Category Archives: Pete Taylor (shameless self publicity)

Tweet your Candidate is back!

Following the initial joy and elation at discovering we’ve got yet another chance to express our electoral opinions I’ve updated TweetYourMP.com to now include candidate information for the forthcoming 2017 snap General Election, and I’ve even managed to secure yet another dot com – TweetYourCandidate.com includes the details of over 3,000 candidates standing in the 650 constituencies across the UK.

Fortunately this time around I’ve been able to make use of the very useful candidate data from The Democracy Club which has saved a lot of time and made it possible to turn update the site in a very short space of time.

This time around there’s a new feature to play with: the campaign generator makes it possible to create your own pre-filled twitter campaigns to share.

As an example I created a very simple campaign – posing possibly the easiest question to people vying to be your Member of Parliament:

As I live in the Vauxhall constituency of former MP Kate Hoey I have had a number of replies:

First to reply was Harini Iyengar for The Women’s Equality Party:

and now without the ringer:

Then Mark Chapman for the Pirate Party:

George Turner for the Lib Dems:

and Gulnar Hasnain for the Greens

Sadly I’ve yet to receive replies from Kate Hoey (The former Labour MP) nor Dolly Theis who is the Conservative and Unionist Party candidate, although in the case of the latter I did tweet later as my initial candidate list didn’t include her twitter details. UKIP are not running in Vauxhall.

So far a number of campaigns have made use of the tool – which is provided free of charge, as a spare time project.

To ask the same question to your candidates visit TweetYourCandidate.com

We have lift off!

A while ago as part of my Kickstarter habit I excitedly backed a space program. For the princely sum of $10 I get to control a satellite that’s about the size of a coffee machine for 100 seconds.

Sadly Fortunately in this instance the satellite’s functions are limited to sending tweets from space and taking a couple of photos with it’s on-board camera, although the music from Diamonds are Forever will be playing in my head as I imagine wielding control of a thing flying through space – even if it is just for a moment and lacks a laser death ray.

Still it’s rather nice to see a very ambitious Kickstarter funded project come to fruition – given that many more earthly bound campaigns fail after the funding hurdle has been reached.

Here’s the cube blasting off on board supply ship onboard a rocket (launched magnificently from a swamp):

Spaaaaaceship AwaaaaY!
Spaaaaaceship AwaaaaY!

And here it is docking with the International Space Station:

At some point in the future it will be thrown out of an airlock in a graceful launch sequence. Suggestions of things I’m going to make it tweet (along with the 3000 or so other backers) are most welcome – I get 10 historic messages to broadcast from space and the option of 2 photos from the on-board camera.

New year, new server

Well I always like to celebrate a New Year in style, so to celebrate 2014 (the busiest year for this website ever) I’ve finally upgraded my legacy Supanames web package to something a bit faster.

The really-quite-handy-I-can’t-believe-it’s-free Uptime Robot tells the story better than I can, but hopefully things will start to work a bit faster and fall over less often.

It probably also helped that I had a bit of a script spring clean at the same time...
It probably also helped that I had a bit of a script spring clean at the same time…

Next step is to sort out the design again…

How to use @anywhere to brand your tweets…

I’ve been having a play with twitter’s @anywhere service that allows you to add twitter functionality to any website.

There are functions that turn @usernames into links automatically, but interestingly it’s also possible to edit the ‘sent via’ bit of text that appears next to your tweet.

For example the shamelessly self publicising:

Add branding to a tweet
I stuck with a boring name for this one

The via Kimondo (Pete Taylor) bit links to whatever site you set up when you register your app, which makes for some handy self publicity. I’m fairly sure that setting the app name to ‘buy some teeth whitening stuff here’ would infringe on Twitter’s terms of service, but I’m surprised no-ones tried it yet.

There’s a handy step by step guide on how to create your own @anywhere box here and you can see my attempt here. You can already get wordpress plugins that dovetail the functionality into your site.

You can follow me @kimondo to see the tweet.

(Belated) new year resolutions

Well it’s a bit late but here are my new year resolutions for 2010:

  1. Go running. Been meaning to do this one for a while. My Nike+ avatar is looking decidedly bored.
  2. Lose some weight. See point 1. No I’m not going on a diet.
  3. Write interesting blog posts more often. I’ll freely admit that I need to hone my blogging skills.
  4. Do more art. I’ve haven’t updated flickr in ages. And I have a lovely 40mm pancake lens to take pictures with.
  5. Finish more books. And blog about them. See post 3.

I think i’ll stick with four five for the time being – and will get my robot butler to revisit these (after parking my flying car) in 2011.

The power of a tweet…(but annoyingly I’m the only one that will ever know)

An interesting thing happened to me a few evenings ago. I was at one of the iTunes festival gigs in the roundhouse, which featured the eclectic line-up of Mumford and Sons (yawn), the Temper Trap (not bad) and Stephen Fry (yes, that Stephen Fry).

Stephen Fry was there in a warm-up capacity presumably because of his oft-voiced love of the iPhone which he uses to disseminate musings that range from being trapped in lifts, to jogging in New York. However, perhaps rather embarrasingly for Apple, Mr Fry decided to use his spot at the iTunes festival to have a go at the practices of the big music companies in aggressively pursuing illegal downloaders and filesharers.

my business – the film business, the television business, the music business – is doing the wrong thing

He spoke out against the ludicrous advert that compares downloading to pinching a handbag or stealing a car. He even fessed up to having bit-torrented a TV show – although covered himself by stating that he had already bought it on iTunes, and for some slightly unusual bandwidth reasons was unable to download it in the normal way.

Now this was all very interesting – and wildly popular with the crowd, however it seemed a little at odds to me. At the bottom of the pdf ticket I’d printed off to turn up at the gig was stated:

*You are not permitted to make audio or audiovisual recordings of the event

So when asked for a bit of feedback I tweeted the following:

listening to @stephenfry slagging off drm at itunes – where i’d get thrown out if caught filming him !

Which got slightly paraphrased when he read it on stage. Stephen Fry’s response was that everyone there was filming and photographing and tweeting – and that his speech would probably turn up on YouTube before the evening was out.

Sadly my fifteen minutes of twitter fame (quoted by the great Mr Fry – crikey!) went unnoticed to everyone but me. It even managed to get a blog on the bbc.

Maybe one day my shameless-self-publicity engine won’t let me down!

For more twitter excitement you can follow me at @kimondo

And yes, Stephen Fry did turn up on YouTube:

Stephen Fry talking at iTunes Live