October 31, 2014

Networking Now (Juniper Blog)

Security Intelligence Imperative for Government Information Systems

Cowriten by Mark Belk, National Government Chief Architect and Rebecca Lawson, Senior Director Security

   

SecIntel_Imprative_GIS

 

The pace of change seen in the adoption of new methods and technology deployed by nefarious characters in cyberspace continues to place new demands on government information systems. There are multiple persistent cybersecurity threats targeting governments, critical infrastructure, economic institutions and commercial property. The government has recognized these threats. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program increases network defense through the modernization of information system infrastructure.

by rebeccalawson at October 31, 2014 06:57 PM

My Etherealmind

Musing: Subscription License Economics


The rise of software licensing in networking changes some of my assumptions about the 5 year cost of ownership of products. Roughly, lets assume that you are buying virtual appliances like firewalls, DNS/DHCP, IDS/IPS, proxy servers and load balancers and that you pay some type of yearly license to use the product. Capital Upfront The legacy […]

The post Musing: Subscription License Economics appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 31, 2014 05:38 PM

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

Halloween Career Advice from the Damned

“Now, as you look through this document you’ll see that I’ve underlined all the major decisions I ever made to make them stand out. They’re all indexed and cross-referenced. See? All I can suggest is that if you take decisions that are exactly opposite to the sort of decisions that I’ve taken, then maybe you […]

Author information

Glen Kemp

Professional Services Consultant at Fortinet, Inc

Professional Services Consultant. Designing & deploying “keep the bad guys out” technologies. Delivering elephants and not hunting unicorns.

Please free to add me on , follow me on Twitter or check out my other blogs on Fortinet Blog, sslboy.net and SearchNetworking.

The post Halloween Career Advice from the Damned appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Glen Kemp.

by Glen Kemp at October 31, 2014 12:26 PM

My Etherealmind

Response: I’m Terrified of My New TV


Smart Televisions are tracking everything you do and sending that data to unknown services: The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how, and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email […]

The post Response: I’m Terrified of My New TV appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 31, 2014 11:25 AM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

Make Rip-and-Replace a bit less Creepy

It was a dark and stormy Halloween night and a networking engineer was stuck in a data center facing a Mission Impossible project: replace a failing Cat6500 with a brand-new Nexus 7000. Shouldn’t have been a problem, if only the cables were labeled.

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 31, 2014 11:20 AM

PacketLife.net Blog

PDU-12C

"After all, what's the best part of Halloween?" Jimmy pleaded over the phone. He was trying yet again to convince Tom to skip work for the night and head over to the party he was throwing. Tom and Jimmy were good friends, but he already knew how the conversation was going to end.

"I dunno, the candy?" Tom played dumb.

"No, the eye candy! I'm telling you bro, you don't want to miss it. Rachel will be there." Jimmy sang the last bit tauntingly.

"I told you," Tom countered. "I've got work." It was around 6pm now, and he was just pulling into the parking lot outside the data center where he planned to spend the night recabling several racks of equipment. The scariest part of his Halloween would be picking through years' worth of undressed patch cabling.

"I don't get why you have to do that shit at night anyway. Why can't you do it during the day when you're stuck at work anyway?" Jimmy prodded.

Tom parked across from the building's entrance and turned off his car. Other than a couple vehicle belonging to the operations staff, the parking lot was deserted. He grabbed his tool bag from the passenger seat and headed toward the building's entrance.

Continue reading · 4 comments

by Jeremy Stretch at October 31, 2014 02:20 AM

XKCD Comics

October 30, 2014

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

Show 210 – SPB Implementation Fundamentals

Dominik and Ricki Cook join Packet Pushers Greg Ferro and Ethan Banks in a hands-on exploration of Shortest Path Bridging, IEEE 802.1aq. Most of us have had our hands on Avaya gear that does SPB -- Ethan in the lab, and Dominik + Ricki in production environments. We go through the basic goals, setup, and commands to get an SPB backbone off the ground. Frankly...it's rather easy. This is not a sponsored show -- this is just some engineers who've been working on the technology getting together to discuss our experiences. Part 1 - An SPB overview from an architect's perspective Why SPB? When does SPB make sense? Is SPB ready to deploy in the real world? What vendors have working SPB implementations? What are some network topologies where SPB works well? Part 2 - SPB configuration on Avaya What do you need for a basic SPB config? What kind of services can you deploy with SPB (hint: not just L2)? What tools help to debug SPB? How has Avaya extended SPB? Thanks to Dominik for organizing most of the show content. Our thanks also goes to NetRounds, who helped make this show possible today. If you stop by, be sure to tell them Packet Pushers sent you!

