Socially inept social media: the celebrity retweet

I am a big fan of social media. I’ve been blogging since 2005. I’m on Facebook constantly throughout the day. I have an active Twitter account. I recently started playing around with Tumblr. And I actually get paid to cover it.

Retweet THIS

However, some people should have their social media privileges revoked. And the Twitter users who beg for celebrities to retweet their inane messages are among the worst offenders.

The possibility of interacting with celebrities is one of the cool things about Twitter, don’t get me wrong. And I’ve had a few conversations with some well-known Tweeters, mostly media members. But there’s a difference between a conversation and begging for attention.

Here’s my question: What can possibly be gained from being retweeted by a celebrity? Is it really worth sounding like a pathetic beggar?

If you’re looking for more followers, a well-thought-out response to a celebrity’s Tweet is much more likely to prompt someone to click through to your Twitter profile. Some of the Hemingway-like gems I’ve seen, on the other hand, aren’t going to cut it.

“Please RT, it’s my birthday!” Who gives a shit?

“RT if you love your fans.” Whatever.

“I’ve Tweeted you 100 times, please RT.” Get a life. Seriously.

I just don’t understand the attraction. If these people think they’re getting special attention from a celebrity, they might want to think again. Even if the actual celebrity is running the Twitter account, rather than an assistant or intern, if 100 retweets go out within 10 minutes, what makes you think yours stood out?

Plus, assuming the actual celebrity is manning the account, and you are legitimately a fan or admirer of this person, do you want them to spend their limited time on Twitter retweeting stupidity like, “RT if you love your fans in Cleveland!” or actually discussing what they’re doing on that day, their feelings on current events, who they’re rooting for in the big game, or anything of interest?

There is already way, way too much clutter on Twitter. For the love of God, think before you Tweet.


Maybe he meant the Twitter Fire Hose?

I got the following e-mail at the address I use for my part-time blogging position. The blog is about how media companies use social-networking sites, and related trends and topics. So naturally, I have yards aplenty of fire hose to sell. The picture was actually attached with the e-mail. People are really fucking dumb. The unedited e-mail:

Mr. Jay lee wants THIS fire hose!

Good Day,

Am Mr. Jay lee and i will like to buy your Fire Hose i have Attached the picture of the item i need before purchasing it,I will like to know if you have it in stock and if you dont i will be glad if you list the types that you have including their prices…Moreover i will like to know the type of paymnet you accept…Hope to hear from you soon…

Jay lee.

Don’t hold your breath, Jay lee, or you may need a paramedic instead of a fire hose. Moron.

To Twitter, or not to Twitter?

I currently do not have a personal Twitter account. I have access to one that I use for my part-time blogging gig, and my opinion on it has varied. At times, I’ve found it to be mildly useful, and at times, I’ve found it to be downright annoying. I’ve never completely hated it, and I think Twitter has a purpose and a place, but I’d been on it since June with the work-related account and never gotten the itch to launch a personal account.

Until now.


The first step that got me thinking about it was cleaning up the work-related account. I don’t know who set it up and who else uses it, but the amount of completely unrelated garbage that was coming through accelerated well past the irritating point, and I figured that any followed accounts I unfollowed could always be added again later if someone else takes control of the account. So I purged about 150 of the 400 followed accounts, which were either basically inactive, completely off-topic, or stupid. This made the Twitter stream a lot easier to follow and manage.

Next came a little bit of encouragement from my boss to make more use of Twitter to mine stories, which led to one of my favorite items that I’ve posted in my time there: Jane Wells, a business reporter for CNBC and writer of its Funny Business blog, told the tale, via tweets, of giving up caffeine, alcohol, dairy and refined foods for Lent, and then caving after 41 hours. Her Twitter feed is absolutely hilarious, and for anyone on Twitter, I definitely recommend following it.

It also seems that people, for the most part, are being smarter about their tweets (and their Facebook status updates). Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to everyone. But it seems like there are a lot fewer tweets or updates that say, “Al Koholic is going to lunch,” and more that say, “Al Koholic is going to lunch at White Mana,” which at least adds a little flavor (pun intended). Nobody is going to grade out at 100% in terms of tweets and status updates being interesting to everyone, but there definitely seems to be more of an effort, and I will try my best to maintain a high standard (shut up!).

And I’m on the verge of replacing my five-year-old Treo (yeah, yeah, I know) with a Droid, finally. I don’t even go online with the Treo, but I love the Droid and can’t wait to get my hands on it, and updating Facebook and Twitter remotely for the first time will be a lot of fun for me.

Finally, I was watching the never-ending Opening Ceremony from Hell at the Olympic Games last night and had my laptop nearby, as did a few of my friends. Our exchanges on Facebook via various status updates were, well, Twitter-like, and pretty damn funny. I also had TweetDeck (the application I use to follow the work Twitter feed) open, and some of the comments about the Opening Ceremony were utterly hysterical.

So, I’m seriously considering taking the plunge, but I haven’t done it yet. Are there any Twitter users reading this? If so, can you share your thoughts, pro and/or con?

I wonder if they’ll let me use 9 as a Twitter handle? (I think you can tell which way I’m leaning, but I’m not 100% in yet.)