Twitter Spymaster – Games and Gameplay on Twitter: Twitter Enters the Market of Social Network Gaming

As described by MG Siegler of TechCrunch, Spymaster was developed by Eston Bond, who formerly developed games for Facebook, as well as Chris Abad, the founder of iList, an online classified advertisement service. Albert Choi and Ben Myles also are listed as creators.

For a time, the game was playable only by a small group of beta testers. These testers spread the word on Twitter about the game, building publicity for the May 29th public testing release date.

Signing up for Spymaster

By going to the Twitter Spymaster website, a Twitter user can use OAuth to activate a Spymaster account. From there, the user chooses a Spy agency to work for, such as the American CIA, British SIS, or Russian FSB. The network the user chooses decides who is friend and who is foe among the other Twitter users playing Spymaster.

Gameplay of Spymaster

Kyle Monson of Appscout describes gameplay as “making money, buying guns, ‘assassinating’ other players, and collecting safe houses.”

The new Spymaster has a dashboard which can be used to collect tasks given by the Directorate, each of which involve the activities described above. For example, when the Spymaster proceeds to “assassinate” another player, a “hashtag” goes onto the Spymaster’s account and the target’s acount, informing all followers of both parties of the attempt.

Monson describes how much of his gameplay was spent waiting for his energy level to recharge after he had spent resources or energy through one activity or another, or Instant Messaging the friends he was trying to kill.

“Converting” Other Twitter Users

A not so secret motive behind much of the present Spymaster gameplay is prompting users to invite their friends to join gameplay. Once a player “converts” a user into a Spymaster, that player earns money, which can be used for further gameplay.

Complaints about Spymaster

As Dave Zatz, of Zatz Not Funny! discusses, because each action of a player of Spymaster results in a “Tweet”, a heavy user of the game will quickly fill the feeds of his or her followers, “spamming” them, resulting in deletion from that followers accounts.

Monson mentions that there is a Twitter feature which allows the user to turn off notifications on their feed, although there are in game incentives.

Todd Barnard, replying to Zatz’s post, suggests that a Spymaster player may create a dedicated Twitter Spymaster account, so as to preserve the Twitter relationships outside of Spymaster.

Quitting Spymaster

Zatz’s instructions for those desiring to quit Spymaster are to go to the Twitter website, click Settings, click Connections, then click Revoke Access for Spymaster.

Success for Technology as woman tracks down attacker via Facebook

On 15 December an English court heard that a woman traced her attacker through Facebook.

The attacker Alpha Grey attempted to force the woman into a sex act. Shortly after he told her his first name and that he was from Holloway. With a particularly unusual first name, and location the woman was able to perform a basic search in Facebook which returned very few results. However, in these results she was able to identify her attacker through his profile picture. She even found that they had a friend in common. The woman informed the police of her findings and the case proceeded from there.

Facebook Searching

The searching mechanism in Facebook returns results from any keywords typed in. To limit the search results it is best to use a full name if it is a person or the most relevant word such as in the above scenario – typing in the word Alpha would have returned results of anything with that word in, but adding a location filters the results further. The search mechanism also looks for any potential links, for example if they have a friend in common with you.

The Different Facebook Search Mechanisms

  • Friend finder feature – this looks at email address books for example Hotmail, Yahoo and Googlemail.
  • Public search listings on internet search – this was created in 2007 to enable friends to find you off of Facebook. When people search your name through a public search engine like Google, they may see your public search listing. Your public search listing includes basic information that is always open to everyone like your name, profile picture, gender and networks.
  • Connection Search – this is a feature that is only available in Japan and helps to find people who might be of interest in your job search or work life.
  • Search on Bing – this is a search mechanism powered by Bing and allows you to see friends’ faces next to results they’ve liked and shared publicly. This experience is available when you arrive on Bing while logged in to Facebook or if you connect to Facebook while on Bing.

Face Recognition on Facebook

An article was printed by TechRadar , stating that Facebook is due to introduce a facial recognition tool in order to make tagging photos easier.

The aim behind this tool is to group similar faces together, offering the user a list of faces, when they go to tag a photo, which elevates the need for searching.

