More Pointless Twitteries Plus A Coffin Nail

Saturday, July 25, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Standards, Technology, twitter

Just a few shorts here, none of which are really worthy of a blog post in their own right, but I thought that if I stuck three of them together it might just about pass muster. So here goes.

Pointless Twittery Thing #1: Cursebird

Yes, thanks to Cursebird you can now see exactly how much you swear on twitter. This is where you discover that the word “cunt” will crop up on 0.69% of my tweets, which was somewhat a surprise to me, as I didn’t believe it was a term I used with anywhere near that degree of regularity, although I am somewhat sceptical about the rest of them too: I’m not afraid to use the words “fuck” and “shit” when I believe it is appropriate.

But I don’t believe that over 40% of my tweets contain a fuck, and that a further 40% plus contain a shit. I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s something wrong somewhere, particularly since it’s supposed to be a ‘seven day overview’ and the list of tweets they highlight are arranged between February 1st and July the 11th — in other words, none of the sweary tweets they highlight were in the last seven days.

Mind you, I do like the fact that they say:

thepickards swears like a Scottish ComedianCursebird: ThePickards

…even if I am somewhat less convinced about the accuracy of this assessment.

Pointless Twittery Thing #2: TwitterCounter

TwitterCounter will count the number of people following you on twitter. This isn’t exactly impressive, as the basic twitter web page does this — and it’s even less impressive that the TwitterCounter numbers don’t seem to agree with the official ones, although as I know the count of people who I follow on twitter is wrong (by around 200), I’m not going to assume that TwitterCounter is the one which is wrong here…

What it does do is to indicate the average number of followers you have gained during a particular day, and estimate how many followers you will have after a given time period (defaults to 30 days). Like most of the rest of this sort of thing, it doesn’t really have much of a point, but don’t let that stop you from playing with it.

The Long, Slow Death of IE6

But of more importance to those of us in the field of web design is that that the accursed browser, Internet Explorer 6, is starting to be kicked aside. There will be those of you browsing from corporate council networks (you know who you are) where the IT department’s idea of being with the times is for you to be using Internet Explorer 6, which was released in 2001, has been superseded by Internet Explorers 7 and 8, has 22 unpatched security vulnerabilities, and is generally shit.

You people are the ones forcing the rest of us to continue support for this terrible product. You should all unite, kick up a big fuss, and demand to be shifted to a browser which at the very least works properly. Or even IE7, which is at very least a lot better.

If you design for Internet Explorer 6, your site will in all likelihood not look right in other, standards compliant browsers. What you should do is to design for a standards compliant browser, and add fixes for IE6. Which is a pain in the arse. As designers, we shouldn’t really have to provide support for an 8-year old browser with a collapsing market share, and mostly, we wouldn’t. Only it’s still used in some corporate networks for some bloody stupid reason and if you want people in these networks to be able to have your site look correct, you’ve got to put a bit of effort in.

Which is why I was delighted to find an article saying that You Tube are to drop support for IE6 and Digg are considering the same thing. That’s precisely what we need. We need a few of the bigger sites to take this sort of stance, to say that they will support decent browsers that at least come within spitting distance of being standards compliant, instead of the hodge-podge mess that is IE6.

It’s not like other browsers are not available. And free. And better. So let’s encourage people, where they can, to drop support for IE6, and then when the market share has collapsed that bit further, the rest of us can stop supporting this throwback too…

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7 Comments to More Pointless Twitteries Plus A Coffin Nail

  1. Mike says:

    July 26th, 2009 at 12:59 am

    re: #2, you’re no doubt aware than Twitter killed off a vast number of spambots in the past couple of days which were skewing peoples follower counts. The suggestion is that your count should be a bit more accurate now – might be worth a check.
    Also, if not, feel free to add your voice to

  2. JackP says:

    July 26th, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Mike, my count is a lot more accurate now, but I don’t see how killing off spam accounts would have made a difference to the count of people I followed, as I didn’t follow any spammers in the first place.

    Plus when my count went awry, it somehow got set to exactly double what it should have been – which made it seem to me like a computational/programming glitch. And then, once set to that, followers were added one by one normally.

    So I presume they just did a ‘full recount’ for everyone and that flushed out whatever the glitch had been…

  3. Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten says:

    July 26th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Hi, I’m the founder of TwitterCounter and enjoyed your review! A lot of people like to see the influence that certain actions have on their follower counts over time. TwitterCOunter can show that. Unfortunately there is a bug in the Twitter API which screws up some of the follower counts. It is not a huge problem as counts might be off only slightly but it can be very annoying if you want to show accurate stats.

    Twitter is aware of the bug and working on the fix though.

    I still hope you enjoy TwitterCounter and also take a look at the TwitterRemote and TwitterCounter badges which are good additions to any blog (this one? :-) and can be very useful if you want to gain more followers.

    Anyway, keep up the blog so we can enjoy your critical but humorous posts…

  4. JackP says:

    July 26th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    @Boris, the “pointless” thing is possibly a bit unfair: it’s just really that I like to find new twitter-related apps and have a little look/play with them. I suspect for the majority of people, it’s a “just for fun” thing (like the majority of facebook apps) but you’re right – for some people, it is likely to be a useful tool.

    Well done anyway, it’s a fun thing to look at :-)

  5. Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten says:

    July 27th, 2009 at 11:19 am


  6. says:

    August 31st, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Love Can Change Your Business…

    [...]When you know when working at your projects you can be a lot more successful than if you have no ideas..[...]…

  7. Tambrey says:

    October 5th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    That’s an expert answer to an interestnig question

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