by Packet Pushers Podcast at October 30, 2014 08:53 PM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

Overlay-to-Underlay Network Interactions: Document Your Hidden Assumptions

If you listen to the marketing departments of overlay virtual networking vendors, it looks like the world is a simple place: you deploy their solution on top of any IP fabric, and it all works.

You’ll hear a totally different story from the physical hardware vendors: they’ll happily serve you a healthy portion of FUD, hoping you swallow it whole, and describe in gory details all the mishaps you might encounter on your virtualization quest.

The funny thing is they’re all right (not to mention the really fun part when FUDders change sides ;).

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 30, 2014 11:36 AM

October 29, 2014

Networking Now (Juniper Blog)

Law Enforcement and Cyber Crime: The Never-Ending Battle

Blog image II.jpgThe war between law enforcement and cyber crime has evolved dramatically in the past decade. Law enforcement tries to find new ways to track down criminals, while criminals try to find new ways to evade law enforcement.

by KyleAdams at October 29, 2014 07:15 PM

Peter's CCIE Musings and Rants

COBRAS for importing Unity Connection/exporting unity connection

 Hey Guys

I found a better way to do Unity Connection upgrades, it's called Cobra, the link below has a great tutorial on how to use it:

https://supportforums.cisco.com/document/91956/how-take-cobras-export-and-import-unity-connection


This page below is the help file with lots of useful info, "Briefcase mode" is most likely going to be the way you and me do our upgrades. It contains lots of useful info such as what to do when your version is unrestricted.

http://www.ciscounitytools.com/Applications/General/COBRAS/Help/COBRAS_Briefcase/COBRAS_Briefcase.htm

by peter_revill (noreply@blogger.com) at October 29, 2014 04:27 PM

My Etherealmind

Blessay: Over-Capitalized and Under-Invested in Human Infrastructure


LEDE: One of the hardest parts of DevOps movement is explaining the unique value to IT Leadership in conventional organisations that rely on ITIL principles. I'm having success by framing the debate in terms of over-capitalised on assets and under-invested in human infrastructure.

The post Blessay: Over-Capitalized and Under-Invested in Human Infrastructure appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 29, 2014 12:28 PM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

Bad Ideas and Abominations

This post SHOULD have been published on April 1st, but I need to define the terminology for another upcoming post, so here it is ;)

RFC 2119 defines polite words to use when something really shouldn’t be done. Some network designs I see deserve more colorful terminology.

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 29, 2014 11:28 AM

XKCD Comics

October 28, 2014

The Networking Nerd

Rome Wasn’t Software Defined In A Day

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about software defined networking.  The influence can be felt in every facet of the industry.  Major players are trying to come to grips with the shift in power.  Small vendors are ramping up around ideas and looking to the future.  Professionals are simultaneously excited for change and fearful of upsetting the status quo.  But will all of these things happen overnight?

Not Built In A Day, But Laying Bricks Every Hour

The truth of SDN is that it’s going to take some time for all the pieces to fall into place.  Take a look at the recent Apple Pay launch.  Inside of a week, it has risen to become a very significant part of the mobile payment industry, even if the installed base of users is exclusive to iPhone [6,6+] owners.  But did this revolution happen in the span of a couple of days?

Apple Pay works because Apple spent months, if not years, designing the best way to provide transactions from a phone.  It leverages TouchID for security, a concept introduced last year.  It uses Near Field Communication (NFC) readers, which have been in place for a couple of years.  I even talked about NFC three years ago.  That means the technology to support Apple Pay has been in place for a while.

