Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Takes More Than a Flood To Stop the Hogs for the Cause Block Party

Many believed that only an act of God could stop the Smoked Mullets from winning the barbecue cook-off at the 2nd installment of Hogs for the Cause Charleston. And it turns out they were right. The torrential rain and flooding back in October forced the organizers to cancel the event, robbing the Mullets (for whom I was slated to man the coveted midnight to six a.m. pit shift) of their otherwise-certain victory.

Even worse news was that the cancelation caused the Hogs for the Cause organization to lose valuable funds that would otherwise have gone to helping the families of children fighting pediatric brain cancer. So, Charleston's own Home Team BBQ is stepping up to help, organizing a Hogs for the Cause Block Party to be held down on the peninsula at their soon-to-open new downtown branch.

The Hogs for the Cause Block Party is now slated for Saturday, March 12, 2016 from noon to 4:00 at 1071 Morrison Drive, the parking area next to Edmund’s Oast and across from Home Team's new spot.

In addition to Home Team 'cue, there will be food from the Atlantic Room Restaurant at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House, Home Team BBQ,  Edmund’s Oast, and Lewis Barbecue. And there will be cocktails made with Cathead Vodka and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and beer from Revelry Brewing Co. and Coast Brewing Co.  Plus live music by Guilt Ridden Troubadour.

Tickets are $30 per person and include a food pass, and additional tickets will be sold for cocktails and beer. All of the food, beverages and entertainment has been donated to this event to raise funds for Hogs for the Cause. Kids under 12 are free. Tickets available through City Paper Tickets.

 No word yet whether the Home Team crew will be smoking mullet for the occasion, but I think they should.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

11 Things I Learned About Twitter This Weekend

Reading the flood of panicked tweets about Twitter's supposedly-soon-to-drop algorithmic feed this weekend, I have learned the following things about Twitter:

1. The people at Twitter don't use their own product

2. The people at Twitter don't understand their own product

3. The people at Twitter just want to turn it into Facebook

4. The only thing Twitter really needs is an edit button

5. Twitter is dead (#RIPTwitter)

6. Twitter is mostly young people and activists and creators who are not gonna stand for this Facebook algorithm shit

7. Twitter's real motivation with changing their feed is to censor content and control what people think

8. Twitter's real motivation with changing their feed is to inflict ads upon us and turn us into the zombie pawns of big corporations

9. Twitter is already using algorithms to control to the information we see, they just aren't telling us

10. If Twitter changes the timeline all the current Twitter users are going to up and go start using . . . well, something else

11. Change is bad

Saturday, February 06, 2016

And There Was Much Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

Twitter seems to be all a twitter this morning about Twitter's supposed plans to launch a new algorithmic feed.

I am one of those active Twitter users myself—I far prefer it to Facebook, Instagram, and anything else, and it's the place I turn first to see what's going on out in the world.  And I think this algorithmic feed might be a good idea, and the reason is simple: it's sort of how I use Twitter today anyway.

Which is to say that I use Tweetdeck, not the regular Twitter browser application, which lets you have multiple columns open at the same time with different filters and lists determining what tweets they show. In the left most column I have a list that's filtered to a select group of people I follow whose Tweets I don't miss, to the right of that my unfiltered "Home" feed (that is, all the tweets from everyone I follow unfiltered as they roll out into the world), and to the right of that multiple columns filtered to search for various terms I'm interested in.

I find it very useful to have an algorithm (albeit a very basic one I created myself) to filter tweets for me because that main feed is just too damn crowded and I'll miss the good stuff if I just read it. I read through  the "can't miss" list first, then once I read all those (and clear the column), I'll dip into the "main line" to sort of see serendipitously what the moment brings.

If what Twitter comes up with can replicate this experience—ensuring you see the tweets you don't want to miss while also maintaining the randomness and serendipity of the unfiltered chronological feed, then it might make Twitter appeal to more people.

Or it might be the end of the world as we know it and won't we all be sorry . . .

(By the way, does Facebook have an alternative application that power users use to interact with it? Plenty of 3rd party social media utilities, but I don't think Facebook actually owns one, do they?)

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