You’ve Got Friends in Exclusive Places

Posted by michellej

We don’t know how people with Verified Accounts got those little blue check marks, but we imagine the experience is a little like finding a golden ticket: the process seems random, the real value is unknown and far more people want it than will ever actually get it.


ThinkUp’s newest insight reveals how many of your followers have  actually scored that elusive blue check mark. Just don’t tell William Shatner if you have a lot of verified followers. He’s a little touchy on the subject.

Nick Bilton captures the heart of what motivates us to build ThinkUp:

Now, it’s all social media all the time. At the end of the day, what do I have to show for it? Am I more enriched as a human being after a couple of hours spent on Facebook? More fulfilled from Pinterest? A deeper person from Instagram?

This is a critical question to ask, and frankly one that many of the people who create these social networks aren’t asking often enough. Of course, many will say “So how could the answer be even *more* technology?”

The answer is that the problem isn’t technological in nature: It’s social. It’s simply a matter of being thoughtful and mindful about the way we spend our time, and the way we interact with each other. These are themes that transcend technologies and fads.

It’s really gratifying to see this idea getting mainstream coverage, and we hope this becomes a fundamental part of the way people talk about new technologies and the industry that creates them. And of course, we hope you’ll give ThinkUp a try and see if it doesn’t help you feel better about all the time you’re spending on these networks.

My coworkers offered compliments and thanks for my contributions, and I felt a bit like a withered plant that just received a healthy watering. Literally minutes later, I was bouncing around the office like I hadn’t been in weeks.

High Fivery – The Pastry Box Project

A thoughtful post from Greg Hoy on how we can be significantly impacted by positive feedback, compliments and other forms of showing appreciation.

It truly is nice to be nice.

ThinkUp’s Summer of Code: Anna Shkerina

Posted by anil

This summer, ThinkUp is mentoring students in Google’s Summer of Code program for the third time. As they progress in their work of becoming contributors to ThinkUp, we’ve asked our two students this year to document their experiences.

I’m Anna Shkerina, a fifth year student of Chernigov National University of Technology. My major is system programming. I’m from Ukraine from the beautiful city of Chernihiv.

My main interest is programming. Programming is not just my profession — it is my hobby. I first tried to program in high school and still I can not stop. I also interested in dancing which I’ve devoted almost half my life - 10 years. Furthermore I love to embroider; I’ve made icons, towels, and napkins decorated with my embroidery.

When I decided to participate in Google Summer of Code I had only one requirement for the project on which I will work: I wanted a project that would be interesting.

When I read about ThinkUp for the first time I was very impressed by the idea of analyzing social network data from a lot of different resources. Every public person, politic or organization have two, three or even more accounts at the different social networks. So it is very difficult to cover and analyze all the information. But ThinkUp gives the opportunity to analyze and process statistical data simpler and clearer.

I loved the idea of ​​the project and I chose to write a proposal. From the idea list I most interested in the idea of creating new ThinkUp insights. And now I’m working on it.


What I’ve Learned

At the very beginning when I first started working with the project it was important to understand the structure of the project and implementation of the MVC model features in it.

Working on creating insights for the Facebook I got a huge experience working with the Graph API. I never used Smarty before working on the ThinkUp insights. For me it was very interesting and useful to understand how these features work. Now I would like to gain experience with Google Maps API. The next two insights that I plan to do are directly related to displaying data on a map.

And of course I hope to gain experience with Twitter REST API because two of these insights are related to analysis data from Twitter.

What I’d Like to Learn Next

I have experience programming in Java. I’m interested in different aspects of web development. For example tools like twitter bootstrap and angular.js. And the subject of my master’s work is related to grid technologies.

So! Excited!

Posted by michellej

The exclamation point is perhaps the most powerful of all punctuation marks. Excitement, anger, outrage and love can all be emphasized with it. Want to amplify emotions even more? Throw in another one. Two periods don’t increase the dullness of a sentence but two exclamation points? Next level awesome!

ThinkUp’s new excitement insight will tell you how many tweets or Facebook updates you posted last month that included exclamation points. The insight also charts how often you posted at !, !! or !!! levels.

image

If your !!! bar towers over the others perhaps it’s time for some calming kittens. If only your ! bar sees any action it might be time to recommit to sharing great things on your timeline. In any case, knowledge is power! We’re certain you’ll use the knowledge well!!

