What if I invented Twitter? Or at least Facebook?

Guys. I was reading the excerpt from Nick Bilton’s forthcoming book about how Twitter was started in The New York Times and I realized something. I might have invented Twitter. I mean, I know I didn’t, but look at these pages that I blogged about a few years ago, it’s almost eerie. I explained my process in my previous post:

A long time ago in this very land (sometime in 2003) I sat alone in my living room, looking out the window onto Guerrero Street and wondered how I could connect with the people of the neighborhood, hear their thoughts, start a dialogue, without having to actually leave my house and face people in real life. Yes, it sounds sad and lonely. Whatever. The point is, I didn’t know about hyperlocal blogs or anything, so I made do with what I had. Which, apparently, wasn’t much. I figured I’d have to do some fishing.

One morning I tied a piece of paper onto a length of fishing line, attached a pen at the end and lowered them both out the window. I left my house for the day and when I came home that night I reeled the paper in (pen gone).

Good Morning

GOOD MORNING. (if evening, please reverse)

Good Evening

GOOD EVENING (if morning please reverse)

I mean, the bland prompt, time stamp, emoticons, timeline, it’s kinda weird. Before you jump all over me and explain why I didn’t invent Twitter or even Facebook, I know. But, maybe it demonstrates why something like that was ready to take off, that we were all ready to begin communicating in this specific manner. I guess I won’t sue. It’s not my style. And all I did was hang a piece of paper out the window. I guess I could have tried a little harder.

Even Newsom is concerned about Tech’s effect on the SF housing market

Or is he . . . ? He deleted this tweet shortly after he tweeted it. Maybe because it could be seen as criticizing Twitter on Twitter? Maybe because he would seem hypocritical to be concerned about San Francisco’s shifting demographics? Who knows, maybe he was hacked. Maybe he meant it in a positive way, that the Twitter IPO could finally clear out any remaining undesirables. Wait, wait, maybe I’m being too harsh on ol’ Newsom. It was just an ellipsis with an extra dot. Who can know what meaning lay beneath that fourth little dot . . . . ?

Last year’s Valentine’s heart bike ride becomes Verizon commercial

When I first saw this commercial on TV a few weeks ago, my initial reaction was “OMG, those Verizon people stole this idea from that Valentine’s bike ride dude from last year!  It’s a travesty!”  Fortunately, rather than jump to conclusions with an incendiary blog post, I did a little research and learned from the Mission Bicycle guys that the ad agency hired by Verizon actually got in touch to find the lovestruck cyclist who originally embarked on the ride and then went and used him in the commercial!

Mission Bicycle has the whole story over on their blog, so go and check it out, and then try your best to think of something even better to do this year for that special someone in your life!

[Photo via Mission Bicycle]



Last Saturday night I saw some dude with Google Glasses stumbling down Mission Street and I just . . . I don’t know. Anyway, today we have this pic sent in (via Bodieswork) of what appears to be a BART cop, or at least a cop, wearing Google Glasses. So, dear readers, I ask you, if this is what’s happening now, what the hell happens next?

Dum dum DUM!!

A couple walks into Shotwell’s wearing Google Glasses…

Tom Madonna from Shotwell’s tweets about it, and then the whole incident turns up as an essay in The Atlantic:

I called up Madonna to get a little more information about what happened when the Glasses couple walked into Shotwell’s.

“When you buy a new phone, it’s in your pocket, but this, you’re wearing something on your face. Anyone that cares what they look like is not gonna wear Google glasses. That’s my opinion,” Madonna said. “If you are super nerdy and you like to show off that you’re in tech and smart and all those things, I can see you probably wearing Google Glasses, but you are probably in a bubble or … new. We’ve all heard all this stuff. Like, this guy moved to SF and he comes to the bar. He’s from Scottsdale and he’s using all these [tech] words. I had to stop him. I said, ‘You sound interesting and different in Phoenix, but you sound boring here. You are cliche.’”

Read on for talk of SF vs. Brooklyn, more interaction with the couple with the glasses, and lots more sass from Tom.

[via Paul Suway] [Screenshot by Honey Jets]

Richmond District church says you can’t Google god — but you can friend him on Facebook

Photo and headline by Valerie “Sublet SF” Luu

Men who hog seats are no men at all

Sexpigeon, the best blog in the world, is spending some time on Caltrain this week:

Here is a thing of commuter trains that pass through affluent areas: there are besuited and groomed men who not only commit the sin of hogging the outside seat, they also slop the inside seat with their bag, their briefcase, their repellant backpack. They then insert headphones so that you must ask them to remove their headphones in order to then ask them if you might take that seat that their accessories are currently occupying. Men of less careful habit, who are suitless and of ordinary grooming, find themselves intimidated to ask this series of questions, and so they stuff themselves standing into the vestibules at the end of the carriage.

Men who hog seats are no men at all.

Read on.

Why Facebook’s new Frank Gehry-designed facility is nowhere near as radical as it should be

Allison Arieff in a New York Times blog post looks at why maybe Facebook should’ve moved to downtown San Jose or something instead of just expanding their big isolated suburban campus:

There may be a place to get a latte there but there is no Third Place, those accessible anchors of community life like bars, farmer’s markets or barber shops that help foster civic engagement and interaction with both regulars and new faces. Yes, it’s stating the obvious, but Facebook workers interact with other Facebook workers. There’s next to nil outside influence to be found on a corporate campus. Indeed, many tech employees (Facebook’s and others) have observed that many of their most meaningful encounters occur not at work but while waiting on city streets for the now-ubiquitous corporate shuttles from San Francisco that take them south to Silicon Valley.

(Emphasis ours.) Yep, cities are the bomb! You’re welcome, Facebook!

Read on.

Mission-based Boombotix makes portable speaker systems ideal for summer fun

Boombotix (whose little garage I’m sure you’ve passed a bunch of times on 23rd) gave us a Boombot a couple weeks ago and we’ve been testing it out. It makes a pretty big sound for its negligible size, so it’s lovely if you’re lazing on a deserted riverbank or blogging in the hammock out back and dying to pump up some jams. (Also, they don’t look super high-tech, so you worry less that it’ll be stolen if you leave it onshore when you go for a dip.)

They have a wireless version too, but I like the wired version plenty. And they both come in a variety of looks.

Plus, right now they’re giving away a Boombot AND tickets to the Treasure Island Music Festival!

Gramophonify your iPhone

Artist Lawrence LaBianca fabricates these beauties in his studio right here in the Mission, and he’s got a Kickstarter campaign up and running (it’s met its goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still pledge and get in on the perks):

I discovered that a sound projected through a horn can create a sound environment. One can use the phone and have an intimate experience with sound while not overpowering the surrounding area. Imagine sitting at ones desk and wanting to listen to some music, while someone else within earshot is not disturbed.

Last, The idea of plugged in and unplugged at the same time is of interest to me. Plugged into technology with the iPhone. With a nod to the past and the beauty of pure form and visible function as in the Victrola. A perfect marriage of craft and technology.

Read on.