Categories
WordPress

Twitter oEmbeds broken – A Case for Bug Notifications in WordPress

If you’re using the oEmbed feature in WordPress to display Twitter updates in your posts or pages you may have noticed those nice looking Twitter bubbles have been replaced with a non-functioning link to the Twitter update in the last few days. This is not because your WordPress site is broken but because Twitter changed their API about a week ago thus breaking the feature in every WordPress site worldwide. The core development team has already fixed the problem and the fix was rolled out in the 3.8.1 update which should be hitting your site in an auto update shortly.

What you don’t know can hurt you

Chances are you were not aware of this problem, or if you knew of the problem you did not know the cause. Looking at Twitter and other social media (and my own inbox) it is clear most people automatically attribute Twitter oEmbed not working in their WordPress install to a problem either with WordPress itself or with a theme or plugin. Thus they spend hours trying to sort it out.

This is not the first time a core feature of WordPress has broken due to an external service changing, and it will not be the last. And that’s to be expected. What is not expected from a user perspective is the complete silence from WordPress (core team, people in charge, whatever you want to call it) itself about the issue. And this is one of those unfortunate things that sets open source apart from commercial software:

When something goes wrong there is very little chance you’ll be notified or get an explanation.

This phenomenon is historically valid – Open Source used to be something only a small group of highly motivated people dabbled in – and can be explained by the flat structure free-for-all nature of Open Source in general, but that isn’t an excuse any more. Open Source, and in particular WordPress, is now ubiquitous and most of the users are not highly motivated and prone to dig into the code or search Trac any time something goes wrong.

A Case for Bug Notifications in WordPress

What’s needed is a system through which users are notified when a systemic problem arises. There is already several systems in place that can be used – the update notification bar in admin, and the WordPress News widget on the Dashboard are ideal candidates – but it could also be built as a new feature. This feature should provide up-to-date information about known destructive or feature bugs like Twitter oEmbed not working or the ability to add header images from the Customizer being removed and relevant links with further information and any bug fixes on the books.

For this to work two things have to happen: The system needs to be implemented, and someone needs to be tasked with providing these updates.

A simple update like this would go a long way in reducing frustration and building trust with everyone using WordPress.

</rant>

 

Categories
24 Days of WordPress Tutorials

Day 7: Brand your social links with the page redirect plugin

Making WordPress sites work better isn’t always about doing advanced theme hacks and messing around with PHP and CSS code. In many cases it’s just a matter of finding a new or clever use of a plugin or even a function already built in. On this 7th Day of WordPress we’ll take a look at just such a case: Creating brand awareness through social linking with a page redirect plugin.

Your social links point away from you

I actually got this idea after seeing a tweet by fellow Vancouverite John Bollwitt. Sadly I didn’t save the tweet at the time, and I can’t remember the exact wording, but I’m sure he won’t mind the paraphrasing. It went something like this: “I don’t understand why companies don’t brand their social links with links such as www.yourdomain.com/facebook. It’s a wasted oportunity.” (John said it better). When I saw the tweet I immediately thought well, it’s because people don’t know how to do that.

The core of the problem, as pointed out by John, is that when we link to our own presences on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and so on, we drive people away from our own sites and towards something else. And even if you manage to snag consistent names and tags throughout like we did for the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon (12x12yvr all around) for all the social networks, you are still left pointing people to links like www.facebook.com/12x12yvr. A better option would be if you could turn it on its head and point them to www.12x12yvr.com/facebook etc. And you can, you just need to know how.

301 Redirects used in new ways

The web, as you know, is nothing but a huge list of address pointers pointing in different directions. These links are what binds the web together and there are a lot of different types of links out there. But a link isn’t always a link, and not all links work the same way. A “normal” link is one that points to a specific page or query on a hosted site somewhere. But there are other types of links, of which the 301 link (or more specifically 301 redirect) is of importance to us. The 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that takes the browser query and jumps it to a different defined link immediately. So for example when you type in “http://www.12x12yvr.com/twitter” in your address bar, the browser immediately jumps to “http://www.twitter.com/12x12yvr” without causing a fuss. If you were to do this using a more basic HTML redirect within a page the browser might stop it from happening.

These redirects, the 301 being permanent while the 302 and 307 are temporary, are designed to do things like direct people visiting old links to the correct places on new sites. But there is no reason they can’t be used for other purposes, and with the entry of social networks galore these redirects are coming to the forefront as an important tool.

