Friday, December 11, 2009

Survival Guide for the Successful Use of Twitter

In the spirit of fostering goodwill, I present these helpful tips on the successful use of Twitter:

1. Choose a unique photo for your Twitter account. I cannot stress this strongly enough: your followers will come to know you by this photo, and a unique photo will make it easier for them to skim through the timeline to ignore you. Or read your tweets. Whatever.

2. Use an attractive photo. If you are unattractive (ask yourself, "do small children run, screaming, at the sight of me?") use a photo of someone who is attractive. Preferably of the same (predominate) gender as you, but this is optional. [See also, @frankhinton.]

3. Tweet. You can’t create a Twitter account then tweet once every three weeks. This isn’t using Twitter, this is having an account and being a Twitter wallflower. No one will ever notice you this way: the timeline moves fast and gets busy in a hurry.

4. Make sure your tweets don’t suck. Like #1, this is critical. For example, chances are your followers will let it slide if you post one tweet about how you can’t get your toilet unclogged. But nobody wants to read your daily struggle with an overfull potty. [Buy a plunger and use less paper, by the way.]

5. Don’t be an ass. If you are, by nature, an incorrigible ass, ask yourself, “What would a polite, or even kind, person do under these circumstances?” and then pretend that you are polite, or even kind, and tweet accordingly.

6. If someone follows you, don’t immediately freak out. Read their tweets, and if they appeal to you – or you find them merely tolerable – follow them back. This is social media, not a bulletin board. (Celebrities, I’m looking at you.)

7. Find something complimentary to say to your new Twitter friends, on a regular basis. For example, you might want to tweet, “Hey, @taylorhicklen, are those new shoes? They look nice.” He'll likely appreciate the courtesy.

8. Never tweet with your mouth full. Trust me. You’ll see what I mean.

9. Every Friday, people recommend other people for their followers to follow. If you follow 1,427 people, and every single Friday, you recommend each and every single one of them, you lose credibility. We get that you like the people you follow, we assume that is why you follow them.

10. Sometimes, if you tweet something really witty or helpful or interesting, some of your followers may “retweet” your tweet: this lets their followers see what you said, and you get credited. This is an honor not to be abused. When you retweet something, take the time to make sure it doesn’t suck.

11. When @inkyelbows retweets one of your tweets, you’ll know you’re getting the hang of it. If she promotes something you've written - on your blog, for example - then you've made the big leagues.

This list is illustrative, and not exhaustive, and I hope you find these tidbits useful. If nothing else, I hope you’ll join me in saying “tidbits” aloud – tidbits. There, don’t you feel silly?

Your humble and obed’t Serv’t,
B. Freret

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Reading of "The Hunt"

Someone was kind enough to email me this reading of my Metazen photo caption contest entry, "The Hunt."

I don't know what to say. I am honored that this is my 100th post. Thank you!

Humbled, I am
B. Freret

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Amy Winehouse and Operation

Upstairs in bed, with my ex boy,
he’s in the place, but I can't get joy,
thinking on you in the final throws,

this is when my buzzer goes

- Amy Winehouse, You Know I’m No Good

How unsettling would that be, if she actually buzzed upon fruition? Like a mechanical door buzzer from a bygone era, buzzzzzzzzzzzzing along until the fingertip, numb from pressing the black spring loaded Bakelite button, relents?


Nothing says sexy quite like the prospect of hopping into bed with a female variation of the Operation game patient, one that buzzes to indicate success rather than failure.

Actually, an Operation-type setup could prove useful for some, if not many, as a training tool: if a buzzer sounded when moving away from the target, she wouldn’t have to utilize the tried and true method of calling out, “You’re getting warmer! You’re getting warmer! Awww, now you’re getting colder...”

And maybe she then she wouldn't have to rely on Specialist cards, for do-overs.

Respectfully, I remain

B. Freret

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Honorable Mention for "The Hunt"

The Hunt, my Metazen photo caption contest entry, was honored with a "Notable Entry" designation!

The winning entry was penned by my new friend Finnegan Flawnt, the other entries of note by Nora Nadjarian, Ani Boghossian, Cyn Kuhn, and Matthew Hamilton: I am, at least in this regard, in good company, and I am honored.

Humbly, I remain,
B. Freret