184.108.40.206 - - [18/Aug/2012:18:41:10 -0400] "GET /departures/stl02/3361_city_museum_parking_lot_tm.jpg HTTP/1.1" 403 347 "http://www.google.com/search?q=city+museum+st+louis&hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=ixkwUL_BGaOG2gXyroG4DA&ved=0CC0Q_AUoAQ&biw=768&bih=928" "Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) Apple"
This was probably a human, not a robot! Wow, that's unusual. They were in the middle of a Google Image search, looking for a picture of the St Louis City Museum. That search might not have been working so well; my site served up a 403 error code. When I look up the IP address, this looks an SBC Global Customer in St Louis. Ah, the magic of the internet: folks in St Louis who want to see photos of St Louis awesome attraction The City Museum can look at a San Franciscan's travel photos.
Maybe that's an excuse to write about what Google Webmaster Tools has to say about people finding my site via image searches. But not much has changed since I wrote about that stuff a couple of years ago. I have a SOON meme that I didn't have back then and it gets some clicks... but I don't think I could write a whole blog post about that. So. So, something different.
I've been thinking about Twitter more since I started working there. So maybe to celebrate this milestone, I'll list the Twitter feeds which I "favorited" the most over the past couple of years, adjusting the ranking a bit to shove down feeds that post super-often. If you're a crazy stalker, you'll notice that I don't Twitter-follow many of these. (I can't imagine who other than a crazy stalker would notice this.) I follow most of these feeds in Google Reader, subscribing to them via the janky-but-eventually-effective follow-twit bookmarklet. (Did you think Mihai was the only one to read Twitter on Google Reader? Nah. He's just the most hardcore about it, is all.)
What? What's that you say? Enough with the rambling? I should say what the favorite Twitterererers are; that's much more interesting than nattering on about Twitter-reading tools. Yes. Behold:
- @SpectreCollie I worked with Chuck Jordan... uhm, about ten years ago? He was witty then and he's witty now.
- @cardhouse Depending on circumstance, Cardhouse might be a Twitter, a Tumblr, a blog, a 'zine, a website, a human, or something else. It/he is often surreal and generally a benign force within the universe.
- @larsonite Brian Larson did pretty much everything I ever did, but a few years ahead. He was on Mystic Fish before I was; he worked at Google before I did; he worked at Twitter before I did. I follow his tweets to see what I'm in for. (Also, he's funny.)
- @geekamama News of the Seattle puzzlehunt scene as it happens. Also, she's funny. (Scanning ahead on my list, I guess I can stop pointing out when these people are funny, because apparently that's the kind of tweet I tend to "favor.")
- @thatpuzzleguy Oh man, do I really like Tyler Hinman's tweets that often? He tweets a lot about puzzlehunts, but he also tweets a lot about watching sports. He's the reason I figured out how to follow Twitter streams in Google Reader instead of in Twitter: some sporting event would happen and my stream would fill up with Tyler's howls of outrage/triumph/whatever. Still, I'm glad I follow him in Reader so I can find out about puzzle championships and such.
- @dozba I worked with Ted Dziuba. He was professional and not troll-y, I swear. His Twitter stream offers snarky commentary about... well, about Silicon Valley gossip, mostly.
- @DEVOPS_BORAT Why fake accounts are awesome. What if Borat were a member of the Keystone Kops of site reliability engineering? It would sound like this.
- @wafarris Tweets about sites blocked/censored by China's internet services; and gives context about why those sites might be censored. Other places list blocked sites, but you don't know why all searches for [orgy] are blocked without context. Thanks to @wafarris' commentary, you can skip straight to asking "Wow, how many Communist Party officials were at this orgy, anyhow?"
- @lessachu Voted member of local puzzlehunt team Coed Astronomy most likely to tweet something that I can understand. Also, she's a co-worker, although in some far-off department on some other floor or something I dunno. I never see her. Thank goodness for these social networks so that we can stay connected in this busy age blah blah blah.
- @WarTronGC Game Control of the WarTron Game tweeted a bunch in the months leading up to the game and during the game itself.
- @witort Yet another co-worker. In this case, an ex-coworker. He doesn't tweet often, but when he does, it's generally a doozy of pithitude.
- @sparCKL Curtis Chen is yet another ex-co-worker. Also a big wheel on puzzlehunting's Team Snout and a writer and... In general, we have enough overlap of interest such that I pretty much have to follow his Twitter feed to find out what I should care about.
- @ClavisCryptica a puzzlehunt-enthusiast blogger from the East Coast and yet somehow not in NYC or Boston? Such an anomaly must be monitored, obviously, and how better than Twitter to... Uhm, sorry, what was the question?
