Posts Tagged ‘twitter


Golden Tweeters: @SheSimmers

I almost wrote my first #140wordsaboutyou entry about @SheSimmers, but didn’t want to seem like too much of a stalker. You see, I’m a huge fan of both her Twitter persona and her astonishingly awesome blog about Thai cuisine,

My last reference subject felt a little embarrassed to comment on his entry. I guess that’s okay, I mean when I eventually write one about someone like @conanobrien, I don’t think he will take his nose out of that giant golden punch bowl filled with uncut bolivian cocaine to say “thx.” (And I wouldn’t blame him, really. Lucky punk.)But if anyone else read it and agreed or could illustrate it more, of course they are free to add their own living eugoogly.

As before, I am limiting this to 140 words. This one was brutally difficult to keep it so short.

From the clues I’ve pieced together: Majordomo/executive chef of my imaginary harem (IH) Leela is a Thai-American living in Chicago (where I was actually born). She loves to eat, cook, take mouthwatering pictures of tasty dishes and could probably mesmerize you explaining it all, lift your wallet, and spend all your cash on Chiang Mai pork scratchings (or marron glaces) and cockfight wagers.

I’ve never met her IRL, so in my mind I picture her avatar. (Is her hair really green?) Nevertheless, she appears to be blessed with preternatural kindness and adamantium sharp wit. I think I’d adore her all the same even if she turned out to be a retired chap who used to dabble in virtual lesbianism (The Cooking Game, anyone?) but I’d have to leave her membership status to the IH denizens. “…Alba? Orlean? What say you?”


Golden Tweeters: Favorite Frenemy, @JustASpur

Note: Golden Tweeters will hopefully be a continuing series about people on Twitter that I either already know or that I met on this intangible plane who I consider my personal all-stars. I have started it for a couple reasons:

1. As much as I appreciate the concept of Follow Friday (or #FF) I don’t think it really leads to huge long term gains in followers. These are people who I would never unfollow, even if they decided not to follow me (crushing my fragile little heart). For them, 140 characters is not nearly enough to express my admiration and appreciation for their friendship/wit/existence/general badassery.

2. Even though I make a living from writing (even creatively, mind you), much of it is of the lucrative yet anonymous commercial variety. You may have seen, read, or even heard my work (or horribly mangled versions), but my name is never attached to it. Sometimes that means I don’t have time to write for me, which is something I should, because I like doing it and wish I could do it more. So it’s a fun little exercise, which I’ll try to keep each entry under 140 words to keep the spirit of brevity alive.

If someone wants to take this idea and do it on their own, go right ahead. I’d like to read about your favorites too, and maybe you could hashtag it #140wordsaboutyou. I hope you enjoy it, and you never know…you might be next!

My Favorite Frenemy: @JustASpur

JustASpur is a devout supporter of the sworn enemies of my adopted favorite (Arsenal!!!), but other than that slight mental retardation, he is the loveliest chap I’ve never met.

We actually “met” at a virtual “party” “hosted” by @simonpegg late one night. Unable to sleep, I got so bored I went to trending topics. I can’t recall the #hashtag of the party anymore and I no longer follow Mr. Pegg (no offense, still rate him), but throwing in my bon mots, I developed a spontaneous comic rapport with this random hilarious dude in Toronto.

His tweet count is intimidating (75,000+, landing him in the virtual penalty box from time to time) but majority are timeline-friendly replies to his many chums.

I’m always honored when I’m listed one of his #FF “Top Blokes,” because he’s definitely one in my book.


Mr. 5000

Facebook is for friends that are now strangers. Twitter is for strangers that should be
your friends.

-Unknown Tweeter

Try as I may, I don’t think I could manage to mark my 5000th post on Twitter in less than 140 characters. So thank you Twitter for compelling me to break my personal blogging inertia and compose a post looking back at how I ended up at 5000 tweets.

I can still recall how I scoffed at Twitter, how inane it seemed to follow Britney’s breakfast musings or the mangling of the English language in text-ese (Wot r u tlkn bout? S’gr8! FML! LMAO) I vowed that I would rather carry a pager that use Twitter.

(Actually, a big reason I didn’t want to start was because I was sort of afraid I would like it too much. I didn’t need anymore addictions competing with McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish, Criterion edition DVDs, and black tar heroin)

But, @gnarlykitty, you were right and I was wrong. Eventually I caved in, and Twitter quickly became part of my daily routine.

(I confess to following some celebrities in the beginning out of curiosity, but the sheer banality and egotism of some of their posts left me disappointed and I soon shed most of them. Sorry, famous-Thai-singer-who-RT’s-every-single-mention, it is nothing personal.)

