Twitter Test Twindles or Twonks

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 07:28:43 -0400

On 31-Jul-09, at 5:46 AM, Christopher Gutteridge wrote:

> ** Open letter to Professor Stevan Harnad **
> Stevan, hi, I'm just back from the UK Web Managers workshop. Your
> name is well known to these people. Your posts & emails get around.
> The thing is that the UK university webmasters community is really
> big on using Twitter. I have been bet, in the bar, that I can't get
> you into using it, so I'm hoping to prove people wrong. Twitter is
> really interesting as it's like a broadcast of a phone text message.
> People read it if they follow you and are interested at that time,
> or are doing a search at the current time.
> For example, here's the search for what people were saying at the
> event I've just been at:
> Or what people have said about you this week:
> Or open access:
> Here's a search for what people were twittering DURING a talk I gave
> on Wednesday.
> Most modern Internet phones have a tool for posting directly to your
> twitter, so you don't need to be at a computer to use it. It's great
> in talks to see what people
> So I really strongly urge you to have a go at using it. I think
> you'll have to think sideways a bit, to make a single point in 140
> characters (the bet was due to people talking about your famously
> long and complicated emails), but if you can adapt to it it would be
> a really powerful way to get your key points and ideas over to
> people who would never engage with a long, well argued discursive
> email.
> The rule for this bet is that you need to average one post-per-day
> for 30 days, and that this does not count "please read my new blog
> post at http://...." style "tweets". You can make them, they just
> don't count towards the average.
> I'm sure if you signed up to Twitter and sent your username to the
> usual mailing lists, you'll instantly get a good few "followers". If
> only that, people will be fascinated to see if you can condense your
> ideas into 140 characters or less!
> Good luck!
> --
> Christopher Gutteridge --
> Lead Developer, EPrints Project,
> Web Projects Manager, University of Southampton, School of
> Electronics and Computer Science

Hi Chris,

Well, you've either already won or lost the bet, depending on how you
interpret the rule you have stipulated:

(1) I have been on twitter since Dec 31 2008 as "AmSciForum" (with
EPrints skywriting logo):

(2) My tweets have been accelerating steadily to the point where they
just might be approaching one a day these days: 15 in the last 10
days, for example (July 21-31).

(3) The tweets are not exactly in the form "please read my new blog
post at http://...." -- but, effectively, they do correspond to 1-
sentence summaries of either blog posts or amsci posts.

(4) So if the purpose of the exercise was just to cut down on my
verbosity, I'm afraid the Twitter Test seems to have twindled or even

(5) I promise that when the repetitious trivia I keep posting begin
showing the slightest sign of having been understood (let alone taken
on board), I shall give my fingers and brain the rest they long long

Chrs, Stevan
Received on Fri Jul 31 2009 - 12:40:27 BST

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