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Okay, can somebody esplain Twitter to a weasel?


I signed up for Twitter ages ago — before I left the States, I think — and occasionally, I get notification that someone is following me. But beyond that, I haven’t touched it. I haven’t really got the rhythm of the thing.

I signed up for FaceBook at the same time, under my people name, and I kind of get the rhythm of that. I change my status every few days and once or twice a day, I check in to see what my buds from Rho d’Island are up to. Though, even then, way too much of the traffic is some paste-eating mouth-breather from High School telling me what’s for supper.

Oh. Yeah. I’m also a level 125 Fearless El Jefe Experto in Mafia Wars. Yes, that kindofa loser.

So, tell me how you use Twitter. Do you mostly follow people, or topics? How do you know when something interesting is going on? Do you talk back and forth? Does it become like a conversation? How much of it is paste-eating mouther-breather dinner menus? Is it just something to fill the time when Hot Air hasn’t updated for an hour, or have you found it genuinely useful?

Inquiring weasels want to know.


Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: September 29, 2009, 6:31 pm

I prefer Facebook, it scares me that my responses have to be rationed to 140 characters. The conservative in me doesn’t like that. πŸ˜‰

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 29, 2009, 6:32 pm

Facebook is definately better than being a twitter twit.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 29, 2009, 6:40 pm

A large Japanese corporation has tried three times to get me to subscribe to their ‘Twitter’ feed, so that I can be thrilled by their exploits.

I take that as a sure sign that it is a pile of steaming dog poo.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: September 29, 2009, 6:52 pm

80/20 (more like 90/10) rule applies to Facebook. 80% of the postings on your homepage will be from the 20% of mouth-breathers from high school that tracked you down when you were STUPID enough to join your Alumni page. You also learn that all football players turn into Al Bundy, and all cheerleaders turn into Lunch-ladies.

Twitter is good to follow Ace, Allah, Lileks, Andy Levy etc. It’s little previews of upcoming blog material, kind of rolled out ahead of time in two sentence bites. I don’t post what my last fart smelled like. I HIGHLY recommend following “shitmydadsays” on twitter.

Comment from Allen
Time: September 29, 2009, 6:53 pm

OK, as best as I can figure out it’s an internet co-dependency stalker thing. Some people have a need to stalk others and some feed that need via twitter.

Kind of like handing a really creepy person a set of binoculars.

As to Facebook, just think about the name… Facebook. Of course when I do word association it gets bizarre pretty rapidly. For example: window-scream; door-forehead.

What is Mafia Wars?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 29, 2009, 6:57 pm

I don’t know how I found it, but I *do* subscribe to shitmydadsays, Gromulin. It’s a hoot.

Mafia Wars is the dumbest and most unfun game ever, Allen. But somehow it gives you JUST enough of a serotonin hit that you can’t walk away from it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 29, 2009, 7:04 pm

My sister-in-law — who is a genu-wine hillbilly — has two nephews (twins) named Bannister and Doorstep.

Now, there’s a woman who had so many children she didn’t know what to do.

Door-forehead made me think of that.

Comment from Allen
Time: September 29, 2009, 7:16 pm


Now that’s funny, Bannister and Doorstep. “This is my Cousin Banni, and this is Cousin Doo.”

See now that made me think if they had a band they should call it Bofus. I hate when that kind of stuff slips in.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: September 29, 2009, 7:17 pm

Here…this shirt asplains it pretty well:


And, uh, sorry if I kilt you in Mafia Wars.

It is a dumb game, no way to really move up unless you are 18 with 500 friends on FB all joining your gang. But dumb is OK sometimes.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 29, 2009, 7:22 pm

Heh. You know the one about the two Appalachian girls who go to have their picture taken?

One says, “he’s going to take our picture, but first he’s got to focus.”
And the other says, “bofus?”

Also, the photographer told them to say “spruce!” and they said, “hemlock!” Okay, you kind of have to demo that one.

