Thursday, July 7, 2011

Epic Twitter Fail

To revise a line from the wise and sage-like Hunter S. Thompson, I feel the same way about Twitter as I do about herpes.

Last week I finally caved in and signed up for a Twitter account. Ever since then I've been glued to my computer monitor, refreshing the screen and waiting for either a gateway to the magical Kingdom of Narnia to open up or message to pop up asking me to resign. I would also like to clear the air right now about my willing/unwilling participation in a real/fake sex scandal that did/sadly didn't happen. Don't cry for former Representative Anthony Weiner; he brought that on himself. The only way it could have been more obvious where that picture was going to go is if the button he clicked to post it said, "Click here to show your d**k to the world." Moron.

I've boycotted Twitter since it started ruining people's lives in 2006, because in case you can't tell, I'm not one for brevity. I can't write about a fart, opening a can of Pringles or brushing my teeth in less than 140 characters, and I was doing just fine without that kind of pressure -- until I started my blog.

There are few things as exciting as starting a blog where you can share all of your world-changing, witty insights. On the flip side, there's equally nothing as depressing as realizing that more people watched and liked the movie Battlefield Earth or would confess in public to thinking Casey Anthony was innocent than read your blog on a weekly basis. So, in an effort to drive traffic to my blog, I decided to follow that little blue bastard bird icon everyone seems to love so much straight down the rabbit hole and into the vortex of weirdness that is Twitter. Charlie Sheen has inhaled more white powder than a guy working on the bagging line at a flour factory and he's got 4.3 million followers. Sure, his Bob Dylan-esque mumbling with the occasional coherent rant about trolls, warlocks and Tiger Blood combined with the when's-he-gonna-OD-and-die factor accounted for most of it, but I can't help but feel like I offer people a little more substance. Not much, but a little.

I know I'm one of the last people in the United States to get a Twitter account because my wife has one. My wife is like some kind of weird Technology Devil. Everything technological she touches wilts and dies. She's in her early 30's, but in tech time she's on par with Andy Rooney, and I'm pretty sure that old buzzard still winds up both his car and his radio, and if you gave him an iPhone he'd probably throw it back at you, yell "Grenade!" and waddle away seeking cover. She finally traded in her mid-90's, bulletproof, Zach Morris-style cell phone for an iPhone 4 a few weeks ago. She's still adjusting to some of the more modern amenities like the lack of an antenna, the relatively light weight, the lack of a bag and physical buttons, and that she doesn't have to chisel the words into the screen like it was a rock tablet and then mail the phone to someone to send a text message.

So I signed up for Twitter, posted the annoying "Follow Me" banner on the side of my blog and waited for the magic to happen. Nothing. I gave it a few hours. Still nothing. I went to bed, woke up the next morning and logged into Twitter, certain the Twitter Fairy would leave me a few followers, only to find nary a digital fart on my page. Depression was setting in. It's one thing to suck in real life but it's something completely different to be told you suck by a pixelated blue bird.

It's been nearly two weeks since I sold my soul to the Twitter Devil, and the little blue bastard bird has yet to pay out. I realize I'm not terribly exciting and I probably need to Tweet more, but I only have a meager three followers, one of whom is a spam bot.

I don't plan on bailing on Twitter anytime soon, but if it continues to give me the cold shoulder I'll just have my wife make a trek through the company's headquarters -- chisel in hand.

[Editorial Note: This column is part of a series on current events for the United Tech Guys. Stop by and check them out.]

8 comments:

  1. If one such as yourself is unable to fend off the demon that is Twitter, what chance do the rest of us have? I will sleep with one eye open and a sharp weapon under my pillow tonight...

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  2. Matey, I gave up Twitter long before I started my wee Blog and have never been tempted to go back to it even just for a publicity tool. Be encouraged and keep with the Blog. I really enjoy your posts and, no, that is not me sucking up. Most of the blogs I follow that post fresh content are written by women and it's great to read another guy with thought and creativity.

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  3. I could say that someone bought a very good computer for the first time and had a professional set it up. Then she waited in front of it for something magical to happen and nothing did. Plus it cost her $900 to buy the computer. Twitter is free.

    There are entire books about Twitter but they are not free. They do not take hundreds of pages to say that you should sign up and wait. What are your interests? If you are interested in badmitton then search for fans of badmitton and follow them. Some will follow you back.

    Also follow some famous badmitton people and some of their followers will see your name and follow you. Or steal competitors followers. If you have a blog about masterbation then find someone else who has one and has many Twitter followers. Then follow their Twitter followers and some will follow you back.

    Then when you have some followers, you can tweet about your latest blog post and put a link to it. When you follow someone, Twitter sends them an email. Then they go to your Twitter page and see if they want to follow you. They look at your profile and your posts.
    Twitter is like a sweater. You get out of it, what you put into it.

    Obama used Twitter to help get him elected. He just recently had the first Twitter town hall meeting. People tweeted him questions.

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  4. Yay for you taking the plunge. I am still getting used it. I've found the more I put out there the more interesting people respond back. LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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  5. Start with http://discover.twitter.com/

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  6. Hee hee hee, even I joined the Twitter Devil for my blog, but like you said, it doesn't help promote my blog.

    I have had my Twitter for about a year now, but I only have like 35 followers, and most of them are people from college. I also get a lot of random bastards wanting to advertise themselves on Twitter by following 12,000 people.

    So after opening my account, I stopped using Twitter for months and never checked it. But then I decided to optimise it's use a bit, and started following a lot of news sources and journalists I like or find funny. Also many online magazines, etc.

    Now I mainly use Twitter for getting news and interesting facts from all over the place, which saves me from visiting each of their sites separately.

    I also Tweet a lot more just, although it's just random crap for the most part. I post links to my blogs on it, as well as links to new posts that I write.

    So it's not that bad, just keep working on it I guess. I realised that whenever I use hash-tags a lot my followers increase.

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  7. Hi Flippy,

    Great points. Yeah, not so much luck promoting the blog. And I agree, now I use it more as a news source for things I like more than anything. I do still Tweet. I think I can use it as like a chalkboard where I just write down quick thoughts and then when I'm getting ready to write something up I can go through my tweets and see if there's anything I can include or write about. It's not all bad, but I think if Google+ were to release an app that essentially simulated Twitter, I would focus on that more than Twitter.

    I checked out your site. I really like it. The post about Google+ was very cool. I have an account, but haven't mastered it yet. I look forward to checking in on your blog. Keep up the good work.

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  8. I still don't have twitter...probably won't get it for the same reasons you struggled with it. Plus I don't like being told that I have to limit my characters...no computer is going to tell me what to do! (except for how I can make a password, and if a username is available...)

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