As Twitter Tendlrins are gradually retracted

A sad email arrived this morning from API rerouting service If This Then That (IFTTT):

“In recent weeks, Twitter announced policy changes that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter’s data. As a result of these changes, on September 27th we will be removing all Twitter Triggers”

To those of us who use IFTTT this is a bit of a blow. Currently I have a routine saved on IFTTT (also known as a recipe) which grabs any of my starred tweets and sends them to my Instapaper account. A simple process that means when I tap the little star on a tweet with a link to an article, Instapaper sees the tweet and downloads a text only version of the linked article as saves it for offline viewing. I usually read my recent articles when travelling to work on the train and the internet connection isn’t so good. I go from starred tweets to interesting mini-magazine on my iPhone in seconds.

For me to set up this kind of cross posting system would have been at least a few hours work. On IFTTT it took all of 2 minutes. But now as twitter cuts off these third party apps my recipe is gone forever, worse still: the web gets a little less useful. In fact Twitter gets a little less useful, in return – they hope – they plan to monetise some more of its traffic by having all the data run through it’s own site (and not these third party companies).

“The result of people using a system and shaping it to suit them”

But is this actually not a bit damaging? Maybe not immediately, but at some point this might actually make people think twice about link sharing. I’m probably being a bit crotchety here, but the bigger point holds true: the way Twitter has grown is based on the early adopters jumped on the service and made it there own. Most of the recognisable features of the service (using the @ sign to replay, hashtags, retweets) are all the result of people using a system and shaping it to suit them.

But as Twitter gradually kills off it’s deep rooted connections to other services – just like a plant having its root structure damaged – the whole entity is weaker. And as twitter is quite a big deal, I fear the whole of the web will feel this shock. Basically, its a bit like that scene in Avatar when they chop the big tree down. Sort of.

And how am I going to get my mini-magazine now?

This article owes a lot this this excellent post on the same subject from a couple of months ago: What Twitter Could Have Been by Dalton Caldwell.



Too much design.

Make it look old, but not too old. Stamps and handwriting yeah? But done on a mass scale yeah? And don’t worry too much about the writing, just shove some hokey pseudo intellectual stuff in there.

What about the price sticker? Ah, who cares…


Pink Oyster


London introduces the ‘pink oyster’ touch points to help ensure the correct fare when transferring. I wonder how easily people will pick up on this.

I guess those in the know will benefit. Nothing wrong with a bit f complexity when it saves you money.

Resentment (advertise here)

I hate when i almost confuse advertisitng with content; making your crappy Google Ads look exactly the same as the content makes me resent everyone involved:

  1. you (the site)
  2. the advertiser
  3. and Google.

Well done, triple whammy. Everyone’s a loser.

QR Codes on billboards

Spotted this (admittedly) creative version of a QR code in Hackney:

A few problems to my mind:

1. I couldn’t scan it from the other side of the road
2. They didn’t have any other info on the poster
3. The Red Hot Chilli Pepper don’t strike me as ‘this kind of thing’

Have a look at this blurry close up to see as bit more of it:

Penguin Humour

Do you remember when penguin bars? P P P Pick up a Penguin?

And the joke on the back? A brilliant use of the foldy flap on the wrapper, a small joy before the full biscuit experience. Well i p-p-p-picked up a penguin today and this was the joke:

and the punchline? Not so hot:

i’m sure these used to be funnier. Maybe i’m getting old.

Angostura bitters are diverse!

Talk about good writing. I don’t know if you’ve ever actually looked at the distinctive label on an Angustora Bitters label, but they really go to town on the sales pitch.

They stop just short of calling it a cure for hair loss, but only just.

Click the image to read in detail.

What’s with the foursquare logo?

What exactly is this logo supposed to represent?

I’ve been looking at it for ages now and can’t really figure it out. You don’t see it on the actual site very much and it doesn’t correspond to the interface.

So why have they gone for ‘purple whiffle ball on blue diamond’?