I had three great uncles whose first names were Shakespeare, Bonaparte and…oh, shit, I never remember the third one. It was something less interesting, like Spencer. Anyhoo, they called them Shakey, Boney and…whatever.

There is nothing that cannot be explained by a venn diagram, Gromulin.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 29, 2009, 7:32 pm

You probably DID kill me, Gromulin. Everybody does. I’m the dyingest weasel you ever saw. Probably because my mafia is tiny and I don’t buy any extra doodads.

I take the occasional death and loss of 6 experience points as an occupational hazard. Also, I bank my cash immediately so nobody ever profits from bumping me off.

Comment from Allen
Time: September 29, 2009, 7:46 pm

I haven’t heard that one in some time Weasel. Which reminds me of the one about the brother and sister who are both trying to borrow their father’s car. Way too Appalachian for polite company. πŸ™‚

I am hopeful that the last great uncle’s was “Smokey.”

Comment from mongo
Time: September 29, 2009, 8:09 pm

I’ve never twatted on twitter, but I do suck it up at Mafia Wars. I’m at the bad ass level 60. Bad. Ass.

Comment from Steve Harkonnen
Time: September 29, 2009, 8:40 pm

I’m big on facebook using my people name too. Twitter as well, but I am rarely on twitter these days.

Comment from Steve Harkonnen
Time: September 29, 2009, 8:42 pm

Mongo said they’re at badass level 60. Wait ’til you get tired of Mafia Wars at level 220 and you’re making 25 billion an hour, and own over 900 casinos and 30 Senators….you realize that hey, it just goes on and on and on, but once you delete that app you suddenly will feel liberated.

I was spending an average of two hours per day on Mafia Wars.

Comment from Steve Harkonnen
Time: September 29, 2009, 8:43 pm

On twitter you tell the world who you are and what you are doing. Some folk post every hour on the hour, telling followers what they’re doing.

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: September 29, 2009, 9:14 pm

How the hell are you able to get twitter to tell you when someone follows you?

Comment from Spad13
Time: September 29, 2009, 10:45 pm

Why does the por weasel not have hands! Damn you twitter DAAAMN YOU!!!

Comment from Gregory the First
Time: September 29, 2009, 11:47 pm

Heck, I’ve got an Uncle Stalin, and his brother Michael (who was Uncle Hitler before he changed his name, no, true story, and not Godwin invocation).

No Twitter for me, thank you – I’m already in enough trouble trying to keep up with Facebook and blogs.

Comment from Beyond Bibb\’s Store
Time: September 30, 2009, 6:29 am

akin to letting play.blogger run on screen and occassionally clicking on something that intrigues. Shitmydadsays funny as hell. I got on FB to stalk keep tabs on our teen…got on Twitter to see what the fuss is about for work.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 30, 2009, 7:30 am

How on earth can you spend two hours a day playing Mafia Wars, Steve? My energy points don’t even completely renew themselves overnight, and I reckon I get about four jobs in before they’re exhausted. I guess I don’t spend ten minutes a day on it, just because of the way it’s set up.

Twitter emails me when somebody signs up to follow me, Scott. It’s a settings thing, probably.

Comment from Princess Bernie
Time: September 30, 2009, 8:49 am

I, too, signed up for Twitter before I even knew what the heck it was and have never been back. I am on Facebook, too, and much prefer it – even though I did end up with about three friends that (1) weren’t who I thought they were from high school (2) post only scripture in all caps or (3) whose politics are so far left I can’t stand to get their notifications on my page without starting a war – which is bad because one of them is a co-worker. So I “de-friended” them. Totally took them off my list. All is peaceful once again in the Princess’s Facebook castle.


Comment from maloderous
Time: September 30, 2009, 9:08 am

dude, there’s nothing to follow in RI. srsly. it’s boring.