That kind of support structure is needed to make SDN work the way we want it to.  There’s no magic wand that will convert your infrastructure to SDN overnight.  There is no SDNecronomicon to reference for solving scaling issues or interoperability concerns.  What’s required is the hard work of taking the ideas and processes around SDN and implementing them today.

SDN feels like a radical shift to traditional networking because it’s a foreign concept.  If you had told the first generation iPhone users their device would be a application computer with the capability to pay for purchases wirelessly they would have laughed at you and told you it was a fantasy.  That sufficiently advanced technology was beyond their understanding at the time.

SDN is no different.  The steps being taken today to solve traditional networking problems will feel antiquated in four to five years.  But that foundation must be laid in order to make SDN work in the future.  SDN won’t transform the industry overnight, but we have to keep making advances and pushing forward to make the important gains no matter how small they are.

Not Built In A Day, But It Burned In One

The fear of SDN leads to the dark side of standards adoption.  Arguments. In-fighting. Posturing. Interests making decisions not because they are right for customers but because they protect market share.  If SDN fails in the long term, it will be because of these dark elements and not a technological constraint.

Nothing is immune to politics.  Linux has been more or less standardized for years.  Yet tech advances are still hotly debated.  Go mention systemd to your local Linux hacker and prepare for the onslaught of discussion.  Linux has had much less pressure from these kinds of discussions by virtue of the core kernel being very stable and maintained by a small team.  SDN is very different.

The competing ideas around SDN drive innovation, but also threaten it.  The industry will eventually standardize on OpenDaylight for their controller, much like the server industry standardized on Linux for appliances.  But will that same consensus lead to stagnation? Will innovation simply happen as vendors attempt to modify ODL just enough to make their offering look superior?  Before you say that it’s impossible go and find a reference TRILL implementation.

SDN will succeed because the momentum behind it won’t allow it to fail.  But much like Rome, we need to build SDN with the proper architecture.  Simply laying bricks haphazardly won’t fix our problems.  If the infrastructure is bad enough, we may even need our own Nero to “fix” things again.  Momentum without direction is a useless force.  We need to ensure that SDN is headed in the right direction where it benefits customers and users first.  Profit margins are secondary to that.


Tom’s Take

An idea can transform an industry.  A simple thought about making things better can drag the community out of stagnation and into a Renaissance.  That we are witness to an industry shift is undeniable at this point, especially given that so many things are becoming “software defined”.  However, we must face the truth that this little hobby project won’t produce results overnight.  Hard work and planning will win the day.  Rome went from being a village among hills to the largest power in the Western world.  But that didn’t happen overnight.  The long game of SDN needs to be played one move at a time.  And the building of the SDN empire will take more than a single day.


by networkingnerd at October 28, 2014 03:37 PM

Internetwork Expert Blog

New CCIE Service Provider Version 4.0 Blueprint Announced

Cisco has announced their plans to transition the CCIE Service Provider certification blueprint from Version 3.0 to Version 4.0 starting May 22nd, 2015.  The official announcement for the Written and Lab Exam Content Updates can be found here.

There are four key points to this announcement, which are:

  • Lab Exam format changes
  • Hardware & software version changes
  • New technical topics added
  • Old technical topics removed

CCIE SPv4 Lab Exam Format Changes

The Lab Exam format of SPv4 has been updated to follow the same format as the new CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5.0.  This means the exam now consists of three sections: Troubleshooting, Diagnostic, and Configuration.

CCIE SPv4 Hardware & Software Version Changes

Following along with the current CCIE RSv5, CCIE SPv4 now uses all virtual hardware as well.  Specifically the new hardware and software variants are as follows:

  • ASR 9000 running Cisco IOS XR 5.2
  • ASR 1000 running Cisco IOS XE 3.13S.15.4(3)S
  • Cisco 7600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S
  • Cisco ME 3600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S

Both the IOS XR and IOS XE variants are already available as virtual machines that you can download from cisco.com and deploy yourself on VMWare ESXi 5.5 and other similar hypervisors.  The current IOS XRv release is 5.2.0, and CSR1000v (IOS XE) is 3.13S/15.4(3)S.  As for the 7600 and ME 3600 images, I would assume these will run as L2 IOU/IOL images, however I haven’t personally seen either of these complies yet.  The key functionality of them will be based around L2VPN for Ethernet, such as EVC and VPLS, which is not covered in depth in the current SPv3 blueprint.

