Category Archives: Web Links

My Twitter Rant: They Sold Out The Text Messaging Users (SMS)

twittersink(this might be a little too geeky for some of you, sorry. It just seems like everyone and their mom is getting a twitter account, like it’s the next facebook or something, so I figured it was time for me to chime in with a little rant)

I am not impressed with Twitter. When I heard about the concept, it seemed interesting. This was my understanding. Basically it was a social network of individual mini-blogs. Everyone was limited to keeping their blog post to just 140 characters and the focus was to be on answering the question “What Are You Doing?” It wasn’t terribly unique or anything, but it’s been catching on. Why the 140 character limit? Well, that’s about the size limitation of a standard SMS Text message. This is unique. The goal, or so I thought, was to create a blogging platform and social network so that you could update your status from your mobile phone, wherever you are. In turn, you could also receive updates from your friends that you choose to follow on your phone as well. Neat. And when I got a phone with an unlimited text messaging plan I decided to give it a shot. But a few months in and I realize, twitter wasn’t for the simple Text messaging plan user like me. The actual platform and site itself isn’t geared toward or friendly toward simple SMS users and thus the community and users that make it up aren’t friendly toward typical SMSers either. No, this is an elite crowd of blackberry, iPhone and G1 users, the truly geeked out ones among us.

Here’s 4 reasons why Twitter isn’t for the SMS user:

  1. There is very little mobile following options. Your only customization is to choose the time of day that you can receive tweets, allowing you to block off the evening when you don’t want to be available (or maybe the work day). You can’t block off multiple sections, only one.
  2. You can’t customize your following. Following on your mobile device simply means you receive a text every time they post. You can’t filter, limit, or sort your incoming messages at all. If I’m on my mobile phone without internet I’m not interested in getting tweets that have links in them, which leave me totally in the dark as to what the message was about.
  3. There is no ‘smart’ reply abilities. Facebook mobile is great at this. When I get a text message that someone updated their status, I can hit reply and leave a comment which will post to that unique status update. Facebook does this with unique addresses for each text message they send. If Twitter did this I wouldn’t have to type @username everytime I wanted to reply to someones tweet. I could just hit reply and it would add the @username for me.
  4. I can’t get @replies on my mobile from people I’m not following on my mobile. Unless I follow everyone who follows me on my phone, I’ll miss lots of @replies to my tweets, rendering the ‘realtime’ usefulness of twitter, well, rather useless.

And the non-text message friendly environment has created a non-text messaging friendly community:

  • It seems the vast majority of twitter users have iphones, G1’s, blackberries and other phones with mobile web apps. So, they aren’t even using text messaging generally, rather a simple mobile version of twitter. So, why the 140 character limit?
  • Nearly half the ‘tweets’ I get from friends contain links. That’s not a problem for most since this community also has internet access on their phone and can follow the links wherever they are. Whether it’s a news article or a picture, getting a message with a link on my mobile is pretty useless. It also brings up the fact that twitter, along with ditching the 140 character limit should allow images too.
  • Twitter functions like a RSS reader or inbox to most. The messages don’t come through the same avenue as say a phone call (where as tweets sent to my mobile are mixed in with important personalized texts), so most users simply check their twitter stream in between things, when there is some down time. It’s useful in this sense.

Now that that’s out of the way…

The truth is I’ll probably still use twitter. There are enough hacks, tweaks and third party apps to make it semi-useful for me, but the bigger reason is because there is an actual niche community out there (and I need some adult connection during the day). I probably won’t be as interactive on it as most, but it will probably morph into my mini-blog of status updates running around chasing toddlers. And maybe twitter will get their act together and provide a quality service to the SMSers they seemed to originally be aiming for.

Thinking Thursday: Race, Lies, Charcoal, and Ice

AllyWork » White Lies: a cartoon

If only it were this easy:

Truth - Lies via

A staggering 40% of Filipinos live in abject poverty. That’s more than 30 million people; almost half the population of the UK. Many of them live in shanty towns in the cities, hoping for a better life, so work in places like the charcoal fields to earn some money. They often get to keep little of what they make as the local mafia demand a cut of the profits. The Charcoal Children of Manila

A staggering 40% of Filipinos live in abject poverty. That’s more than 30 million people; almost half the population of the UK. Many of them live in shanty towns in the cities, hoping for a better life, so work in places like the charcoal fields to earn some money. They often get to keep little of what they make as the local mafia demand a cut of the profits.

The Charcoal Children of Manila

Green and Purple People via

ABC News has learned that on Monday officials of the Obama administration called Citigroup about the company’s new $50 million corporate jet and told execs to “fix it.
Citigroup Grounds Plans for $50M Jet

I just LOVE that line: “fix it.”

You go Obama! When I heard about AIG’s expensive resort retreat after their bailout I just shook my head. I didn’t even have the thought “our president should do something about it”, that’s how little I’d come to expect of our executive office.  Guess the President can be more “for the people” like I’ve always hoped.

Education is the Most Powerful Weapon (via missdreass:neverknew) (via wasteofpaint)

On Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, former AIG executive got sentenced to 4 years in prison for $500 million fraud.

