Figured I'd been at it long enough to share a bit of knowledge/wisdom/mistakes I've made. So, here's the sum total of the subject of Twitter, in a slightly contrived version of alphabetical order...
A is for Annoying people.
1. How to annoy people...
- post every answer you recieve on formspring via Twitter. Unless its a funny, entertaining or somewhat shocking answer, no-one really cares.
- enter lots and lots of 'RT and follow' competitions. Sure, one or two is fine, but no-one wants to follow someone that desperate for a 'I <3 Ronseal woodstain' hat.
- tweet LOL. On its own. Out of context laughter just makes you look like that lady on the bus that's been sniffing tipp-ex. Despite the fact that tipp-ex has been solvent free for about 20 years.
- be desperately needy. Yeah, there's nothing wrong with a bit of attention seeking or asking for more followers, but folk don't want to do it out of sympathy or with the fear you might cover yourself in petrol and sit on the kitchen floor trying to make a spark by hitting two 50p pieces together.
- if you're going to criticise someone, don't offer a reason or an argument. "thats shit" or "thats so sad" are among the few phrases that just get me peeved. If you can't say anything nice, at least say the nasty thing in a way that makes you look like you've thought about it.
2. What to do with annoying people...
Depending on how annoying a character is being. Unfollowing can get them out of your hair, but it can also be like lighting a powder keg. You can get the ultra-needy begging for you to refollow, the self-righteous starting a flaming campaign or, others will just continually mention you so that they're still in your timeline. In these cases, blocking is probably the best solution, but then that does kind of leave them free to bitch about you, unseen. One trick I use is to block then unblock, removing you from their timeline, but without the danger that they can go calling you a stinky poophead behind your back.
Of course, the whole unfollowing, blocking thing is kind of extreme. Most normal, sane folk on Twitter (yes there are one or two) will accept a quiet word and behave themselves. Well, either that or they'll go on a rampage. It's a risk. Makes life fun.
B is for Boobies...
Seeing boobies on Twitter is probably one of the easiest activities available on the internet nowadays, thanks partly due to the wonderful good cause that is #boobiewed that occurs every Wednesday (show your boobs, raise awareness of breast cancer, check for lumps and that) and partly due to dirty exhibitionists who've seen #boobiewed, failed to get the point and decided everyone wants to see their exposed decolletage all week long. This is all well and good, but it does leave us blokes in the unfortunate state of 'unable to think of anything but boobies' and it does somewhat affect the quality of conversation.
Oh, and I best just warn you fellas, a tweet along the lines of "wouldn't mind seeing your face once in a while", despite its honorable intentions does translate in a woman's mind as "your saggy exposed tits are repulsive and I think you are a big fat slag and you will die alone, eaten by your many, many cats". So best bet is to ogle without complaint. Oh, and don't start on about doing the same for testicular cancer. No-one wants to see your scrotum.
C is for Celebrities on Twitter.
To some, the mere mention of a celebrity on Twitter is enough to send them into a blind rage, stamping on babies and the like. The usual reasons for this are along the lines of...
"they don't follow many people back!" - of course they don't. If they followed every one of their followers back they'd be left with an impossibly crowded timeline, and of course, that leads to the inevitable second complaint...
"they never ever reply." - obviously not. If you had 30 thousand people all screaming the same thing at you at once, for starters you're not going to be able to see every reply and you'd get bored of rewriting the same replies. Add to that the fact that if they did reply to every tweet they received, they'd be in and out of Twitter jail all day.
"They're only on here trying to pimp their shit." - well, if you were going to go on telly to shove a kangaroo's testicles in your mouth, i'm sure you'd want to keep it a secret, yeah?
In my opinion, if you like the celeb, can get over the fact that they don't know you exist and don't mind the occasional tweet about some obscure bbc4 documentary about cow diameters, then you should just go ahead and follow them.
And that's pretty much enough of an epic length blog for today, i'll do D and onwards later. Maybe.