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Posts Tagged ‘@stephenfry’

Revealed: The Most Beautiful Tweet Ever Tweeted (At Least, According To Stephen Fry)

The most beautiful tweet the world has ever seen has been announced by @stephenfry at The Hay Festival (@hayfestival), an annual literature event that takes place in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, in Wales.

It’s cute. The winner, Marc MacKenzie (@marcmack), is from Canada, and entered no-less than 35 times. You can read all of his entries here.

A little excessive, perhaps. When asked about this approach, MacKenzie explained that it “was hard to choose one as when I come up with a good one, I’m proud of them.”

(Source: BBC.)

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Twitter Gets More Direct With Letting You Know When You’ve Been Blocked

This may not be a very new development, but it’s new to me.

Last year I wrote quite a popular article informing users how to work out if somebody has blocked them on Twitter. Well, that information is now a little dated, as Twitter has provided us with a much easier way to tell if you’ve been blocked – just click on the follow button.

That’s all it takes. If you’ve been blocked by that user, Twitter will tell you. I tried it on @stephenfry, and here’s a screenshot of the message I received.

Twitter Gets More Direct With Letting You Know When You've Been Blocked

There it is in black and white – this user has blocked you from following them.

Nice and simple, definitely. However, this will inevitably lead to more spats on the network, as people take offense to being blocked by their idols and peers. Sometimes, for no apparent reason.

(Hat-tip to Peter for the spot.)

A Look Back At 12 Months Of Twitter (Part One)

Twittercism celebrates its first birthday today. It’s been a fun time, and if you’ll excuse the self-indulgence, I thought it might be interesting to look back at some of the key posts and themes – as well as the goofs and misfires – of the past 12 months.

It also functions nicely as a timeline of the change and development within Twitter over this period.

This is part one of two posts.

(Note: this is a very long post. If you want the tldr version, it’s ‘stuff happened’).

February 2009

The very first post on Twittercism asked whether Stephen Fry, who at the time was the third most popular user on the network behind Barack Obama and the then unofficial CNN Breaking News account, would ever be caught by any other bonafide celebrities.

The incident that would come to be know as, "Do you remember that time when Stephen Fry got trapped in a lift?"The incident that would come to be known as, “Do you
remember that time when Stephen Fry got trapped in a lift?”

Well, yes. A year later, and despite adding over a million followers, Fry has dropped to a relatively lowly 151 on the network. He’s still enormously popular, but as Twitter itself gained significance and started to attract more A-list celebrities it was always going to be difficult for Stephen to compete with the bigger American names.

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Alan Davies And Stephen Fry: When Celebrities Fail At Twitter

UPDATE: Shortly after publishing this post, Stephen Fry decided to block me. I have no idea why he felt this was a necessary course of action, but it nicely underlines one of the main points I’ve made in this piece and consistently since Twittercism started: that being, how the naivety of celebrities in these largely uncharted waters of one-to-many online social interaction with the (shudder) public is as much to blame for any negative attention they receive as the ill-will of the collected masses.

I have no idea if Fry read my piece, or simply felt I posed enough of a threat by daring to mention Alan Davies in a negative light (one hopes he was proactive and actually did a bit of detective work). And being frank, I’m not sure it really matters: by blocking me, it’s essentially the same as if he’d left Twitter and never returned, as he briefly proposed to do. Twitter, for me, is now a no-Fry zone.

###

You’ve no doubt been following the furore surrounding Stephen Fry’s announcement that he was considering leaving Twitter, after a user declared him to be ‘boring’.

Alan Davies And Stephen Fry: When Celebrities Fail At Twitter

There’s actually more praise than criticism within that tweet, but one thing you can never do to a working celebrity is announce that they are dull. Fry, who suffers from bipolar disorder and was in his own words in quite a low mood, took the communication very much to heart.

Alan Davies And Stephen Fry: When Celebrities Fail At Twitter

A full 12 hours passed between this last tweet and his next, and in this time his fans and supporters went a little bit… crazy. @brumplum was repeatedly and at times viciously attacked by hundreds of people on the Twitter network.

These outbursts included the participation of Fry celebrity chum and QI contestant Alan Davies, who after stating that @brumplum was a moron, then went on a mad tirade at anybody who dared to pick him up on it.

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So Ashton Is The First To One Million Followers. Will Oprah Be The Fastest?

It’s official, and it’s finally over: Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) is the first Twitter user to boast one million followers. At the time of writing, he’s added about another fifteen thousand to that total.

The Kutchers

@cnnbrk – which only this week became an actual CNN account – looked the clear favourite for a long-time, but some serious buzz around Kutcher over the last 48 hours saw him take the prize with relative ease.

To his credit, Kutcher has donated $100,000 of his own money to MalariaNoMore.org, and others added more to his pot. We can be as cynical as we like about celebrity charity, but it’s a nice gesture. He didn’t have to do it.

Kutcher, alongside wife Demi Moore (@mrskutcher – who still looks absolutely amazing), and friends, sent out a live, streaming video about the time he hit 999,000 followers, and this definitely helped push him over the edge. (Watch a recording of the video here.)