Facebook claims that over 100 million photographs are uploaded to the social network every day, and the only potential issues they are expecting, is for the tool to suggest you tag the wrong twin, or someone’s mother instead of their sister. Whilst this is an effort to improve photo-sharing, it can mean reducing the amount of clicks which is part of the generation we are currently involved in. Software and websites are constantly incorporating new systems so we the user to do not have to click so much, which is good for productivity but can encourage a lack of proofing.

With regards to the attacker Alpha Grey, technology has proved its worth here, but also with these continuous improvements it is now much easier to be tracked than ever before. So we have to ask the question, was this really one-upmanship for technology or the fact that the person gave too much away in the first place, and on that note are we all giving too much away online?

Twitter Applications That Count

Find out about three top Twitter applications that will help you manage you Tweeting needs with a lot more comfort and ease and less stress.

With social media gaining more and more importance in our world, it is to your advantage to get familiar with many of the tools designed to help make managing your social media accounts easier and less stressful.

Twitter is a great example of one of today’s top growing social media entities. By using Twitter and some of its top applications a company or person can expect possibly explosive results in terms of their online visibility and relevance. Here are just a few examples of Twitter applications that you may want to check out and begin using.

Micro-Manage Twitter with TweetDeck

Among some of the top applications used on Twitter would have to be TweetDeck. This application allows you to view all of you messages, your tweets that others have re-tweeted, current posts by friends and all of the times others have mentioned you in a post, all organized by the date and time these things were all posted. This saves a bunch of time and allows you to virtually never miss a question or mention that a person gives you, which could be hard to keep up with if you follow a lot of individuals.

Get More Qualified Followers with TweetAdder

Another great application for Twitter is called TweetAdder. It has a limited demo version, but isn’t very expensive considering all that it will allow you to do in terms of maintaining an active list of followers. At $49.00, this application is a bit higher in price compared to its competitors, however, it also is a lot more reliable, easier to use and overall more valuable and robust of an application.

WordPress Applications for Twitter Users

Finally, there is WordTwit. WordTwit connects to your personal blog and automatically updates your Twitter account with an automatically shortened link back to the exact new page you’ve recently published. You’ll also find that re-tweeting your older posts will usually still get you even more page hits than you are used to. This application does wonders for many a blogger and you really should consider using it yourself if you host your own WordPress blog via their free software platform for personal usage.

The Results of Using These Twitter Applications

If you use these three highly popular Twitter applications on a regular basis together you can expect to gradually grow your follower-base on Twitter, to gain new friends or clients and even possibly gain a great viral buzz for your own personal blog.

These are just a few options of applications that are out there for usage with Twitter. More and more are being built every day. It is important that you try not only these, but also some of the others out there to insure that you are meeting all of your needs as it relates to properly using your personal or company’s Twitter account.

How to Use Facebook to Grow a Business: Social Networking on for Entrepreneurs

With today’s trend of using social media to promote a business, a lot of small business owners are turning to Facebook as a tool to help them grow their businesses. However, many of them quickly grow frustrated as they discover that their old school friends and their family members have no interest in doing business when they are hanging out on a site filled with fun time sucking games like Sorority Life and Farmville. So, is Facebook a waste of time? Can small business owners really use this web 2.0 site to promote their businesses?

Facebook is actually a wonderful way for many types of small businesses to grow their businesses. However, they need to use this site the right way to see results. For anyone who is trying to use social networking sites to grow a business, the traditional family and friends aspect of Facebook isn’t actually that useful. There are specific apps and types of pages that the business owner should concentrate on instead.

Set Up a Fan Page on Facebook

Fan pages are being used by sole proprietors and by major corporations. They are a nice way to market a business to customers or potential customers in a spot where they love to spend a lot of their free time. A fan page consists of:

  • A wall where the business owner and customers can interact.
  • An information page where the business can share its mission, products and other company stats.
  • A photos section where the business owner and customers can interact by sharing photos of products, services, etc.
  • A discussion section that allows a business owner to get valuable customer feedback and suggestions or showcase special offers, new products, etc.
  • A links section that allows customers to see all the links that are on the fan site.

Many business owners use their fan pages as a way to really get customers involved in their businesses. They ask them for opinions, hold contests and share breaking news that can only be found on those pages. Thinking outside the box and not just using their Facebook fan page as a Twitter type site with more room for comments can really help them grow their customer base and increase business.

