Twitter

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As internet natives, brought up in the digital age, today’s young activists are increasingly turning to online platforms to organize and communicate. From Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter to the ALS ice bucket challenge, social movements have begun to enlist the mobilizing force of social media.

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The Ferguson decision, Eric Garner protests, immigration, all topics we avoid at the dinner table, but opinions run free on Facebook. On today’s show what to do when your Facebook friends make racist posts.

And, when it comes to Twitter followers, Katy Perry, Justin Beiber, and President Obama hold the top spots. We veer off social media’s beaten path to share some hidden gems in the twittersphere.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

When it comes to Twitter followers, Katy Perry, Justin Beiber, and President Obama hold the top spots. On today’s show: we veer off social media’s beaten path to share some hidden gems in the Twittersphere.

Then, the holidays are here! Time for family gatherings, and perhaps, some awkward conversations. We’ll tackle the art of conversation, and offers tips on how to get a good one started with anyone, anywhere.

Plus, what happens when a pro-wrestler abandons the ring for Santa’s sleigh? One of our favorites segments of 2014.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

It was only days after Shawn Jasper won the race for State House Speaker that Twitter had a new user: @SpeakerJasper. There was only one catch: the Twitter user Speaker Jasper wasn’t the actual Speaker Jasper. (The official Twitter account used by the last few speakers, including Jasper, is @NHSpeaker.)

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Israelis and Palestinians recently agreed to a cease fire, but while the conflict may be on hold in Gaza, it continues to erupt online.  On today’s show: from Hitler hashtags to Facebook groups seeking revenge on Hamas, is social media trolling, stoking Israeli-Palestinian tensions? 

Then, late last month Amazon bought the online video platform “Twitch” for nearly one-hundred million dollars-- we’ll find out why the streaming service is such a hot commodity and why people would want to watch someone else play videogames in the first place.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


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Brady Carlson joins us to talk about social media's reaction to the devastating tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma.

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A new data collection tool is being heralded as the first “mood ring” of the social media world. The “twittersphere” has become the home for millions and millions of micro-stories - fleeting tales of everyday life broadcast to the masses. Now, researchers at the University of Vermont are looking to extract a social pulse from Twitter’s vast output. Millions of tweets have been processed through UVM’s Hedonometer, which measures collective levels of happiness over space and time. Here to discuss the project - and the newly launched website, is Chris Danforth, associate professor at the University of Vermont’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and one of the developers behind the Hedonometer.

After every errant tweet from another major news outlet, or the announcement of fresh layoffs from another print newsroom, many shake their heads and talk about the good old days, before false reports of WMD’s and internet news aggregators. We remember a time when Edward R. Murrow and other icons of objectivity were our revered national watchdogs, serving up the truth...one newspaper column or TV broadcast at a time.   But what if our idealistic view of American journalism's "golden age" is nothing but a nostalgic myth?  Todd Gitlin teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University. His recent article “The Myth of Journalism’s Golden Age” was recently featured in the Utne Reader.

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To anyone who doesn’t care to Tweet (that would be a whopping 90% of Americans), the massive influence of so few characters seems unlikely. Yet, information disseminated by NPR’s Andy Carvin during the Arab uprising spread across all forms of media, reaching people in ways no one would have expected.

Increasingly, fans are taking in a second screen NFL experience on social media. The drama of this year’s football season has been echoed, and sometimes fed by the tweets of fans, players, and even players’ wives…leading to more than a few PR scrambles by the league. This is all new territory for the NFL, which only last year began dipping its heavily guarded brand into the fray of social media. Doug Tribou is a producer and reporter for NPR’s Only A Game, and he joins us from WBUR in Boston to talk about football and this season’s biggest social media trends.

Elvis is in the building!  Or at least on your smartphone.  Despite being laid to rest nearly 35 years ago, the King of Rock n’ Roll still posts on Facebook, and tweets several times a day…here’s a sample: “love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go… hashtag Valentine’s Day deals at Shop Elvis!”  The BBC’s Matt Danzico recently looked into the social media afterlives of departed celebrities – he lets us in on how they do it. 

