What your tweets say about you (or: How to explain Twitter to your grandma)

What do my 3,545 Twitter status updates, photo uploads, location check-ins, article shares, and retweets reveal about who I am?

Last night, I tried to explain Twitter to my 91-year-old grandma. Why? Well, she asked how I won our all-expenses-paid dinner for two at The Clift Hotel — a Social Media Week random act of kindness from Nokia Connect. My grandma is tech-savvy enough to use a computer to play Bejeweled, but she’s abandoned her email account. And she’s heard of Facebook and LinkedIn because their IPOs generate so many headlines, but she wasn’t quite sure what they were or what “social media” was.

So I ditched industry jargon and dreamt up analogies, two useful techniques that I had employed as a technology reporter writing for a wide array of non-techie readers across the United States. I also showed her the conversation of tweets that resulted in the five-course, wine-paired meal that she called “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

But to truly help her understand my brand personality, presence, and interaction on Twitter, it would have been helpful to show her this data visualization:

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Posted in Nicole C. Wong, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset

illumination, originally uploaded by nicolecwong.

You can catch glorious glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge from any side of it — north or south, east or wast, even above or beneath. I unfailingly favor admiring it from the east, as I jog along the San Francisco marina toward the bridge and the sun setting behind it.

Today at dusk, the headlights and tail-lights that flipped on for Friday rush hour illuminated the bridge’s suspender-like ropes that reflected in a puddle on the beach. I love how the commute traffic added a magical glow!

Posted in Architecture, Explorations, Life Sugar, Nature, San Francisco | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Photography tip: Sunset glimmering off San Francisco’s shoreline


The wet sand, revealed for a few seconds at a time as the San Francisco Bay’s waves recede, reflects the golden rainbow sunset.

Play with your camera’s focal point, angle, and elevation (I squatted for this photograph) to capture the sunset dancing on the sand in different hues.

Posted in Explorations, Nature, San Francisco | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment