Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched in July of that year.
Twitter’s origins lie in a “day long brainstorming session” that was held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. While sitting in a park on a children’s slide and eating Mexican food, Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.
The first Twitter prototype was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006
The original project code name for the service was ‘twttr‘, an idea that co-Founder Evan Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by the name of the social media image website ‘Flickr’ and the five-character length of American SMS short codes.
Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet on March 21 2006, “just setting up my twttr”.
The team finally settled on the name ‘twitter‘, which means ‘chirps from birds’ in essence ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’
(from left to right) Jack Dorsey with Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams
Twitter was incorporated in April 2007; it was co-founded by Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey – @biz, @ev and @jack.
It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007
The tipping point for Twitter’s popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000.
The hashtag (#) feature on Twitter which groups tweets by subject debuted in August 2007, proposed by a user.
In 2008 there were only 3 million registered users
In 2008 there were only 1.25 million tweets per day
Jan 2008 there were only 8 employees
In 2009 Twitter had 8 million registered users
In October 2009, Google and Microsoft began integrating tweets into their search products.
In March 2010 the average number of tweets people sent per week was 350 million.
25 billion tweets sent on Twitter in 2010
100 million new accounts added on Twitter in 2010
In 2011 there are now over 400 employees and Twitter is adding workers almost weekly.
As of March 2011, there were an estimated 225 million users
Twitter has more than 200 million users tweeting more than 140 million tweets a day.
75% of Twitter traffic comes from third-party applications
60% of all tweets come from third-party apps
The infamous Twitter "fail whale"
There are over 100,000 Twitter applications
Last year alone, Twitter users sent 25 billion tweets and the company added more than 100 million new registered accounts.
3 years, 2 months and 1 day…the time it took from the first tweet to the billionth tweet.
It now takes one week for users to send a billion Tweets.
140 million is the average number of tweets people sent per day in February 2011
177 million tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 there were 456 tweets per second (TPS)…a record at that time.
The current TPS record is 6,939 tweets per second set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day
Pop star Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) has the most Twitter followers with 8.78 million followed by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) with 8.13 million, Britney Spears (@britneyspears) with 7.12 million, Barack Obama (@barackobama) with 6.97 million and Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian) with 6.73 million.
Actor Charlie Sheen
Actor Charlie Sheen (@charliesheen) was the fastest to one million followers, picking them up in just 1 day.
Twitter is based in San Francisco, with additional employees in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington.
The initial Twitter logo was created by Stone, a former graphic designer.
A Forrester report revealed that “Twitterers are the connected of the connected, overindexing at all Social Media habits. For example, Twitterers are three times more likely to be Creators (people who create and share content via blog posts and YouTube) as the general US population” (source Forrester report “Who Flocks to Twitter”)
572,000 is the number of new accounts created in one day (March 12, 2011)
460,000 is the average number of new accounts per day created in February, 2011
182% is the increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010
To provide the fastest mail delivery between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. To draw public attention to the central route in hope of gaining the million dollar government mail contract for the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.
April 3, 1860 to late October 1861.
Relay of mail by horses and riders. The Pony Express ran day and night, summer and winter.
183 men are known to have ridden for the Pony Express during its operation of just over 18 months.
Ad in California newspaper read: “Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” Most riders were around 20. Youngest was 11. Oldest was mid-40s. Not many were orphans. Usually weighed around 120 pounds.
$100 per month.
Johnny Fry was first westbound rider from St. Joseph. Billy Hamilton was first eastbound driver from Sacramento.
New riders took over every 75 to 100 miles.
Riders got a fresh horse every 10 to 15 miles.
Horses traveled an average of 10 miles per hour.
400 horses purchased to stock the Pony Express route. Thoroughbreds, mustangs, pintos, and Morgans were often used.
Approximately 165 stations.
Almost 2,000 miles.
St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. Through the present day states of Kansas, Nebraska, northeast corner of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California.
Once a week from April 3 to mid-June 1860. Twice a week from mid-June to late October 1861. Departures were from both the east and the west.
10 days in summer. 12 to 16 days in winter.
7 days and 17 hours between telegraph lines. Lincoln’s Inaugural Address.
Pony Bob Haslam rode 370 miles (Friday’s station to Smith Creek and back. This is in present-day Nevada.)
Cost of Mail:
$5.00 per 1/2 ounce at the beginning. By the end of the Pony Express, the price had dropped to $1.00 per 1/2 ounce.
William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell. The company was the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company. The Pony Express was a subsidiary of the famous freight and stage company.
Other Mail Routes:
Water route from New York to San Francisco and across Panama by pack mule. Southern or Butterfield route from St. Louis and Memphis to El Paso to Los Angeles to San Francisco.
October 24, 1861. Official end of the Pony Express.
Financially, the owners spent $700,000 on the Pony Express and had a $200,000 deficit. The company failed to get the million dollar government contract because of political pressures and the outbreak of the Civil War.
Improved communication between east and west. Proved the central route could be traveled all winter. Supported the central route for the transcontinental railroad. Kept communication open to California at the beginning of the Civil War. Provided the fastest communication between east and west until the telegraph. Captured the hearts and the imagination of people all over the world.
One mochila lost and one rider killed. Location, date and names have not been verified. [Mochila is Spanish for the leather saddlebag with four locked pouches.]
Birth and Death: November 30, 1924 – November 20, 1973
Most known for: An American comedy writer who became famous as a song parodist in the early 1960s.
First album:My Son, the Folk Singer (1962). It became the fastest-selling record album up to that time.
Biggest hit: Sherman’s biggest hit single was “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”, a comic novelty in which a boy describes his summer camp experiences to the tune of Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours.
Allan Copelon?: Sherman took his mother’s maiden name after being abandoned in childhood by his father, Percy Copelon, a stock car racer, mechanic, and inventor. Much later, Copelon offered to pay for Sherman’s education if he would re-take the family name, but when no support was forthcoming, the young man became Allan Sherman once again.
TV Show Writer and Producer: Sherman created a game show, which he called “I Know a Secret.” TV producer Mark Goodson used Sherman’s idea and turned it into I’ve Got a Secret, which ran on CBS from 1952 to 1967. Rather than paying him for the concept, Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions made Sherman the show’s producer. Sherman was reported to be warm and kindhearted to all who worked for him. But sparks often flew between Sherman and anyone who was in a position to try to restrain his creativity.
As producer of I’ve Got a Secret, which was broadcast live, he showed a fondness for large scale stunts that had the potential to teeter on the brink of disaster. He once released 100 bunny rabbits onstage as an Easter surprise for the Madison Square Boys Club, whose members were seated in the studio. The boys were invited to come up onstage to collect their prize. Although the resultant melee made a good story, it did not necessarily make for good TV. The relationship between Mark Goodson-Bill Todman and Sherman became strained to the breaking point when he finally fought to execute an idea that was destined to fall flat. His plan was to have Tony Curtis teach the panel how to play some of the games he had played as a child growing up in New York City. The problems manifested themselves when it became obvious that Tony Curtis had never actually played any of the games that Sherman had brought the props for. The situation might have been salvaged had the props worked as planned, but they did not. The handkerchief parachute failed to open and land gracefully and the pool “tank” which was propelled by rubber band moved painfully slowly. The spot, which aired June 11, 1958, was a disaster and Sherman was fired as producer. His dismissal did not, however, prevent Mark Goodson-Bill Todman from bringing Sherman back many times as a guest on their shows in subsequent years after he achieved celebrity status following the release of his albums.
Sherman also produced a short-lived 1954 game show, What’s Going On? which was technologically ambitious, with studio guests interacting with multiple live cameras in remote locations. In 1961 he produced a daytime game show for Al Singer Productions called Your Surprise Package which aired on CBS with host George Fenneman.
My Son, The Folk Singer: Sherman lived in the Brentwood section of West Los Angeles next door to Harpo Marx, who invited him to perform his song parodies at parties attended by Marx’s show-biz friends. After one party, George Burns phoned a record executive and persuaded him to sign Sherman to a contract. The result was a long playing album of these parodies, entitled My Son, the Folk Singer, which was released in 1962. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
My Son, The Celebrity:My Son, the Folk Singer was so successful that it was quickly followed by My Son, the Celebrity, which ended with “Shticks of One and Half a Dozen of the Other,” fragments of song parodies including Robert Burns’: “Dinna make a stingy sandwich, pile the cold cuts high;/Customers should see salami comin’ thru the rye.”
