The Point-to-Point Social Media Project

I like connecting with people. My initial steps into the social media world (Twitter, mostly) were enjoyable in a lot of ways. I connected with funny and nice people I wouldn’t have known otherwise. That seems to be what does it for me — funny, nice. I feel better about things, about the world, when I am around people like that.

This initial group of people I interacted with felt like a community, at least for a short while. I miss that part of it. Yes, we’re around, but we’re not really glued together in any meaningful way.

Twitter is a weird beast to me, and has been for a couple years. It’s like having the radio on in the background. It’s a station you have chosen to dial into, but one you actively listen to intermittently, and often times aren’t paying particularly close attention to at all. Every once in a while you catch something on the periphery of your senses, and zero in, and maybe even briefly engage with a person or a group of people.

It’s not an enriching experience for me. But can it be?

My life is busy, and so are all your lives. That we don’t connect, or that I don’t feel a part of something, is just something I feel, and really no one’s problem but my own.

But, I can choose how I interact with people, and here’s where we get to my idea. I think it’s probably a bad idea. But here it is.

  1. I pick a single Twitter use to interact with over the course of 7 days.
  2. Any tweet that would I have normally sent out to everyone will be directed only to this user.
  3. I will make a point to read and comment on this user’s tweets.
  4. I will still be able to interact with other people on Twitter.
  5. I will not write more than 50 tweets towards my selected user over the course of those 7 days (unless there happen to be interactions and ongoing conversations with them that would inflate that number)
  6. If they ask me for whatever reason to stop, I will stop.

What could be the result of this?

  • We make a connection, or further strengthen an existing connection.
  • I come across as a nuisance, and they ask me to stop, or block me, file a cease-and-desist order, etc.
  • No net effect.

Other potential side-effects:
My non sequiturs normally thrown out into common space might come across strangely to a singled-out user.
“Why are you telling me this, and what, exactly, is this?”

 

So, this project… How would I feel if someone picked me out, and someone did this P2P thing to me?

Man, I don’t know. It could be nice. It could be annoying. It could be a little creepy. It could be all three.

I guess you can choose me for your own P2P project and we’ll see what happens.

Overexplaining Underappreciated Tweets #5

Twitter User:
@ysplotchy

Tweet:
Idea: Spinoff of sadtrombone website. http://www.sadpiano.com/ – plays 1st movement of Chopin’s Moonlight Sonata http://bit.ly/YLBa2
(link to original tweet)

Overexplanation:
It has been a while since of one of my brilliant tweets wasn’t favorited or retweeted by at least one person. Oh, don’t worry. My tweets are still being underappreciated, and most likely will be until the time I reverse the aging process and start starring in photoshoots in Tiger Beat.

This might sound strange, but I was quite happy to see this particular tweet not favorited or retweeted, because I thought my idea was funny enough that I would enjoy overexplaining it.

There’s a website called http://www.sadtrombone.com/ which consists of… well, just go to the damn website and listen to the sound yourself. It’s a clever website, in that it just does one thing — just a “wahhh-wahh-wahh” sound effect.

The language for online interaction has acquired lots of interesting widgets/abbreviations/symbols, a shorthand for communicating. It’s very vibrant, and constantly changing.

You might see someone link to the Sad Trombone site, or simply type [sadtrombone] in plain text to imply the sound effect. Sad Trombone can connote a lot of different things. I will not attempt to unpack the nuances of it here, but trust me, it’s a very fluid signifier. Did I just say “very fluid signifier”? Jeez, someone kick me in the balls, please.

Okay, so basically, Sad Trombone is a very quick way of conveying a potentially complicated emotion/feeling.

Let’s talk about the genius of my tweet. FINALLY.

My idea for Sad Piano is not a web page linking to a three second sound bite, but to the entire First movement of Frédéric Chopin’s Moonlight Sonata. It’s a solemn, mid-tempo song, clocking in at around six minutes.

I love the idea that in the incredibly quick back-and-forth of online communication, a link to Sad Piano will ostensibly slooooow down one’s movement in the online space while he or she is obliged to listen to the Chopin piece in its entirety.

Similarly, imagine seeing “[sadpiano]” at the end of someone’s comment. The reader then must imagine the Chopin piece in real time before he or she can progress onto anything else.

This whole Sad Piano thing reminds of a joke Louis C.K. told in his recent stand-up concert film, Hilarious. He said he wished that people who make the “jerk-off” hand gesture are forced to continue it until they “finish”. He then proceeded to demonstrate this.

Anyways, I probably didn’t word my tweet well enough to convey all of the above. There was probably a better way of putting it. But I liked my idea and I had a very pleasant time overexplaining it to you.

So thank you!

