Category Archives: Social Media

The Yo App Saved My Life

The incredible popularity of the new Yo app has surprised critics, and rightly so: It’s an app that lets you say “Yo” to your contacts. It’s gotten a million real, actual dollars in venture capital.

But don’t dismiss this fine example of humanity’s albatrossian priorities just yet; the app’s hidden powers may surprise you. Remember what people said when Twitter first came out: That’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Who in their right mind would use an app that limits you to 140 characters? Read a book, poindexter.

A lot of people, it turns out. Twitter has revolutionized the way we communicate as businesses, individuals, and government entities. It has leveled the playing field of communications, letting Joe Nobody tell George Clooney to get bent, George Clooney to tell Joe Nobody to eat a tree root, and HuffPo, et al to parlay that into an advertising honeypot of sweet, pointless controversy.

Now that Twitter has borne out Polonius’ observation that “brevity is the soul of wit,” the world is ready for Yo. It’s the ultimate in laconic communion; it is the pinnacle of egalitarianism: we are now all equally asinine.

And the public, it appears, has already found Yo to be a boon. Just look at all these testimonials from different people that I made up and posted to the long-form self-publishing platform known as my Twitter account:

I connected my Yo app to my Twitter! Now I can open the Yo app, hit Yo, and it appears on Twitter. This is so convenient! Thanks, Yo.

Convenient indeed! Of course, soon Twitter will no longer be needed, as Yo gets the job done just fine, without all that meaning and context getting in the way.

I said Yo to President Obama with the new Yo app. He said Yo back. Now I’m running for governor of Minnesota. Thanks, Yo!

Upward mobility FTW!

With the new Yo app, the possibilities are endless. You can say Yo to Charlie, Suzie, Kenny, even Robert! The Internet is complete.

Now to invent the Outernet.

I said Yo to her. She demured awhile, but eventually succumbed. When she said Yo back, I knew it was fate. Thanks, Yo.

The Age of No Information Whatsoever is working wonders for love.

Yo yo yo yo. Yo / yo; yo? Yo yo yo yo yo / yo yo yo yo yo


I’m a pastor in a struggling church in a one-horse town. We instituted the #YoApp to reach out to the youth. Now? Bumfuck, Kansas is saved!



A conscientious objector? A Shaun of the Dead fan? Or perhaps a competitor? Look out below, Yo.

I installed the Yo app, because I just need to know the world outside of my own mind exists. I think this may end the doctrine of solipsism.

Whatever that is. Who cares!

And finally:


A poignant sentiment indeed.

What killed Twitter? Three little “innovations.”

My buddy Jim has recently noted “the death of Twitter.” A few days later, The Atlantic wrote a eulogy for Twitter.

Is Twitter dead? No, but it’s not quite alive, either. It used to feel like a yacht party. It was delightfully obnoxious, like a champagne cork hitting you in the eye. Now it feels more like the fifth or sixth day at Jesse Pinkman’s marathon house party.

Chalk it up to three little technical “innovations” designed to “improve” matters.

The Retweet Button

This was introduced when Twitter was still alive and well. Before that, you had to manually retweet with an “RT” in front of the retweeted tweet. This encouraged adding something in front of it as a response in the same tweet. Your followers could see the context of your reply that way. This in turn encouraged more lively interaction.

You can still manually retweet, but most people just hit the retweet button and call it a day. That’s more boringer.

The Favorite Button

That’s been there for a long time, but people didn’t use it as much as they do today. Part of the reason for this change is that you are now notified when someone favorites your tweet. People treat it like a Facebook “like” button. It serves the function of acknowledging that you read someone’s tweet. It fills a psychological need.

Before favorite notifications, you had to do more than just click a button to acknowledge someone; you had to actually interact with people. This forced you to come up with something to say in return, which led to more interaction.

Better Spam Reduction Procedures

I don’t know about you, but I used to get a lot more spam in my Twitter feed. My hunch is that Twitter has improved its anti-spam procedures. Spam used to be the common enemy we could all agree to hate. It was rampant. Whenever we were lost for words, we could always bitch about the spammers. This brought us all closer together in a whiny little kinship, breaking the ice for further complaining about things. It was fun to be vocally annoyed at all the spam.

Now What?

I have all but quit Facebook, but that seems to be where the party went off to. Yet Facebook feels oppressive to me somehow, and I’m trying to slowly back away from online communication altogether, to force myself to rediscover the real world in a way that is becoming increasingly rare in our time. That backing-off process may take months or years, but for now I’m using Twitter to fill the mental and emotional gap Facebook used to fill. Maybe it’s a good thing Twitter ain’t all that anymore. It’ll help me get outta here sooner.


Moral of the story: Sometimes innovation is just some developer’s way of justifying a paycheck. It ain’t always good for business.

Image via Paul Jackson

How Not to Clean Up Your Email Contacts

I have 897 people in my email contact list. I even know some of them.

Some of my contacts are friends; others are business colleagues or clients. Others are people who may have been important to me at some point for some reason but I’ll be damned if I can tell you why.

Some of my contacts aren’t people at all. They’re mailing list subscription addresses I keep around to prevent their important messages from going to spam so I can personally click “delete” thirty times every morning and throughout the day. Why automate when you can pretend you have some control over your life, right?

Continue reading How Not to Clean Up Your Email Contacts

Your Entire Facebook History, Analyzed

“Will, you like to talk about Philosophy, Literature, and Social Media. You are introverted and spiritual. You post statuses to Facebook most often in the morning using”

So says Social Me, an excellent online tool that reads your entire Facebook history, applies a few mysterious algorithms, and spits out a comprehensive report about your Facebooking habits, cognitive leanings, personality traits, people you interact with, and loads of other interesting revelations. As a writer, I especially liked the way it compares certain facts about my writing style with the general population. Allegedly I use:

  • more words per sentence than 85% of people.
  • more commas than 89% of people.
  • fewer exclamation marks than 89% of people.
  • more dashes in my writing than 85% of people.
  • more quotation marks in my writing than 93% of people.
  • longer words than 93% of people.
  • words with more syllables than 94% of people.
  • fewer concrete words than 87% of people.

Continue reading Your Entire Facebook History, Analyzed