Thursday, November 2, 2017

Giving Up on Twitter

I've been on the fence about this for a while now, and it's finally time: I'm giving up on Twitter.

I've written about my growing dissatisfaction with the service in the past, notably when they switched the icon for favorites from stars to hearts. That still bothers me. I deleted my first account a few days before the election, when Twitter's cesspool of vile neck-vomit reached its apex. And a few months into my second account, I'm hanging it up for good.

Because of this:

To give you an idea what happened, I changed my bio (as I had done many times in the past) to include a bad word. A really bad word. A word so bad that I won't repeat it here. Just kidding.

The word was fuck.

Used in the following sentence: "it's probably not a good idea to put "who gives a fuck" as my bio, is it."

Which is funny, because I guess it's not?

So to put things in perspective: the President can use Twitter to threaten nuclear holocaust, faceless trolls can make threats of sexual violence, and anonymous hacker collectives can use the platform to extort their victims. That's all cool. But you put a single "fuck" in your bio, and Twitter refuses to accept your money for promoted tweets. Glad they are paying attention to the real problems with their platform.

So good riddance once and for all. I'm convinced now, more than ever, that email is the best communications platform on the Internet.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Editing for Charity!

Let's try something different.

I often remark to others about how many, if not most, blog posts in the technical community are poorly-written heaps of primitive sentences and borrowed notions masquerading as original thought. And I make it a point to praise well-written blogs, because I believe in positive re-inforcement.

In other words, writing is hard. Most people are bad at it.

But it occurs to me that I'm guilty as well of dangling a participle or two, or even being bold enough to sloppily split infinitives.
Get your red pen ready.

So, here's the rub of this post: I welcome you to read through any of the posts I've published over the last four years in search of egregious grammar goof-ups or plain ol' typos. If When you find one, you have a few options:

  1. Post a comment describing the error
  2. Send me an email
  3. @ me on twitter (even though I don't post anymore often, I still read my timeline)
Of the three options, I'd highly recommend the second. The goal of this post is not to drive up engagement, or to generate ad revenue (I don't put ads on my site anyway). The goal is a bit more charitable.

For each unique typo or mistake you find, I'll donate $5 to SARC, an amazing organization in Maryland that provides support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. On the off-chance that this idea takes off, I'm placing a maximum of $1,000 on this campaign. As far as contests go, let's start this today (August 4, 2017) and wrap it up in 30 days (September 3, 2017).

So do your best and find my worst. I may argue usage errors with you, because I enjoy spirited debate. But a tie goes to the runner, so I'll relent when an impasse occurs.