Our Favourite Websites #3

Posted by Edward Bear PhD on
Category: Technology/Internet42 Comments

What is your favourite website? Which site do you use the most and does it do the job you really want it to perform? That is what this series of posts is all about – our favourite websites. Tim Berners-Lee published the first ever website in 1991 and there must be billions more that have come and gone – or even remained – since then. Serious sites, business sites, dysfunctional sites (yes, ok – we know who we are) or maybe sites just devoted to grumpy cats. So I thought I would have a sit down and decide which sites I thought had brought us the most enjoyment, functionality, performance or just wasted our precious time over the last thirty years.

Like many top sites, Twitter at first seemed like a rather stupid idea – a blogging site where each post had to be shorter than a single text message. However the enforced brevity freed us from spending time and effort drafting updates. As founders Dom Sagolla and Jack Dorsey put it, the idea was that tweeting should be “so simple that you don’t even think about it”. Breezy, throwaway tweets rapidly became a hugely popular way to stay in touch with friends and colleagues.

Back when Twitter launched in 2006, it wasn’t only the posts that were simple, but the platform itself. At launch, there were no such things as hashtags – even replies weren’t immediately implemented. And if you wanted to “retweet” a post, you had to copy and paste it into your timeline.

As Twitter has become more sophisticated, we’ve increasingly got on board with keeping things brief and succinct. A study at the University of the Philippines found that, in 2009, the average tweet was eight words longs. By 2012, this had dropped to five words.

Twitter has also gained legitimacy. Celebrities, big brands and services, from Larry the Cat to the BBC, all have their own Twitter feeds. Twitter is often the first port of call for customer service too, since social media feeds are normally manned by a human being.

With more than 500 million tweets sent each day by more than half a billion users, Twitter is a cultural phenomenon. However, the worry is that its popularity has plateaued. Company revenue has fallen short of expectations this year, and lately, shares have dropped as low as $14, from a high of $69 in 2014. Recently, the company has tried to get casual users more invested, with updates such as shuffling the order of tweets to put more interesting posts first on the feed – which just confuses the hell out of me – and adding live video-streaming capabilities.

Even so, some financial analysts see Twitter’s most likely fate as a corporate buyout. The question is which tech giant will end up acquiring the service and how cheaply.

Personally, I wish they would stop messing about with it and let it be. It is probably the platform I waste most of my day on but it is starting to frustrate me the way they implement changes. I have ended up having to go and search for people I was following yesterday but some headless entity within Twitter has decided now isn’t important to me anymore. No matter how many times I change my timeline back to chronological order they insist on changing it back to what they call my order of importance – but surely I should choose that order?

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About the Author

Edward Bear PhD

I am the bear in charge of things and also the Blog Admin. I keep the bear’s online presence alive and ticking while helping with many of the day to day tasks around Jammy Toast. I also have the distinction of being the only bear to graduate from Cambridge University where I gained a PhD. in Computer Sciences.

42 Comments on “Our Favourite Websites #3”

  1. How’s Knobhead ? What ? How’s the dog Aud ? Eh ? The dog is he frightened of the fireworks ? Pardon? The Bloomin furry freak is he disturbed by Bommy night? Hang on I will turn the telly down , it’s on 44 .

  2. Couldn’t be arsed going to the fireworks in town. Me and Dave have come to Curry Corner for a vindaloo instead. Looks like Barb will be getting an indoor display tonight.

  3. Lying in bed trying to read and Stoneycroft sounds like the 1st day of the Somme FFS. Not even kids. Middle aged men getting a stiffy at the bang bangs.
    Get a fucking hobby.

  4. It’s been ages since my human embarrassed me like this. She knows I don’t like photos while I’m doing my personal care but she thinks they’re funny and tries to take them anyway. I’m too quick for her though. Is she ever going to learn?

  5. “Throw a stone into a pool of water and you make a splash from which the ripples travel outwards. The bigger the splash, the further the ripples travel before they die. Some travel over your horizon and away. Some are reflected and come back.”


  6. Rolf report Nov 6

    I really needed to go out for a leash walk but my human was preoccupied watching a film on TV. I gave her a stern look of disapproval. I did get my walk shortly afterwards. Hopefully I will get my liberation back & be free to roam campus again today.

    Rolf x

  7. Hiya everyone. Good morning. This time next year I’ll be in meltdown about our wedding party and bang on trend, I’m having a mini meltdown because we’ve had to cancel one of the suppliers and now I don’t know what I want. This comment is pointless. Thanks for coming xo

  8. Coming for a shite in the baltic temperatures of the work bog and having to put the overhead heater on, thus accentuating the smell of the last mans shite is NOT a banter.

    This cold snap is ruining poo time…

  9. I have a little colposcopy op today and my ma’s just went “Will you have a hot and spicy taco wrap love?” Ma you do understand my vagina and bum hole are gona be in some poor doctors face in an hour so I think the fuck not love… thanks for asking x

  10. My friend Barbara had to go to the vet this morning because he was limping. My two humans went with him, expecting him to be a difficult patient but he shocked them both! He was as good as gold, even when he had two injections. Nothing broken, hope he’s better soon.

  11. I’m sat here waiting to go in for my 4th little op… and thinking imagine I hadn’t went for that 1st smear 10 years ago… chances are I’d be dead. Ladies for the love of god get your smears… check your boobs. 10 mins of embarrassment isn’t worth your life!

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