Last month, Twitter launched its political index, a daily  measurement of twitter users' feelings towards the candidates drawn from nearly two million tweets each week. So far, the index is running parallel with Gallup Polls. A number of political junkies are way ahead of the index, they’ve been following  novelist Elinor Lipman’s daily political poems since April.  Lipman is author of nine novels and a new book of humor called Tweet Land of Liberty .

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A clever Twitter handle got our notice recently when some of the smart folks we follow started tweeting about it. You might be familiar with Roomba…that round little robotic vacuum that cleans all by itself. Well now, through a string of tweets, @SelfAwareRoomba is telling a compelling story about coming to life, falling in love with a toaster, making an enemy of a child, and, in a storyline that got hundreds of people tweeting frantically, suffering a near-death experience after taking a tumble down the stairs.

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Imagine the Olympics with no gold medal…the prom without a queen...Top Model without a Top Model. Much of the literary world is bereft after the Pulitzer Prize board snubbed the fiction category in this year’s awards. It’s the first time since 1977 that the 'Lords of lit' deemed no book worthy of the honor.

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Last night, I was following the Twitter feed of Raw Story Executive Editor Megan Carpentier. So? Well, it turns out Megan was sitting in a New York City restaurant when she tweeted this pithy nugget: 

"There is Schadenfreudic satisfaction in seeing a wealthy hipster couple argue about banal relationship sh*t while one is eating alone."

If you think Rebecca Black of "Friday" fame has had a tough run with web users, imagine being in the band Nickelback, the rockers the web loves to hate.

The Wild And Crazy 'Tweets Of Steve Martin'

Mar 15, 2012

After 40 years on the stand-up stage, countless comedy albums and iconic movies, Steve Martin is still finding new ways to make people laugh.

The comedian got on Twitter in 2010, and by now he has attracted nearly 2.5 million followers with his funny and slightly demented tweets.

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Vice President Al Gore used to tell a joke about himself: “Al Gore is so boring, his secret service name is Al Gore.” Well, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is now under secret service protection, and while we don’t know what his code name will be, the Twitterati have been weighing in with suggestions using the hashtag #romneycodename.

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Football fans, say it along with me: “This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions of the game without the NFL’s consent is prohibited.”

NHPR's Brady Carlson, host of All Things Considered provides us with brain food from the Internet buffet - including the censorship of Twitter.  

 

Beats so fresh, they aren't even born yet.

VERMIN SUPREME!

If you're sitting on the couch alone watching an event like the State of the Union, you can feel less alone if you follow its hashtag on Twitter, a lot less alone. It’s your choice, really, whether you want to join the conversation, and I (as Word of Mouth) didn’t necessarily plan to last night, but it can be kind of hard not to tweet about what we might say if we were on the air at that moment.  

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Sweden is trying something new these days. Each week, the Swedish government’s twitter account, “At Sweden,” is being handed over to a Swedish citizen. And for seven days, that person can say anything they want to the account’s 25,000 plus followers. The government calls it “the world’s most democratic twitter account.” J.

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Part 1: Revenge of the Web-nerds

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In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

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Where are all these fracking earthquakes coming from? The correlation between natural gas and shifting plates.  Also, Agent Twitter and Double-O-Social Media: predicting riots, epidemics and other social phenomena through aggregate online data. Plus, World of Adcraft: the growing gimmicks of big-budget video game advertisements.  And an interview with Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke.  His latest novel is Damned.

Photo by Martin Luff, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
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The latest attempt to predict the future: scientists use digital data from Twitter, traffic webcams, and bazillion other places to create a model that can foresee epidemics, social upheaval, and more. That' the theory anyway.  Much like the weather, you can't always count on the forecast.  Sharon Weinberger writes for Nature. She tell us more about the project.

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