Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ten Intriguing Twitter Moments: From Funny to Bizarre

Unless you live under a rock, you'll admit that whether or not you are a fan, Twitter has a huge impact on how we communicate and share information today. Yesterday's news about the passing of 104-old Ivy Bean, the world's oldest person on Twitter, has sparked a series of questions in my head. We have all seen stats on the size and growth of social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter and the like, but I thought it would be fun to look at how else Twitter is shaping our lives. So I started experimenting with some random words to find out what connection (if any) they have to Twitter. Here is my top 10 PG-rated list of funny, interesting or weird Twitter use cases - on and off the web.

10. Twitterize your pet
I'm not surprised to see all the gear mentioning Twitter. Shirts, hats, shoes and aprons (I mean, really?), bags, mugs, buttons, the whole nine yards. I must admit some of the T-shirts are flat out hilarious. Zazzle offers a wide range of clothing items and office and home supplies but nothing beats their pet clothing. Seriously? A Twitter shirt for your dog? Not my cup of tea but if it's something you fancy, hey, more power to you...and to your dog.

9. Twitter cats with more followers than you
Ouch! That hurts. Check out the cats on Twitter that have a bigger following than you. I'll be sure to borrow some tips from them.

8. Come on baby, let's do the Tweet
It was just a matter of time before Twitter songs started popping up on YouTube. My favorite Twitter anthem is "I'm Tweeting". I'm a die-hard ballroom dancer so anything with a good beat will captivate me. You can't go wrong with updating a classic song with super creative lyrics so kudos to iJustine, you rock! The other one that has captured my attention is the one by Chris Thompson. Awesome man! But what's up with that Twitter dance? I certainly hope that the choreographers on Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance will not be borrowing these moves for their next dance routines...

7. Tweet My Bumper
According to Rich Whittle's blog post, "Tweet My Bumper helps Twitterers recruit new followers by targeting one of life’s few remaining captive audiences: drivers in traffic." Go to the Tweet My Bumper website, enter your Twitter ID and some other basic information, and Tweet My Bumper will send you a bumper sticker with your Twitter ID and the "Follow me in traffic. Follow me on Twitter" tag line.

6. Tweet and Drive? Not so much
Remember the Nate Robinson case? He was live tweeting after he got pulled over. Not such a good idea. While it was a PR nightmare, at least he wasn't tweeting while driving. Actually, tweeting and driving may not be as far away as you may think. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the 2011 Ford Fiesta had been modified to be able to send tweets as it drives. I'm curious to see how this strategy is going to work for them. Best wishes to Ford!

5. Tweet and burn calories?
I'm waiting for the day that somebody proves that tweeting can help lose weight. Well, adding a Twitter spiel would definitely bring pizzazz to today's late night weightloss commercials. Just kidding. For now, however, we may just need to try TweetCalories, an application that counts how many calories you may burn by tweeting.

4. Live tweeting while...
I'm a big fan of live tweeting but there are some real-life situations that I think should stay exactly where they happen: offline. I can't wrap my head around why anybody would want to live tweet a funeral or an abortion. It's simply beyond what I can fathom but if it works for them...

There are some other eyebrow-raising circumstances I wonder about. Is tweeting really the most important thing they can think of at THAT moment? Apparently so. We've heard about the couple that updated their Facebook status while at the altar, but have you heard about the people that got engaged and married on Twitter? Live tweeting while giving birth seems to be on the rise since Erykah Badu gave up-to-the-minute reports on the birth of her daughter in early 2009. But the example that really caught my eye was the article on surgeons sending tweets from the operating room. I get the concept, it's cool...I just would not want to be the patient on that operating table. I'd really like to have my surgeon and nurses pay attention to me rather than the Twitter updates. But that's just me.

3. World's first street named after a Twitter account
This may sound bizarre at first but when you read the entire story, it is really inspiring. The street name "@arjanelfassed tweetstreet" can be found in a Palestinian refuge camp and was bought for $140 by Arjan El Fassed, a Dutch-Palestinian gentleman. Proceeds were donated to support cultural after-school programs for children in the camp.

2. Do you know your best man?
This can be a funny or embarrassing story, depending on whose side you're on. I'm not going to elaborate on how one British best man got back at his friend, just read this post. The conclusion: make sure you REALLY know your best man or don't do anything stupid to tick him off.

1. Somebody help! It's an emergency
And that's exactly what happened in Japan when a man got stuck in a public restroom without any toilet paper. So he sent out a tweet to the universe and 20 minutes later, he was a happy camper again. Wow, Twitter does work!

And that's how we roll with Twitter today (no pun intended).

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