Question is how do you do this in WordPress. After all, when you make a page in WordPress with a specific title like “Twitter” and you have your permalinks in order, the browser will land on that page. So how do we solve the problem?

Quick Page/Post Redirect to the rescue

I hate how it sounds, but there’s a plugin for that, called Quick Page / Post Redirect Plugin. This plugin integrates with WordPress to allow you to create custom 301, 302 and 307 redirects for all your pages and posts. As a result you can personalize and brand the online experience even when people leave your site. Take the 12×12 Twitter link as an example:

URL redirect in WordPressAfter installing the plugin I simply created a new Page called “Twitter” and scrolled down until I found the Quick Page/Post Redirect tab. In the tab (as seen above) you can set each post or page URL to be an active redirect, tell the browser to open the redirect in a new window, add nofollow to the link so search engines don’t start indexing all of Twitter or Facebook on your behalf and decide whether or not you want to show the Redirect URL in the link.

Once you’ve decided on your settings you can insert your Redirect URL in the field below. This can be anything from a relative or root-relative link, a query or an absolute link – your choice. Once that’s defined all you have left to do is set the type of redirect. By default it’s set to 302 which is a temporary redirect, but for social links to Twitter, Facebook and the likes the correct setting here is 301 – permanent.

With the settings in order, the URL defined and the redirect set to 301, all that’s left is to publish the page and with that you have your own customized social media link ready for advertisement. Simple, easy and incredibly effective.

This tutorial is part of the 24 Days of WordPress series. If you want to learn more about WordPress and Expression Web check out the Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Expression Web in 24 Hours series (version 2, 3 and 4), Lynda.com’s WordPress 3.0 Essential Training course and Microsoft Expression Web 4 LiveLessons.

Categories
My Opinion social media

Social Media: Revolution or the End of Objective Reason?

Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean it must be wrong.


The above video, called Social Media Revolution is spreading like wildfire through social media circles and is being used by social media advocates as futher proof that social media is be all and end all of news, marketing and the internet in general. And there is truth, at least statistically, in the message the video brings: Social media technologies, be it blogs, forums, social networks like Facebook or micro-blogging systems like Twitter are changing the way we find, ingest and understand information and the world. It’s not exactly ground breaking news to people who spend their living and working days tethered to the world wide web but it provides a sobering picture of a new and emerging reality in which people turn away from established news and media outlets as their primary source for information and understanding of current events.

I find this profoundly disturbing.

When we were kids my parents spent a lot of time teaching my brothers and I that critical thinking should always lie at the core of any decision. They hammered home the sentiment that just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And it’s stuck with me through the years. I guess that’s why I’m so alarmed by what I’m seeing in the societal discourse in general and social media in particular. Anyone looking in from the outside will agree that the so-called open discussion and flow of information that permiates through the internet these days has little to do with critical thinking and more to do with opinionated rethoric, deliberate disinformation and outright lies. And this is the new and glourious foundation we are supposed to build our future society on? If so, it’s not one I want to be a part of!

Trading news for opinion

Earlier this year someone told me “In a couple of years mainstream media will be dead and people will get all their news from social media”. I have to say I agree, at least in part. No matter what happens I’m hard pressed to agree that all mainstream media outlets will buckle and disappear any time in the forseable future. But we are already seeing a shift in societal behavior away from established media outlets and toward social media as the chosen go-to news source. What people fail to realize (or choose to ignore) is that this shift means a shift from objective accountable news reports toward subjective and often heavily biassed opinion pieces. The trouble is that unless people are aware whether their source presents agenda-driven subjective opioions or fair and balanced reporting, the former can easily be mistaken for the latter. And when that happens, truth, reality and objective reason goes out the window.

Just because you say it does(n’t) make it so

The current health care debate in the USA is a perfect example of just how dangerous this trend has become: As of right now the majority of information floating around social media networks and blogs regarding the health care reform is what journalists and rethoric experts alike would describe as conjecture, hyperbole, spin and good old fashioned rubbish. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find any truly balanced and unbiassed reporting on the topic even in the mainstream media. But this is because just like everyone else, the media organizations have jumed on the social media bandwaggon without really taking the time to look at what that means for objective reporting. And because in the USA there is no fairness doctrine so the news outlets are free to present biassed and unbalanced reporting as fact without danger of reprisals.

