FreakyFriday: Weird of the Day – Collection of Houseflies has Twitter Account, Despite Being Houseflies

 By: iCopywriter Senior Editor, Heather Price-Wright

And you thought Justin Bieber fans’ Twitter feeds were inane.

An artist named David Bowen has set up a colony of houseflies in an acrylic sphere equipped with a hanging wireless keyboard so that the flies can send messages to a Twitter account. The flies, unsurprisingly, don’t have much to say – mostly long strings of punctuation, interspersed with the occasional number or letter – but what they lack in wit they make up for in sheer volume.

How, exactly, does this work? A camera captures the flies’ movements inside their sphere, and every time one lands on a key, transmits the corresponding symbol into a tweet. Tweets are posted when the flies rack up 140 characters or when one lands on the Enter key. You can learn more about the project on Bowen’s website, or watch a pretty dull video of the tweeting flies at work.

Which basically means just being flies.

The flies seem to be on some sort of hiatus; their latest message, sent Oct. 17, was the single number “5.”

We can’t help feeling that this project reveals the rather sad nature of Twitter and other social networks as a whole. After all, are most of the tweets we follow actually that much more interesting than the random movements of flies on a keyboard? Excuse us as we have an existential crisis.

Meanwhile, if this is art and/or social commentary, then we’re just going to go ahead and set up a Facebook for our cats walking across our keyboards while we’re trying to work.

Fjdsiafu8789&*)(*YILHJklfhdsjklfhdjkshfdjkslhfkhkhyiuY&&*YFS&*YFGSHjklfhdjksghdjshgkly7ity78yds78f6Y&*^&*(TYHJB

–      Fluffy

Have you checked out iCopywriter.com lately? That is, if you’re not secretly a fruit fly.

photo credit: orangeacid

FreakyFriday: Weird of the Day – ‘Politwoops’ Site Archives Politicians’ Deleted Tweets

By: iCopywriter Senior Editor, Heather Price-Wright 

Last week, we brought you criminals so stupid they shouldn’t have been allowed to have Facebook accounts. This week,we continue our examination of people too dumb to social network with the most logical next step: politicians.

We’ve all read or heard about political gaffes large and small; politicians have been putting their feet in their very large mouths since the dawn of politics. What’s unique about this day and age is that our, ahem, esteemed elected officials have a nearly unlimited platform on which to say silly, offensive or downright wrong things – the Internet. And specifically, Twitter.

But unlike real life, Twitter does have a delete button. And occasionally (or rather, all the time) someone catches sight of a numbskull political tweet and tells whoever posted it to take it down. So unless we’re constantly glued to Twitter (and let’s be real, we are a lot of the time) we might miss these gem-like gifts from the gods of hilarity, these bizarre or inaccurate or misspelled or just plain boneheaded little missives.

Enter the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops. As the Huffington Post reported Wednesday, the new tool will scan the Twitter accounts of every member of Congress, plus President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and figure out when Tweets have been deleted or edited. It will then compile those changed or vanished tweets on its website for everyone to see. As the Sunlight Foundation’s blog explains, in addition to being amusing for those who love to see politicians squirm, Politwoops serves as a window into how our political machine operates, what thoughts get censored and what your elected officials don’t want you to see.

In browsing the site, we’ve come across a few general categories of deleted tweets:

  • The Meta

Speaker John Boehner R )

You know what else has been deleted? Jobs in the Obama economy. Where are the jobs? #politwoops

  • The Rant

Justin Amash ( R )

When did Republicans start supporting hate-crime legislation?http://t.co/4dJV5pGi. #hypocrisy

  • The “Didn’t Anyone Every Teach You About Quotation Marks”?

Susan Collins R )

“She expressed “cautious optimism” about changes as the quasi-civilian government has taken steps toward democracy”

  • The TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

Bruce Braley D )

RT @FeedIowa1st: @BruceBraley Is there anyway to make the IRS move faster we filed 501C3 in Jan and they are proccessing Sep 2011 We nee …

  • THE CAPS LOCK

Susan Collins R )

SENATORS SNOWE, COLLINS ANNOUNCE MORE THAN $2.6 MILLION IN FUNDING TO MAINE AIRPORTS http://t.co/WH1JeIZR

What do you think of Politwoops? Is it all in good fun, or a serious way to hold politicians accountable? What’s the silliest political tweet you’ve ever read?

Have you checked out iCopywriter.com lately?

3 Ways Pinterest Can Work for Your Small Business

By: iCopywriter

March 20, 2012

Last month, we wrote a blog post introducing (or re-introducing) you to the social media universe’s new darling, Pinterest. Since that initial post, Pinterest has continued to skyrocket, gaining new users and new buzz by the day.

According to a USA Today Money article, Pinterest was third in popularity among social networking sites in the United States, after only Facebook and Twitter, as of last week. That’s an incredible feat, considering that just a couple dozen people founded Pinterest in 2011.

Pinterest is good for more than sharing personal style, recipe, home décor and other visual ideas and inspiration, however. As USA Today notes, the site can also do wonders for your business’ visibility and interactions with potential customers. Here’s how:

  1. Sharing Your Own Material. Carl Christensen, a photographer, told USA Today that, while he was reluctant to use social media to share his artful creations, Pinterest has been the perfect venue for him to connect with potential clients the best way he knows how: through images. By “pinning” his own work on his Pinterest boards, Christensen says he has increased online sales of his work to account for half of his total business.
    Try It Yourself:
    Whether you create art, sell consumer products or offer a helpful service, try pinning your company’s own work on Pinterest. For example, if you design beautiful custom business cards, pin a few samples. Potential customers will take note, re-pin your work and keep your business in mind.
  2. Re-Pin Other Users’ Posts. According to Pinterest, the best way to build up a following on the site is to re-pin images from other Pinterest users’ boards. This creates buzz and draws those users, plus their followers, to your site. The more you draw interested eyes to your business’ Pinterest boards, the more would-be customers you can introduce to your own products or services.
    Try It Yourself:
    Do you own a small market, restaurant, bakery or other food-related business? Consider re-pinning creative recipes you see on other users’ pages. You could even include comments about how to use your products to recreate those recipes, or add beautiful photos of your own edible offerings to the mix.
  3. Link Pinterest to Your Other Social Networking Efforts. According to USA Today, many companies are drawing their Facebook friends and fans to their Pinterest page, thereby making connections with consumers on many platforms at once. For example, Bergdorf Goodman let its Facebook fans finish this sentence: “In the morning I never forget _________.” The retailer then revealed the responses on one pinboard, letting followers see how their answers translated to visual representation.
    Try It Yourself:
    Ask your Facebook followers what they think of (one word, image or phrase) when they think of your company. Then, let them know to check Pinterest to see if their response made it onto the company pinboard, and to check out the other responses, too. This will generate interest on both social networking platforms and help customers feel engaged with your business.

There are plenty of ways businesses can use the magical place that is Pinterest to further their social networking goals; these are just a few. With the creative space provided by a site like Pinterest, the uses are only limited by your imagination.

Have you checked out iCopywriter.com lately?