of its API there are tons of apps, services, and mash-ups to super size your Twitter experience. Slow down tiger let's start at the beginning. Step 1, you've gotta find peeps to follow so why not start locally. At Twitter Local you can search for tweets [assumed spelling] in your neighborhood, just enter you zip code and a search radius and it'll give you a real-time list of updates near you. It's perfect for impromptu meet-ups or other encounters. Once you get a few quality people on your list try Twubble, it's a cool little service that recommends new Twitter buddies by scanning your followers friends to see who you're missing, nobody slips through the cracks, and don't forget your family, your Fu family, me, Steve, and the rest of the Fu crew are all on Twitter. Hit us up why don't ya? Step 2, searching and tracking. Twitter is a vast resource of up to the minute info on pretty much everything that's going on in the world. After acquiring the surmised search engine Twitter's search is frickin' [phonetic] awesome. It has real-time search results and notifies you as new results come in, and if you want to persistently track something like, I don't know, your name, [cough] ego, take note of the RSS feed link, you could subscribe to these results in your favorite feed reader or use a service like Feed My Inbox to aggregate results and e-mail you daily. Choices, I always give you choices. How about Sweet Scan for Twitter searches, it offers its own e-mail delivery service and caches Twitter updates beyond their lifespan on Twitter.com. Step 3, stay on top of what's buzzing in the Twitter sphere. Twitterly looks sort of like Digg, it scans the public time line for Tweets with URL's and pushes the most popular links to the top of the page. For a different approach check out Twit Scoop, instead of ranking URL's it scans every word on Twitter and generates a real-time list of tags weighted by popularity. Another favorite of ours is Twit Me, it's a less structured approach to tracking links on Twitter, it categorizes them into blog image video and audio posts, now you can stay ahead of the curve by spying on popular stuff before most everyone else. Sure, you can manually refresh your Twitter Home page over and over until your browser crashes but there are easier ways to stay fresh, which takes us to step 4, desktop apps, our favorites are Twirl and Twitterific. If your on Windows it's a no-brainer, Twirl is Quals platform and free, it sports a nice layout, connects multiple Twitter accounts, cross posts to other services, and lots more. Mac users can also check out Twitterific, it feels more Mac-like and supports ground notifications, but you might want to turn off the sound boards. Hold on to your tighty whizy -- whizies -- hold on to your tighty whities it's time for the Twitter lightening round. [inaudible] you want to tweet your photos, fine, a lot of people love Twit Pick, send photos from your cell phone or upload them to Twirl and they'll automatically post to Twitter. Cool but we love to keep our photos on Flicker so check out this alternative. Twitter Gram monitors your Flicker photo stream and select will be photo spaced on your tags. [inaudible] get Tweets on your cell. [inaudible] is built into Twitter but it's not really reliable, try these options instead. How would you like to phone in your Twitter updates? With Twit sites phone to Twitter service you just call and leave a voice message, they'll transcribe it and all you iPhone lovin' tech [inaudible] have lots of options including a few from the iTunes apps store, but we like web based Hollow best, it's [inaudible] UI rocks and it doesn't require a download. Everyone else can hit up Twitter's own [inaudible] friendly mobile site at m.twitter.com. Not as nice but it'll get the job done. Lots of Twitter goodies including our artist of the week and creator of Twitter's infamous Fail Whale, Yi Yang Lu [assumed spelling]. Lu's work was originally a piece of self illustration until it got picked up by Twitter to fill the void during down time, now the image has become a universal symbol for fail and a web phenomenon in its own right. And Lu is much more than the Fail Whale inventor, she has a rich portfolio of illustrations and pictograms. [sound effect] >> Ya know, I've always wanted to be part of the Space Program and I feel the Air Force is an exciting place to do just that. Most people don't realize the Air Force Space Program is equivalent to NASA in size and scope and most cases larger. The Shuttle launches about once a month and I've got 3 launches here in the next 30 days, so if you want to be in the Space Program the Air Force is a great way to do it. ^M00:04:27 [ Sound effect ] ^M00:04:34 [ Music ] ^M00:05:26 >> Zadi: Okay, we'd like to thank our sponsor GoDaddy, the number one registrar of choice for yours truly and now you can register [inaudible] names too. Their private domain registration keeps all your info out of the public database and away from spammers. Plus, enter code Fu1 when you check out and get an additional 10% off your entire order. Support Epic Fu and save money in one lethal blow, get your