Now you can allow any Twitter user to DM you.

Twitter Direct Messages (DMs) have always been a bit of an anomaly. Twitter is fundamentally a public and asymmetric network – you can follow someone who doesn’t follow you back.

Direct messages work in the opposite direction to every other message in the network – you can only DM people who are following you. This […]

Big listening

I just listened in on a webinar on #BigListening from the US non-profit @Upwell ( They describe themselves as a PR agency for the sea, and are brilliant at spotting emerging topics of online discussion, and then amplifying the heck out of them to turn a tiny little thing, into a really big thing online. […]

Estimating past follower numbers on Twitter

Lets face it: no matter how much we protest that Twitter is not a numbers game, we can’t help comparing follower counts with other similar accounts. And we all get a little fizz of excitement when we pass a milestone in followers, or notice a spike in the number of people following us.

But if […]

The Poke publishes the best police tweets of 2013 – and the majority of them are from 2012!

Earlier today the poke published the 11 best police tweets of 2013. I love the poke, they publish some brilliant things…but this one was a bit…erm…out of date? How do I know? Well I wrote two of the tweets they highlighted…in 2012!

Here is the poke’s run down, with the original tweets (or you […]

2013 – a review of my year…

My boss wrote me a powerful message in her Christmas card to me this year: “be proud of what you’ve achieved this year”. December was a hard month for me, but that quote set me thinking. In the light of all the “reviews of the year” that are inevitable at this time of year, I […]

Creating a Photomosaic of Twitter followers

One of the Twitter accounts I manage professionally recently passed the 30,000 followers mark. This was a big milestone for us, and we wanted to mark it with something special. Here’s how I did it! […]

Creating random (fake) placenames

When I saw this tweet asking for help creating fake placenames:

I need your help. I need fake town, city and county names please. Caveat: they must be realistic sounding and not offensive. Thanks!

— Christine Townsend (@ceetownsend) August 7, 2013


My inner Stinson couldn’t resist…

Pick a word from the Prefix Column, and […]

Is there a flaw with Twitter two step verification?

Earlier this week Twitter announced its much awaited two-step verification process (see Mashable for more).

I am worried I might have spotted a fatal flaw in the process that makes hacking a twitter account EASIER if you enable two step verification.

Twitter have been obviously inspired by Google’s two step verification process, making use of […]

Drawing pictures with text (the joys and annoyances of Unicode and Ascii text).

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, I have a bit of a soft spot for symbols and pictures in text based updates. More often than not this is done using Unicode – no doubt you’ve seen people (let’s face it, they are usually beliebers!) who include hearts, squiggles, smiley faces and weird […]

@BurgerKing got hacked – but kept their verified tick…

Earlier today the @BurgerKing twitter account got hacked – possibly by online hacking pranksters “anonymous” – and started to tweet rather “off message” stuff (starting by saying the chain had been sold to McDonalds). Shouldn’t those changes have meant they lost their verified tick? Does that hint at something stranger going on? […]