Join or Create Groups on Facebook

There are groups for just about any hobby or interest imaginable on Facebook. Active groups are filled with prospective customers or clients. When joining an established group, a small business owner should be careful to move slowly and not try to over promote his or her business. To promote the business more heavily, he or she may want to consider creating a new group.

Take Advantage of Cheap Advertising on Facebook

Many business owners are unaware that Google is no longer the only big name in town for a small business owner with a limited online advertising budget. has an<href=”#%21/advertising/?src=pf”> advertising program, too. A business can choose to spend as little as a dollar a day on advertising, although a budget of thirty dollars a month may not give the ad enough exposure to generate traffic or sales.

Use the Networked Blogs App to Help Promote a Small Business Blog

For anyone who has a blog for his or her business, using the Networked Blogs app is a must. Setting up a blog page is really simple. Simply type in the blog name, url and description and then claim the blog. This gives the small business owner a Facebook page that shows the blog feed, lets readers rate the blog, collects followers and offers a discussion board.

Once a small business owner stops looking at as a place to get hooked on games or catch up with family members and starts to look at ways the business itself can become a part of Facebook, he or she will realize that this social networking site could be an important part of the company’s marketing strategy.

How to Protect Your Relationship on Facebook

Facebook is becoming known as a detriment to relationships these days, since access to ex-boyfriends and girlfriends is easy to get. Some divorce lawyers even say that it is easier to get evidence of cheating and infidelity on Facebook, as notes and status updates are readily available.

Here’s how to protect your relationship while still using the social networking site.

Resist the Urge to Look Up Old Flames

Looking up someone you used to date is easy with Facebook, but before you do it, put yourself in your partner’s place. Would you like it if they did the same thing? If you would not be comfortable with your partner emailing or looking up an old flame, you shouldn’t do it yourself. The curiosity of “I wonder what happened to…” could just cause your partner unnecessary hurt feelings.

Don’t Post Anything That Could Be Misconstrued

Remember that tone and gestures don’t come through on Facebook, so watch what you say to make sure it can’t be taken the wrong way. You may be joking but your post could be taken seriously. Anytime you “like” someone’s status or leave a comment, this information could be seen by other people, including your spouse or the person you are dating. So make sure you are being smart about what you post.

Don’t Put Up Unflattering Pictures

It’s one thing to have a past, and another to shove it in your partner’s face by plastering it all over Facebook. Any photos of you with ex’s, drunk, acting stupid, or anything similar should simply not be posted. If you are in a new relationship, pictures can be taken the wrong way. After all, someone who has not known you that long might not find them funny because they can’t put it all in perspective yet.

If you’re in a relationship, pictures become an even more sensitive topic. It’s one thing to have prior relationships, and it’s another to post pictures of you and an ex so your partner is forced to see them. Once again the golden rule applies. If you wouldn’t want to see the same type of pictures posted by your partner, then don’t post them yourself.

If Contacted by an Ex, Be Cautious Before You Respond

While you might not be looking for your ex online, your ex could be looking for you. You don’t know what your ex’s personal relationship status is, so give some thought before you accept a friend request or start chatting them up. If your partner knows that you are in contact with an ex, it won’t matter to them who initiated the friend request.

Watch Your Posting Frequency

Even if you aren’t in contact with your ex’s, Facebook can cause problems if you’re not totally honest with your partner about other areas of your life. If you post a status saying that you’re hanging out with the guys, when you told your partner that you were working, this could be an issue down the line.

The same is true if you refuse to return your boyfriend’s call because you’re too busy, but yet you have the time to update Facebook. If you are in a new relationship, this could needlessly cause a lack of trust, simply based on the perception you are giving off, so proceed with caution. Before you make a move online, think about your partner first.

Top Unschooling Resources on Facebook

Nearly everyone uses Facebook these days, which is especially great for unschoolers who may not know the other unschooling families in their areas.

Online homeschooling resources are abundant and can be useful to unschoolers. However, for some needs, only other unschoolers will provide practical support, advice, or recommendations for philosophically-inoffensive learning materials.

Top Unschooling Facebook Pages

In “standard” unschooling form, little to no definition is given to govern the content of the pages. Yet, for the most part, it all works well to serve the unschooling community.