Ironically it is this very tendency of the mainstream media in the US to be biassed that started the Social Media Revolution for real: People were fed up with being served what was more often than not biassed reporting and decided that they would be better proponents of the truth than the media outlets were. And this, combined with the relative anonymity of the internet, meant that anyone and everyone could become a reporter, an opinion maker, a true participant in the social discourse without fear of reprisals. The problem with this theory is two fold: Unlike journalists, bloggers and other social media contributors have no vested interest in staying on the straight and narrow so to speak. Whereas a journalist who publishes an opinion as fact or distorts the truth to the point where it borders on a lie runs the risk of losing her job, a blogger that does the same runs little to no risk. At the same time because of the very nature of social media – an information exchange where everyone participates on an equal footing – there is nothing that prevents social, political or corporate entities from presenting their own distorted versions of reality as truth to the masses as fact, often under false alisases or through independent agents, thus changing the public discourse on false premises.

I follow a lot of random people on Twitter and I keep seeing postings saying things like “Socialized health care kills people” and “The Canadian health care system is a failure”. These postings often link to blog posts where in the extreme socialized health care is compared to Nazi death camps and Stalinistic gulags. Any reasonable person should agree that these statements are little more than paranoid outbursts or outrageous lies. After all, there are no death camps for the elderly in Canada or Norway. In fact most countries with socialized helath care have a higher life expectancy than the USA. But looking at the apparent number of “concerned citizens” putting their worries in hypertext one can start to wonder if there isn’t some truth behind the claims. The problem is that unlike a normal debate, on the web you don’t know who is actually talking, and you don’t know if the 1000 latest comments actually came from one person or organization rather than 1000 independent minds. But this lack of transparency is invisible and in the end people are likely to listen to what they percieve as a vocal majority. It all boils down to a simple fact: In public forums, the person that shouts the loudest usually gets her message across. And since social media by definition is completely unregulated it is easy for organized groups, political parties and corporations to flood the social media airwaves with biassed and inaccurate information drowning out the objective reality in the process.

Social Media: Tunnelvision for the Masses?

An uncomfortable and embarrassing trait of human nature is that no matter how much we claim to be fair and balanced, we hate being wrong. So much so in fact that given the oportunity we will chose to ignore any information provided to us that doesn’t fit with our current belief system. The role of mass media in society has always been to present unbiassed facts and report the objective truth about news and events. And because mass media was the only real source of information, we would get the good with the bad so to speak. And whether we liked it or now we’d be presented with facts and figures that did not match our own understanding of the world and we’d be forced to at least reflect on our own stance and realize we are not always right.

With the introduction of wide spread social media all of this changed. All of a sudden you could chose to ignore what the mainstream media said turning instead to people who were of the same mindset as yourself to give you only news and opinion that you agreed with and nothing else. With that a shift from news as it happens to news you agree with occurred. A subtle shift with serious and dangerous ramafications. When people are given the ability to filter news and opinion to hear only what they want to hear, they lose the ability to think critically. Which is bad enough. But it gets worse:

When people start trusting filtered opinion over objective reality, they become easy targets for manipulators and lose the ability to form their own understanding of the world. This is why the freedom of the press is such an important part of our society, why cross-media ownership is frowned upon and downright banned in many countries and why journalistic ethics commisions exist. But none of this applies to social media and as a result people, organizations and corporations with hidden agendas, evil intentions and broken moral compasses are able to present their distorted world view as fact with noone except other social media contributors standing against them. And as we’ve seen with the health care debate, the global warming debate and many others, in the end it’s the people with the most money that usually win simply because they have the means to keep the pressure up and quash the opposition.

That is why, whenever I hear people talk of social media as a revolution that will save the world and make it a better place, my critical mind cringes. It’s not what the social media evangelists want to hear, but like my parents said: Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean it must be wrong.

For further reading on the topic of dissent and social media check out Raul Pacheco’s post on the same topic entitled On the value of dissenting opinions.

Categories
Internet

Top 10 rules of Twitter etiquette

Twitter rantThis weekend the Vancouver Twitter crowd bore witness to what can only be described as an attempted social suicide live on Twitter. A relatively well followed Twitter personality decided that a late Friday night would be the perfect time to “call another Tweeter out” as a “fake” and take what should have been a personal disagreement into a very public and very damaging shouting match. For well over two hours fellow blogger Michael Kwan and I watched in morbid fascination as the attacks evolved from personal insults against one person to a frontal assault on all the people who tried to talk the guy off the rapidly narrowing edge he put himself on. By 2 am innocent bystanders were promptly stamped down, called retards and accused of everything from being stupid to being child molesters.

