Posts Tagged ‘ Twitter ’

The TV Tweeters

twitter-tvSo let’s say you’re a relatively active Twitter-user, and you have interesting things to say.

Most of your content is witty (and, naturally, succinct), with real thoughts on real issues rather than endless hashtag soups. You are, in short, a real person with a Twitter account, rather than a Twitter account run by a person.

Subtle difference, but key, that one.

Why — why, I ask, in God’s name — would you then dramatically alter your usage of Twitter for one or two hours a week, turning it into a constantly-spewing font of minute-by-minute updates about one TV show in particular?

It’s one thing from Twitter feeds that are dedicated to TV coverage, or to a specific fandom, or whatever. The people who follow those presumably want a nonstop conversation about their beloved stories (in the “Nana’s watching her stories” sense of the word, natch).

But if you’re spending 90% of your time on Twitter cultivating an audience that likes mostly real-person sorts of discussions, don’t use the remaining 10% of your Twitter-time to inflict a niche discussion filled with actor’s handles, obscure hashtags, and gushy TV crap. It just confuses your poor readers, who were under the impression (carefully cultivated by you) that you were a normal human being with basic social functions.

Also it makes their feeds a hassle to read for that hour. Seriously, the massive wall of Tweets from you? Not helpful.

Put it on another account, so that people can ignore that account. Otherwise you’re going to have to be that much funnier and awesome the rest of the time to keep us all putting up with your weekly fandom splooge-fests.

I Do Not Get #FF

Twitter, ugh.

Using it sometimes feels like playing Mao, you know? Like it’s this completely arbitrary game where in theory you figure out the rules as you go along, but really it only exists so that the people who already know the rules (who are nerds) can enjoy the dirty thrill of hazing without any of the physical strength and/or social skills necessary to actually intimidate, and therefore haze, another human being.

Mao is such bullshit. Anyway, where was I? Oh, Twitter. Right.


I use Twitter in a bunch of different incarnations. Some are more professional than others. Some get more use than others (my personal @GeoffreyCubbage account, for example, has languished for years now).

But in every incarnation, I’ve received at least one “#FF” tweet.

What is #FF, you may ask yourself, if you’re not one of those obnoxious people who live on Twitter and already know this kind of shit?

I have no fucking clue. Or rather, I know what it means. It’s “Follow Friday,” for the untutored among you, and in theory the author of a #FF tweet is basically saying “here, look at all these other Twitter feeds; I follow them and think they are cool so maybe you would like to follow them too.” It looks like a hashtag followed by a blob of usernames:


In the world of Twitter, this seems to be a nice thing. So people are occasionally doing a nice thing for me: sharing my Twitter handle and encouraging other users to follow it.


Only, what do you do with that? Reply and say “thanks”? Retweet it yourself? Go look at the other names in the #FF tweet?

I don’t know, and so I let them quietly wash by me, because I am too afraid of committing some grievous social sin to act. It’s nice to know some social anxieties lurk beneath this aggressively competent facade I’ve constructed online. Still a nerd at heart!

But never a nerd who made people play Mao. God.

Wait, We Give a Shit About the Golden Globes, Now, Too?

Look, the Oscars once a year are bad enough.

I don’t know what it is about “being in a movie” that makes some of you care what that person wears or says at an awards ceremony. I mean, my accountant’s job is pretty intense, what with the myriad income streams and messed-up US tax code, but I’m still not checking Twitter to see who’s photobombing him at the American Accounting Association Awards.

A Lisa Frank trapper-keeper, apparently.

A set of Lisa Frank trapper-keepers, apparently.

So it’s sort of embarrassing, as a member of the human race, to see all my social media feeds suddenly fill with breathless commentary on what a bunch of total strangers are doing in a fancy banquet hall that we weren’t invited to every time the Oscars roll around. Just let them do their thing, guys. It doesn’t affect us.

But whatever. It’s only once a year.

Only now it’s not? I don’t know if it was just the presence of Jennifer Lawrence or what, but god damn did everyone care about the Golden Globes this year. Twitter, Facebook, you name it. All Golden Globes, all the time. Most of you hadn’t even heard of any of the movies up for awards except American Hustle, don’t lie.

I’m okay with film nerds caring. The rest of you, cut that shit out. Wait for Oscar season.

Wonderella had it right (Wonderella is always right):


Gov. Walker’s Grinch-Letter Aide Fired for Racist Tweets

Well that’s a bizarre follow-up to yesterday’s story.

I don’t normally cover the same political fluff two days in a row, unless it’s something incredibly important, but what the hell. We’ll make room for a new development today. It’s weird enough that it’s worth a look.

As long-time readers will recall from way back yesterday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign office sent out a rather grinchley fundraising letter over the weekend, asking parents to donate to Scott Walker instead of buying toys for their children this year. The letter was signed (and presumably authored) by one Taylor Palmisano, the deputy finance director at Walker’s campaign arm Friends of Scott Walker.

In an obvious case of journalists thinking “Wow, let’s see what other stupid things this person has said lately,” a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel blog unearthed a pair of offensive tweets from the same Taylor Palmisano from several years earlier, prompting her swift dismissal from the campaign.


That’s a hell of a news cycle for one campaign finance officer: give the go-ahead to a fundraising newsletter that becomes fodder for prime-time mockery one day; get outed by a major newspaper for you hateful tweets the next, and shitcanned within hours of the revelation.

You could almost feel sorry for her if she weren’t an eminently dislikable person working for a morally bankrupt political campaign. But let this be a warning to all of us: as soon as we make the news for one embarrassing thing we did, the new breed of e-journo will quickly out us for all the other embarrassing things we’ve done, too, before our name fades from the search engines.