- @NeckbeardHacker Another fake account. This one is a geekier-than-thou software engineer. Might only make sense to software engineers, though.
- @rands Rands knows software engineering management and has a keen ear for bullshit. Maybe I have a conversation with a co-worker and she says "We wanted to work with team Foo on the Bar project, but they said that while it was important, they don't have time to work on it now." And maybe I say, "Dang I guess that Bar isn't as relevant as we hoped." And she says "No, they said it was important." And then I wonder which of us needs to get their corporate-speak-interpretation senses calibrated. Rands sets me straight.
- @teamsnout Puzzlehunts, puzzlehunt podcasts, puzzlehunt this, puzzlehunt that... If you're into puzzlehunts, you probably already follow them. If you're not, you're probably getting tired of me talking about puzzle crap in this list.
- @jbqueru JBQ is yet another ex-coworker. He was perhaps the wry-est guy at Openwave and there was some competition for that title, let me tell you. Nowadays, he does a bunch of work to make the Android OS open source. Despite working with phone manufacturers and carriers who kind of wish that the whole idea of "open source" would just kind of go away. So maybe JBQ is remarkably wry, but look at the great material he gets to work with.
- @GreatFireChina More tweets about things blocked on China's internet. Oh man, why do I keep favorite-ing these? They're kind of sad. I should favorite more tweets about nation-states doing awesome things instead.
- @lemay The rock star of technical writers. As a drab technical writer, I follow her Twitter feed to keep track of what I'd be like if I were cool.
- @sblom He's not just a puzzle scientist; he's also a programmer. Overlap of interests? Yeah, you bet.
- @Prestemon Tweets about wordplay, events, and such. You might worry that he'd tweet all the minutiae of life since he blogs wonderfully-detailed timelines of puzzle solves. But actually he doesn't tweet so often and it's not even always about puzzly stuff so there.
- @KenJennings Jeopardy champion now tweets one-liners. They're not all winners, but enough of them are to make you forgive the stinkers.
- @hungrynerd A SF bay area puzzlehunter who travels to volunteer for DASH? It's like she's my twin or something. Unless you look at us next to each other, at which point that theory pretty much falls apart.
- @ellenjuhlin You might know her as the lady who made the sounds for The Doctor When Game. (Do you remember how the time machine went "moo"? If you were there, you probably remember that.) It turns out that sound-design-y skills come in handy for other trans-media-y projects and she does other cool stuff, too.
- @amitp Yet another former co-worker, Amit blogs about fun programming problems in games: procedurally-generated geography, path-finding, sightlines, … You might guess that we worked together at that game company Infinite Machine, but actually it was at Google so the joke's on you.
- @matthewbaldwin a.k.a. that guy who used to have time to write the Defective Yeti until life got heavy so he mostly just tweets now.
- @FakeWillShortz I bet the real Will Shortz sometimes wishes he could be as snarky as this fake account.
- @amac When the longhaired programmers on Slashdot grouse about how the internet and/or services therein should be regulated, they never do anything to make that happen. Then when regulators do something else, the programmers howl, not that that's so useful either. On those rare occasions that the regulators do the right thing, it's probably because some lawyer talked some sense into them. That lawyer was probably Alex Macgillivray or somebody he knows. This is a good Twitter stream for internet law stuff: copyright, patents, privacy, etc etc.
- @dloft Yet another co-worker. Dave Loftesness is calmer than I am even though he manages software projects. I don't see how that's even possible.
- @gotskott Scott Royer, Santa Rosa puzzle huntist. Oh man I apparently "favor" a lot of puzzly tweets.
- @mala Back when NTK was the best way to get the arch UK on technology news, Danny O'Brien was a (the?) NTK technology writer. Now advises reporters in dangerous places on how not to give themselves away on social networks.
- @johndmitchell Yet another co-worker. Apparently I've worked with a bunch of people over the years. John has opinions about software engineering that are sometimes very right and/or very amusing; occasionally both.
- @davehill77 Occasional teammate on Mystic Fish and my secret informant on the Hot Springs puzzlehunt scene. He also writes some good stuff that's more than 140 characters like his Fading the Vig articles for McSweeny's.
- @ade_oshineye In theory, we were co-workers at Google; in practice, Google was a huge company and we hardly interacted. His Twitter stream is mostly retweets of stuff I don't care about, but occasionally he'll tweet something, y'know, of his own and that makes up for all the retweets, because he's spot-on about whatever it is.