  1. Unschooling is liked by over 8,000 Facebook users. The only description: “Unschooling is exactly what you make it.” On this page, you’ll find contributions of article links, quotes, comments, etc., by many different people.
  2. Unschooling (same name, different page) is liked by over 6,000 FB users. Like the other Unschooling, you’ll find contributions of links, comments, quotes, etc., from many different people.
  3. Homeschooling / Unschooling is liked by over 3,000 people. You’ll find contributions by various people, i.e., blog posts, videos, news links, etc.
  4. Unschooling (same name again, different page) is liked by over 2,000 FB users. This Unschooling, however, offers a description: “Unschooling allows a child to follow her/his interests and abilities, without the constraints of schedules, busywork and constant homework. One is able learn freely and therefore joyfully, without the influence of peer pressure cultures.”
  5. An Unschooling Life is liked by over 2,000 people. This page is the FB counterpart to, a place to share our unschooling journeys.
  6. Shine with Unschooling is liked by over 1,000 people. “All Children SHINE when Celebrated for Being Exactly Who They Are!”
  7. Living the Unschooling Life is liked by over 1,000 people. This page is about radical unschooling…”let’s help each other truly understand it & give our children the opportunity to uncover their inner potential!”

Slightly Lesser-Known Unschooling Resources on Facebook

Here are a couple of pages and several unschooling groups. On the discussion groups, you’ll find lively discussion of all aspects of unschooling life. You can also look for regional unschooling pages and groups.

  1. National Unschooling Examiner is the FB counterpart to the column dedicated to unschooling news.
  2. Unschooling is an interest group with over 4,000 members.
  3. Radical Unschooling Info is an interest group with nearly 1,000 members.
  4. Unschooling (same name, different group) is a discussion group with nearly 500 members.
  5. Unschooling Kids and Teens is an interest group that has over 300 members. It’s for young and youth unschoolers to make connections.
  6. Radical Unschooling with the Law of Attraction is an interest group with over 300 members.

Facebook hosts a well-established unschooling community. It’s a convenient place to ask questions and offer advice. You might even make some local connections.

Twitter Tips for Businesses: Do’s and Don’ts for Company Tweets

Founded in 2006, Twitter is a micro-blogging and social networking service that enables users to send messages (or “tweets”) of 140 characters or less to followers on a public timeline. It has become a highly effective avenue for promoting businesses, connecting with like-minded professionals and increasing brand awareness.

The “Twitterverse” is filled with millions of active users around the globe. According to web metrics firm Alexa, Twitter is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 sites in the world. Its popularity has created a multitude of new opportunities for businesses to develop meaningful networks of followers and potential customers.

Spearheaded by early adopters and super users, Twitter best practices have emerged in a rather short amount of time. Users who abandon or fail to learn the expected protocol aren’t likely to experience success with the service. Poor use also has the power to turn consumers away from a particular brand.

The following Twitter tips for businesses will help users abide by these evolving best practices:

Don’t Spam Twitter Followers

Twitter users don’t log into the service so they can be bombarded with a stream of blatant advertisements. It’s a tool for connecting, learning and sharing. Businesses should offer content that provides a value to their networks, such as free trials, promotions, helpful links or educational resources.

Do Build a Twitter Network Strategically

The quantity of a user’s Twitter followers doesn’t matter as much as the quality of followers. Seek out potential and current customers, brand loyalists and strategic partners. Then, develop a plan to engage each of these groups. Twitter can also be used to monitor competitors’ actions and promotions.

Don’t Use Twitter as a One-Way Tool

Businesses will find the most success from Twitter when they actively communicate with their networks and build meaningful relationships with followers. Respond to other tweets and re-tweet other useful messages. The interaction will encourage other users to spread company tweets as well.

Do Make Time to Listen to the Twitterverse

Twitter is not all about pushing messages. It’s a valuable tool for listening too. Conduct Twitter searches to discover what customers are saying about the company, its products and its brand. Use the feedback – both positive and negative – to improve customer relations, monitor brand perceptions and identify areas for improvement.

Don’t Get Discouraged from a Slow Start

Twitter takes a serious, daily commitment. Continually work to build a Twitter network. Follow others. Engage with others. As the network grows, so will the awareness.

