Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tips for the Twitter-curious. 8: Embracing the Weird of Twitter

Hello ... you made it back here then I see?

last time was a 'sit-up-straight-look-smart-and-pay-attention' post then today is the equivalent of a non-uniform day.

You know the ones? Where you get to wear your own clothes on the last day of term? So you wear tight black jeans with cowboy boots and bat earrings rather than your everyday Catholic Comprehensive school uniform? Anyone? No? Just me then .... [But if, by chance, you are sat there in tight black jeans and bat earrings ... I *need* to see a photo!]

If you dropped in expecting sweets, crisps, those biscuits with the pretty icing and hyperactivity-inducing fizzy drinks ... I'll be handing those out at the bottom of the post. #secretploytokeepyoureadinguntiltheend

So let's leap from Lesson 7's 'sublime' ... straight into the ridiculous:

Throughout these lessons I've focused a lot on the practical uses of Twitter and encouraged you to build up a network of both useful contacts, friends and loved ones ... but, if after all that, you'd like to add a few quirky members to your Twitter family then, believe me when I tell you you can pretty much find ANYONE on Twitter ...

Following the fantastical.

I can't quite remember where or when I first found @Jesus ... I think I spotted him in a Retweet by someone else which had made me laugh... and so, as is the tradition ... I became a Follower:

Then, in return ...

...well, let me just say, there can be few more defining moments in an online life that the moment you receive an email notification informing you that "Jesus Christ - Carpenter, healer, God, is now Following you on Twitter". I mean, that's not something you read every day is it?

[Note: However ... I've just looked at
@Jesus's profile page it now says he isn't Following anyone ... so where did that email come from ....??? I guess I'll never know ... ] Anyways ...

... what I'm hoping to point out here is that for every genuine account held by a 'real' person, there's at least the equivalent of impersonators ... and funny ones at that.

Lately I've been enjoying the tweets of the 140 year old Laura Ingalls Wilder as she struggles through another long, cold winter on the prairie:

If Half Pint's not your girl ... then you can just as easily follow the Queen, Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, Barbie ... because tweeting's what the great and good are doing these days!

Having said that ... it's not just the good, so be careful out there:

An email telling you Voldemort's following you? Now that's got to make the heart quicken!

It'd probably be as startling as the time I was tweeted at by the Stalking Velociraptor ....:

One day last spring, @KirstyNeale and I were innocently discussing how the danger of taking up the latest trend for wearing capes, was the tendency for them to restrict your arm movements giving you the appearance of what I termed 'little Velociraptor arms'. Several hours later the Stalking Velociraptor - who must have heard us taking his name in vain - tweeted me to alert me to the fact he was peeking out of the bushes and had heard us!

Crazy moments like this - like a Velociraptor who likes spying on people who use his name almost as much as he likes coffee - all add to the rich tapestry that is Twitter! And, one can only imagine these people are hosting these accounts for no other reason than it's fun!

Now .... there's a thought .... that would be some advanced homework for me to set you wouldn't it? Who would your Twitter alter-ego be? Who could you convincingly tweet as .... ? Mmmm that could be revealing ....

Find your own funny.

Apart from these odd characters who pop-up to boggle the mind and brighten your Timeline, don't forget to search Twitter for the people, programmes, publications and blogs etc which you already find funny.

I follow several comedians and comic writers I admire. Luckily, their tweets often reflect their comedic talents, although the temptation for them must be to keep all their material for future projects!

Finally, I foster my love of all things overheard by following a few accounts which, like I often do, tweet the results of their eavesdropping. Such as the Overheard Newsroom:

I think we should now add 'jokes' and 'overheard snippets' into the category of forms of writing which work particularly well in a tweet - as discussed in Lesson 8.

OK then ... as with every task I've set you throughout this series, this has to be all about tailoring Twitter to you:
  1. Have a search around for some light relief.
  2. Check out the people you find funny.
  3. Leave a comment here sharing the quirky characters you already follow - so we can all have look - other people recommendations and Retweets are the best way to naturally uncover the weird tweeters who are consistently worth Following.
  4. If you're feeling creative - let us all know who your Twitter alter-ego could be! Or ...
  5. ... if you're feeling brave ... you could strike up a conversation with an infamous tweeting villain! There's bound to be more than Voldemort and a Velociraptor out there ... so just take care ....
Well, then, that's almost it for Tips for the Twitter-curious! I'll be back on Friday with my final post which will be a general round-up of loose-ends plus I'll be giving more details on the collage giveaway [entry is for those who've blogged about the class]. I already have a few things planned but I'd also like to know ....

What would you like to see in the final post?
  • are there any questions you still have about Twitter? I can't promise to answer them ... but between all those on the Twitter-curious list ... and with Twitter at our disposal ... we could begin to find a solution I'm sure!
  • Have you found an account who you think we should all follow?
  • Is there a category of people to follow that I've overlooked?
  • etc etc etc whatever you'd like to bring up!

Right, I'll leave you to go and get your Twitter-funny on ... and I'll see you back here on Friday.



  1. You NEED to follow @dianainheaven V-funny!

  2. this is pretty much a general question...not sure if it missed the info, but I would like to know how do you put a link to a blogpost with a short lettered link?

    info so far has been fabulous!

  3. Here I am just catching up. Am going to go back and read what I've missed now. Mum gave me a Doctors note miss but wouldn't let me wear my bat ear rings! Boo hiss! Where's the sweets?

    Thanks for this class Julie, even what I've read so far has been brilliant!


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