As we watched this bizarre story unfold it became clear to both Michael and myself that even seasoned web veterans are having a hard time grasping the new world of social media, in particular the fact that with great exposure comes great responsibility and that even a small misstep can have wide reaching and hugely damaging consequences. So we decided to put together a list of 10 Twitter Etiquette tips to keep your online presence one you can live with both now and in the future. Michael covered 1 to 5 on his blog and here is the rest:

6. Keep the private private (Direct Messages (DMs) are there for a reason)

If you have something to say that is only of interest to one or just a few people, whether it be expressing your love, planning a lunch date or airing your grievances, use the Direct Message function. Not only are these things not appropriate for the public stream but there is little chance your followers are interested in your everyday practicalities, confessions of love and hateful bickering. In addition, there is no guarantee your followers are also following your friend so they might only get one side of the conversation. And finally, if you announce to the world where you are having lunch, the nutcase stalker you didn’t know you had might very well show up.

7. Don’t flood the stream

Twitter is less of a communication tool than a collective-stream-of-consciousness artifact. And in this lies both its appeal and its most serious annoyance. Unless Twitter users are utilizing some form of Twitter management tool like TweetDeck, the face of Twitter is the stream populated by a chronological list of the most recent tweets from all the people you follow. Which is great in a kind of bizarre social gestalt kind of way until one or two of them start flooding the stream with tons of Tweets over a short period of time. And even though it might seem to the poster that they are just carrying on a (mostly one-sided) conversation, they are in reality taking over the feed for those presently watching. And like in any other social situation, whether it be a party, a meeting or a forum, dominating the conversation is rude and an excellent way of loosing your followers. Twitter is a microblogging tool. If you have a lot to say, put it in your regular blog or write a book.

8. Apply the Bush test liberally

You know how it seemed like ex-president George W. Bush had his foot surgically inserted into his mouth? Twitter is a great place to prove you are suffering from a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease. 90% of the time the stuff you post on Twitter is completely benign. But from time to time you want to post something that may piss someone off either intentionally or unintentionally. So before you post anything, consider this: Would you want your kid sister, mother, future girlfriend, boss or mother-in-law to read it? Because chances are they will. If the answer is no, your rant is better left in your notebook or your therapist’s couch.

9. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all

I stole this one from my mom. And it’s a rule I try (unsuccessfully) to live by: If you’re angry and feel like lashing out either directly or indiscriminitely it’s better to step away from the keyboard and take a walk. In the heat of fury you are likely to say things you will regret but things said cannot be unsaid. Ever (see point 10). So rather than ruining your social life and insulting the people that respect you, remember that this too shall pass and, in the words of famous Norwegian poet Alf Prøysen: “Tomorrow is another day, clean and unused, with white sheets and crayons for you” (my translation).

10. The web is forever

I’t’s been said many times beofre but aparently it needs repeating: Anything and everything you put on the web remains there forever. Searchable, traceable, sourceable, ready to resurface years later. That’s the case for text, pictures, audio, video and yes, Twitter posts. So that bat you planted in some guy’s face via a not-so-finely worded Tweet yesterday may very well come back to bite you in the ass and ruin your chances at a job 20 years from now. Because who knows, maybe some day you’ll be vetted for a seat in the president’s cabinet.

If you missed points 1 through 5 head on over to Michael Kwan’s blog Beyond the Rethoric and read the first half of this article.

Categories
WordPress WordPress as CMS

New WordPress-based Site: AnnyChih.com

AnnyChih.comTwo weekends ago my sister-in-law Anny Chih asked for some help sprucing up her WordPress blog. She wanted to apply for The Best Job in the World – the Tourism Queensland online video contest where you post a 1 minute video application to become the island caretaker of the beautiful Hamilton Island in Australia – and use the blog to showcase her talents and provide information about both herself and the islands.

Her blog was running the default theme but she wanted something that reflected the contest and also her own sunny disposition. She sketched up a rough draft in PhotoShop and let me get to work on it. I set aside one day to finish the entire redesign (totally crazy) and here is the result.

WordPress as CMS

Off the top you’ll notice I switched the front page to a static one to showcase the video and some info about the contest and Anny herself. The blog portion of the site has been moved to the back end and is accessible from the main menu and also from the Recent Posts box on the bottom right hand side.

