Tweet the Public

Tweet the Public

If a Tweet Falls In the Forest…

Mr. Bajwa. (Photo: Twitter)

Twitter has proven to be an effective way for the average Internet user to get @ your favorite NBA player or indie rocker. And yet as the site grows, the noise of individual tweets is being drowned out. Enter Thunderclap, a Twitter app from Chinatown-based De-De (for “design and development,” not the Chinese word for “little brother”).

Yesterday, Rolling Stone writer, noisemaker and hero-journalist Matt Taibii sent out the inaugural Thunderclap at noon, causing 1,921 people to tweet simultaenously at Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in order to entreat the pair to keep their hands off the Dodd-Frank Act (and also plug Mr. Taibbi’s recent article, “How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform“). The tweets were exposed to a combined 4 million people, Thunderclap estimates.

Thunderclap is a platform for people who want to send a directed petition signed by a crowd of people to a specific person or group via Twitter. Post a tweet, state your case, and ask others to join you—and if they do, it’ll trigger a mass of identical tweets all at the same time. Somewhat like Kickstarter, the app requires a message to reach a tipping point for the trick to work. Hopeful Thunderclappers must set a minimum number of supporters—Mr. Taibbi set his at 500—and a timeframe to reach the goal. If no one’s interested, the Thunderclap fails. Read More

Tweet the Public

Mayor Bloomberg Is Sick of Everyone Criticizing Him on Twitter All the Time

Mr. Bloomberg.

Michael Bloomberg wants to be New York’s first digital mayor, but all this negging on Twitter is really getting to him. “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments” in cities, the mayor said during a speech in Sinagpore yesterday, reports the New York Times. “We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day.” Read More

Tweet the Public

Sqoot: We Screwed Up, Hackathon May Not Go On


The cofounders of daily deals aggregator Sqoot have issued a full apology on their blog for a lame joke that made its way into the description of a Boston hackathon and offended the Internet. The joke and subsequent backlash that cost the organizers of the Boston API Jam four sponsors at last count may mean the organizers have to reschedule or cancel the event. “As we decide whether to continue with the event, or reschedule for another time, we will focus efforts on making sure that our event marketing is inclusive to all. We will do better,” Sqoot writes. Read More

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Sexist Jokes: A Great Way to Lose Your Hackathon Sponsorships

Mr. Yehia. (Twitter)

Remember Mo Yehia, founder of the improbably-named, the self-identified “anti-preneur” who scribbled some of his thoughts on Startupland in last week’s Betabeat? Mr. Yehia got a boost of publicity for his op-ed, but he and his cofounder got way more attention out of a faux pas today that caused them to receive many angry Twitter messages.

The pair included a tonally-incorrect joke in a call for an event called the Boston API Jam, and a source tells us the joke cost the Sqooters at least two sponsors. While most of the event perks were inoffensive, if a bit bro-y—real food instead of pizza, a day’s gym pass, massages—one so-called “perk” got them in trouble. “Women: Need another beer? Let one of our friendly (female) event staff get that for you.” Read More

Tweet the Public

Kremlin Aplogizes for ‘Inappropriate Retweet’


What is the Russian for faux pas? Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s official Twitter account, the 746,939 follower count of which is a point of Presidential pride, tweeted an obscene tweet mocking jailed election protest leader Alexei Navalny yesterday. According to the BBC, it translated to: “Today it became obvious that if somebody writes the phrase ‘party of swindlers and thieves’ on a blog, he is a stupid [obscenity] sheep.” Read More

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Bonobos Rep: We Got Clusterfucked on Cyber Monday

The Bonobos 404 page.

File this under how to handle an epic fail. We didn’t even know Bonobos had had an epic fail on Cyber Monday until we got our Quora newsletter this week, in which the top question was: “Why did Bonobos have such an epic fail on Cyber Monday 2011?” Apparently, the e-retailer was overwhelmed with traffic for its up to 60 percent off discounts and had to take down its site for days. But before it could, the startup accidentally charged customers who hadn’t made orders, served up agonizing slowness and surfaced repeated 404 errors—a nightmare for a company that strives for Zappos-esque customer service. Read More

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Virgin America Responds to Customer Complaints About Borked Site


The Virgin America rep sounded contrite. The airline switched reservation systems on October 28, Abby Lunardini told Betabeat, which essentially meant changing the entire site’s backend, and some though not all patrons have had errors because of it: trouble changing seats, canceling flights and accessing flight history, mostly. The change and subsequent trouble have backed up the airline’s call centers severely. “We’ve been working through the issues and made some fixes this past week and over the weekend,” she said. “We’re really very apologetic because it’s definitely not our typical service. We’re hoping we’re going to have the last web errors resolved by first week in December.” Read More

Tweet the Public

Ashton Feels Terrible About Twitter Faux Pas, Goes Into Twitter Rehab


Ashton Kutcher has gone into social media retreat. The star, angel investor and early Twitter adopter made a bad, bad tweet last night, inadvertently coming to the defense of an accused child molester abetter.

After he heard Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was fired, but before he knew why, Mr. Kutcher tweeted, according to the Washington Post, “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.” Shortly thereafter, he tweeted: “Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!” and “Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.” These tweets are now gone. Read More