I am @iaintait on Twitter. And I do not have 1,000 Google Wave Invites to give away.
I don’t even have a Google Wave invite for myself.
Since yesterday afternoon I’ve had thousands of people from all around the world re-tweeting #iaintait and sending me @iaintait messages asking for one of my supposed 1,000 Google Wave invites.
It’s kind of rendered Twitter unusable for me right now. Certainly if anyone tried to have a conversation with me using @iaintait there’s no way I can find it.
So, how did this start?
Yesterday morning @ihavenomouth tweeted this:
I don’t know if he meant to turn me into a hashtag or not. So I replied:
Which of course, in retrospect, to a bunch of people I know was like a red-rag to a bull:
There was basically a bunch of pisstaking going on, so I replied:
Then a couple of hours later. Mark ‘bloody’ Earls (@herdmeister) posts this:
And that my friends, is how it all started…
At its peak yesterday I was told there was a mention of #iaintait every 10 seconds on Twitter. And not only is it the hashtag that’s being sent around, people are now responding to @iaintait which makes Twitter kind of unusable right now. I’m guessing it’ll die down over time. But I thought that when I went to bed and it looks like we’re ramping up for the day:
Stupidity is alive and well.
Chain letters / emails / tweets still seem to suck people in
Google Wave invites are hot shit
It is IMPOSSIBLE to put the genie back in the bottle
It’s strange feeling ‘viral’ in that way
@herdmeister owes me a beer (or 1,000 wave invites)
The piece itself is pretty good. But it’s the comments underneath that are the telling bit. It’s full of the usual nonsense and lots of people moaning that Twitter is this year’s Friends Reunited blah blah blah.
But you know what, to me it doesn’t matter. Twitter is a real thing. It’s something that people are using and enjoying, and it’s changing the way that lots of people spend big chunks of their connected time. Surely anything that affords change in this way can never be seen as a total waste of time?
This piece on Murketing makes some really interesting points about the point of pointlessness. Here’s a flavour of the piece:
Yes. Twitter freaks don’t want to say, “Look, I’m just messing around. I’m goofing off. Yes, it’s a waste of time, but that’s the whole point.” Instead you get the stuff about Twitter being more important than CNN, or about new forms of community, or truth-to-power revolution, and like that. And yeah those arguments can sort of be backed up by examples — but so can counter-arguments about banality and narcisissm.
If it is play, why not just say so? Why not just say it’s fun? After all, one of the reasons “play” is always in vogue in certain business magazines is that it really is important to creativity — taking yourself out of the routine makes your thinking less rigid, etc.
These guys are working their way through every console Mario game and attempting to collect every star on every level. At this moment in time they’re 66 hours in and doing pretty well. They’ve raised over $22k so far. If you’ve never played any of the Mario games you’ll have no idea the enormity of the quest they’ve committed too.
Last night they had the 2nd most trending topic on Twitter, but that seems to have died down now unfortunately. But you can help to get it back up there by tweeting with the hashtag #mariomarathon – plus if you tweet with that hashtag you’ll be entered into a draw to win the contents of one of their “Mario Schwag ? Boxes”. Hooray.
The whole thing is being streamed live on ustream.tv. People who donate or tweet about it are getting shout-outs on the air. They’re mucking around. They’re having fun. A bit like Tim’s thing that I posted the other day. There’s something about this that just feels DIY and super-excellent.
Of course there’s examples of brands having done this kind of thing too. Diesel’s Heides campaign, and also the movieboy campaign for The Sun. But brands and agencies always seem to overcook it (just a bit), hell we’ve done it too. It’s only natural. We want it to look slick. To convey the values of the brand. To be laden with the clients’ lovely juicy messaging. We feel like we need to use ALL the social services. We overly worry about moderation and the list of mistakes goes on.
Mario Marathon is how the real world works. Stick it on a site. Use stuff that’s out there and away you go… FUN TIMES!