P.S. The website SadPiano.com does not actually exist — another potential reason why people did not recognize the tweet’s genius.

Sad Piano 🙁

The Social Kvetchwork

This is not exactly a movie review, but it will be in parts. And parts of this post will be all over the fucking place.

I sat at home on the night of January 16th. I checked in on my Twitter feed. It seemed like everyone who I followed was tweeting about the Golden Globes (#GoldenGlobes!). They were making snarky observations. I got tired of all the ha-ha’s, and turned on the TV, watched a little of the show.

I strongly disliked it. I might have even hated it. Of course I had to voice my displeasure on Twitter. I tweeted, “I don’t like these people.” I wasn’t being funny, I was registering my unasked-for opinion like a good Internet denizen does.

I logged off and decided to go see The Social Network (TSN) at the LaGrange. And maybe I would write about the movie in one of my blog’s long-abandoned regular features, Two-Buck Schmuck, where I watch films at a second-run theater and comment snarkily about them on my blog.

The irony of leaving a group of people being snotty about the entertainment industry online to go forth with the purpose of being snotty about the entertainment industry online was not lost on me.

The people I gravitate to on Twitter are funny people. I love to laugh. And the person who I am, the person who I used to express more regularly on this blog, is the person that writes on the @isplotchy account on Twitter.

I am also a member of Facebook. I’m on it. But I don’t really care about it. Twitter and Facebook have decimated the blogosphere. I’m not sure which has had more of an effect — probably Facebook. Many once-active blogs are now dormant. Perhaps their typists found whatever need they had to express themselves online satisfied by the Facebook. (NOTE: As I learned in TSN, Facebook used to be called The Facebook, which justifies my prior obnoxious use of the word “The” preceding it up to now, and into the foreseeable future).

I don’t really care one way or the other about the disintegration of the blogosphere, I guess. My involvement in the blogosphere was waning already when everything started shaking up. I mean, I took a long break from my Splotchy.com days (1999) to the start of my blogging days (2007). I don’t have a constant web presence, folks. Where we go, we go.

I guess you could say that the blogosphere has been revitalized somewhat with the explosion of Tumblr blogs, but I just fell asleep as you were saying that.

I thought about blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as I watched the movie. I know it’s impressive how fast and far The Facebook has spread, but, well….. MEHHHHHHHH. This MEH applies to The Facebook and not necessarily TSN. The Facebook has given lots of people a foothold to self-expression on the Internet, where they perhaps might not have had one before. The Facebook has brought people together, too, I suppose. I do not care about these people. Okay, they’re okay. And I am friends with the drummer from the Feelies on The Facebook, which thrills me to this very day. But The Facebook is not to me what it might be to other people.

I liked doing the self-expression myself. And I like self-expression deriving from an amalgamation of my various writings, and hopefully you sometimes can get a sense of my “me-ness” from reading the things I write. And I like linking up with people who are sharing something very personal, interesting, which more times than not I have found in the blogosphere. I like reading good writing. And I connect with people whose writing touches me, reaches out to me, etc. I have felt connections to others on Twitter, I guess, but it’s not quite as rich a connection, if that makes any sense.

You know what? I’m kind of self-involved and self-important on the Internet. It’s true! I like having my own blog. MINE. It’s mine alone. I remember being really pissed at something filmmaker/playwright Neil LaBute contributed to the blog Six Sentences. Here it is, it’s short:

i stand all amazed



it’s astonishing how needy people are. i had no idea. it was a technical advancement like anything else — the microwave or the radio. the blog was born and millions of gasping little voices appeared, spilling out of their journals and crying a chorus of ‘me, me, me!’ so many electronic hands reaching out. some collective ‘i was here.’

I was pissed off when I read this back in 2007. But in some ways, I guess he was right. This blog *is* me saying, “I was here”. On some level I probably realized there was some truth to that. I guess the issue I had with it was, why the fuck *can’t* I say I was here? Why not?

The blog is a way of sharing my creativity, sense of humor, worries, thoughts, etc. How different is that from making a film, writing a book, a song, whatever? And what are other creative endeavors? Aren’t they in some ways a way of saying “I was here.”? Aren’t you conveying your viewpoint of the world? Aren’t you saying, hey everybody, have you thought about it this way, i.e. my way? You know what? Fuck Neil LaBute. I’m still mad at that douchebag.

Because I am operating under a rigid framework on Twitter and on Facebook, I feel like I am just renting space. Okay, this blog is technically running on someone else’s website. OKAY. I WILL GRANT YOU THAT. But do you get how I can think of it as my space (MySpace!)?

But I digress. Or I digressed up until now. Okay, the movie. The review of the movie.