Comment from Beyond Bibb’s Store
Time: September 30, 2009, 9:17 am

Ah, defriending…lovely pasttime. Better yet, leave them hanging in friend request queue limbo forevah…don’t confirm, don’t refuse…just leave them smoldering in FB hell for all eternity…mwa ah ha ha ha!

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: September 30, 2009, 11:18 am

You are all pikers in the Weird Relative Names Dept. I had great-*aunts* rejoicing in the names of Matt, Earl, and John. You get funny looks when you talk about Great-Aunt Earl, you do. What can I say? Great-Grandmother was just a tad eccentric.

And I only signed up for Twitter so I could find out which bars my posse was infesting at the MilBlogCon last year. Haven’t Twitched since.

Comment from cube
Time: September 30, 2009, 11:53 am

I joined Twitter mostly to read Shitmydadsays. That old dude is a hoot! I can’t get into twitting about the banal activities of my average day though. That’s just a waste of time.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: September 30, 2009, 12:12 pm

BTW, if you get tired of paste-eating posters on FB, but don’t want to “de-friend” them (god, I hate social media lingo), you can just choose to not get their updates on your homepage. I had to do that with an ex-cheerleader cum lunch-lady who seemed to spend all of her waking hours taking quizzes and posting woe-is-me crap about her (multiple) problems.

Comment from Nicole
Time: September 30, 2009, 12:15 pm

I signed up for Twitter and promptly couldn’t make heads or tails of anything. I can’t seem to follow conversation threads. The @’s and such seem to be like listening to one side of a conversation. But since I only see one side of it, on the site of the person I am following, I don’t get the other side. I tweeted 8 times while I was home sick and bored off my ass. After that, I just look at Shitmydadsays and that’s about it – and you can see the updates to that without having to join Twitter. Just bookmark his page.

It seems to be largely a continuation of junior high school popularity contests unless you are reading politicians, newsfeeds or the like.

Comment from eddiebear
Time: September 30, 2009, 2:42 pm

I generally use twitter to folllow news feeds.

Comment from Richard
Time: September 30, 2009, 3:23 pm

I signed up for Twitter to fool the Iranian government (I said I was in Tehran, while they were looking to block all Iranian Tweeting co-ordinating protests). Not sure if I fooled them, but I fooled some spammers who say they want my body. What is it with spam? I even have a spam blog follower now, and no idea how to get rid of her!

Comment from geoff
Time: September 30, 2009, 3:57 pm

1. You can read shitmydadsays without joining Twitter – for example, I have in my blogroll on my blog.
2. Facebook is great if you have a bunch of old friends that you’ve lost touch with. It’s completely redundant if you’re mostly interested in interacting with your current blogging pals. I deleted my Facebook account because it was annoying me with all the constant minutiae and dumbass games and virtual drink-buying and stuff.
3. Twitter? I don’t get it at all. It’s like blogging for people who can’t write a complete paragraph.

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: September 30, 2009, 4:30 pm

Twitter would completely suck if you’re just using the web interface. Using a client like TweetDeck allows you to group the people you follow into columns. You can also set up a column to search for a string of words, usually something hash-tagged such as “#toomey” for stuff about Senate candidate Pat Toomey (or a Boolean search of several hash-tags… “#toomey OR #specter OR #PASen”).

Sooo… I have a column for news orgs (that is basically a glorified RSS), a column for Pennsylvania political stuff, a search column for Pennsylvania stuff, economics/market pundits I like, job search stuff, politicians, a search for certain elections I’m interested in, and a catch-all for everybody else.

Certain columns get more of my attention than others.

I use a third party service to pipe my blog RSS into my twitter posts.