Some of the excellent geeks at Poke have hacked together / masterfully crafted BakerTweet. It’s a wonderful hardware / software solution for alerting people to the latest oven output from the Albion bakery.
It’s a wireless Arduino thing that can be customised via a web interface to allow for various custom messages to be Twittered at the twist of a dial and the push of a water/flour-proof button.
What’s brilliant is The Albion actually using it. And it actually works.
Fingers crossed they keep it up and they see a significant rise in flash sales.
If you live or work in the Redchurch Street / Shoreditch High Steet area you can now follow @albionsoven on Twitter and be told when the freshest baked goods have dropped. But you’ll have to be quick I just heard they’ve had a run on buns.
If you’ve not seen Twitterfall it’s quite nice. It streams in Twitter messages with certain keywords in real time. It makes twitter feel like a bit joined up community (which it isn’t really). What really freaked me out was watching it during the Gmail outage so I grabbed some video of what it looked like:
It’s strangely compelling to watch. In spite of the complete drivel that’s being poured onto the internet.
In the 9 minutes or so that I was capturing this the number of messages in the queue went from zero to 1,800. That’s more than 3 people a second assuming that Twitterfall capture everything. All whining about the same stuff.
I think it’s the first time I’ve really ‘felt’ the scale of Twitter. It was a bit overwhelming really. I dread to think what it’d be like to feel the pressure on the Googleplex.
Thanks to Jonathan for pointing out the Twitterfall.
There’s this campaign right, it’s called Compare The Meerkat, it’s for an insurance comparison website called Compare The Market, the ad is a bit funny. I could try and describe it, but it’s easier to show you:
Yes it’s all about a word gag. But it works. It’s embedded itself in my head. Ask me to think of a comparison website right now and I know what I’ll think of first. Well not actually right now, because I’m writing about it so I’d obviously think about it first, but generally I think it’s done a good job of using a weird device to get me to think about meerkats when I think about comparing. So psychologically they’ve done a smart thing – I think.
The numbers raise a load of questions…
On YouTube the ad’s not had loads of views. Does that matter?
No idea of traffic to: http://www.comparethemeerkat.com/ – it’s a pretty basic site, but there’s no point in spending any more on it really, it does it’s job as a spoof.
And there are over 1,000 wall posts – that’s pretty phenomenal in my book – given the fact that it’s just a novelty thing
But here’s where it gets a bit fishy…
Aleksandr Orlov (the Meerkat) started following me on Twitter a while ago. And if you go and look at his Twitter page he’s following a huge number of very well-followed people… Dave Winer, Biz Stone, Om Malik, Tom Coates, Evan Williams, Jason Calacanis, etc. etc. etc. And he’s following 2,000 people with 1,800 followers which just isn’t natural, is it?
I’m not sure what the ethics of this kind of thing are. Or why it bothers me so much. All I know is that it makes me feel a bit yucky. And stops me from liking Meerkats.
Whoever is playing the part of Aleksandr is working it pretty hard. And doing lots of @replies. Which isn’t a bad thing when you’ve got a character that people like. It’s just the follower-spamming I find a bit scary.
In my personal bit of Twitter it felt like there was a lot of talk of snow, trains and snowmen. The thoroughly awesome Twist proves that it was a global trend. Why had no-one alerted me to Twist before? It’s fantastic and does all kinds of trending around Twitter. For some reason I couldn’t embed a live verison of the graph – but here’s a link to it.
I was astonished to find that the Superbowl had around 8% of Tweets on Sunday at 1am!
But blow me! Snow had 11% of Tweets on Monday morning at 9am. God bless the Brits and our fantastic ability to talk about the weather. Makes you proud doesn’t it…
Slightly Embarrassed Edit: Of course it did snow elsewhere in the world and I’m not claiming that it was just BritTwit that caused the snowspike. Well pointed out James.
This Twist thing could really take over my life. I must step away…