Sometimes towards the end of a hard-fought campaign a blog post emerges that changes you how you think about the whole election. A posting so inspiring, or with such a new perspective that you cannot fail to sit up and take notice, and maybe – just maybe – change your view about the whole shebang. Such a posting emerged tonight. I was just minding my own business, cooking chilli and rice-pudding, sitting down to watch Dead Set on E4, then idly checking my twitter and blog feeds on my phone, when BAM – the following dropped onto my consciousness. Suddenly, life will never be the same again.
Read the top 10 redonk things said in the election – as retold by kittens. Awww! How cute.
A slightly more substantial video has also dropped through my feedreader via JoeMyGod about how the candidates have re-used the same words and phrases in each of the debates. And not just the same words and phrases, but exactly the same intonation each time.
It’s not that surprising. A radio programme I was half listening to last week pointed out almost the same – one secret to fluency in public speaking is to have a whole series of words and phrases that you can build your argument around. A sort of verbal thinking space. In the time it takes you say, “Good evening, my fellow Americans,” your brain can be a long way down the synaptic paths it needs to be in order to string together the words and phrases of the new stuff you wanted to say. And it’s partly why ministers and clergy men can speak fluently. After years of reading the liturgy, there are whole groups of words that will just flow off the tongue. Slot a few into a sermon, add a few more words, and with all the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, you’re halfway there already.
(Something a little screwy happens if I try and embed the video, so you will have to make do with a link to it instead.)
WordPress bloggers who use Twitter have known for some time that you
can use the plugin Twitter Tools to reproduce your twitter content into your blog in one daily mindump at a time of your choosing.
You can also use Twitter Tools to point twitter readers at your blog whenever you write a new post – which has been controversial for some. My view is that it’s probably OTT for those who still blog multiple times a day, but ideal for the many of us who used to, but who now twitter many times a day instead and blog only infrequently. The practice was annoying back in the day when tweets arrived as SMSes and you couldn’t do much about it from your phone, but now that Twitter have removed this function far more people are reading Twitter from a computer.
But the aha! moment I had last week which prompted me to write this piece was an interesting bit of additional functionality you can get from adding in the plugin KB Linker to the mix. KB Linker scans your blog post texts for key phrases and inserts a link.
It’s fully configurable, so you choose your key phrases and the links they generate. At LDV, we have a full list of all Lib Dem MPs and other representatives, so that whenever one of our correspondents idly tosses in a name, the site automatically plugs their website.
Using KB Linker and Twitter Tools means you can have a system where key words in tweets can become links by the time they make it into postings on your blog – without having to use awkward tinyurls and so on.
You could use this to direct blog readers to useful posts or pages on your own site which unpack some of your shorthand. For example, councillor bloggers could point the word “ctte” to a posting explaining which committees they serve on and what they actually do.
You could use it for SEO, and point regularly occurring twitter words at sites that need a little Google boost.
You could even use it to link a hashtag to the hashtag-summary page on Twemes. And hope that the world doesn’t explode in a massive mess of Web 2.0 self-referential geekery that vanishingly few people will actually understand.