I recently changed hosting for my WordPress blogs. My main reasons for changing were, my host was unable to update the version of PHP which would result in being unable to update to the most recent version of WordPress. They did offer me a new hosting contract, but I would then have to migrate my blogs across, so I decided that if I needed to do that I might as well review new hosts. I had had reliability issues with my existing host. I was also concerned about upgrading to SSL (https). Both Chrome and Safari were marking non-https sites as “non-secure”.
It’s not as though I was doing e-commerce on my blogs, but it looked like Google would drop non-https sites down in their search results. I also thought the “non-secure” identification might worry people.
There were a few challenges, mainly as I took the opportunity to move a couple of my blogs to a domain of their own. I say opportunity I wasn’t sure I could recreate the same setup with the new host that I had with the old one.
Now in some recent blog posts I was getting an inconsistent result with some tweet links converting into embedded tweets and others not so. In one case in one of my blog posts one of the tweets did what it was supposed to and the other one didn’t.
I know I can do a screen grab of the tweet and embed that into the blog post, but I do like how the embedded tweet was live and dynamic, you could like or reply to the tweet from the embedded tweet.
Looking around for a potential cause of the problem and hopefully a solution I found this WordPress support link from a Google search on the issue.
Embedding with a shortcode
If you want more control over the display and layout of the tweet you are embedding, you can use a special shortcode. Copy and paste one of the following shortcodes into a post, page, or text widget. Be sure to change the tweet URL or ID to the one that you want to embed.
Looking over the feed from that time, it’s interesting to see how different Twitter would have been for me, than it is now. Back then I followed a lot less people (and I have stopped following some I followed back then), so it’s not entirely accurate reflection of what Twitter would have been like.
However there is a lot less commercial stuff and a lot less tweeting of news and links. There are no animated GIFs and no images, and no web page previews for links, so the feed is very textual, compared to my feed today. Today’s feed on the left and the 2008 feed on the right.
You can use this search method, even if you weren’t on Twitter ten years ago and you can of course change the date as well.
The search query is
filter:follows until:2008-05-25 -filter:replies
What I found equally interesting, but more useful was how you can use the search function to get a strict reverse-chronological timeline with no algorithm bases tweets (or advertising). From this tweet.
By the way, if you remove the date parameter from that search and click “Latest,” you get a strict reverse-chronological timeline with no algorithm junk.
Back in the early noughties I remember attending edtech conferences and the wifi failing to cope with the number of delegates. That wasn’t surprising, they were often using a single wireless access point and when sixty plus edtech delegates hit the event with their laptops and PDAs it wasn’t much of a surprise to find the lone access point failing to deliver any wifi.
Even today I have been to events where the wifi struggles as delegates with their laptops, iPads, smartphones connect to the wifi. It is partly about the number of devices, it is also about how they are using the connection, refreshing twitter, uploading photographs, streaming video like Periscope. I also think that some people may take advantage of the fast connection (sometimes inadvertently) to download updates, podcasts and video.
At the recent UCISA Spotlight on the Digital Capabilities event in Birmingham, the conference centre wifi, which in theory could cope with 250 wireless clients, failed to deliver a stable consistent wifi connection. I found that if my laptop was connected to the wifi, it not only took time to get a connection, but every so often the connection would drop. I would say that when I had a connection it was fast and consistent. I felt lucky that I could still tweet and upload photographs using my phone on my Three 4G connection. I was getting over 60Mb/s on that connection in the main auditorium. I was quite pleased that the seats in the auditorium had tables and power sockets.
The thing is, a conference with delegates from the edtech world are probably going to melt the wifi as most conference centres don’t plan their capacity on the extremes. For most events it probably works just fine. Personally since those early days I have come less and less to rely on the conference wifi, using a 3G dongle, 3G tethering, a 4G WiFI Hotspot to my current 4G tethering. This means that not only do I not worry so much about melting wifi, but it frees up the bandwidth for somebody else, and I think I might a pretty heavy user of bandwidth!
Today I was presenting a keynote at the RSC Wales Conference in Cardiff. I had finished my presentation, however on the train I took the decision that the audience probably would be on the Twitter and therefore this was an opportunity to engage with my audience and get them discussing through Twitter. It would also be an easy way to add value to my Keynote presentation with links to relevant blog posts, news items, wikipedia articles and images.
So I went through the presentation and added the [twitter][/twitter] comments in the presentation notes.
It was only after I had done all this that I wondered if the recent Twitter API change would make a difference, so I tested the process and it didn’t work.
It had worked seamlessly before, but wasn’t working now. The main difference between then and now was the change in the Twitter API.
I checked my settings and then went through the process I had used before that was outlined on this blog post. I checked, and went through the whole authorisation process, but to no avail.
As a result I didn’t have the time to set up another solution, so my presentation was in the end tweetless.
For the future I think I will need to find another solution, what I liked about Keynote Tweet was the seamless way it worked with Keynote allowing individual tweets to be “sent” from individual slides.
If you know of a possible solution let me know in the comments.
Over the last few years I have been using the Osfoora client on my iPhone and iPad to use the Twitter.
On June 11th, Twitter turned off their API 1 and developers were only allowed to use API 1.1
As a result (well I think as a result) Osfoora stopped working as a Twitter client.
What is disappointing is that there was no news from Osfoora and no updates to the apps available.
What is disappointing is that this wasn’t a free app, these were apps I paid for.
I am not sure who I am more disappointed with Osfoora or Twitter.
There was an update for the Osfoora client for the iPhone, that allegedly used the API 1.1. It though, required 6.1 (something I had been putting off), I did that, updated Osfoora, rebooted the phone and now the app doesn’t work at all…
The end result is that I am looking for a new iOS Twitter client, in the meantime I am using the official iOS Twitter client, which is okay, but not really my cup of tea.
Update: Deleting and then reinstalling the app has fixed the app. Of course this won’t work on the iPad I believe as Osfoora HD hasn’t been updated and is not available.
Osfoora is a powerful Twitter client with a clean and intuitive user interface. You’ll enjoy a wide set of powerful features such as Muting users, Read Later, Message Conversations, Multiple Accounts, and more.
This is not a free app and is £2.99 which considering what it does compared to the free Twitter app is in my mind a little expensive. However for the price of a venti coffee from a certain chain, I didn’t worry about it too much.
One feature that you may like (and probably worth £2.99) is the functionality to mute a contact.
This isn’t blocking, this merely means that the person’s tweets “disappear” from your timeline. In the preferences you can unmute them and once more you will be able to read their tweets. This can be useful if someone is at a conference and is “flooding” your stream.
I quite like the interface and the way it looks. I don’t think it handles multiple accounts very well, certainly I prefer how the official Twitter app does that.
In the end I bought this app as I like the iOS versions, I think it looks good, it lacks some of the functionality of the other apps, but I suspect that will come in future versions.