Archive for Twitter

Twitterature. The World’s Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter: Book Review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

Twitterature:The World’s Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter. Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin, Penguin, 2009

When a Penguin endorses a book it’s got to be sooo cooollll !!!!

These dudes, teenies, Bros, college kids got a great idea

Turn great books into tweets. Turn tweets into a book. Simples.

To high acclaim by giants of uncool like Wall Street News.

Some books survive the tweatment better than others. Moby Dick is cool. Check it out. They avoid the obvious pun. Thanks for that, guys

Other tweets are NSC. You would know what NSC means if twas in the v handy glossary. Only it isn’t. I just made it up it. It means Not So Cool.

@TudorTweet Is it true that Penguins all fall over when a helicopter goes past, thus thwarting efforts to get good Flickr?

Thinking: these Emos have been touched by the Columbian marching powder. ARE THEY FOR REAL [SHOUT]?

Thinking: can I guess which stuff they got from one of these v useful synopses freely available anywhere still where Mr Murdoch lets you surf?

Thinking: Great idea. Great glossary. Worth buying for glossary but see below

There is this artist. He just won the Turner prize for painting stuff so fragile that he melts it down after a first showing. What’s the word on the tip of my …

… Ephemeral?



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

I have consistently refused to join Twitter, but with help from friends I can’t help noticing its remarkable and growing influence on everyday life.

Recently, Albert drew my attention to Twitter Haiku. I assume it was from Albert. I recognized the tell-tale smeary trail across the window pane. A smail of few words, Albert had set a terse question: “Twitter Haiku?”

Twitter Haiku? Why not, I wondered. Twitter seems an admirable medium for poets. Its favoured son Stephen Fry adores poetry. The one hundred and forty characters rule hints at a near-perfect burst of arrows. Fourteen lines with ten bits a line: the ancient stable for a sonnet. Why not write Haiku and post them to Twitter?

Why not indeed? And call them Twaiku. Yoko Ono recently judged a Twitter Hiaku competition:

To submit haikus, commuters have to place the prefix @kingsplace so their entries will be picked up by the Kings Place Twitter account. The best contributions are then moderated and appear within minutes on the largest digital billboard at the station. The initiative has been launched by Kings Place, a cultural and conference centre, situated in Kings Cross.

The winner was Simon Brake, a London commuter and designer.

A Haiku has a purity that defies tyrants and spies alike. Maybe Twitter will embrace Haiku. Long may Haiku reveal their truths in a confusing and threatening World.


Writing a Haiku
Lines on autumn papyrus
Converge. Star streams

Waters paint the land
With lead grey strokes. Arches yield,
Expire. Patience

The Reluctant Twitterer

Asking the Big Questions: The Key to Viral Marketing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 12, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

Thomas Gray

The famous Twitter question is ‘What are you doing’? This is a brilliant question. You could say it is the key to viral marketing. Here is a list of six virally potent questions.

What are you doing
What are you writing
What are you thinking
What are you hoping
What are you reading?
What are you twittering


What are you doing?
Doing Hamden stuff while Cowell visits the next village

What are you writing?
Writing is no longer penned. It’s thumbed

What are you thinking?
Thinking is OK but it messes up fantasies

What are you hoping?
Hoping beats coping: Dreamers 1 fixers 0

What are you reading?
Reading W H Auden. Reading 1 riding 0

Twittering beats flittering: Birds 1 bats 0

Albert and the Magic Towel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 1, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

Magic Towel

Albert left another snail message last night. He prefers to work at night. His snail trail appears on the window in the morning. As the message fades, if I close my eyes I can hear Albert’s rather raspy rumbly voice outside.

Today his message was


I shut my eyes and listened carefully

“I found a magic towel” Albert said “A long way away. It took me three snail days travel to get there. I don’t think even little pink ant or the bee detective could have found it. They move more quickly. But speed isn’t everything. Oh, no.”

“Tell me about the magic towel?” I asked. “What’s it got to do with anything?”

Albert sound pleased with himself because I was so puzzled. “It’s another bit of the jigsaw. At first, you had no one to help you. Now you have the best snail detective in the garden snailiversery.. and the pink ant, and the Queen bee. And maybe now there’s the magic towel”.

“How can a towel help me”

“I’m not sure yet. The towel lives with a family where there is boy and his big sister. And before they go to bed, they creep into the kitchen and look at the towel. The big sister takes down the towel and unrolls it a little to read the story. The story always starts Once upon a time in twitterland. The little boy and his big sister read the story and go to bed and go to sleep, thinking about the story.

“How can that help me?”

“I am going back to find out”. Albert’s voice was fainter. “I just know the magic towel has a story to tell me, as well as the children”.

I opened my eyes. It was nearly light outside. Albert was nowhere to be seen. Is even the best snail detective in the snailiversery going to help me find out what is happening in Twitterland?

O is for Ogden

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 31, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

Ogden Nash

O is for Ogden Nash

O is for Ogden Nash
a poet who was by no means crass

His wordmanglings came from one ornery critter
And I wish he’d been around to star in Twitter

Twitter Thieves

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 27, 2009 by Tudor Rickards


According to a research report, staff who use Twitter are costing UK businesses over a billion pounds (Sterling).

Over half of those surveyed admitted using social networking sites during the working day for personal use. On average those people spent 40 minutes per week on these sites. IT services group Morse, who commissioned the research, said that such online behaviour clearly had a “productivity strain” on firms.

TudorTweet followed up on the BBC news item [but was he at work: RT?]