- @mikeselinker I'm running out of things to say about puzzlehunters. Can I call Mike the hardest-working man in the puzzlehunt business? Oh man I don't even know if that's true. How would you measure that? I don't know what to write. Why didn't I figure out how many of these little blurbs to write before I started?
- @chrisroat Another Googler. Another puzzlehunter. He's on Team Longshots. He tweets when folks have done something cool.
- @atrich A Seattle-area puzzlehunter. I bet that folks who don't care about puzzlehunts have already stopped reading. How long have I been sitting here? My butt hurts.
- @charlietuna Ex-coworker. Seriously, how long have I been sitting here? Maybe I should go for a walk.
- @cryptogon All the finest news stories of interest to conspiracy nuts. Hey, that one wasn't about puzzlehunts or co-workers. Makes me look like some kind of a loon, though.
- @thacher Sara Thacher, local game designer. It's kinda hard to figure who did what for the Jejune Institute, but I kinda get the impression that if it weren't for her, then Jejune wouldn't have made sense as a game. Now she tweets about pervasive games and weird stuff at the intersection of games and art.
- @numberless Yet another game designer, but he works on social games. He survived a stint at Zynga, and now seems happier elsewhere.
- @gfilpus Puzzlehuntist. Member of the Boxfort Brigands. I favorite his tweets, so you'd think I could think of some pithy clever compliment to give here. But I kinda used up all of my cool stuff to say about puzzlehunters but apparently I favorite a lot of them. Why did I think this was a good idea for a blog post? Why am I not walking outside?
- @vanessafox Co-worker at Google. Now she writes about SEO, aka internet marketing. But she writes about how to do that in non-sleazy ways. Which doesn't seem like it should be an unusual topic but, hey, internet.
- @benjyfeen It will not surprise you to learn that the author of Monkeybagel writes amusing tweets. I knew Monkeybagel before I worked with Benjy.
- @RonWyden Politician whose statements about the internet and internet regulation don't generally make me despair for humanity. That's sufficiently unusual from a politician to earn some favorites from me.
- @manshreck Ex-co-worker. Technical writer. Why did I think it was a good idea to write little blurbs for all of these feeds? What am I going to write about 'Shreck? He takes good photos. He's a good technical writer. Did I save any technical writing jokes? Oh man I don't think I had any in the first place.
- @SecureTips PARODY ACCOUNT!! Under no circumstances should you follow any of the security tips on this twitter feed. But oh man they're pretty funny.
- @pennyc Co-worker past and present. Do I really need to say something about every coworker who tweets amusing stuff? Something qualitative? Isn't it enough to say that Penny tweeted a notice-able fraction of the tweets I favorited? Of course, then I'm saying the same thing about all of these feeds. But what about the hundreds of feeds where I didn't favorite so many of the tweets? What about the hundreds of feeds where I never favorited any of them? Maybe I should just present these feeds as a list, not try to think of something to write about each of them. Penny, among other things, tweets funny things about parenting. But if you were hoping for a mommy-blogger, you should probably look elsewhere.
- @andrewfeist96 Puzzlehunter. I mean, seriously. Is anyone still reading? Can I stop? I wasn't kidding about my butt hurting.
- @bradfitz Co-worker at Google, but we didn't interact much. Too bad, he worked on some cool projects. Oh man I should get up and go for a walk.
- @achewood Internet comic. I wonder how some of these people will feel about me talking about my butt hurting next to their Twitter name. Should I edit that part out? Oh man it took me so long to write this thing. I don't even want to think about going back to edit it.
- @rob_pike Ex-coworker. Tweets about the Go programming language, which is an awesome thing and thus generally good for a "favorite".
- @power_a Ex-coworker, world traveler, puzzlehunter. Nobody knows how long I was going to make this list. I could just stop writing. I could just stop writing early and get up and go for a walk and nobody would know about the feeds I wasn't mentioning in the list. It's not like anybody's still reading. If they were curious enough to follow the links, they're looking at some good Twitter feeds. So the chances of them coming back to read this blog post are pretty slim. If they weren't curious enough to follow the links, they're probably not still reading this blog post.
- @BrianEnigma PDX Puzzlehunter. Enough. Enough.
Honorable mention: I subscribed to the @giant_robot twitter feed only because the excellent Giant Robot News site didn't have a regular feed. Over the last couple of years, I've favored (favorited? whatever) more @giant_robot tweets than I've favored any others. But while researching this blog post, I see that their news site has a regular feed now, so I'm switching to subscribing to that.
Tired. Tired. I could just have re-posted the SOON gopher and called it a day. Why didn't I do that? When will I learn?