Howto: Post your WordPress blog comment actions on Twitter automatically

This tutorial shows you how to use Yahoo! Pipes and twitterfeed to automatically log your WordPress comments on Twitter.

Why it is useful to automate tweets

The great thing about Twitter is that it asks you, “What are you doing?”, and no update status is too trivial. If you are like me, you use Web 2.0 services outside of Twitter. If you are like me, you feed the RSS feeds of your blog posts, Wikipedia edits, and Delicious saves into Twitter via twitterfeed, so that whenever you blog, edit Wikipedia, or save a link to Delicious, your actions are logged on Twitter.

I also comment on other people’s blogs, and I thought it would be a great idea to keep track of my comments on Twitter. Some comment systems provide a RSS feed of your own comments, but most WordPress blogs provide only the RSS feed of all comments. I decided to use Yahoo! Pipes to filter the comment feed of my WordPress.com blog and output a new RSS feed containing only my comments.

What you will need

  • the WordPress comment feed of a WordPress blog on which you frequently comment. (The URL of a WordPress comment feed looks something like http://pddp.wordpress.com/comments/feed/. All WordPress.com blogs have a comment feed URL in this format.)
  • a Yahoo! account (free)
  • a twitterfeed account (free)
  • a Twitter account (free)

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Activism 2.0: Fight racism by editing Wikipedia.

Although Wikipedia articles on unfamiliar topics tend to appear reasonable and coherent, they are actually authored by only a small subset of individuals. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, which gives the impression that the content on Wikipedia is a cumulation of public knowledge, but the content of Wikipedia is actually a reflection of a particular demographic that skews white, American, and male.

Some white people who are bothered by racism do not know what action to take to erode racism. However, one thing that anti-racist white people can do is edit Wikipedia to counteract edits by white supremacists, which tend to remain unchecked and unchallenged.

Welcome to Activism 2.0, where the keyboard is mightier than the pen.

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White People Like taking credit from Asians: Who is Myles Valentin?

CORRECTION: Valentin’s monetary gain from the Stuff White People Like brand is greater than 0%. According to the LA Times’ interview with Lander, Valentin receives all the ad revenue from blog. According to Valentin, he uses this money for horse-racing. Lander gives Valentin credit as the co-blogger of Stuff White People Like, but the mainstream media portrays Valentin as (just) Christian Lander’s Filipino friend and inspiration.

Stuff White People Like, the Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, Christian Lander “#11 Asian girls” is the all-time most popular post of web-phenomenon Stuff White People Like, but it was written by Filipino-Canadian Myles Valentin, not White-Canadian Christian Lander. While Christian Lander received a $350,000 advance and receives royalties for his book, Stuff White People Like: the Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, Myles Valentin is living paycheck to paycheck in East Vancouver.

Myles Valentin has written #11 Asian girls, #15 Yoga, #30 Wrigley Field, #31 Snowboarding, #44 Public Radio, #45 Asian Fusion Food, #56 Lawyers, #57 Juno, #66 Divorce, and #74 Oscar Parties. However, Valentin is rarely mentioned in articles about the blog Stuff White People Like, except being credited as Christian Lander’s Filipino friend. Even Racialicious, an anti-racist blog about race written from the perspectives of people of colour, credits Christian Lander as the “The Man behind Stuff White People Like” and makes no mention of Myles Valentin.

While it is true that Lander wrote 90.7% of the full list and Valentin wrote only 9.3% (89.1% and 10.9% respectively before the official book deal announcement), it nevertheless seems unfair that Valentin received no book deal, is rarely mentioned, has never been interviewed, and is not the co-author of the book that spawned from the blog. A white man receives 100% credit for roughly 90% of a blog, and his friend, an Asian man, receives 0% credit for roughly 10% of the blog.

This may appear only slightly unfair to some, but what if it was a white man that received 100% credit for roughly 90% of a blog, and his friend, another white man, that received 0% credit for roughly 10% of the blog? Ceteris paribus, we expect that everyone should get their fair share, even if the inequality is not tremendous. If Valentin was a white man, we would expect him to sue for his share of the profit, and we would not disagree with the lawsuit as a means to uphold “meritocracy” and protect white man’s intellectual property.

Asians are stereotyped as uncreative, lacking a sense of humour, and as people who are unable to criticize social conventions. When an Asian writes successful satire of white culture, why is his contribution forgotten?

Christian Lander’s name may go down in Web 2.0 history, but will anyone remember the name Myles Valentin? Will white people still ask, “Where are all the bloggers of color?”