• Posts

    Twitter Accounts Suspended – Gov 2.0 Expo Related?

    UPDATE Sept 9th, 9:35am: My personal account @DanielleMorrill looks like it is up again, I just sent a test tweet to see.  Right now my following/follower counts are both zeros and while I hope they’ll remove any cruft from those lists (I’ve noticed a lot of latency with updating my relationships) I definitely hope I don’t have to rebuild my network entirely.

    UPDATE Sept 9th, 9:25am: It appears this has impacted a lot of other people as well, and TechCrunch is reporting that suspensions may be related to tweets about the Gov 2.0 Expo: read the full story here… and now there are rumors that it may take as many as 30 days to reinstate accounts.

    About an hour ago I logged onto Twitter, or tried, only to find that my personal accounts and the account for my company were suspended.  I quickly checked Twitter search to make sure no tweets had been sent from those account that I didn’t know about (which you might expect if the accounts were hacked) and also checked Google Reader since I figured they might have already removed any offending content from the public timeline.  I found nothing, and sent requests to Twitter for each of the accounts to be unsuspended.

    Now Twitter itself appears to be down, and not just with the “Fail Whale” but with a real 503 error, which I asked a friend about that explained that error is often served by a load balancer when the load is more than the server can bear.  Sounds like a potential DDoS attack.

    So, I’m glad in a way that our accounts are suspended because I wouldn’t want any spam coming out of them — but this has me reflecting on just how dependent I’ve become on Twitter and Twitter search to feel connected to my network.  Ironically, just tonight I posted on Facebook that I’d decided to delete Whrrl from my phone and return to the Facebook community.  Hopefully this is just a temporary hiccup and Twitter will have things figured out in the morning, I don’t envy them the task of dealing with this and frustrated customers (like me).

  • Posts

    Just Like That – Twitter Makes Move to Cut Down on Automated Follower Scraping

    I was going through my list of Twitter followers tonight to see who I needed to follow back and weed out some of the less interesting people, when I noticed a change:

    See how the number there is now a big integer, instead of a page number like 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.?

    Why This Matters to Spammers & Hackers

    Have you ever visited the Twitter page of one of your major competitors (company, personal brand, whatever) and noticed that they have a big chunk of their following list that closely resembles who is following you?  Odds are, if they’re smart, they went and followed a lot of the people who you were following (or were following you depending on what they’re trying to accomplish).  They game the system by simply unfollowing anyone who doesn’t follow them back, “purging” people who are uninterested if you will to keep the ratio of followers to following balanced.

    Despite the fact that it is generally frowned upon as bad Twitter ettiquette, a lot of services are selling exactly this so it will be interesting to see how they innovate around this change.  The reality is that Twitter probably should have included obfuscation of all ordered pages long ago to prevent spam and auto-mated scripting on their site outside of the API.

    How Much Does it Really Slow Spammers Down?

    You can still page through a person’s following or followers manually, and it looks like the page numbers are not dynamically generated so running a script to click the “Next” button and collect the page IDs for a user who you want to scrape relationships from wouldn’t be that hard.  But it is interesting to notice these small changes Twitter is making to enhance security by making it a bigger pain in the ass to scrape than it was before.

  • Posts

    What Were You Doing When…?

    1 year ago (September 2008)

    I was working at Pelago and the Whrrl iPhone application had been launched for about 2 months.  I was transitioning into a marketing and community management role from my previous job on the “data team” as a content monkey.

    2 years ago (2007)

    I was a newlywed and Kevin and I had just returned from our honeymoon so that I could finish the interview process at Pelago and begin my job there, at my first tech startup (woo!)

    3 years ago (2006)

    I was recently promoted to Business Process Analyst at Expeditors International and was in the process of saving millions of dollars for the company through improved business processes.  I lived in my little penthouse studio apartment in Downtown Seattle (5th and Wall St), and had a pomeranian dog named Zeus.

