The sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike…

You’re going to need a coffee for this post… or your choice of beverage – as we’d say in Australia, a packed lunch and a waterbag. It’s a trifle long. What’s 2,000 words between friends?

After my spate of good deeds in the last post, i continued helping people. The awful last few months, of illness and injury, seem to be fading, and though i’m a bit lacking in stamina, have some use of my body back, and life isn’t half as hard as it has been.

We also had good news about Mr Whatsit yesterday (see In Other News at the end of this post) so i was in a seriously happy-happy-joy-joy kind of mood last night.

I was followed by someone called @Tweetblockerapp on Twitter. It’s a program for Twitter, supposed to help you spot the spammers in your Followers – a great idea. So i Followed back, and logged into their application. It looked very smart.

The page processed, and it showed my followers all listed neatly with grades next to them (A B C etc). Okay, i thought, what’s going on here? There was no Help, so i tried to figure it out. (I’ve been using computers since ’84 and programming since about ’86 – though i gave it up after about 10 yrs – but i do have some skills.)

I had one A+ Follower showing at the top of my list. I assumed that meant he was great, not bad.  (I discovered you can sort the list by Grade, so i do have more A+ Tweeps.) I didn’t recognise him, because they used his Name, not his Twitter Nick – the latter heads his Tweets.

However, by moving mouse over things, i found his Nick – aha, i thought, he’s a spammer, and i blocked him, so rated A+ means they think he’s a super-spammer. There was a Details button. I clicked that, got taken to a page that told me the follower tweeted and engaged with followers, and seemed to be a genuine Tweep. Which was funny.

I’d blocked him only that day, so thought it was understandable he might still be showing up as a follower.   There was no way off the page, so i backed on the browser. Which meant the processing of my 500+ followers all started again.

Once it finished, I looked at the F’s – to find that they were the people  likely to be spammers. Oh. (And discovered the A+ rating person’s page not popping up was a glitch, as now i got a pop-up which i could just close – shame i never got to explain that part to my new follower.)

A browse through the first couple of pages revealed more people who weren’t actually in my followers on Twitter any more . There were some i’d actually blocked for spamming who got a B or C rating, saying they were probably real people and not spammers, so i wasn’t impressed thus far. Same with the D’s – people i knew were real but just new rated badly.

For instance, @AlexanderOlivia is a fake profile, spouting generated gibberish, and then spam about teeth whitening. I had also blocked her some time ago, but she’s showing and getting a D (Grades go A B C D then F) …

  • This is a fairly new user
  • This user does not have a balanced ratio of friends and followers
  • This is an active user

Their ratio of friends to followers is 62 to 762 – so we’re talking extreme inbalance, not just a bit off. I rate at C – only been on since March this year.

I checked my friend @DirkJohnson in CA, who talks, RT’s, is a good Tweep to follow, genuine, and had been on Twitter for exactly a year according to WhenDidYouJoinTwitter – he scored a C and it said…

  • This is a fairly new user
  • This user has a balanced ratio of friends and followers
  • This is an active user

The app listed everyone by their names as i said, (it did show pics, but lots of my friends change theirs every week) and not by their Twitter nicks.

I’m Sheila there, but my Twitter nick is stinginthetail, and if you look for Sheila in the Search function, i don’t show up – or i didn’t last i looked. This is because I cut off the Bastard part of Sheila Bastard so i could be moderately safe for work, which i think upset Twitter Search.)

To explain briefly, while i was an expat in London…  Sheila Bastard is “… a joke, on being Australian –  ’sheila’ means ‘woman’ in Aussie slang, and ‘bastard’ is both an epithet and a term of endearment. So Sheila Bastard I became. Sheila’s a convenient nickname for those who need a first name…”

You can read the whole post that quote is from here. For how i got the nick Queen of Darkness, i gave it to myself accidentally – the full story is here, but the short version is that many vicious bigots claim to be on the side of Light, and i once snapped that if that was Light, i was the Queen of Darkness, and it stuck – i was in a band at the time.

laugh at my jokes, or die

laugh at my jokes, or die

So, meanwhile, i’d messed around with Tweetblocker a bit. Right, i thought, enough. I’ll let them know what i think. It had to be brief, Twitter only gives 140 characters, but i sent several tweets in order to give more info.

I was thinking they’d be thrilled to get such in-depth, thought-out, intelligent feedback from someone who was not a net newbie and could explain her thoughts.

But i was to learn differently….  now remember, unless you were following both of us, looking at my profile page, or searching for him or me, you wouldn’t have seen this, so it’s semi-private.

giving your app a go…. unfortunately it seems to have picked up loads of spammers i’ve already blocked – other probs …

prob when click on details – no way out of page, have to back on browser, which makes it all start processing again…

… and no explanation of what the grades mean or how it works *shrugs* nice idea

and, listing people by their names is useless – i need their twitter nicks, or i don’t know who they are

There, i thought, another good deed done. I was expecting them to take it on board, ask questions about what system i was using, maybe even chat a bit in an email. To my surprise, i got this back…

tweetblockerapp @stinginthetail thx for the feedback. if you have any spare time can you please put 1 consolidated recommendation here: [and they gave a link]

So naturally, i said…

why would i recommend you? i told you i wasn’t impressed – nice idea, but doesn’t work – and where’s the help?