Isn’t the 21st century exciting?

J. P. Morgan Requests Twitter Feedback, Receives It; Cancels Request

I’m always sobered by the thought that most people employed by truly awful, society-destroying institutions don’t think of themselves as “bad guys.” It’s very Milgram experiment.

Case in point: apparently no one in J. P. Morgan’s communications department thought it would be a bad idea to use Twitter for an “Ask Me Anything” knock-off promotion, inviting Twitter users to submit questions with the hashtag #AskJPM:


No, really. A roomfull of people employed by one of the most hated corporate names in America sat around and agreed that they should try and start a #AskJPM hashtag. Hey guys, maybe it’ll go viral!

It did.






The company threw in the towel about six hours after their original invitation:


All of which begs the questions — why would they even try something like this?

And the answer, unfortunately, is that most people — including the people at J. P. Morgan — won’t think of themselves as “bad people,” even when faced with overwhelming evidence that they have done horrible things with real-life consequences.

It literally never entered the minds of whatever hapless strategists dreamed this up that everyone hates them because they are bad people. They don’t think of themselves as enablers of evil, despite that being their entire fucking job.

So, faced with massive public feedback to the general effect that “we hate you and you are bad people,” their solution was to stop soliciting public feedback.

It won’t improve people’s feelings toward the institution any, but at least this way whatever “communications specialist” reads the @jpmorgan Twitter feed won’t have to face quite so many reminders of his/her need for a little soul-searching. And really, what’s important here?

3 Things You Need to Understand About Online Listicles

testicle-listicleYou see what I did there, with the numbered list format for the post and everything? Tres ironic.

(The accent was left out ironically, too. And by ironically I mean “putting accents into WordPress is a pain and half of your computers will turn it into a funky upside-down question mark in a box or some shit anyway.”)

Listicles — articles with a numbered list format, rather than a connected narrative structure — are not wholly an internet phenomenon. Cosmopolitan lives and dies by them; more respectable publications like Time, Esquire, and Rolling Stone have all made good and famous use of them in their histories as well.

But, as it does with most things, the internet has cheapened and degraded the art form until it threatens to destroy its relevance altogether, and so you need to understand the following things about your lists of repackaged content from the internet:

1. They Are Curated

This is not objective journalism here. List items are cherry-picked because they work well in the artificial context of the list, not because they’re necessarily relevant.

Someone has put some thought into shoving whatever items you’re looking at in your face. They have also discarded a much larger number of items that they didn’t think would fit. It is entirely possible that you, personally, seeking out your own news, would have found those cutting-room-floor bits vastly more relevant.

2. They Are Designed for Emotional Response

This is a big one. “Wow, that’s cool and I did not know that” is a good starting target for a listicle, but your real social-media expert is going for a more emotional response — “Wow I am angry and I didn’t even know it” or “Wow I am so touched I am crying on my keyboard now.” That’s what really gets people to share your crap.

Do you remember Buzzfeed’s lovingly-curated list of racist reactions to the new Miss America? (No, it doesn’t get a link.) That was not what Twitter looked like if you searched for the #MissAmerica hashtag that night. What it looked like was a sea of inane and harmless tweets about a beauty pageant you’re not interested in, with the occasional fleck of racist argle-bargle bobbing on the foam like a turd.

But you don’t give a fuck about Miss America. You probably even have some nasty thoughts about the contenders tucked away in the back of your mind (bimbos, anti-feminist, catfighting bitches, whatever). You just like to feel outraged, and Buzzfeed brought the hammer down on that emotional fault line as hard as they could. That’s how people build really successful listicles for their employers.

3. Most of Them are Plagiarized

Broadly speaking I don’t have much of a personal problem with the prevailing netiquette, which (among civilized users, at any rate) basically runs “if you post someone else’s content, refer to them as the creator and provide a link back where possible.”

But it is not actually how copyright works, and if they don’t have permission from the creator to display the work, most of your favorite listicles from the internet are probably plagiarized.

Getting your work splashed up on Buzzfeed might get you a bump in hits from the small percentage of users that click through their microscopic citation link — but that’s pretty piss-poor compensation for a revenue-generating article that they would not have had without your labor, and for which you will never see a dime.

Maybe I’m belaboring the point too much here. “Every time you read a content-aggregating listicle you are stealing from starving freelancers,” how’s that?

And I think less of you as a person when you share them on social media. There we go.

Another Day, Another Derp: Ted Cruz Is Bad at Public Relations, or at Least at Chess

Oh Teddy. I don’t mean to keep picking on you, I really don’t.

But you’re always getting yourself on the teevees and the internet machines, because that is where you love to be, and you do it so badly.

On Friday night we got this from the good Senator’s official Twitter account:


Which, cool. That there is some messaging. With the chess game, and the maneuvering, and all, ’cause he and buddy Mike Lee are strategists, see, and they’re playing a long game up there on the Hill, or something. A bold statement in the current political climate.

Of course, the queens and kings are switched (queen on color, folks), which makes you wonder if either of them actually plays much chess, but hey! It’s the message that counts.

I guess the defense here is that having a staff member whose job it is to double-check all your publicity photos for derp moments is an establishment thing, and we’re seeing the real maverick Cruz here.

But if the real maverick Cruz is bad at chess — which is fine — he maybe shouldn’t go out of his way to share his chess games with us. It’s like that guy you know on Facebook (we all know that guy) who keeps posting pictures of the dinners he’s cooked, and they’re all sort of generic brown mush with a few green sprinkles on top.

Politics aside, people…think before you Tweet. A symbolic image that you derped up is just symbolic of, well, you being kind of derpy.


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