    4 years ago (2005)

    I was recently hired full time at Expeditors International after spending 3 months as an intern, and I was living in a room in a tiny dirty apartment in Downtown Seattle with the strangest roommate ever.  I had been dating Kevin for almost six months.

    5 years ago (2004)

    I was returning to college for my sophomore year after spending the entire summer traveling around the U.S. and driving cross country.  I was recently moved back in with my parents on Bainbridge Island to save money after traveling so much, and I was working for both the family business and also starting a web consulting business of my own. I was remaking my vision of my life, trying to figure out if I should take my deferred offer at the University of Washington and move to the city or if I should just start working. I began to contemplate an internship at a large company to see what it would be like.

    6 years ago (2003)

    I was living in Bremerton fully immersed in the music scene with my cat Rocky.  I was about to begin college classes at Olympic Community College after a long summer following high school, with very little motivation or direction.  I took many amazing road trips, read tons of books, and had an incredible amount of angst regarding what to do with my free time.  Ah, those were the days… I also joined another McDonalds near to my apartment and worked a lot of extra hours to pay for all my adventures. I saw the poor working-class side of the world first hand through a lot of my friends and began to realize that without direction it was likely I would end up stuck in this world forever. Time for a change.

    7 years ago (2002)

    I was restless high school senior who had completed so many credits she only needed to attend part time.  I filled my days with music and art, and a lot of soul searching and wandering.  I was playing and singing in a couple bands and really into the music scene and my boyfriend.  It’s amazing that I graduated, looking back. I was, as always, working for my Dad and the tennis club where I played as well as doing odd jobs on the side, as well as working at McDonald’s which I enjoyed.

    8 years ago (2001)

    I was realing from the suicide of a friend, and only days from both September 11th and another friend’s drug overdose that would leave him in a coma for six months (it is a miracle he is alive and can walk and talk again) and my best friend (his girlfriend) in limbo for the next year. I was playing tennis every day and was pretty good at it to, and played tournaments around the state.

  • Posts

    Social Media Club Seattle – Summer Nights Rock!

    Last night I hung out with some of the most active individuals in the “new PR” industry of social media, if you can call it an industry. Some are self-declared gurus, others “hireable” (read: unemployed), and many are just dipping their toe in the waters of “social media” for the first time. We heard from Rob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks, about their new media player, Real Player SP. I’m not a big fan of Real Networks, considering the amount of theft they accomplished in the name of the law with Microsoft (and subsequent destruction of wealth) during their anti-trust proceedings in 1998. So I admit, I heckled a bit.

    It didn’t help that Rob alluded to examples that revealed he hadn’t really come out of his cave since the election, including his abysmally low number of tweets (but he has a DAY JOB!), reference to played out Sarah Palin jokes, and a YouTube video of a dog attacking itself that was at the height of its popularity over a year ago. It was clear to me that he hadn’t be properly prepped for this audience of neophiles, who snub anything that isn’t hyper-recent (like – TODAY!)

    On a more serious note it did also make me wonder if Real is also living in the past, well behind trends such as the iPhone, which arguably boasts the same features as their new media player AND the fantastic distribution model of the iTunes store.  Since content distribution is the name of the game, and we had to sit and watch as the Youtube video uploaded to the phone via USB cable, I couldn’t help but feel like this was missing the mark with too many steps for the user to carry out.

    Seattle 2.0 TV Gals & iPhones Unite!

    I love this photo by Randy Stewart (@stewtopia) of me with Shauna Causey of Seattle 2.0 TV

    Shauna experiemented with a new Ustream channel – her own! – and broadcasted a lot of event live from http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ShaunaCausey

    You Can’t Fight the Tako Truk

    It was a hard sell for me, since my feet were hurting enormously by the time they kicked us out of the Lake Union Cafe.  We did end up driving the 10 blocks to Tako Truk (@takotruk), which is a trendy little spot hosted outside of 14 Carrot on Eastlake.  Rumor has it the man running this covert operation was previously an employee of Tom Douglas, and the gourmet tacos (3 for $5) attested to that!