CCIE SPv4 New Technical Topics Added

With the new IOS XR, IOS XE, and Catalyst IOS code versions used, the following is some of the key new features that have been added to the SPv4 Blueprint:

  • Ethernet VPN (EVPN)
  • Provider Backbone Bridging EVPN (PBB-EVPN)
  • Multicast Label Distribution Protocol (mLDP)
  • Unified MPLS (Seamless MPLS)
  • Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)
  • mGRE VPN
  • IPv6 NAT44/NAT64/6RD
  • MPLS OAM & Ethernet OAM

CCIE SPv4 Old Technical Topics Removed

Frame Relay and ATM, the old holdouts for years, have finally been removed from the CCIE Service Provider Blueprint.  This was expected, as most L2VPN services now focus on Ethernet last mile (EVC, VPLS, L3VPN over Ethernet) vs. legacy Frame Relay and ATM.

More information about our plans for content updates will be available as we get closer to the official release date of the new blueprint.  In the meantime for those of you that want to get in before the Blueprint change I would recommend to book a lab date as soon as possible, and start reviewing our CCIE Service Provider v3 Advanced Technologies Class and CCIE Service Provider v3 Workbook.

by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 at October 28, 2014 03:33 PM

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

PS Show 35 – OEM SFP and QSFP Modules – Do They Work ?

Do you really need genuine SFP and QSFP modules in your network equipment ? We talk technical with a supplier of OEM modules for your network equipment about the technology, functions and operation of non-vendor SFP optics and modules.

by Packet Pushers Podcast at October 28, 2014 01:28 PM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

New Webinar: Scaling Overlay Virtual Networks

You can get an overlay virtual networking solution from almost every major hypervisor- and data center networking vendor. Do you ever wonder which one to choose for your large-scale environment? I’m positive you’d get all of them up and running in a one-rack environment, but what if you happen to be larger than that?

We’ll try to address scalability hiccups and roadblocks you might encounter on your growth path in Scaling Overlay Virtual Networks webinar (get your free ticket here).

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 28, 2014 08:20 AM

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

Junos – Wildcard Ranges, Interface Ranges and Configuration Groups

Until recently I have worked almost exclusively on Cisco ASA and IOS platforms. Within the last six months I’ve added Juniper’s Junos platform into my repertoire. The story for how this came to be is one for another post I hope to write soon. For those who aren’t familiar, Junos is a whole different ball […]

Author information

Christian Talsness

Christian Talsness

I've done stints at a start-up, in IT consulting, and most recently in corporate IT as a Network and Security Engineer. I'm a life long geek, and I love fixing broken things. When I have some spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, reading and wood working.

The post Junos – Wildcard Ranges, Interface Ranges and Configuration Groups appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Christian Talsness.

by Christian Talsness at October 28, 2014 01:44 AM

October 27, 2014

PACKETattack

Using Scapple To Help Manage Complex Network Changes

I’ve blogged about Scapple in the past, describing how I’ve been using Scapple to do basic network diagrams. If you are willing to give up some of the fancy features you get with an advanced diagramming tool like Visio or Omnigraffle, Scapple can take you reasonably far. In preparation for a recent change […]

by Ethan Banks at October 27, 2014 05:28 PM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

Cumulus Linux in Real Life on Software Gone Wild

A year ago Matthew Stone first heard about Cumulus Linux when I ranted about it on a Packet Pushers podcast (which only proves that any publicity is good publicity even though some people thought otherwise at that time), and when his cloud service provider company started selecting ToR switches he considered Cumulus together with Cisco and Arista… and chose Cumulus.

