Friday, June 8, 2012

Just in it for the craic: A special #FF

A couple of months ago I celebrated reaching 100 posts on this blog. Today I reached 10,000 tweets.

I'm not going to attempt a "Best of" list for those tweets as I did with the blog posts: it's rather harder to trawl through 10,000 tweets than 100 posts! And the richly context-dependent nature of tweets means I couldn't begin to write some kind of similar narrative of my use of Twitter over the last 3 years.

I had been very sceptical about the value of Twitter when I signed up in April 2009. I would say though that the experience has been both positive and negative:


  1. Encountering many fascinating and engaging people. I'm following about 260 at the moment.
  2. A great way to find out about interesting articles.
  3. Often very very funny.
  4. Opportunities for engaging in short chats about topical issues, sometimes with the key players too. Great for exploring problems and ideas.
  5. A good way to let potential readers know about this blog (I seem to get a lot of my readers via Twitter).
  6. An outlet for thoughts and questions that I probably couldn't muster the energy to try to craft into a decent-sized blog post.


  1. I probably get a little too side-tracked from things I should be doing!
  2. Scratching a sudden intellectual itch via a tweet makes it much less likely that that itch will grow into the urge to write an article for the blog; and blog posts are less ephemeral than tweets.
Some people think that ranting bigots, dullards and spammers are a big problem on Twitter. I haven't found that. I don't have to follow anyone I don't want to, and I can block them if they don't want to go away.

Guido Fawkes: My Part in his Downfall

One of the most hilarious things I've discovered recently about Twitter is that somehow (I've no idea how) I've managed to offend the infamous political blogger Guido Fawkes to the extent that he blocked me at some point in the last three years.

I don't think I've ever followed Guido on Twitter, and I stopped reading his blog years ago, because I think his vituperative and cynical attitude to politicians diminishes the quality and capacity of our political discourse. For the same reason I think it's also unlikely I've written many tweets in which his name appears.

But clearly for a nobody like me to have impinged on the mighty Guido's radar, my contempt for him must have leaked out in an idle tweet. Guido, taking a break from dishing out bile, and eagerly surfing (bless) for delicious morsels of adulation, must have read my tweet and been so tearfully upset that he turned his back on me forever, blocking his dainty ears against someone who briefly failed to ignore him. Poor delicate flower.

Or a minion accidentally leant on the keyboard.

A special #FollowFriday

As noted earlier, one of the things I love about Twitter is discovering people one might otherwise never have encountered.

And the people I follow are an eclectic bunch: Lots of LibDems; true, but also some wonderful Green, Labour, Conservative and non-aligned folk. Lots of interesting Exonians; but loads more from all over England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and further afield. Lots of thinkers; plenty of flâneurs; and most just in it for the craic.

I hate doing the #FF thing, and usually regret it straight away, finding it horrible to appear to single out some over others. But if you're looking for interesting folk to follow, here are a few ideas.

Image: Tig Cóilí I (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Gavin Clarke.

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