As of right now I “follow” 231 persons or entities, though I’m about at max capacity to follow any more with any regularity. Occasionally I have to cull my list. There are one or two people who I “follow” but don’t have in a column, which allows me to see when people I really follow say something to those people.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 30, 2009, 5:00 pm

Ah. Thank you, Joe. That was exactly the sort of demo I was hoping for.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 30, 2009, 5:47 pm

So, you are now officially TWITTERPATED? πŸ˜‰

Comment from mongo
Time: September 30, 2009, 5:53 pm

Methinks Mr. Harkonnen took me seriously when I said I was a bad ass at Mafia Wars. Maybe I can understand the two hours playing it. My single brother-in-law spends a lot of time on it. That is why he is still single.

I’m secretly afraid of Twitter because some of the posts are written like a foreign language. And who cares if the poster farted? Really?

Oh, excuse me.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: September 30, 2009, 8:00 pm

Er, if you have a Facebook/MySpace page or a Twitter account, you might want to seek professional help of the psychiatric variety. This is especially true if you have an actual job and yet blab insane personal crap about yourself all over the internet. Everybody knows how to search this stuff out now. Odds are real good that next HR person you have to talk to about that new job you want will know how to do it.

Comment from See-Dubya
Time: September 30, 2009, 8:05 pm

I like twitter. It’s almost as good as a blog but you don’t waste as much time on it and you can control who reads it–kind of. I’m following you, Stoats, but a rollicking thrill ride that’s not been.

Comment from naleta
Time: September 30, 2009, 10:33 pm

I don’t tweet, and I don’t FB.

My time suck is playing both Star Pirates (www.starpirates.net) and Spy Battle 2165 (www.spybattle.com).
Especially after finding myself the proud owner of a faction of 3 members the day after joining the faction when the owner got himself banned for multiaccounting. He was apparently half the people in the faction, as they all were banned at the same time. I went on a recruiting binge, and now we have 16 members! πŸ˜†

After all, if one is wasting time, one should do it up right!

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: September 30, 2009, 10:56 pm

I’ve started using Twitter more. Mostly to say I’ve posted or link to something (I use Sharethis for short links) that I thought was interesting but have nothing to say on. But mostly to advertise my site. It could be more conversational, I guess, if there was an easy way to reply to individual “tweets” (gah! stupid internet terms) but there isn’t.

I have no Facebook page. I can’t think of anyone I want to keep in touch with. I think I’m the last person in the internet without a Facebook page. Well, I didn’t get into answering machines until the last few years people were using them, so…

Comment from Schlippy
Time: October 1, 2009, 4:09 pm

Personally I think Twitter will outdate itself at some point in the future, so I’m not wasting my time. Farthest I’ll go is making an anonymous name blog, but until I learn more asp.net, that’s on hold.

If people want to know what I’m doing or if I want to know what they’re doing, we can talk. E-mail, an occasional text and regular old phone calls is enough for me. My phone was purchased based on battery life and price. It doesn’t have the ability to take pictures, surf the web, or anything else a bloody telephone doesn’t need to do besides, (imagine this): phoning people.

Used to have a myspace, killed that after an ex started using it to pesticate me and I will never use facebook. Just gives fodder to folks I don’t know to collect data on me. Creepy.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 1, 2009, 5:31 pm

Well, I’ve been poking around in the bowels of Twitter today (hee hee! Bowels of Twitter!). I can see how you could make it pretty useful (and be useful in turn) with a careful selection of who you follow and how.

As an old internet hand, I’m VERY careful to compartmentalize my various online identities. I never discuss politics (or cuss) under my own name, I’m careful not to give away too much personal information as Stoaty.

And then some damn fool friend or family member comes along figures out how to connect the two. Damn you, friends and family members!

Comment from Brigette
Time: October 2, 2009, 9:40 am

As you can see from my almost empty Twitter page, I barely use it either. I love Facebook, and have become quite adept at posting clever little updates that generate comments from my cohort of FB friends, but somehow I just can’t seem to manage it on Twitter. Maybe it’s the name. How on earth did something with “twit” in it become so wildly popular? Beats the living daylights out of me.

Comment from memomachine
Time: October 9, 2009, 4:26 am


Frankly Twitter is for people who can’t understand IRC.

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