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 27, 2014 11:25 AM

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

HTIRW: Provider Peering and Revenue Streams (Part 1)

In the last post in this series, I described several types of providers — and even how those descriptions are no longer really “pure,” for the most part (although NTT, for instance, is a pure transit provider that only offers a few services throughout the world). For each piece of a provider’s business, then — […]

Author information

Russ White

Russ White
Principal Engineer at Ericsson

Russ White is a Network Architect who's scribbled a basket of books, penned a plethora of patents, written a raft of RFCs, taught a trencher of classes, and done a lot of other stuff you either already know about, or don't really care about. You want numbers and letters? Okay: CCIE 2635, CCDE 2007:001, CCAr, BSIT, MSIT (Network Design & Architecture, Capella University), MACM (Biblical Literature, Shepherds Theological Seminary). Russ is a Principal Engineer in the IPOS Team at Ericsson, where he works on lots of different stuff, serves on the Routing Area Directorate at the IETF, and is a cochair of the Internet Society Advisory Council. He recently published The Art of Network Architecture, is currently working on a new book in the area of network complexity with Addison Wesley, a book on innovation from within a Christian worldview, and he blogs at ntwrk.guru on network engineering.

The post HTIRW: Provider Peering and Revenue Streams (Part 1) appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Russ White.

by Russ White at October 27, 2014 08:00 AM

Stretching the friendship

It has been nine months now since I hung up the console cable and embarked on my PhD.  I seem to be unusual in the 21st-century IT world in that I have only had a couple of employers over the twenty or so years in the industry.  I left each of those jobs on (I […]

Author information

Matthew Mengel

Matthew was a Senior Network Engineer for a regional educational institution in Australia for over 15 years, working with Cisco equipment across many different product areas. However, in April 2011 he resigned, took seven months of long service leave to de-stress and re-boot before becoming a network engineer for a medium sized non-profit organisation. At the end of 2013, he left full-time networking behind after winning a scholarship to study for a PhD in astrophysics. He is on twitter infrequently as @mengelm.

The post Stretching the friendship appeared first on Packet Pushers Podcast and was written by Matthew Mengel.

by Matthew Mengel at October 27, 2014 03:51 AM

XKCD Comics

October 26, 2014

Honest Networker

October 25, 2014

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

Network Break 18

This week we round up the news and talk about latest vendor happenings.

by Packet Pushers Podcast at October 25, 2014 08:57 AM

October 24, 2014

My Etherealmind

Response: Cisco Announces Membership of Open Compute Project


A blog post on the Cisco’s website announces Cisco joins Open Compute Project as a Gold member: To that list, I am pleased to announce that we recently joined the Open Compute Project as a Gold member. The motivation behind our membership is similar to our involvement in the aforementioned open networking projects: we see […]

The post Response: Cisco Announces Membership of Open Compute Project appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 24, 2014 05:37 PM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

Tech Talks: Introduction to Label Distribution Protocol (LDP)

In the third part of MPLS Tech Talks we focused on the role of label distribution protocol (LDP) and its operation in frame-mode MPLS. You can watch the video on the ipSpace.net Tech Talks web page.

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 24, 2014 08:40 AM

XKCD Comics

October 23, 2014

My Etherealmind

Tech Notes: Ping Sweep an IP Subnet


This is my current goto code snippet for using the BASH command line to perform a ping sweep through an IPv4 subnet. for i in `seq 1 255`; do ping -c 1 192.168.1.$i | tr \\n ' ' | awk '/1 received/ {print $2}'; done This script is deliberately simple, only works for /24 subnets but […]

The post Tech Notes: Ping Sweep an IP Subnet appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 23, 2014 05:30 PM

Peter's CCIE Musings and Rants
My Etherealmind

Thoughts of My Day: VCE Always Was An EMC Property


EMC announced during it’s quarterly results that it was taking a larger position in VCE. VCE was always an EMC asset, co-operation with partners Cisco, Intel and VMware has never been strong and this simply closes out the current chapter.  The end result positions EMC to also be a “IBM style” company with a full […]

The post Thoughts of My Day: VCE Always Was An EMC Property appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 23, 2014 08:36 AM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

IPv6 in a Global Company – a Real-World Example

More than a year ago I wrote a response to a comment Pascal wrote on my Predicting the IPv6 BGP table size blog post. I recently rediscovered it and figured out that it’s (unfortunately) as relevant as it was almost 18 months ago.