piece of the internet at GoDaddy.com. For the full list of Epic Fu offer codes hit up EpicFu.com slash offers. [sound effect] We have a lot of fun on Twitter but it can also be a platform for important projects. What if you wanted to use Twitter to see how much energy you're using in your home? [sound effect] This week the golden finger is being served by IBM Master Inventor Andy Stamford Clark, [assumed spelling] an innovator in home automation who connected his home to Twitter. [sound effect] Master Inventor is a pretty prestigious title, what is that, ya know, how do you actually become a Master Inventor? >> Andy: Master Inventor is an IBM title that as people get lots of inventions, I've got 40 patents to my name since I've got with IBM. >> Zadi: And how long have you been doing this? >> Andy: I've been a Master Inventor since 2002 but I've been inventing all my life at IBM, which is 17 years now. The work I do for IBM in my day job is to work on what we called MQ [inaudible] technology, which allows us to link remote sensors up to some back-end computer systems. Just one day I thought to wire up my house would be a really great showcase for this technology. >> Zadi: So is that what Andy's house is, Tweetjects? What's Tweetjects? >> Andy: Tweetjects are objects that Twitter, so rather than a person twittering it's an inanimate object. >> Zadi: What made you decide to actually use Twitter as a platform? >> Andy: Several years ago we got into another term, Blogjects, which is objects that blog, we did it with some -- with cattle so cattle could make a resume of some cradle to grave via vaccinations, and getting in and out of trucks, and going through fields so that's really where our Tweetjects came from, it's the micro blogging sort of more event driven version of Blogjects. >> Zadi: So for someone who isn't as, ya know, adept or isn't a Master Inventor or isn't kind of, can't wrap their head around something like this, how is it possible to set up a rudimentary version of what you're doing in your house? >> Andy: It's actually easy, I mean, in terms of what links you want to go to but for example to monitor the temperature just requires a, ya know, electronic thermometer. The monitor that we use for monitoring the energy, the power consumption, is a commercial unit that we buy, a copy called Current Cost here in the UK makes them, that there's a serial connection on the bottom that just plugs into a computer which runs [inaudible] script, which I'm happy to give to anybody [inaudible] publishes the data using the MQ [inaudible] technology from IBM to the Internet, it's actually pretty easy to get online, it's an entry level. >> Zadi: So where do you think the feature of home automation is headed right now? >> Andy: I think around the area of energy consumption everywhere in the world power's getting more expensive. You can imagine a starter home automation kit, so if you get to work and the power consumption is still saying high, oh gee, I left the heater on -- click, click, click and then it turns the heating off for you. In my power monitoring system paid for itself in the first two months. >> Zadi: So, what would you say, in your opinion, was the greatest invention of the 20th century? >> Andy: I think the Internet as we know it today has to be the most life-changing think, I mean, it's almost nobody now that isn't touched by it. >> Zadi: What do you think will be the greatest invention in the 21st? >> Andy: I guess there's two, on a computer geeky sort of level I think cheap massive memory, so that the memory of the computer becomes the storage, but on a more sort of practical level I think a very source of plentiful power is gonna be the way forward. We need a really cheap source of power that's safe and isn't gonna contaminate the world for our children's children and stuff like that, so. >> Zadi: Absolutely >> Andy: If I was gonna put my engine to something it would be that one. >> Zadi: Andy is the nicest Master Inventor I know, for an extended interview and more Tweekjects goodness go to Blog.EpicFu.com. Alright, I don't know about you guys but I've been getting a little bored with the Epic Fu t-shirt promos we've been running the past few episodes. [music] Yeah, that one. [sound effect] So we thought, let's mash it up a bit with your help. We uploaded high-res remix ready clips of Steve, Andy, Sal, and Mike, and the Rickster. Keep your mash-ups under 15 seconds and remember, don't use copyrighted music or videos. Upload your submissions and send us a link to Fu@EpicFu.com, if we use your mash-up we'll send you a free t-shirt. For all the info go to EpicFu.com slash Mash-ups. Before we skedaddle we want to give props to a Rev3 show that you should be watching, Tekzilla with two of our favorite web personalities, Patrick Norton and Veronica Bellmonte [assumed spelling], you can't go wrong with their advice, gadget reviews, and geeky banter, new episodes air Saturdays at noon Eastern. Alright guys, that'll do it for now, until next week I'll see you on Mix. ^M00:09:58 [ Music ] ^M00:10:23 >> Oh my God. ^E00:10:25

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