Actually before that, my car ride to the movie. I came to the lovely train tracks in my town, and counted 1, 2, 3 fucking freight trains moving hither and fro (there are a total of four tracks side by side). With only minutes to get to the movie theater, I said to myself, “Fuck that!”, and followed another car who seemed to know where it was going.

Ah ha! I remembered, there was a way of going under the train tracks a half-mile west of where we were. So this car and me, its shadow, went zig-zagging towards the underpass. The car came to a one-way street that it could not turn down. This was the street that led to the underpass, but you had to take a circuitous route to get there. So the car turned left instead of right. And do you know what I did, dear readers? I TURNED RIGHT GOING THE WRONG WAY DOWN A ONE-WAY STREET. I didn’t kill anyone or anything. Was this action-packed driving drama worth all that Facebook/Twitter/Blogging preamble you waded through? OF COURSE it was.

Onward!

The movie was okay. I got tired of Jesse Eisenberg and the Aaron Sorkin dialogue he was forced to spew. It was all like “wabbity wabbity wabbity wabbity” and “wibbity wibbity wibbity wibbity”. Enough with the wibbity wabbities, Sorkin!

Lessee. Justin Timberlake was the Napster guy. Hey, Internet. Hey, everyone who has an opinion. I don’t like Justin Timberlake. I don’t care how talented you say he is. Fuck him and the boy band he rode in on. Okay, he was alright, I guess. But I don’t like the fucking guy. I DON’T.

Ummmmmmmm.

A chunk of the movie takes place in the wintertime. They apparently shot some of the outside scenes when it wasn’t wintertime and/or cold out, and in order to placate viewers who would expect to see the characters exhale visible breath, they CGI’ed the breath. THEY CGI’ed THE BREATH.

I’m done reviewing now.

LOVE,

SPLOTCHY

(and don’t look for Splotchy on Facebook, he is not there)

Overexplaining Underappreciated Tweets #4

Twitter User:
@ysplotchy

Tweet:
@JennaStern Don’t worry. It’s this September you need to worry about. The Month For Procrastinating Terrorists.
(link to original tweet)

The above was a reply to this tweet by @JennaStern:
“1am on 1-11-11. <> …okay. Didn’t blow up. Cool.”
(link to original tweet)

Overexplanation:
I don’t want to complain about the underappreciation of this tweet, so much as explain where it was coming from.

Sometimes I will get good ideas. I will think they are very funny or interesting, but then I won’t ever make them into anything. They don’t come along all that often, but they do come along.

A few days prior to the tweet featured here I had a funny idea about 09/11. Not 09/11/2001, but the month of 09/2011. I imagined a story where a group of terrorists intended to plan another attack against the US, echoing the number symbolism of the attacks in 2001.

However, they were very lazy. They kept on putting things off, because, unlike 2001, they had a lot of time to actually execute the attack. They had a whole month! Who cares — 09/01/2011, 09/30/2011, it would be 09/11 when it happened, dammit!

And so my idea of the procrastinating terrorists was born. We would see them at various points during the month of September where they would be doing ANYTHING but actually doing terrorist things… cleaning their fridge, going apple-picking, whatever.

So, that’s the idea. The chance of me actually putting forth the effort to write or film it was very slim.

But then I saw Jenna’s tweet. Ahh! I could just unleash my funny idea as a tweet. Did anyone realize what I was saying? Maybe not. I don’t know, because I wrote it. It probably is a bit obscure.

I regretted it a bit after tweeting the reply to Jenna. She lives in Brooklyn, and I was making a 09/11 joke. Maybe she has family and friends that died back in 2001. I don’t think I did any lasting damage. She knows I think very highly of her and all that stuff, and wouldn’t say something intentionally hurtful.

Anyways, I’m not complaining at all. I just think the story behind this tweet is interesting and worth overexplaining.

Overexplaining Underappreciated Tweets #3

Twitter User:
ysplotchy

Tweet:
What am I doing for NYE? I’ll attempt to instill an interest in science in my children, I suppose.
(link to original tweet)

Overexplanation:
I wrote this on December 31st, sometime in the afternoon, I think.

As you probably know, my tweet used “NYE”, a popular abbreviation of “New Year’s Eve”.

But wait! WAS I referring to New Year’s Eve?!!!

If you thought so, this tweet probably made little sense to you. But if you were “on the ball” and not “fucking dull stupid” you realized from the remainder of the tweet that in actuality I was referring to this guy:

Yes, it’s Bill Nye, the Science Guy!

It’s okay. People were probably more focused on their NYE plans to get my Nye joke.

Maybe this tweet will be appreciated next year. But I am not counting on it.