The same day, a judge sentenced a homeless man to 15 years in prison. The homeless man had robbed a Louisiana bank and took a $100 bill; after feeling remorseful, he surrendered to police.
What’s Wrong with our Justice System

And I leave you with this last thought provoking image. Vanilla Ice.

Vanilla Ice! via   

Remember and Be Inspired By More Than The Dream


MLK Day seems to be one of the few National holiday’s I find myself appreciating. In our country, in modern times, I think Dr. King is one of the few examples of what the church should look like in this day and age. His words, many actual sermons, are so inspiring and moving, they have had a lasting impact on my life. I’ve been to MLK events in most of the cities we’ve lived, and there is something so encouraging about standing amongst others recognizing both the strides we’ve made (and the impact committed people of faith can have) and acknowledging the road ahead.
Enough of my words though, I want to strongly encourage you to take in and read and listen to the words of Dr. King. If you’ve never heard the I Have A Dream speech in it’s entirity, I suggest you listen to it. But, whether you have or not, what you really should do is read and listen to his other speeches and sermons. I’ll put some links to audio, videos and text below.

This is a inspiring audio/visual piece about MLK that I think is worth a watch. Just ignore the first part about Bush, the stuff about Dr. King is really motivating:


-I Have a Dream (mp3) (Real Player)

I’ve Been To The Mountain Top

-Pride by U2 (Real Player) (Not Dr. King, but about him)

Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Sermon at Temple Israel of Hollywood

Methodist Student Leadership Conference Address

-Robert F. Kennedy Speech On The Assassination Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Real Player)

-NPR audio about Dr. King (link)


Letter from Birmingham Jail (A Must read for any Christian)

-The King Center (link)

-MLK Memorial (link)

Already Forgotten (an old blog post)


I have a Dream – 17 minutes

I’ve Been To The Mountain Top – 2 minutes

How Long, Not Long – 2 minutes


Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.

I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam?

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.

Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as his divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.

Like any man, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”
And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood — that’s the end of you.
It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the Whites Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”
And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze.

Effervescent Thursday: Diamonds, Africa and Not #1

I think I’m still intending to keep Thursday’s pretty low key. I can only pull off one or two thoughtful content post a week I’m realizing. Anyways, I’m going to repost a couple images that were big hits on my other blog, On The Journey (you can still subscribe there if you want).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on them…

See You In The New Year!

I was going to have this thoughtful send off post before I take a break while we usher in 2009, but then I didn’t. I spent too much time trying to figure out how to add some features to my blog (anyone find a good ‘comment via email’ plugin for wordpress let me know). One of my goals for next year is to be more engaged in the dialog that happens in the comments on my posts, but I need an easier way to do that, which is what I’m working on now.

That’s all. Happy Holidays (It’s the fourth night of Hanukkah tonight) and Happy New Year! See you in 2009.

P.S. I was mentioned in the Huffington Post, right there with Obama and Rick Warren. Nice!


That’s my graphic down here at the bottom. (see my name in blue just above “Author and blogger Ariah Fine”)

Quirky Thursday: Advent, Bill and Ted, Change and Satan

I hope folks are enjoying the random Thursday posts. This is a collection of stuff from my random blog, On the Journey. I’ve put it in the sidebar (look toward the bottom of the right sidebar here on the blog). So, this will probably be the last random post like this. I might still include some pictures, but my hope is you check it out on the sidebar or subscribe to it.

Also, I added, just as a test, a What Should I Blog About? Widget on the side bar. If you’ve got a topic click on it and type in your topic. I figure if it’s useful, I’ll keep it, if not it’ll be gone. Let me know how I can make the site more useful, or anything I should change. Curious of what people thought of yesterdays post.

advent 06 v1 (via ben bell)

The fact that the scriptures are brim full of hustlers, murderers, cowards, adulterers, and mercenaries used to shock me. Now it is a source of great comfort.
– Bono, “Introduction,” in Selections from the Book of Psalms (Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne, pg. 254)
Sometimes, if i get bored, i look up images of synchronized swimmers. then i laugh at them.
-Christy Page
Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.
-Dorothy Day

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.
-Dorothy Day

That’s where it all began (via bunkercomplex)

In Human Diversity… (via estherase)

Capricious Thursday: Better Than Sliced Bread

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. -Henry David Thoreau

How to dry a baby

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -MLK

I wish I had written this book via

You are never going to build a church by kicking people out. This isn’t a fast-food restaurant; it’s the kingdom of God, and quality disciples take a lot of time. Jesus is patient to the end. -donald miller in Searching for God Knows What

New Friend Requests

It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.
-Charles A. Jaffe

Now this is a “Christian” Billboard

We don’t save souls…

We just make sure there is no booze or porn on their life raft.

I Died For Your Grins

Others Thoughts On Thanksgiving

I’ve tried a couple times in the past years to reflect on Thanksgiving, this time I didn’t really know what to say. I’ll leave you with a couple articles I’ve read that I found encouraging.

My only thought this thanksgiving is that I’m going to try and eat a proper amount for myself. Not too much. If there is any way that I could start this holiday season properly it’s to avoid gluttony and keep in mind so many in the world who don’t have enough.