GOOD

Mute Buttons: How to Silence the Impending Barrage of SXSW Tweets

SXSW is about to begin, which means endless drunken, bragging tweets from Austin. Here's how to stop them before they start.


South by Southwest, the music, film, and internet media festival convened annually in Austin, doesn't start until tomorrow. But already, the tweets have begun. Chances are that if you're a GOOD reader and a Twitter user, your timeline is seeing a big uptick in tweets about barbecue and panels, Lone Star and bands. Chances are also that if you're not going to SXSW, the last thing you want to see for the next two weeks is an endless stream tweets from people who are there, talking about which panels to attend, which rapper to see, which after-party has the best open bar.

But you don't have to abandon Twitter for two weeks in order to avoid excessive Austin-based bragging or a deluge of SXSW insider chatter. Below are several tricks to help you keep your Twitter timeline #SXSW free. Remember, too, that these tips work for other hashtags of non-interest, including #Oscars and #Grammys. Happy ignoring!


The Tweetdeck option:

If you're one of the many people who uses Tweetdeck to organize your Twitter life, filtering out SXSW tweets is easy: Go into settings, then choose "Global Filter," and then put "#SXSW," "SXSW," or even "Lone Star" into the "Containing Words" box. Just like that, it's as if SXSW isn't even happening.

The Tweetfilter option:

Tweetfilter is a very basic browser extension supporting Firefox 3.6+, Chrome 10+, Opera 11+, Safari 5+ and, heaven forbid, IE 9+. You can download it here. Not only will it allow you to ignore SXSW, it also has a host of other handy features, like shortened link expansion.

The Proxlet option:

If you use Google Chrome, Proxlet is a browser extension that specializes in Twitter filtering for you. It also supports TweetDeck, Twitter for iPhone, Twidroyd, and Spaz. Just like Tweetfilter, you can download it and be blocking all those people boasting about Texas barbecue in no time.

The Not at SXSW option:

While the above options allow you to filter out whichever hashtag or word you'd like to dismiss, Jake Archibald, a developer at Lanyrd, created the browser extension Not at SXSW specifically for the upcoming Austin festival. Not at SXSW grants you the same filtering functionality as the other options, but it also allows you to totally mute anyone at SXSW for the duration of their stay. It's a bit drastic, but if you really, really don't want to hear about SXSW, this is the choice for you.

You'll probably notice that I haven't explained how to filter undesirable things out using plain old Twitter. That's because Twitter doesn't offer a filter option, forcing people to look elsewhere to make their timeline more reflective of the things they enjoy. There's obviously a market for filtration, so perhaps some Twitter folk at SXSW can figure out how to incorporate it into the site's next update. Lucky for you, no matter what they do, you won't have to listen: You'll have them blocked.

Articles
via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

Keep Reading Show less

Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





Culture
Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet