Glee Gives Thanks for Fan Tweets

What can we say about Glee and Twitter that we haven’t already said? Not much other than fans of the show still Tweet about it even while stuffing their face with, well, stuffing. After losing ground to Oprah, Glee took back the Twitter crown with a total of more than 83,000 Tweets for the week, peaking at nearly 33,000.

Oprah’s social media heat cooled substantially dropping to almost 30,000 Tweets for the week (down from 120,000 the week prior to that). Rounding out the top five were Gossip Girl (15,879 Tweets), Supernatural (13,934 Tweets) and Saturday Night Live (13,221 Tweets).

NOTE: The weekly top five most-twittered shows is put together from an analysis of tweets matching the exact names of 63 television programs. Trendrr looks at the source data to check that at least 95 percent of the tweets are related to the show. For more metrics surrounding your favorite show, go to and put the name of the show into the search tab.

Twitter Lists: Where Are They?

fail-whaleHave Twitter lists been deleted? Compulsive Twitterers may notice that lists, which were just rolled out last month, mysteriously disappeared from’s interface earlier today.

Twitter lists got mixed reviews when they were unveiled. Did Twitter gave them the axe after such a short time? It doesn’t sound like it:

According to Twitter’s status page, the service has been experiencing a “very high rate of errors” (Mashable reports that “thousands of users” saw Fail Whales this afternoon), and that they are “working on the underlying problem:”

Update (1:30p): We are now recovering from this unexpected downtime. The Lists feature is temporarily unavailable as we diagnose the cause of the outage.”

Whew! A world without Twitter lists would have been frightening and unfathomable. We hope to see them make their return soon.


PBS’ NewsHour Gets Webbier


In many respects, PBS’ NewsHour With Jim Lehrer is the anti-cable news show. Media Nation’s Dan Kennedy is blunt in his assessment of it: “There is absolutely no need for a serious newscast to be that boring. NPR has hit on a formula that’s intelligent but also keeps things moving.”

Now, the show is getting a much-needed makeover for the web, though its 75-year-old host still refuses to Twitter.

From the Times:

A redone Web site will go up Thursday. It will be easier to find Mr. Brown’s popular but often hidden Art Beat blog. Ms. Woodruff and Ms. Ifill, along with much of the rest of the staff, will begin contributing to a news analysis blog, as well. Mr. Sreenivasan, once he settles in, will anchor regular video news updates on the site, which will also feature extended interview material not used on the air.

All the show’s content will be more easily adaptable to various digital outlets, including, eventually, an iPhone app, said Simon Marks, the show’s new associate executive producer.

The challenge, Mr. Lehrer said in an interview in his office, is “to find a way to make it all seamless.”

For the first time since 1976, Jim Lehrer’s name will be dropped from the title of the show: rather than being called The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, it will be renamed PBS Newshour beginning December 7th.

They should be in good shape, though: As Jim Lehrer’s deadpan joke-telling promo video for PBS’ “Make ‘Em Laugh” miniseries shows, the man is made for viral. “Two cannibals are eating a clown…”

(h/t Dan Kennedy)

Is Twitter The New Walter Cronkite?

98634_remembering-walter-cronkite-1916-2009Twitter has been declared the most popular word of 2009 meaning, I presume, that in less than 12 months the act of Twittering has gone so mainstream that even your parents probably know what you’re talking about.

It also means, I suppose, that this is how a whole lot of people are getting their breaking news these days — from the collective voice of God, as it were. The last time the nation got its breaking news from one person is arguably when news legend Walter Cronkite was manning the CBS News desk (and yes I know there were other network new anchors at the time, but can you name any of them?). So perhaps it’s not a surprise that TechCrunch saw fit to draw a direct comparison between the two.

The difference is that had the Kennedy assassination happened today, it would not have taken 38 minutes from the time of President Kennedy being declared dead to the time Cronkite broke the news on the air. Actually, it may have. But it would have been reported on services like Twitter much sooner. Had it played out that way, where do you think people would turn the next time there was an event unfolding in realtime?…That said, there is no denying that right now, Twitter, the brand, is the winning channel for this new type of news consumption. It’s the Walter Cronkite for realtime information. And when the next major event happens, an increasing number of us will be huddled around our computer screens, watching.

