Haiti Earthquake + Social Media = HaitiXchange.com

Yesterday, there was an horrible earthquake in Haiti that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale‎. We won’t know until the sun comes up how horrible it was, because electricity AND telephone service was knocked out.

Haiti National Palace destroyed in earthquake, Port-Au-Prince

My long time friend and college homeboy, Pascal Antoine is Haitian. He founded and has been maintaining a website called HaitiXchange.com for a lot of years now.

I normally don’t watch the news at all, but I’ve been fascinated by the recent trend of channels showing 3% news and 97% punditry (people giving their OPINIONS about what the news means instead of showing us a bunch more news stories). So I turn on the television around 8pm and flip to CNN, where the slot says “Campbell Brown”, so I’m like “*yawn* Here we go!”, and she has a different look on her face and the marquis below her reads something like “Hospital Collapses In Haiti”. Continue reading “Haiti Earthquake + Social Media = HaitiXchange.com”

Twitter, Mind Your Business!

Does anyone know why Twitter automatically shortens URLs?

It seems to me that if you’re within your 140 character limit, Twitter should mind its own business and leave what you wrote alone.

For example, I just typed http://billcammack.com/2009/04/10/time-part-06-whats-your-budget/ into Twitter.com and also into TweetDeck and they both resulted in a tinyurl of http://tinyurl.com/c6x54q.

Example #1: http://twitter.com/BillCammack/status/1532756085
Example #2: http://twitter.com/BillCammack/status/1532757140

So since my statement would have fit within the 140 characters, how come I received a tinyurl?

Trust

Bill Cammack is The MillipedeThe main reason I bring this up is that a lot of people won’t click on shortened links with very good reason. You don’t know what site you’re being directed to.

This isn’t just an issue on Twitter, but on forums, newsgroups, etc.

So what happens if I want people to know that I’m directing them to my own personal site, where they’ve already been 100 times and know what they’re likely to see?

In case you don’t know what a URL shortener does, it changes a link with a long string, such as http://billcammack.com/2009/04/10/time-part-06-whats-your-budget/ into something shorter, like http://tinyurl.com/blahbl so that it’s easier for people to remember, re-type or fit inside whatever character limit you have (such as Twitter’s 140 character limit). Continue reading “Twitter, Mind Your Business!”