Other people have realized we have this problem in the meantime, and are still being told to stop yammering because the problem is not real. Let’s see what happens in a few years.

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 23, 2014 08:34 AM

All You Need Are Two Top-of-Rack Switches

Every time I’m running a classroom version of my Designing the Cloud Infrastructure workshop, I start with a simple question: “Who has more than 2000 VMs or bare-metal servers in the data center?

I might see three hands on a good day; 90-95% of the audience have smaller data centers… and some of them get disappointed when I tell them they don’t need more than two ToR switches in their data center.

Read more ...

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 23, 2014 06:44 AM

October 22, 2014

Internetwork Expert Blog

New CCIE RSv5 Troubleshooting/Full Scale Rack Rentals & Labs

Rack Rentals for INE’s CCIE RSv5 Workbook’s Troubleshooting Labs and Full Scale Labs are now available via the Members Site. To access them login to http://members.ine.com, click “Rack Rentals” on the dashboard on the left, and then click “Schedule” under “CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Full Scale.”

This topology uses 20 routers and 4 switches and is for both Troubleshooting and Full Scale Labs. The topology above it, “CCIE Routing & Switching v5″, uses 10 routers and 4 switches, and supports all the Advanced Technology Labs and Foundation Labs.

The loading and saving of initial configs is supported through the Rack Control Panel, which can greatly save you time in your studies, especially with very large topologies such as those used in the Troubleshooting and Full Scale Labs.

Additionally, Full Scale Lab 2 and Troubleshooting Lab 2 have been posted to the CCIE RSv5 Workbook. More Foundation, Troubleshooting, and Full Scale Labs are currently in development and will be posted soon. For discussion on these new labs please visit the CCIE RSv5 Workbook section of IEOC, our online community.

by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 at October 22, 2014 04:13 PM

Packet Pushers Blog/Podcast

Show 209 – HP Networks and Network Management – Sponsored

Talking about Network Management get mixed reactions in the network industry with a rich history of products that didn't match our expectations or needs. In today's sponsored podcast, HP Networking continues their mission to change the way network engineers feel about their NMS's through the HP Intelligent Management Center.

by Packet Pushers Podcast at October 22, 2014 04:04 PM

XKCD Comics

October 21, 2014

My Etherealmind

Response: HowTo Configure IP Multicast PIM on ECMP| Mellanox Interconnect Community


Today I spent several hours reading up on PIM Bidirectional for an customer implementation on an ECMP networking. I realise that somewhere inside my head there is a lot of IP Multicast knowledge that hasn’t been lost but it is definitely hiding. I had to re-learn a number of concepts before I started feel confident. […]

The post Response: HowTo Configure IP Multicast PIM on ECMP| Mellanox Interconnect Community appeared first on EtherealMind.

by Greg Ferro at October 21, 2014 09:01 PM

The Networking Nerd

Twitter, Please Stop Giving Me Things I Don’t Want

new-twitter-logo

Last week, Twitter confirmed that they will start injecting tweets from users you don’t follow into your timeline.  The collective cry from their user base ranged from outrage to a solid “meh”.  It seems that Twitter has stumbled onto the magic formula that Facebook has perfected: create a feature the users don’t care about and force it onto them.  Why?

Twitter Doesn’t Care About Power Users

Twitter has an interesting mix of users.  They reported earlier this year that 44% of their user base has never tweeted.  That’s a lot of accounts that were created for the purpose of reserving a name or following people in read-only mode.  That must concern Twitter.  Because people that don’t tweet can’t be measure for things like advertising.  They won’t push the message of a sponsored tweet.  They won’t add their voice to the din.  But what about those users that tweet regularly?