This has been true for media junkies for a while now — I was somewhat floored in Sept to read about Patrick Swayze’s death on the homepage before seeing it on Twitter — but one imagines it won’t be long before the nation gets accustomed to getting its breaking news in 140 characters or less. That said “that’s the way it is” would make for a great hashtag.

Black Friday Shopping Chaos: The View From Twitter

ap_black_friday_04_081128_sshWant to experience the frenzy of Black Friday shopping without leaving the comfort (and safety!) of your own home? Welcome Black Friday Twitterers. No doubt by next year someone will have figured out how to crowd source the best sales on Twitter — oh wait, turns out there’s already an app for that. Those not accompanied on today’s epic shopping spree by their iPhone can still experience the melee from the safety of our Tweetfinder.

“Trampled at 5am Walmart Black Frday event. I’m okay–head just hurs a bit. Got a Sega Dreamcast & a pony! I kin fly! So muchblood€”

Website Publishes Half-A-Million Intercepted 9/11 Text Messages

WL_Hour_Glass_smallThe timing on this, coming the day before Thanksgiving, is not so great. Nevertheless, Wikileaks, a website that “publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational or religious documents, while attempting to preserve the anonymity and untraceability of its contributors” has decided to publish 573,000 intercepted text messages sent during the 9/11 attacks. Needless, to say it is not an easy read.

So far Wikileaks says it will not reveal who provided them with the messages beyond that they came from sources “ranging from Pentagon employees to messages sent by the NYPD, and even automated messages relayed by computers to their operators.” According to the BBC “Internet analysts say they believe the messages are genuine but federal authorities have refused to comment.”

The messages understandably veer from confusion, to panic, to fear, to expressions of love as people try to sort out what is happening. Eight years later, the Internet being what it is, it’s also hard not to read these messages and not also think how differently we might have consumed that day, media-wise, had social networking sites like Twitter had been around.

NEXT>>> Intercepted texts, and CNN reports.

Hot Potato Is Ready to Eat: Do Twitter, Facebook Users Want Another Real-Time Chatter Service?

Last month I told you about Hot Potato, one of the buzziest start-ups in the very buzzy “real time” sector. Now you can check out the service yourself. But not really.

The New York-based service opened its doors last week, but it won’t really kick into gear until Apple (AAPL) signs off on its iPhone app, and that’s taking a bit longer than the company expected. Founder Justin Shaffer still thinks he’ll be up and running on Apple’s platform in a few days, but until you can check out this video interview I shot with him yesterday, where you can get a sense of how the app will work.

[ See post to watch video ]

Or, if you’re impatient, here it is in a nutshell: The service is supposed to let users converse in real-time about “events”–whether it’s a football game, a business conference or maybe even a really good house party.

You can already do that on Twitter and Facebook, but the pitch is that Hot Potato will help “curate” the chatter, so you will end up talking to both your friends as well as interesting people you don’t know–and that’s something both Twitter and Facebook don’t do well right now.

If it works, there are some obvious advertising/sponsorship opportunities available for the service: The NFL could sponsor chatter about its games, for instance. Or someone who isn’t related to the football league could sponsor chatter about the games–since this is user-generated content in its purest form, Hot Potato isn’t required to get the go-ahead from anyone before it creates a conversational stream.

In any case, the company now has a pile of money to help it figure this stuff out. Last week it closed its first funding round of $1.4 million (I had originally reported that it was raising “about $1 million”), and in addition to VC backers First Round Capital and RRE Ventures, it has an array of high-profile angel investors who have pitched in.

Here’s the roster: Super-angel investor Ron Conway; realtime start-up incubabor Betaworks; Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer and his son Ben Lerer, who runs Thrillist; New York Observer owner Jared Kushner and his brother Josh; ZelnickMedia’s Strauss Zelnick; Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon and Founder Collective; co-founder Scott Kurnit; Facebook executive (and Apple vet) Dave Morin; Boxee’s Zach Klein; angel investor Allen Morgan; entreprenuers and investors Scott & Cyan Banister.