Do Ensure Company Tweets are Transparent

The user manning a company Twitter account should be a representative of the company. Additionally, don’t lie about personal identities within the company. For instance, if the president of a company has registered an account, then the president needs to do the tweeting. Twitter users who are discovered to bend the truth often receive negative backlash from followers and the public.

Business users who are strategic with company tweets are likely to experience the most success in expanding their customer bases and communicating with a targeted audience. Listen and engage with other users, rather than pushing a stream of advertisements.

Internet Time Well Spent: Facebook Now More Used Than Google

U.S. netizens now spend more time social networking on Facebook than searching on Google. Users now spend 1 of every ten internet minutes on Facebook.

People in the United States who go online, ‘netizens’ as internet users are now being called, and a large majority of citizens in the U.S. are now netizens, now officially spend more time being social on Facebook than searching on the previous most used site, Google.

The numbers were released on 2014 and say that Facebook use officially passed Google use (“Facebook edges Google sites for surfer’s time”, The Globe and Mail) in August. The report comes from comscore, a company that among other things say they measure “the digital world” and the numbers they measured regarding Facebook and Google usage are big.

Last August, they report, web users spent under 5% of their time on Facebook that month but that has grown significantly over a year. Web users spent virtually 10%, 9.9% to be precise, on Facebook in the month of August and that translates, comscore says, to a whopping 41.1 million minutes.

Google Still Second as Netizens Still Spend Lots of Time Searching

While Facebook is the most used site with the most minutes spent on it the search engine Google, and Google news and You Tube and other Google features, is still getting well used. In total netizens in the U.S. spent 39.8 million minutes, which comes out to 9.6 per cent of their time, on Google Inc. sites.

Yahoo was third among America’s web users with 37.7 million minutes on Yahoo Inc. sites and that translates to 9.1 percent of their time online. It was only in July of 2014 that Facebook vaulted past Yahoo into second place. When totaled on average U.S. internet users are spending 28.6% of their internet time on the following three sites: Facebook, Google or Yahoo.

Facebook a Revolution That Keeps Growing

Facebook is a social revolution that came about almost by accident. While at Harvard Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook along with friends and fellow computer science students Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin.

Zuckerberg launched Facebook in February of 2004 and it was originally used simply for photos and info on students and faculty at Harvard. He eventually, with help from the others, got it up and running at other top universities and from there it kept spreading. There are reportedly an astonishing 500 million Facebook users in the world and the 26-year-old Zuckerberg has earned in the neighborhood of $4 billion.

A movie called The Social Network on Zuckerberg released on October 1 2010. The screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin who created television’s The West Wing and stars Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg. Justin Timberlake has a part in the movie.

Twitter Tools: Applications, Plug-Ins, and More for Twitterers

Twitter tools are the essential functions that enable twitterers to post tweets and expand their Tweep follower network in the Twitterverse. There’s a host of tools, applications, and plug-ins available to enhance the Twitter user’s experience. Here’s a look at some of the essential Twitter tools users need. Stay alert because Twitter lingo can be tricky!

Twitter Tools for Managing Tweets

TwitterFox – This is the Firefox browser plug-in that allows twitterers to manage their tweets and any private messages they receive from other twitterers. All a user needs to do is click on the Twitter logo that is located on the bottom right corner of the Firefox browser window to see any incoming tweets and chose which one they want to reply to.

TweetLater – With this TweetLater function, twitterers are able to stock up their tweets such that they may be scheduled for posting at a later date. Users are able to forward emails on their followers to their TweetLater email address at, and these followers will automatically receive a direct message from the user. This is a great way for marketers to automate all their marketing tweets.

TwitterFeed – This is a Twitter tool that allows bloggers to feed their blog posts directly to their Twitter account. By using the Blog Update function, twitterers may preface the text of their tweets and control the frequency with which Twitter displays their blog posts.

TwitterSearch – This is a Twitter tool that allows users to quickly search the Twitterverse for what other twitterers are tweeting about, by entering specific keywords or topics in the search box.

TweetBeep – This tool enables users to keep track of any tweets posted that mention their names, businesses, products or any other relevant information. This function acts like the Google Alerts tool whereby the user may create alerts for their set of keywords and web addresses. Thereafter an alert is sent to their inbox whenever someone posts a tweet about the user’s name, brand or blog post.

