Tag Archives: twitter

Elon Musk’s strengths and weaknesses

I’ve been thinking about the melt-down which is happening now Elon Musk was reluctantly successful in his purchase of Twitter.

To kill two birds with one stone I thought I would ask ChatGPT what it thought were his strengths and weaknesses:

Elon Musk is a highly successful entrepreneur and CEO, known for his innovative approaches and ambitious projects. However, like all individuals, he also has both strengths and weaknesses.

One of Musk’s greatest strengths is his ability to think big and envision the future. He has a strong vision for what he wants to achieve, and he is not afraid to take risks in pursuit of his goals. This has allowed him to successfully co-found and lead companies such as PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX, which have all had a significant impact on their respective industries.

Another strength of Musk’s is his ability to adapt and innovate. He is constantly looking for ways to improve and evolve his companies, and he is not afraid to pivot or change course if necessary. This has allowed him to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate market trends, which has been key to the success of his businesses.

However, Musk is not without his weaknesses. One of his most notable weaknesses is his tendency to be overconfident and make bold predictions that may not come to fruition. This has led to some setbacks and criticism when his predictions have not been met. Additionally, Musk’s strong focus on achieving his goals can sometimes lead to him being perceived as lacking empathy or consideration for others.

Overall, Elon Musk is a complex and multifaceted individual with both strengths and weaknesses. While his confidence and vision have helped him achieve tremendous success, it is important for him to continue to strive for balance and consider the impact of his actions on others.

It’s not a bad answer, and exceptional if you think it took 10 seconds for an AI to come up with it.

It’s not a sophisticated answer: it ignored, for instance, his tendency to treat human “laws” (say the desirability of free speech) as if they were the laws of physics, which is his greatest flaw and which has been mercilessly exposed by the shit-show that is Musk-owned Twitter.

But prior to his latest display of his character I would say this is a pretty good assessment. I can only imagine the havoc that will be caused by ChatGPT and its ilk in the very near future!

Twitter stopped

Today my Twitter timeline stopped updating and as I write it hasn’t started again. It seems I’m not alone in this – there have been a lot of people complaining of a similar thing over the past eight or nine hours. This incident got me to thinking just how important Twitter has become to me as a web tool.

I was an early user of RSS and have been very keen on Google Reader for years. However, in the last six months my usage of Reader to keep up with events had virtually stopped. My “web radar” these days is definitely Twitter.

I used to worry that I was missing a lot by relying on Twitter. But on the occasions when I did devote the time to ploughing through my thousands of accumulated posts on Google Reader, I seldom found anything I found I didn’t already know about.

I must say I’m a bit surprised to find how central Twitter has become – I wasn’t really aware of it. The disappearance of my timeline today brought it home.

Recruiting by example

Techcrunch has an interesting piece about a job ad seeking a “Twitter Expert” in Greenwich Village, New York. The job ad, in Craigslist, explains how the applicant should apply:

1) Email me two tweets. The first should be about your experience. The second should by why you’re perfect for this job. If you exceed twitter’s allotted character count, you’re done.

2) Email me your Twitter name in link form (e.g. http://www.twitter.com/YOURNAME)

3) Tell me how many followers you have and how many people you follow.

4) Tell me who’s the best person you follow and why (in tweet form).

5) Tell me what’s the best way to get more followers (in tweet form).

6) Specific salary requirement.

They haven’t asked for a CV or a letter explaining qualifications or relevant experience. Instead they’ve gone right to the heart of the issue. If you can apply convincingly then there’s a very good chance you are perfect for the job.

I often think we should be recruiting our new journalists the same way. After all, we know what we are looking for these days – the ability to blog, to communicate two-way, to build a following – why not just limit ourselves to the evidence. We probably need a reference or two just to satisfy ourselves that the potential recruit isn’t a mass-murderer, but apart from that the evidence should speak for itself.

And think how much easier it was for the recruiter to assess all those job ads – total size 600 characters each applicant!

Twitter the platform

The innovations around Twitter just keep on coming, proving, if nothing else, that an open platform is the best spur to innovation there is.

Yesterday I noticed a couple of posts like this one which point to a simple discussion thread created by an application called Tiny Thread. It’s a simple but powerful add-on to the Twitter platform.

Meanwhile, the energetic Dave Winer posted about his mash-up with Disqus which allow you to start a discussion from a single thread.

And yesterday I also read about the latest iPhone app to take advantage of the open Twitter APIs, Twuner, which will read you your tweets on your iPhone.

Twitter may be struggling for a business model, but it is a beacon for innovation in the tech space second to none at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed they remain independent.

What Mumbai traffic and Twitter have in common

The thing that strikes you most about the traffic in Mumbai apart from the sheer quantity and chaos of it all, is the endless noise of car and scooter horns tooting incessantly.

When you first hear these you mistake them for the sounds of frustration. But you soon notice the signs on the back of the lorries asking other road users to toot and realise that something else is going on.
In fact all this noise gives the drivers another dimension to track the traffic in – a kind of 360 degree view.
It strikes me that Twitter is providing the same kind of functionality online. Twitter gives us a continuous sense of where our friends, family and colleagues are and what they are doing – and this is something which is genuinely different and might account at least in part for some of its popularity. Whatever comes after Twitter, something will have to perform this task in the future.

Changing perceptions

I was looking back through old blog entries and I realise that I had heard from Tom Coates, the lead on Yahoo’s Fire Eagle project at d.construct last September. At the time he was pretty dismissive of Twitter ("Twitter is a way of accessing error messages on IM".) Last week in San Francisco when I saw him again he was a changed man. "Do any of you use Twitter? You should, it’s awesome." I guess there are second chances in technology!

How to organise a party with Twitter

Interesting post from Robert Scoble explaining how he and a couple of friends organised a party in under 30 hours using only Twitter. Although the example is social it started me thinking whether there wasn’t a more serious role for Twitter in the context of trade shows or conferences.

Why couldn’t the technology be used to organise ad hoc groups of like-minded people who just want to meet up to talk about things which they are interested in? This could happen the night before, or in and around the event. As facilitator of this extra value, the organiser should reap some real rewards of kudos if nothing else.