Posted January 16, 2013 2:56 pm by with 1 comment

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twitter testTwitter made a few tweaks to their posting tool this week, making it easier to compose your thoughts within the character limit.

The character counter in the lower right corner has been there for awhile. Now they’ve added a pink color bar to highlight the words that are over the limit.  I have no concept of numbers so “-30” doesn’t mean much to me at a glance. But in this example, I instantly see how many words I need to chop. Doesn’t have to be the highlighted words, but I get a feel for the amount of text that needs to go.

The second change involves links. Now, whether you post a full link, a shortened link or even an @person, the text turns blue. Like the character count, the link highlight is there to keep you from making a mistake. If you type a comma instead of a period before the com, the link won’t turn blue. Instantly, you’ll know you made a mistake.

Both of these tweaks are small and simple, but when you’re typing on the fly, they’re very powerful tools.

[Thanks to TechCrunch for the heads up.)

Hawaii Five-O Twitter Vote Results

This past Monday, Hawaii Five-O ran an experiment in interactive TV, giving viewers in two time zones, a chance to vote for the episode ending. You had a choice of three suspects, each with his own Twitter hashtag. To vote, you simply had to Tweet the hashtag for the one you thought committed the crime. You could also vote online at

Social TV maven Mike Proulx ran the numbers to see if the campaign was a success and the results are fascinating.

Here’s the Twitter response during the East Coast feed of the episode. 7,200 votes with The Boss way out in front.

east coast

Here’s the West Coast

west coast

Oh, what happened here? First off, only 1,000 votes came in via Twitter. The Boss still won by a slight margin, but that’s not the ending they aired here on this coast. The ending I saw was The Student. Which means there were a large number of votes on that clinched the results.

Mike used Radian6 to pull the Twitter data which was public, the CBS data isn’t public so there’s no way to get the full count. I was hoping CBS would release that information but I couldn’t find it.

Kapu (Forbidden)Given the number of people that watch the show, these numbers are very low. Even though the episode was well publicized, the ratings were about the same as any other episode this season and it brought in less social media buzz than the season premiere last September.

I am surprised more people didn’t tune in but not surprised about the vote. I watch the show every week but I didn’t feel compelled to vote. I expected them to push harder at the last commercial break with with a “VOTE NOW” bumper but instead they went with gentle nudges throughout the hour.

The experiment was interesting, but in the end, not what people expected. The show’s producer promised three different motives for murder but all they did was film the same ending with different names and faces. The motive was the same, the final actions the same. I was disappointed.

CBS and the producers of Hawaii Five-O do deserve a pat on the back for trying something new. Switching the ending of an episode in real time is a neat stunt. And for all the extra work, it’s a shame they didn’t get a better response.