They had a very strange reaction…

tweetblockerapp @stinginthetail nevermind

Ah, but they couldn’t leave it there. I also got a DM (private message)…

tweetblockerapp: it’s not a recommendation. uservoice is place we backlog info like what you gave us.’re the first person not impressed. cheers

Aside from the atrocious English – “like what you gave us” – i found myself thinking, huh? What do you mean, not a recommendation? Hmm – so why did you say “please put 1 consolidated recommendation here”? I was thinking sheesh, talk about bad tempered app developers. Did i dare to criticise your precious baby? Oh noes!

Would like to say here i often take the time to beta-test for people – they usually LOVE the way i will take time out of my life to give them genuine feedback. I’m also happy to promote them on Twitter and on this blog if i like the program – i’m a good person to have in your corner.

They unfollowed me so i couldn’t reply (oh, so mature), and (i think) blocked me so i couldn’t see their tweets. I thought fine, be like that (i too can be mature!) and blocked them too, just in case they were still showing in my Followers. I  block spammers (or flamers), i don’t want people thinking i am condoning their behaviour or that they might be safe to leave in your Follower list.

We both reckoned without Twitter’s search function, which when i got curious to see if anyone else had actually been negative, showed me this Tweet in the main tweet stream (not sure of exact timing of these posts, they are all marked 11 hrs ago, but this is the order i read them in – the ones above, then this one).

tweetblockerapp @stinginthetail just being honest. we will take any sort of criticism, however, yours was just plain negative. *shrug* look at your bio.

My bio on Twitter? Hmm… “writer, blogger, muso, 48, possibly evil, even the antichrist, see my blog for more”.  Good Lord… so, you’re that gullible eh? *makes sudden move and watches as they all jump* Ha ha!

How simply perfect. *snigger* I can imagine the boys at Tweetblocker…

OMG, she’s the ANTICHRIST! Don’t listen to her. Run! Shut your eyes! Find a fucking crucifix! Quickly! Block her! Before she makes our testicles shrivel!

Or ovaries, if there were any women there panicking too. Of course, the Antichrist would tell you she wasn’t, wouldn’t she? *raises one eyebrow*

laugh at my jokes or die, it's a simple choice

Excuse me while Her Majesty falls off her throne laughing. Soon, my rep will spread – beta versions of software will no longer be offered to me, because nobody wants the Queen of Darkness being mean to them.

Seriously, i was trying to be very constructive – i know from experience that good constructive feedback is worth its weight in gold. You want someone who will find the glitches or bits that don’t make sense and tell you, not someone who says, ooh, lovely.

It’s the same with writing – everyone will tell you how wonderful you are – everyone who likes you personally. “This is fabulous. I adore your writing.” So, how could i make it better – especially seeing it’s been rejected by 23 publishers? “Oh no, it’s great,” they say, “i love it.”

Do you think the characters are well enough developed, you might ask, is the storyline too predictable? And they won’t give an honest answer, even if secretly, they think your characters are made of formica and that your plot has all the surprises of a plot usually contained in an episode of Dharma & Greg. They like you, they don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Go to someone who isn’t emotionally involved, (or is trained to be capable of disengaging) and you can get proper feedback, like, “claiming you are the Antichrist will become a reason for people to stop asking you to try their software.”

When i received the DM, i do confess, I lost it a little on Twitter, and unable to reply  privately, said

honestly, why would you ask for feedback, then say ‘yr the only one who was negative’? great customer relations, fucktards

and a bit later…

beware if tweetblockerapp asks u for opinion- they only want people to say how wonderful they are. They will call u negative & evil. LOL

To someone who’d also said they didn’t rate the program

watch out, don’t be negative about that app, lol, they will send snarky emails saying yr only one who’s ever said it’s not perfect

This was over 12 hours, not all at once, but i’m including it so you get the whole story, and not just carefully-edited highlights. I probably shouldn’t have called them fucktards, that was rude of me, and lowered me to their level. Maybe rude twats would have been better.

I also posted that actually, anyone wanting a good app to sort their followers with should use Dossy’s Twitter Karma, as it actually works. However, because i really am a nice person, here’s a link to Tweetblocker which i still think is a great idea with lots of potential. If you’d like to see if you can follow them on Twitter without incurring app developer spazz attacks, they’re at @tweetblockerapp.

I went back, gave it another go this morning, and naturally, found it easier to navigate the 2nd time around, but unfortunately, i still can’t recommend it – maybe in the next version?

It’s possible that the F rating could be useful if you’re incapable of clicking on a profile and seeing that they’ve never tweeted, have 1000 people they’re following, and only 4 are following them back.

Joy to the world. The bitch is back.

you will respect my authoritay

you will respect my authoritay


In other news (i did add this on the end of last post as an edit, but it deserves repeating) Mr Whatsit’s latest scans reveal problems which will require surgery, but the most recent op site, where he got an artificial disk, is still showing as fine. The disk is stable – there were worries it had shifted, with obvious dangers to his spinal cord with a metal hinge moving around. It’s a huge relief.


I’m actually in a really good mood.
Doesn’t mean i’lll take crap from anyone, though.


NB: post title from “Saturday night’s alright” by Elton John & Bernie Taupin. © 1973 Dick James Music Limited

I was looking at his lyrics in case The Bitch is Back (another of his) had a nice lyric for a title. But i really couldn’t go past…

“A couple of the sounds that i really like,
are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike



About stinginthetail

On Twitter as @stinginthetail. I write as Lee Abrey. Free copy of my top-rated book Polo Shawcross: The Birthday Dragon at View all posts by stinginthetail

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: