2. Who is your favourite person to follow on twitter?
Professionally, @mediaczar and @superglaze. Two of the most interesting and most challenging media people on different sides of the fence. Given our industry, I think it’s important to pick two.
3. When has social media helped you achieve something great?
It’s more like it helps me achieve tons of little things all the time. Together, they’re probably greater than the sum of their parts — they cover everything from obvious professional duties to where I can find a beer after work or discover new sources of content and intelligence.
Social media has helped me cheat at life and gain an unfair advantage in almost every area. Can’t say fairer than that.
4. What makes you unfollow or unlike somebody?
It’s always about that signal: noise ratio. I generally use my ‘people’ list throughout the day but if someone’s just cluttering up the main timeline without being entertaining for too long, they’re off. Mainly because I’ll probably see them talking to someone else again soon and re-add them.
5. If you could have a topic trend on twitter what would it be and why?
Maybe something like #hashtag that exposes the ridiculousness of it all. Mapping trends across Twitter is one of those things that has always seemed pointless to me in the same way word clouds never reveal much insight. Or how the most highlighted Kindle quotes are almost all from The Hunger Games.
6. Three links you recommend highly are:
http://somethingawful.com/forums/ — Anyone who wants to understand online communities on sites like Twitter, Facebook etc should take a step back and spend some time in real forums. Forget newcomers like Reddit, Something Awful has all the best and the worst of the internet in one place.
http://www.instapaper.com/browse – Forget iPlayer, Spotify etc, Instapaper is the most useful content on demand tool I’ve ever found. I use it to save anything I stumble across during the day and sometimes load it up with longer pieces from The Magazine, Matter and Long Reads. From there it’s simple to comment on them, blog about them or share them on.
These two announcements changed the world in their way. And yet there’s almost no sense of just how big their impact would be at the time. Now I’m as cynical as the best of them but I find something about that really cool — and the lesson for me is that you need to try and understand these tools, play with them and break them if you want to discover their potential for yourself.
7. Which perk would you like to see PeerIndex run next?
Free cake. Who doesn’t love cake? Bad people, that’s who.
8. If you were an animal, what would you be?
I might be one of those birds that’s always listening and imitating the sounds around it. What’s interesting about those animals isn’t the accuracy of how they reproduce the noise but how deeply they’re defined by their awareness of and interactions with the world around them.
Catch up with Max on twitter: @maxtb
Image from Wikimedia Commons.