I became hooked on the endless trickle of links to interesting articles from the likes of TIME, The Guardian, New York Times, and Rolling Stone, as Twitter helped filled a sort of intellectual void that has existed as a dull background ache ever since I moved to Thailand: it was a real joy was discovering everyday people like me–friends and strangers–free to be themselves, enjoying healthy debates, childhood reminiscences, and crafting awkwardly amusing puns in bite-size portions.

Calling for recommendations and suggestions in the Twitter ether revealed the hidden genius of crowdsourcing, and I got a charge helping others in turn. But my appreciation of the power of this new medium crystallized with the crackdown in Iran, and in living color with our own Bangkok protests earlier this year. Instead of being an observer, I became a part of the action, posting live accounts of what I saw and what was hearing, cross-referencing and adding the voices of other concerned citizen-journalists to my timeline. I took what I was posting very seriously, trying hard to differentiate probable facts from speculation and rumor–even though I would occasionally stray into moments of gallows humor. The silver lining of that dark time was to chance to discover and make acquaintance with so many illuminating people here in Thailand and around the world.

You may have noticed I am a little hesitant to refer to people who do me the honor of adding me on Twitter as “followers.” To me, it just seems like a special word that should be reserved for Jesus, Allah, or the Buddha. (Perhaps Chairman Mao or Jim Jones or Magellan as well.) I’d prefer the term “companions” more, if we didn’t have to worry about the economy of 140 characters, but all things considered, I like “readers” as well.

Now the sting of being unfollowed by someone you think of as a friend is tempered by the fact that if someone doesn’t get or like what you have to say, it is better to part ways, and far, far outweighed by the thrilling shiver to learn people whose work you admire and respect immensely choose to follow you back.

Finally, I want to thank my wife and sons for allowing me to indulge in something that is not (just) an instrument of procrastination but an amazing conduit to a larger world with kindred souls.



RIM Jobbers: the Twitter showdown

About a week ago, Blackberry sneakily pushed a version of their Twitter app onto my phone while I was sleeping.

At the time, I was quite happy with Übertwitter (especially in comparison to the craptastic Twitterberry, the Friendster of Twitter apps). I had no plans to use their version, banishing it to my Games folder.

One day, though, the shortcut icon to Übertwitter mysteriously disappeared. Was it bored of overuse? Or did it get kicked out Microsoft-style by a cronyberry app?

So I decided to try Twitter for Blackberry (or T4BB for short, as I am typing this on my Blackberry), to see if I liked it.

After a week, here’s my two cents:

T4BB definitely has a pretty interface, with a navigation bar that makes it easy to search for users and look up trending topics.

It’s easy to navigate and can be set for bigger fonts if you have poor eyesight.

Tweet notifications show up in the messages timeline along with email and Facebook, for nice integration.

Also you can view a whole thread between two parties, to see how a conversation (or slagging match) develops.

That’s all the nice things I can say about it, though.

The refresh for T4BB can only be set for 5 min to 1 hour with no Never setting. And it can only pull 20 to 100 tweets at a time, which means if you follow a lot of accounts and leave it overnight, you’ll miss a lot.

And a message box is always popping up: “Twitter is experiencing a problem” it says. But it doesn’t shut down, so I could do without your complaints T4BB.

With Über you can just type “@” and it pulls up a list of who you follow, makes it easy to add mentions. If you have a flawless memory that is not a problem, but I like the convenience (as I forget my own screenname sometimes).

Another great thing about Über is that mentions to you are highlighted in yellow (and Direct Messages) in green on your timeline. Aside from the ego-boost (Wow TheRealShaq replied to me!), it is nice to see where these messages are chronologically on your main timeline.

A bigger issue I have is how Über incorporates Tweetphoto much more conveniently, where you can send a post directly from a photo you just took, or from an opened photo file. With T4BB you have to scroll down through your media library (with its tiny thumbnails), which anyone who has a lot of pictures knows can be a headache.

The last issue is the one that is the most grave to me. I like how Über allows you to post with Twitlonger for updates of more than 140 characters, which is sometimes unavoidable. When you view someone else’s (or your own) posts that uses Twitlonger on Über (indicated by it automatically loads the rest of the post for you to read. If you live in a 3G enabled country, I guess it is not a big deal to load the extra page address. But here in perpetually 2G Thailand it is an annoyance, and I can do without the additional step.

On the bright side, I discovered when posting a pic of a red-shirt with big guns that I can still post photos using Übertwitter, and if I don’t close the application I can still access it fine. So now I can do both; while I may be in a forced marriage with T4BB, I can still find a way to congress with my beloved Über.

That is, until a better mobile app comes along, at which time I mercilessly dump both of them for a sleeker, newer model.

Tweemmanuelle Chriquiberry, anyone?