Custom Field Boxes

Custom FieldsAt the bottom of the front page there are three boxes containing from left to right info on the contest, Anny’s 4 most recent tweets and the titles of the 5 most recent posts. The three fields are populated using custom fields from within the WordPress admin area so that they can easily be changed later. In the case of the Twitter box it is populated using the technique outlined in my Create a Twitter Box in Your Sidebar tutorial.

I used this site as an example during WordCamp Whislter last weekend to demonstrate how you can use custom fields for advanced layouts. The entire talk with code examples will be posted over the weekend.

Subtle Graphic Effects

I usually spend a lot of time making sure the sites I design have compelling and interesting graphics. In the case of Design is Philosophy I took the principle to the extreme but on AnnyChih.com I focused more on subtlety. For example, the background graphic with the bubbles is separated from the header image so that if you change the size of the browser window you’ll see the two images moving independently of each other. It’s a very subtle effect but it means that even people using smaller screens see the circle graphic Anny came up with.

Within the pages and posts I’ve also added graphic elements like the glowing underlines using CSS. It’s a simple trick that makes the content look more refined than simple solid lines.

Threaded Comments

Threaded comments
One of the major upgrades in WordPress 2.7 was the inclusion of threaded comments. By activating and styling this fucntionality the visitors to the site now have the ability to carry on conversations without being confused by the comment order. Again it’s a subtle effect that greatly enhances the experience for the visitor.

Categories
Applications CSS Tutorials

Create a Twitter Box in Your Sidebar – Part II

My Sidebar Twitter box tutorial seems to have struck a chord with WordPress users and it has generated some interesting questions. One of them, from TheNext2ShineBlog posed an interesting problem I decided to look into in more detail:

the only thing I would like to change is the time aspect (23 days ago // 4 hours ago). Is there a css code to hide that link without taking away the links from the original twitter message?

What TheN2S is refering to is the tail end of each Twitter message that reads either “less than a minute ago”, “a few minutes ago” etc up to “X days ago”.

Careful inspection of the JavaScript that generates the Tweets for the application (found here) shows that the time information is a core function of the Twitter system so it is coded into the main structure of the application itself. Therefore it is hard to siply remove it unless you want to create your own custom JS. But TheN2S is on the right track in asking if it can be removed by way of CSS.

Lifting a random tweet off my own site I found that the main body the JS spits out is contained within a span tag while the tail end with the time info is not:

	
  • @webb_art DropBox works well for me and is platform independent: http://www.getdropbox.com/ about 15 hours ago
  • That means we can use CSS to hide the content not in the while maintaining the visibility of the content that is. That requires some additions to the original CSS code:

    #twitter_div ul li span {
    	visibility: visible;
    }
    
    #twitter_div ul li span a {
    	color: #D78E42;
    	visibility: visible;
    }
    
    #twitter_div ul li a {
    	visibility: hidden;
    }
    

    The first two single out the regular and link contents within the span specifically and set their visibility to visible. This is done because the last style sets the visibility of all anchors within list items under the twitter_div ID to hidden. So we are really working backwards – first hiding everything and then unhiding it in particular cases.

    By adding these three style elements the time information will be hidden by the CSS while everything else shows up normally.

    Move the time and date stamp to its own line

    A couple of people have been asking how to separate out the date and time stamp and place it on its own line. The answer is to target the same span above and set its display property to block. That way it will be separated out. I never got around to answering it but reader thnhzng posted a nice piece of CSS in the comments that I thought would be worth pasting in here:

    #twitter_div ul li span {
    	visibility: visible;
    }
    
    #twitter_div ul li span a {
    	color: #D78E42;
    	visibility: visible;
    	display: inherit;
    }
    
    #twitter_div ul li a {
    	display: block; /* creates line-break b/f & after */
    	text-align: right; /*aligns time-stamp to the right */
    	font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; /* change t-s font */
    	color: #445566; /* change color of time-stamp */
    }
    
    Categories
    CSS Tutorials WordPress

    Create a Twitter box in your sidebar

    UPDATE July 2011
    Twitter has made some changes to their Twitter Badge functionality including removing the auto generated legacy code used in this tutorial. Fortunately they have not deactivated the actual function meaning you can copy the code in the examples below, replace my handle (mor10) with yours and you’ll get your tweets just like before.