TwitterGrader – This is an application that enables twitterers to find out how their account is ranked by Twitter, which may be anywhere from 0 – 100. Users are able to know how much influence they have in Twitterverse as they are ranked according the number of followers they have and their number of tweets.

LoudTwitter – This Twitter Tool enables users to post their daily tweets to their blog.

Tools for Tweeting Events and Photos

TwitterCal – This is the Twitter tool that enables users to add events to their Google calendar directly from Twitter. All the user needs to do is log onto TwitterCal then add gCal as their virtual Twitter friend. They may thereafter add events simply by sending the event as a direct message to gCal, which is thereafter automatically included in the user’s Google Calendar.

TwitterGram – This is an application that allows twitterers to link their Twitter account with their Flickr account simply by assigning a tag of all their Flickr pictures that they would want to have posted on their Twitter page as well.

Using Twitter Tools Effectively

It’s not enough to use the Twitter tools alone, as twitterers must go the whole nine yards with their Twitter accounts in order to maximize their following. They may do this by uploading a picture of themselves, customizing their profile page, ensuring they communicate regularly and aim to have more followers than the number of twitterers that they themselves are following.

Twitter Tools allow users to automate and customize their tweet experience, thereby effectively implementing Twitter into their daily lives. With the use of Twitter tools, twitterers are able to enhance their experience on Twitter, thereby making it more fun and enjoyable. Try some today.

Just for Fun Twitter Tools: Enhance Your Tweeting Experience with Free Services and Applications

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site, is used for many purposes. Some people tweet to stay in touch with family and friends while others use the site for business, self-promotion and marketing purposes. But Twitter can also be entertaining and loads of fun.

There are many third-party applications and services that are readily available for Twitter users. The following websites provide a wide variety of entertaining and just for fun Twitter tools and applications at no cost.

Just for Fun Twitter Tools:

  • SecretTweet – Similar to a popular website, Secret Tweet allows users to share secrets on Twitter, totally anonymously. Currently, more than 10,000 people follow Secret Tweet on a regular basis. Contributing to Secret Tweet is as simple as typing a tweet – no identifying information is required. And who knows? It could just be liberating and exhilarating to share that deep dark secret with complete strangers.
  • CelebWitter – Everyone is Twittering these days, including celebrities. For those who love to follow the daily escapades of the rich and famous, CelebWitter may be just the ticket. Actual tweets from famous celebrities have been verified by the celebrity or a representative to be real. Whether a movie buff or fan of television, stop by CelebWitter to see what the rich and famous are tweeting about.
  • Twoof Doof – Twoof Doof is a fun service that allows Twitter users to play online games with other users and compare scores in an instant. Register to play all sorts of classic games including Mahjong, Bozzle and Solitaire. Twoof Doof requires Adobe Flash.
  • TwitterTagProject – This service is reminiscent of the popular game Tag. To play, select a favorite Twitter friend and send them one of five pre-made messages, including “Tag, you’re it!” Once the message has been received, the recipient tags a fellow follower and the game continues.
  • Twitt(url)y – Twitt(url)y allows users to see what others are tweeting and retweeting about. Track the latest trends and see what people are linking to in an instant.
  • Phweet – Send and receive free conference calls in real time with friends and loved ones online, on a SIP phone or mobile device with Phweet. While this application can be used just for fun, it can also be used for other purposes as well. To start, sign in using the Twitter username and password. Invite a fellow Twitter friend or follower and type a personal message. The service creates a unique URL, sends it to the recipient along with the personalized message. When the shortened URL is accessed by the recipient, a message asks users whether to accept the call or not. Once the conference call is over, the unique URL expires. Flash is required.
  • TweetWasters – According to the website, TweetWasters is “completely useless.” This fun application calculates how much time a person wastes on Twitter. The service also includes a Hall of Fame and a WordPress plugin.

Twitter Weather Tools:

  • ClimaTweet – Once a user signs up, this application sends daily weather updates to user’s Twitter account. To sign up, just enter the Twitter username and select a geographical location. Information is available in either Fahrenheit or Celsius formats.

Tweeterology – Tweeterology is another handy weather application for Twitter users. Tweeterology scours and scans Twitter for weather related tweets for a location specified by the user. Tweeterology is a “weather related search engine for Twitter.” Some new features are expected soon.