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Twitter: The Best Of The Week (March 21-27, 2009)

These are the best Twitter stories of the past seven days. Did you see all this cool stuff?

(This is a new weekly feature. Click here for last week.)

Happy Birthday Twitter!

Twitter turned three years old on Saturday, 21 March, and much celebration was to be had. The party was great, wasn’t it? All that free beer and food, the dancing girls were amazing, and that preview of Iron Man 2 was unreal.

What? Oh. Ah. Awkward. Maybe your invite ended up in your spam folder?

The 14 Types of Twitter Personalities

Allegedly, there are fourteen different kinds of personality on Twitter. Which one are you? Click here to find out.

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Celebrities Who 'Get' Twitter, Celebrities Who Don't

Earlier this week on his BBC radio show Chris Moyles (@chrisdjmoyles) waxed lyrically about Twitter, which he does fairly regularly, going on about how he totally gets it while other celebrity users of the service do not. He singled out Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) as an example. Izzard, he says, doesn’t get Twitter.

I found this interesting. Because Moyles doesn’t get Twitter, either. But Twitter gets him.

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One Million Followers On Twitter? Big Deal. (Perhaps A Very Big Deal Indeed.)

Since I last wrote about the Twitter top 100 users (by popularity) there have been a few changes in the top ten.

Stephen Fry, who was looking a possible favourite for the overall number one spot just a month ago, has slipped from third to ninth. I’m not sure if there’s been any genuine backlash or whether other more world-famous celebrities have been more readily-followed by newcomers to the network, but he’s definitely lost momentum.

The Twitter top 100 (March 14, 2009)

Barack Obama held the number one position quite comfortably this time last month but he’s now been overtaken by the CNN breaking news account (@cnnbrk), although I wouldn’t expect this to continue indefinitely for a couple of reasons. One, that @cnnbrk isn’t actually that good at breaking news, and two, it doesn’t have the global appeal and eagerness to follow you back that Obama’s team does (Mr President doesn’t actually tweet himself). At the time of writing @cnnbrk is following just one other user, some guy called James Cox. Why is this so? (I’ve asked Mr Cox, but have yet to receive a reply.)

A few other celebrities have moved up the leaderboard in the last fortnight, notably @aplusk and @jimmyfallon, and the @twitter account has, possibly rightly-so, entered the top three, but what I want to focus on within this article is the great leaps most of the main Twitter users have seen in their total follow counts.

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Tweeter, Know Thyself: Using External Applications To Track Your Status On Twitter

When Twitter opened their API in 2008 the web exploded with all manner of tools and applications that took information from Twitter and manipulated it in various ways. Good examples of this are TweetDeck, Twhirl and the numerous mobile interfaces that are available on the iPhone, Blackberry and pretty much every other handset, too.

Recently we’ve seen a wave of analytical tools become available for Twitter and in this post I’ll take a look at three of the better ones: Twittercounter, Twitalyzer and Twitter Grader.

Twittercounter

Twittercounter.com bills itself as ‘the ultimate Twitter statistics provider’ and it certain packs its weight when it comes to analytics.

Twittercounter.com

Enter your username and the site will quickly provide you with a wealth of information about your account, including a prediction on your number of followers (tomorrow, and the next 30 days, although this can be modified to any number you like: try looking 3650 days, or ten years ahead! :) ), your daily average growth, where you rank in the Twittersphere (by popularity), and so on.

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Celebrities Who Are Failing @ Twitter

In an article in today’s Observer,  David Mitchell waxes fairly eloquently about the reasons he was drawn to Twitter in the first place (essentially, to usurp an imposter pretending to be him, which seems to have been the case for several celebrity appearances of late and, of course, as time passes, will increasingly become of import), and why, a heady 34 days later, he still isn’t really getting it.

Mitchell isn’t alone. I like the guy – at least, on his endless television appearances he comes across as being essentially okay -  but the reason he isn’t getting Twitter is the same reason numerous other Twitterslebs aren’t getting it either: they’re not making the required effort.

Wikipedia, of which Mr Mitchell is a fan, describes Twitter as “…a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.” Seems fair enough. But what Twitter really is, essentially, is a giant chat room. One that affords the user the luxury of defining both whom they wish to listen to, and whom they wish to hear them speak.

Of course, for your common or garden celebrity, the latter is all that really matters. It’s certainly true that all it takes to build an almost instant following in the tens of thousands is to be remotely famous. The more famous you are, the more you can quickly expedite that number to the glory of the top 100 most followed Twitter users. Not that you would imagine many celebrities really care about, and are even aware, of that. (Nor should anyone else, really. There’s a certain faux-credibility that comes with being in the top 100 list on Twitter – or at least there was – even if, in many instances, the actual value of following that user is of some debate.)

But, what many of them are simply not getting is this: Twitter is meant to be a two-way medium. It always was. I mentioned previously my idea that one way for the platform to move forward was to impose a ratio of followers to followed on all new accounts, so, if that ratio was imposed at 1:4, then you could only have 40,000 followers if you followed 10,000 people yourself. That might seem a little radical, but it would certainly mean that your more uneducated public figure would be somewhat forced to ‘get it’ pretty sharpish.

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