ThinkUp’s Summer of Code: Gareth Brady

Posted by anil

This summer, ThinkUp is mentoring students in Google’s Summer of Code program for the third time. As they progress in their work of becoming contributors to ThinkUp, we’ve asked our two students this year to document their experiences.

My name is Gareth and I am spending the summer working on creating new Insights for ThinkUp through the Google Summer of Code program.

I am currently studying Computer Science in Dublin and have an interest in web development so GSoC has been a great experience for me so far as it has allowed me to spend my time using the skills I have learnt throughout my studies in an area I enjoy.

When I first heard of ThinkUp I thought it was a cool idea, we all know social networks can gather a lot of data about us from our usage so having personalized insights seemed like a fun way to use it. There are plenty of reasons I decided to contribute to ThinkUp and liking the idea of the project is one of the main ones another reason is I love the freedom ThinkUp gives me to create insights that are related to my other interests. For example I love using fitness applications, having all the information in the palm of my hand has been a great motivation for me to continue exercise. However I do find plain statistics a little dull, ThinkUp has allowed me to create an insight that compares my distance traveled while exercising to landmarks around the world, it’s not new information but it’s given to me in an interesting way and I hope users will enjoy it as much as I have.

Working on ThinkUp has been a lot of fun but also extremely difficult at the same time. As a result I have learned a lot about programming and working on real world projects. Before this summer I worked mainly on academic problems and projects which is great for learning theory but not for preparing me for working in industry. Below is a short list of lessons I’ve learned:

  • It’s better to assume what you are working on is difficult rather than easy.

  • Problems are inevitable.

  • A detailed plan before any code is written makes life a lot easier.

  • When it comes to debugging, var_dump is amazing.


As I said before working on ThinkUp has been a great experience. I am learning a lot and creating something I really like at the same time. I look forward to creating more insights over the summer and I hope everyone enjoys them.

I find that the longer I run the site, the more resistant I become to the idea of ever giving it up, even if I need to take the occasional break. It is pleasant to work on something that people draw benefit from. It is especially pleasant to work on something lasting. And I enjoy the looking-glass aspect of our industry, where running a mildly profitable small business makes me a crazy maverick not afraid to break all the rules.

We’ve long been inspired by Maciej Ceglowski’s little-bookmarking-site-that-could, so this post on Pinboard turning five was a treat to read.

It’s So Meta

Posted by michellej

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.

Unlike the first rule of Fight Club the first rule of Facebook might just be: Talk about Facebook. On Facebook.  

Whether it’s to complain about changes to privacy policies, say thank you for birthday reminders, or just to make a general comment on the service, most of us use Facebook as a platform to talk about Facebook.  

The same is true for Twitter. Block policies, sponsored tweets, immersive World Cup features and the like inspire us to talk about Twitter…on Twitter.

ThinkUp’s new “Meta Posts” insight provides perspective on just how much we do that. It will reveal how many times over the past week you used Facebook to talk about Facebook and Twitter to talk about Twitter. 

Your Free ThinkUp Trial

Posted by michellej

We get mail (and tweets and Facebook posts). The most common topic of all that mail and other communication is a request for a free trial of ThinkUp. People are excited and interested in ThinkUp but want to take the service out for a spin before they put their money down. That’s a reasonable request.

As a small business it’s important that we have a fair and sustainable business model that lets us grow and continue to improve ThinkUp. It’s also important that we remember that we’re going against the grain on the web by actually charging for our product. So today we’re very happy to launch ThinkUp’s 14-day free trial. Trial users will get the full ThinkUp experience, no limits or catches, for two weeks. The free trial gives us a chance to show off why ThinkUp is worth paying for, and it helps you decide if ThinkUp is right for you before spending any money.

We’re so excited for new users to experience ThinkUp and become part of our community. Hopefully you’re one of them. You can sign up now for the 14-day free trial at thinkup.com.

Email help@thinkup.com if you have any questions or want to share your thoughts on ThinkUp or reach out to @thinkup on Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you.