Overexplaining Underappreciated Tweets #2

Twitter User:
ysplotchy

Tweet:
“Reap, those little slices of death; Oh how I loaf them.” — Edgar Allan Poe, Baker
(link to original tweet)

Overexplanation:
What went wrong here? I made Edgar Allan Poe a baker, and turned one of his most famous quotes into something a baker might say. How is that not funny?

Original quote: Sleep, those little slices of death; Oh how I loathe them.

Okay, okay, I think using “Reap” instead of “Sleep” was weak. Are there types of bread that rhyme with sleep? That would have been much, much better. I tried thinking of a better rhyme, but was unsuccessful. Reap was the best thing I could think of.

Still… I kept slices of death, and changed loathe to loaf. That was funny, wasn’t it? Yeah, it was. It was indeed.

Overexplaining Underappreciated Tweets #1

Twitter User:
ysplotchy

Tweet:
“Take me hunk, I’m drome!” — Spister Moonerism Brand Novelty Tees
(link to original tweet)

Overexplanation:
Spister Moonerism is a character I invented and have been playing around with for a couple months. As you may notice, the name is a spoonerism of “Mister Spoonerism”. I have had people chortle at the ingeniousness of the name itself (for good reason). That being said, I don’t expect all of my Spister Moonerism tweets to be favorited simply because I made another reference to the name. That is not why this particular tweet is underappreciated.

The briliance of this tweet hinges on my reference to an existing novelty t-shirt:

The source of the humor for the above shirt is that the words “drunk” and “home” are transposed. I believe the implication is that the person is so drunk they are jumbling up their words.

I thought to myself, why not take that shirt, and then spoonerize it! Not only have I transposed the words like the joke, I have also transposed letters! I have doubly transposed the shirt, deflating the original t-shirt’s humor in an original and fundamental way.

And note the added satisfaction of the word “drunk” becoming “hunk”. Does this add a little undercurrent of playful homoeroticism to the tweet? Yes, I think it does.

This tweet was not favorited or retweeted. I think I have sufficiently outlined and overexplained the tragedy of this to you, dear reader.

Overexplaining Underappreciated Tweets

Hey, you! Twitterer! Nee Borp Doobie Crutch! *

As you already know, Favstar is the metric by which the value of tweets is measured. On the site, one can easily identify the number of times a tweet has been celebrated. It can happen in two distinct ways.

1) Favorited – By favoriting a tweet, someone has literally given it a gold star, as if to say, good job, fellow Twitterer! A+!

2) Retweeted – When one is retweeted (aka RT) by someone, the original tweet appears as part of their feed. In this case what they are saying is, “Hey, look at what my smart and/or funny Twitter acquaintance has to say!”

Unfortunately, many tweets are not celebrated with the fervor they so richly deserve. Some terrible tweet by Justin Bieber gets vaulted to the highest echelons of Twitter accolades, while an immaculate, ingeniously-constructed joke languishes in the fetid basement of ignorance and misunderstanding.

You might visit Favstar in anticipation of witnessing the abundant praise lavished on one of your especially chuckleworthy tweets, but… it’s not there! If it’s absent, that means NO ONE has favorited it. NO ONE has retweeted it. The injustice!

I do not offer to correct this injustice. I am unable to do so, unless I buy Favstar and make it work like the world is supposed to work.

What I *can* do is provide a service. Have you felt one or more of your tweets was underappreciated? Did you feel that perhaps maybe your audience was a bit, for lack of a better word, dim, dull, incapable of seeing something FUCKING BRILLIANT?

Here’s what you can do. In an email, provide me the underappreciated tweet, as well as a paragraph explaining the ingenuity of your tweet. Help us to appreciate this underappreciated tweet, my friend. You may contact me on the email address listed on my Blogger profile.

I will post your tweet and explanation on this blog, so everyone will realize what a mistake they made in not recognizing your genius. Better late than never, right?

So, are you with me? Let’s not be underappreciated… Let’s overexplain… TOGETHER!

* Standard informal Twitter greeting

This Blog Got 200,000 Hits About I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit-How-Long Ago

So, this blog got 200,000 hits at some point.

It’s at around 201,000 now. I’d do a screenshot of my Sitecounter, but who really gives a goddamn?

I used to look at my stats a lot. Now, not so much.

These days I mostly get hits from people doing image searches, usually finding something on one of my Unconnected Tuesdays posts. Visits generally don’t last long. Oh, except for the Googlebot. Always with the fucking Googlebot.

I’m past fretting about hits, comparing the hits of one month to the previous month, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

No, I haven’t become serene and calm, free of attachments.

Now I wonder when the hell Rosanne Cash is going to realize how awesome I am and start following me on the Twitter.

Priorities…