Power users are those that tweet frequently without a large follower base.  Essentially, everyone that isn’t a celebrity with a million followers or a non-tweeting account.  You know, the real users on Twitter.  The people that make typos in their tweets and actually check to see who follows them.  The ones that don’t have a “social media team” tweeting for them.  Nothing wrong with a team tweeting for a brand, but when they’re tweeting for a person it’s a little disconcerting.

Power users keep getting screwed by Twitter.  The API changes really hurt those that use clients other than the official ones.  Given that Twitter has killed most of it’s “official” clients in favor of pushing people to use the web, it makes you wonder what their strategy might be.  They are entirely beholden to their investors right now.  That means user signups and ad revenue.  And it means focusing on making the message widespread.  Why worry about placating the relatively small user base that uses your product when you can create a method for reaching millions with a unicast sponsored hashtag? Or by injecting tweets from people you don’t follow into your timeline?

The tweet injection thing is like a popup ad.  It serves the purpose of Twitter deciding to show you some tweets from other “users”.  Anyone want to bet those users will quickly start becoming corporate accounts? Perhaps they pay Twitter to ensure their tweets show up in a the timelines of a specific demographic.  It makes total sense when your users are nothing but a stream of revenue

Making Twitter Usable Again

I mentioned some things the other day that I think Twitter needs to do to make their service usable for power users again.  I wanted to expand on them a bit here:

The Unfollow Bug – Twitter has a problem with keeping followers.  For some reason, your account will randomly unfollow a user with no notification.  You usually don’t figure it out until you want to send them a DM or notice that they’ve unfollowed you and mention it.  It’s an irritating bug that’s been going on for years with no hope of resolution.  Twitter needs to sort this one out quickly.  As a side note, if you run a service that monitors people that have unfollowed you, consider adding a digest of users that I have unfollowed this week.  if the list doesn’t match those that I purposely unfollow, at least you know when you’ve been hit by this bug.

Links in Direct Messages – Twitter disabled the ability to send a link in a direct message a few months ago.  Their argument was that it cut down on spam.  The real reason was Twitter’s attempt to turn DMs into a instant message platform.  Twitter experimented with a setting that enabled DMs from users you don’t follow.  They pulled it before it went live due to user feedback.  One of the arguments was that spam accounts could bombard you with URLs that led to phishing attacks and other unsavory things.  Twitter responded by disabling links in DMs even though they removed the feature it was intended to protect.  It’s time for Twitter to give us this feature back.

Token Limits – This “feature” has to go.  Restricting 3rd party clients because they exist destroys the capabilities of your power users. I use a client because it gives me easy access to features I use all the time, like conversation views and muting.  I also don’t like sitting on the garish Twitter website and constantly refreshing to see new tweets.  I’d rather use some other client. Twitter has a love/hate relationship with non-official clients.  Mostly because those clients strip out ads and sponsored tweets.  They don’t let Twitter earn money from them.  Which is why Twitter is stamping them out for “replicating official client features” left and right.  Curiously enough, I’ve never heard about HootSuite being hit with user token limits.  But considering that a lot of Twitter’s favorite celebrities use it (or at least their social media teams do), I’m not shocked they’re on the exempt list.


Tom’s Take

I still find Twitter a very useful tool.  It’s not something that can just be set into automatic and left alone.  It takes curation and attention to make it work for you.  But it also needs help from Twitter’s side.  Instead of focusing on ways to make me see things I don’t care about from people I don’t want to follow, how about making your service work the way I want it to work.  I’m more like to use (and suggest) a service that works.  I barely check Facebook anymore because I’m constantly “fixing” their Top Posts algorithm.  Don’t turn your service into something I spend most of my time fixing.


by networkingnerd at October 21, 2014 04:26 PM

Cisco IOS Hints and Tricks

Network Programmability Phase 1: the Configured Network

During his Network Programmability 101 webinar Matt Oswalt described three phases of network programmability. The first level in the pyramid of programmable awesomeness (his words, not mine) is described in today’s video.

by Ivan Pepelnjak (noreply@blogger.com) at October 21, 2014 12:20 PM