Success with Top 40 Hit: In 1963’s My Son, The Nut, Sherman’s pointed parodies of classical and popular tunes dealt with automation in the workforce (“Automation,” to the tune of “Fascination”), space travel (“Eight Foot Two, Solid Blue,” to “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”), the exodus from the city to the suburbs (“Here’s to the Crabgrass,” to the tune of “English Country Garden”), and his own bloated figure (“Hail to Thee, Fat Person,” which perhaps only half-jokingly blames his obesity on the Marshall Plan).
One track from My Son, The Nut, a spoof of summer camp entitled “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” became a surprise novelty hit, reaching #2 on the national Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks in late 1963. The lyrics were sung to the tune of one segment of Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours”, familiar to the public because of its use in the Walt Disney film Fantasia. That December, Sherman’s “The Twelve Gifts of Christmas” single appeared on Billboard’s separate Christmas chart. Sherman had one other Top 40 hit, a 1965 take-off on the Petula Clark hit “Downtown” called “Crazy Downtown”, which spent one week at #40. Two other Sherman singles charted in the lower regions of the Billboard 100: an updated “Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh” (#59 in 1964), and “The Drinking Man’s Diet” (#98 in 1965). He “Bubbled Under” with “The End Of A Symphony”, reaching #113 in 1964, spotlighting Arthur Fiedler’s Boston Pops Orchestra.
Decline in Popularity: Sherman’s career success was short-lived: after peaking in 1963, his popularity declined rather quickly. After the JFK assassination, impersonator Vaughn Meader vowed to never again do a Kennedy impression, and perhaps because of this ominous shadow – Meader was a very popular parody impressionist of the day – and the resulting reluctance to book such acts, the public saw less of Sherman’s type of comedy. By 1965, Sherman had released two albums that did not make the Top 50 and in 1966, Warner Brothers dropped him from the label. His last album for the company, Togetherness, was released in 1967 to poor reviews and poorer sales. All of Sherman’s previous releases had been recorded in front of a live studio audience – or in the case of Live, Hoping You Are The Same, recorded during a Las Vegas performance – but Togetherness was not, and the lack of an audience and their response affected the result, as did the nondescript backup singers and studio orchestra.
On and Off Broadway: In 1969, Sherman wrote the script and lyrics – but not the music, which was written by Albert Hague – for The Fig Leaves Are Falling, a flop Broadway musical that lasted only four performances in 1969, despite direction by George Abbott and a cast that included Barry Nelson, Dorothy Loudon and David Cassidy.Still creative, in 1973 Sherman published the controversial The Rape of the A*P*E*, which detailed his point of view on American Puritanism and the sexual revolution.
With Dr. Suess: In 1971, Sherman was the voice of Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” for the television special. He also did voice work for Dr. Seuss on the Loose, his last project before his death.
Death: Late in his life, Sherman drank and ate heavily, which resulted in a dangerous weight gain; he later developed diabetes and struggled with lung disease. In 1966, his wife Dee filed for divorce, and received full custody of their son and daughter.
Sherman lived on unemployment for a time and moved into the Motion Picture Home, near Calabasas, California for a short time in order to lose weight. He died of emphysema at home in West Hollywood ten days before his 49th birthday. He is entombed in Culver City, California’s Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.
Legacy: Sherman was the inspiration for a new generation of developing parodists such as “Weird Al” Yankovic, who pays homage to Sherman on the cover of his first LP. Sherman’s hit song, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” has been translated into other languages. In one notable example, the Dutch-Swedish poet Cornelis Vreeswijk has translated the song into Swedish and adopted it as his own.
Toronto was founded in 1793, by the British because of its protected harbour as well as advantages of vast forests, countless river valleys and fresh water lakes in its territory.
Toronto (GTA) is Canada’s largest city and is home to over 5.7 million Canadians.
Toronto is the capital city of Ontario, and the most important city in Canada.
Toronto is located in Southern Ontario which has shorelines on four of the five Great Lakes.
Also, Southern Ontario is located, further south than parts of ten, northern states of the USA.
The province of Ontario (415,000 square miles, in area) is larger than the state of Texas (267,000 square miles, in area) located in the southern USA.
Toronto residents hold more university educations than in any other country in the world, based on percentage of the population, as referenced from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and last compiled in 2003.