    As part of the new design for this blog I added a Twitter box in the sidebar. There are hundreds of WordPress plugins that do this for you but they are all quite involved and they bog down the blog unnecessarily. Much easier to just hard code the box into your blog yourself. It’s actually surprisingly easy to do, but the code that Twitter provides is a bit wonky (and shockingly it doesn’t validate!).

    In this tutorial you’ll learn how to easily create a fancy box that displays your latest Twitter rants in your sidebar without having to turn to clunky plug-ins that bog your blog down.

    Get your Twitter Badge

    To start off with you need your Twitter Badge. This is the official Twitter JavaScript that passes your latest tweets to wherever you want. You can get your badge at twitter.com/badges. Twitter has custom badges for MySpace, Blogger, Facebook and TypePad but surprisingly nothing for WordPress. That doesn’t really matter because it’s actually easier to just make one of your own.

    Select Other and you are taken to page two which presents three options:

    1. Flash (Just Me) – hideous
    2. Flash with Friends – even more hideous
    3. HTML/JavaScript – great for people with eyes

    Select the last option (HTML/JavaScript) and you are taken to page 3 where you can customize the code by defining how many tweets you want and what the Badge title should be. I chose 2 tweets and turned the title off. This provided me with the following code:
    You can get your badge at twitter.com/badges. Twitter now has custom badges for your website and Facebook. The website badge is a JS-based badge that I’ll cover in a later tutorial. For this tutorial however we’ll be using the legacy code which is no longer available from the Twitter Badge page. But you can get it right here. Using the Twitter Badge legacy code your end result will look like the following code:

      (This code will of course differ depending on your settings.)

      Paste the code in wherever you want on your site or your blog.

      Style your Badge

      The Twitter Badge comes equipped with JavaScript that injects the tweets into your badge in the form of unordered list items as well as built in style elements. They are: #twitter_div (styles the badge wrap), .sidebar_title (styles the title) and #twitter_update_list (styles the unordered list).

      Before you start styling, you have to fix the generated code to make it validate. Since it is the JavaScript that actually generates the list items, browsers and validators get all cranky about the code because there are no list items within the unordered list in the markup itself. Therefore you need to insert an empty list item just to please the W3C gods:

      Once that’s settled you can start styling your elements. Again because of the JavaScript you have to stick with the names Twitter provides, but that shouldn’t cause any problems. For my Twitter Badge I created a background PNG much larger than what I actually needed to accommodate a future situation where I would add more than 2 tweets at a time (which you can see by clicking here). The background graphic is cut off by a matching blue bottom border. The whole style package looks like this:

      #twitter_div {
      	background-image: url('img/twitterBG.png');
      	background-repeat: no-repeat;
      	border-bottom-style: solid;
      	border-bottom-width: 1px;
      	border-bottom-color: #5AA5BC;
      	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
      	font-size: 0.9em;
      	margin-top:10px;
      	padding-top: 30px;
      	padding-right: 5px;
      	padding-left: 5px;
      }
      
      #twitter_div ul li {
      	color: #0C93BA;
      	border-bottom-style: solid;
      	border-bottom-width: 1px;
      	border-bottom-color: #A1E8F7;
      }
      
      #twitter_div ul li a {
      	text-decoration: none;
      	color: #DDA84E;
      }
      
      #twitter_div ul li a:hover {
      	text-decoration: none;
      	color: #D78E42;
      }
      
      #twitter_div p {
      	text-align: right;
      	padding-right: 6px;
      	padding-bottom: 10px;
      }
      

      Add a link for future followers

      The observant reader will notice that there’s still one element missing: The Follow me on Twitter link in the bottom right corner. That’s the reason for the p style in the CSS code as well. So with the follow link, the final HTML markup looks like this:

      
      
      
      
      
      

      And with that you have a fancy Twitter box you can put in your sidebar without bogging your blog down with plug-ins.

      Read the second half of this tutorial, in which you learn how to hide the time stamp at the tail end of the Tweets.

      Categories
      News

      Twitter Sucks!

      So I went Twitter to tell my friends that I’m watching Björk live from Iceland via a webcast. And what happens? I fill in my username and password in the login page and click Sign In and I get this message:

      Deleted!

      Your account is being removed. It may still be viewable on twitter.com for up to 24 hours.

      You will be able to restore your account for up to six months.

      Great. So there’s a bug on their front page that took me to the delete page instead of the login page. I can’t even begin to explain how shitty the programming has to be for this to happen. My God.

      And no, I didn’t do anything wrong. This all happened straight from the Twitter front page. Username + password + Log In = Deleted account.