  • Posts

    Recap: Taste & Tweet #2 at El Gaucho Bellevue

    Today I had the distinct pleasure of dining with a dozen other active Twitter users from the Seattle area as we tried out the new lunch menu of El Gaucho Bellevue, which opened last November for Taste & Tweet.  The event is an ongoing social media marketing experiment to raise brand awareness for the restaurants involved.  We had a lot of fun and I ended up know about half the people there, including one woman who was the nurse at my high school and has since reinveted herself!

    The highlight of the event was taking a tour through the kitchen, hosted by GM David Sherling.  I was able to capture the experience on video using Qik on my iPhone.  Check it out!

    More stories at El Gaucho Bellevue
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  • Posts

    Who Needs Zeroes (on the keyboard) Anyway?

    Enjoyed this clever tweet this morning, in response to my comments on getting to know my new Mac PowerBook G4 – which is one of two Mac laptops I tweet-sourced before heading down to SF this week:


    Note: The zero key is missing but I can still type zeroes AND this computer was a free gift from a friend and I am very grateful, in fact I am considering naming it. I can’t figure out if it is a guy or a girl yet, but for a girl I like the name Elsa.

  • Posts

    Airport Security FAIL – Liquids in Manufacturer Bottles are Legit

    In this edition of stupid laws you can’t believe someone actually wrote, we investigate a new one. Apparently, there is a law about how liquids must be stored that goes down on the list as one any criminal without a front labotomy (or drug use with similar effects) could get around.

    Coming through security at JFK today, I had my little clear plastic baggy with my clear plastic bottles I fill with shampoo, conditioning, body wash, and lotion. The TSA official pulled me aside and asked if she could search my bag. I don’t know why they ask, since they’re going to do it anyway and I’d be a fool to say anything other than “Yes, of course” unless I actually WANT to miss my flight. So she takes a look at these little bottles with their cute little “shampoo”, “conditioner”, etc. labels and askes me…

    “Did anyone tell you, you have to have the manufacturer’s label on the bottle – otherwise I won’t know what’s in them?”


    So you’re telling me if I empty out a little pert plus bottle, and fill it up with something dangerous, you’ll let it go. But if I travel with legitimate liquids in a clear container I am out of luck? Wow. That’s some damn scientific protection our state in investing millions and millions of dollars in. Makes me kind of wonder why there haven’t been more yucky chemical attacks on airplanes.

    So I threw out the stuff, I mean it wasn’t worth missing a flight over. She offered to have someone come over and talk to me, so that I might be able to take them through, and now I’m kind of wishing I had taken her up on it – just to see what on Earth they’d do. Would they somehow test the liquids to prove they’re not harmful?

    Airport security is one big act we all play along with, and this is just the latest.



    UPDATE #2 (and Scott Phelps you rock my friend!):


  • Posts

    We Are Now Approaching the Futurama

    I love commercials, especially ones about the future. Some are inspiring, others are trite, and maybe plain stupid. But the fact that we can dream like this, and then see this stuff come true, is cool.

    1939 World’s Fair – a Vision of 1960

    “The freedom to think and the will to do have given birth to a generation of men who always want new fields for greater accomplishment, and will always find new things for all others to enjoy. Come, let’s travel into the future. What will we see?”

    Also see Part 2

    Telepresence (British Telecom)

    E-Commerce, Webcams, Email, Home Printing and Online Banking

    Tomorrowland – Walt Disney’s Vision of the Future

    Microsoft’s Vision for 2019

    and this parody of the Microsoft vision…

    “kind of like an iPhone, but with this extra piece you can loose sometimes… and on the airlines you can now pay an extra forty-five dollars, to access your child on Twitter… at Microsoft we’d like to remind you, this future is coming and it’s only 498 years away.  See you there…”

    And of course, what collection would be complete without…

    Apple’s 1984 Commercial

    Other Great Videos

    Awesome Frigidaire video – embedding disabled