Within an afternoon drive from Toronto, seven million, more Canadians live and prosper.
Ontario highways are well maintained and link with major freeways connecting Toronto with all of Canada and the USA.
Toronto is the largest, financial centre in Canada and the fourth largest, economic centre in all of North America. Only, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, USA have larger economic centres.
Toronto is Canada’s cultual, educational, entertainment, financial, high tech, commercial and industrial centre. Toronto is also, the “Silicon Valley” of Canada, and Toronto is known as “Hollywood North”. Los Angeles and New York are larger film and television centres.
Toronto’s famous, theatre district is second in size only, to New York city, in the USA.
Award-winning, theatre productions enjoy long runs, large audiences and world premieres in the theatre and entertainment district of downtown Toronto.
Toronto’s Police Force is one of the most efficient, friendly and respected of all police forces in the world. Also, with respect to your safety and security, the city of Toronto is one of the most clean, safe, peaceful, large, cosmopolitan cities in the world.
All major federally chartered, Canadian banks have world headquarters in downtown Toronto, including, the Bank of Montreal which is located at “First Canadian” Tower, in Toronto’s financial district. As well, all foreign banks have their Canadian headquarters in Toronto.
Casa Loma (Home on Hill)
Canada’s largest general, life and re-insurance companies and other financial institutions have their world headquarters in downtown Toronto. Canada’s version of “Wall Street” is called “Bay Street” in the centre of Toronto’s financial and business district.
Within an hour’s drive of downtown Toronto is the greatest concentration of industry and auto manufacturing in Canada. GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and others have Canadian head offices, and large manufacturing plants in the Toronto GTA.
Toronto has the only, real castle in all of North America. Most people never forget “Casa Loma” (home on hill) with vista views of the downtown skyline of Toronto, and of Great Lake Ontario.
Toronto has beautiful islands protecting its natural harbour. The islands are a mix of parklands, nature reserves and protected wetlands, maintained by the Parks Department responsible for this unique, natural resource. No private vehicles are permitted on the Toronto islands.
The Toronto Islands are reached by public ferry boats crossing the Toronto harbour.
On the islands, the city seems far removed, and a feeling of being in the country prevails just a mile offshore from Toronto’s exciting, vibrant downtown.
English is the primary, and first language spoken in Toronto and in Canada. “French-Canadian” (an old dialect) is Canada’s second, official language. Other minority groups speak over 100 languages in Toronto.
The laws of Toronto, and Canada are based on British law and English parliamentary system of government except for the separatist “state” of French Quebec, located three hundred miles (500 km) to the north and east from downtown Toronto.
Less than a two hour drive, north of Toronto is the “Muskoka Lakes” Region where beautiful lakes, rivers and forests are set in the wilderness, and as it looked, many hundreds of years ago.
One of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is just, an hour away by car from Toronto.
People are amazed at the great volume of water that spills over the (Canadian) Horseshoe,
Niagara Falls, each second, as they stand, less than 20 feet (3 meters) from the “Brink”.
The Whisky A-Go-Go, at 8901 Sunset Blvd at Clark, West Hollywood, CA became the principal hangout of Sunset Strip musicians and hipsters in the 1960s
The 1967 film The Graduate features Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin running out its doors into the street
Johnny Rivers was the first sensation to come out of the club, soon after it opened
The ‘trend’ of having a mini-skirted girl dancing above the crowd in a cage got its start at the club
The Whisky always had two or three bands playing, but they were not always billed.
Often the unbilled bands were simply local bands, but it being Hollywood and all, sometimes unbilled local groups acting as the house band went on to become hugely famous (like The Doors)
At times, the billed bands couldn’t make it, and another band was substituted. While this is common in nightclubs, what was uncommon about the Whisky was that the band substituting could be just as good or better, and possibly even better-known, than the band it was replacing
It was not uncommon for a group to be booked for a week at the Whisky and then to skip a night for a larger gig
The Whisky, in its heyday, was open six or seven nights a week
When no one well-known was billed, local groups from LA would play
A partial list of the acts that played at the Whisky – it is literally a “Who’s Who” of Rock ‘n Roll:
Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship/Starship)
I am a recovering engineer and rocket scientist turned project manager turned management consultant turned publisher. I have always been a purveyor and proponent of education, expertise, erudition and enlightenment, and someday I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up.