It turns out that it’s pretty easy to co-opt Twitter’s Lead Generation card for anything where you want to gather a bunch of e-mail addresses from your Twitter community. I was looking for people willing to alpha test a little side project of mine, and it worked great and didn’t cost anything.
The tweet itself:
Love tech discussion but looking for a better community? Help me beta test a side project! https://t.co/H3DYjbCy19
— Hilary Mason (@hmason) December 12, 2013
I created it pretty easily:
- First, go to ads.twitter.com, log in, and go to “creatives”, then “cards”.
- Click “Create Lead Generation Card”. It’s a big blue button.
- You can include a title and a short description. Curiously, you can also include a 600px by 150px image. This seems like an opportunity to say a bit more about what you’re doing.
- You also need to configure a fallback URL, which is where people will go if they don’t have a Twitter client capable of the one-click signup. I used a Google form, which let people give me their e-mail addresses directly.
And that’s it! Tweet enthusiastically, then wait patiently, because if you don’t integrate your Twitter card with your CRM, you have to wait ~24 hours for the download link to appear in the Twitter cards manager. The resulting CSV looks like this:
Timestamp,User id,Name,Twitter handle,Email 2013-12-12T23:36:05,774485611,Robots Rule,RobotzRule,firstname.lastname@example.org
A little bit of awk later and I had a list of e-mails ready to go. I ended up getting 49 responses through the Google form and 197 through the Twitter card. It was easy and I’ll definitely do this next time I need to collect people’s e-mail addresses for a project.
There must be a better way to explore books.
A random way to explore books would be a good way to start.
Hence, bookbookgoose. Browse randomly. Enjoy!
Hint: use the ‘n’ key to go forward quickly. I find about .2% of the books are awesome.
Update: you can now find @bookbookgoose on Twitter, sharing one random book per hour.
Update: Dustin Kurtz at Melville House had an eloquent writeup of the beauty in this random literature.
bc is a command-line calculator that’s fast and has the capacity to do some fairly complex math.
Try it out on the command line:
echo '100 / 10' | bc -l
I released the code under GPL, and it’s available on github: http://github.com/hmason/tweetbc.
John Cook mentions the bot and makes some great observations in his post three surprises with bc.
I’m honored and excited to be participating in Rhizome’s new conference Seven on Seven, where technologists and artists are paired up to create a completely new project in 24-hours.
The formal description:
Seven on Seven will pair seven leading artists with seven game-changing technologists in teams of two, and challenge them to develop something new –be it an application, social media, artwork, product, or whatever they imagine– over the course of a single day. The seven teams will unveil their ideas at a one-day event at the New Museum on April 17th.
I really love this idea because the time constraints and the inherent discomfort of the situation (working in an unfamiliar space with an unfamiliar person) makes it likely that we’ll be able to accomplish something creative and unexpected. Or else it will go completely awry, which will still be amusing for the audience.
I’ve had a lot of fun and been able to work on some interesting projects at hackathons in the past, and I hope this one will be even better.
I was invited to speak on a panel on semantic metadata, moderated by Paul Ford (harpers.org) along with Marco Neumann (KONA) and Paul Tarjan (Yahoo/Search Monkey). The panel was a lively discussion, and we got some great questions from the audience.
After the panel, I stayed around to participate in the hack competition. Yahoo! provided a fantastic space, with free-flowing coffee, snacks, comfy chairs and plenty of Yahoo folks and other hackers around to give advice and play foosball with. I teamed up with Diana Eng, Alicia Gibb, and Bill Ward to create the Del.icio.us Cake!
The cake is attached to a laptop via USB. A program running on the laptop accepts a delicious tag and retrieves a list of recent popular sites for that tag from the delicious API. Finally, it iterates through each URL, downloads the page, and computes the sentiment of that page relative to the tag — basically, is the content of the page positive, neutral or negative?
The signal is output to an ardiuno (hidden in the middle of the cake) which turns on the appropriate set of LEDs. There are four sets of LEDs on the cake, one in each quadrant of the delicious logo, one each for positive sentiment, neutral or inconclusive sentiment, and negative sentiment, and, of course, one to let us know that the cake is turned on.
I wrote the sentiment classifiers between around 3am and 6am Saturday morning, so they really were a hack! I trained them on movie reviews data, working with the assumption that 5-star reviews contain positive terms and 1-star reviews contain negative terms. I wouldn’t recommend this approach for a serious attempt at sentiment analysis, but it worked well enough.
We won the food/hardware hack prize, shared with the awesome MakerBot team!
We had a great time creating and presenting the hack. Thanks, Yahoo, and most of all, thanks to Alicia, Bill, and Diana for a really fantastic, silly weekend.
- Yahoo’s summary of the Open Hack NYC event
- Diana’s writeup for Eyebeam
- CNN.com: Hackers Take Over Times Square