Shock horror. Workers are using Intranets to get to Twitter. @MBSAlumni

Employees twitter 40 minutes a week. That’s five minutes a day. @BBCHaveYourSay

Twitter costs UK £4 billion p.a. Lib Dems preparing for power? @libdems

Worker tweeting? My kibbutzing suggests Facebook to be a bigger hitter @ Linz425


Workers use intranets to twitter
But Facebook is a bigger hitter
Tweeters weekly thieve an hour
For fun? Or plotting people power

An Ode Too Far? Book Review of Stephen Fry’s “The Ode Less Travelled”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 24, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

The Ode Less Travelled

What better book for The Reluctant Twitterer to review than one about poetry, and written by twitter icon and celebrity supertweeter Stephen Fry?

The Ode Less Travelled sets out to unlock the hidden poet in the reader. It worked for one reader at least. The book started out with one big advantage, and several handicaps. In the folklore of publishing, there are checklists of factors which reduce the chances of a book’s success. A technical diagram, an equation, a mathematical formula would all be mostly on the debit side. The Ode Less Travelled has all three potential barriers to commercial success. On the other hand, these may be out-trumped by a celebrity author.

‘OK, Steven’ I can hear the cornered publisher concede ‘you want us to do your poetry book, we’ll do it. But next time how about an epic journey? How about you follow the American election campaign like Simon Sharma?’ So Stephen gets to do his book on poetry, before the multi-media package of book add TV series for the BBC.

Anyway, The Ode Less Travelled gets published. As I indicated, its declared aspiration is to encourage would-be poets to have a go, and it worked for one reader at least. It got me out of the closet. No, not what you might think. For many years I have been a closet poetry writer. A reluctant poet if you like. Fry addresses just such closet poets as myself with the beguiling argument that it’s OK to be known as a practicing poet. It’s OK particularly because you can write poetry for your own gratification.

Like singing in the bath, you don’t have to be good at writing poetry to feel good about doing it. Indeed, if you are writing for yourself you are also the first and last important critic of your work.

I was given the book as a Christmas present. I dipped into it, not quite in the spirit of self-study advocated by its author. But then, a year later, I became interested in, and began writing about social media.

For whatever reason, my reluctant twittering came out partly in verse. I have Stephen Fry to thank for that.

I don’t know why
But Stephen Fry
was sitting on my shoulder.
Although perverse
I wrote in verse
His book had made me bolder

So there you have it. A satisfied customer. I now go back to the book from time to time for its additional merits as a guide to poetic form. Call me ungrateful, but I also find the book a rather frustrating travel companion. As another poet almost wrote

Ingratitude, more strong than traitor’s arms, then vanquished him

Fry is far too bright to be unaware of the technical difficulties he faced in getting to his alleged goals. He actually refers to the dangers of embarrassing over-chumminess. Well there is a bit of that. More embarrassing for me was the tone of the old school teacher (or quiz-master) jokingly urging his students (panellists) to study (behave) in the correct way. Read Out Loud. Don’t go any further until you’ve Done Your Exercises. [RT @ Stephen Fry on Twitter: #LOL, now its #ROL].

A more disturbing and ungracious thought persists. The book is far too comprehensive. Too much effort has been expended in an effort to cover all the multitude of poetic forms that might be found in a good anthology of poetry. This aspiring poet would have settled for the unravelling of the secrets of the most familiar forms of poetry encountered from childhood. But the book continues remorselessly as Mr Fry introduces us to more and more obscure poetic forms which are close to extinction.

More seriously, he draws on two main sources of illustration. His own efforts, and those of other poets. As he graciously admits, his own verses are there to illustrate basic poetic forms, and make no claims of creative merit.

I took it into my head that SF had hit on a wheeze. Suppose you are indeed a closet poet. You have a notebook full of your efforts, five finger exercises, as well as four finger and three finger ones. And in addition you have the influence to place them with a publisher. Well, I know what I’d do. I’d write the book and include in it all those otherwise unpublishable efforts.

As I said, that’s utterly ungrateful. Perish the thought. Heaven forbid. Just put it down to sheer poet envy.

Tweeters Victorious

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Tudor Rickards


A Remarkable Story. The Battle of Trafigura’s Gag

The story is about an oil company, and its lawyers, and an MP and the Guardian Newspaper, and an injunction, and a burned banana cake

On Monday evening, blogs and the social networking site Twitter buzzed as users rushed to solve the mystery of who was behind the gagging attempt that had prevented the newspaper reporting details of a question tabled by an MP to be answered by a minister later this week. One of the quickest to reveal the full story was a 34-year old human rights activist, Richard Wilson. He was baking a banana cake in his kitchen in London when he first found out about the gag on the Guardian from a message posted on Twitter.
A few minutes of frantic internet searching later he published the fact that the gag related to Farrelly’s questions about Trafigura. He also published the text of the questions itself and became so absorbed in cracking the puzzle, his cake burned to a crisp. He said it was a small price to pay.

“I knew Trafigura were incredibly litigious and I knew Carter Ruck were defending them,” he explained. “I had a hunch, so I went to the website of the parliamentary order papers where they publish all the questions, searched for Trafigura and a question from Farrelly popped up and I tweeted it straight away. It took several tweets and then I pasted in the link”

Oh Lord won’t you send me
The villains’ defeat
Don’t need no injunctions
Just send me a tweet

There’s oil in the desert
There’s oil in the sea
Just tweet to the people
Them slicks not for me

There’s nothing so wicked
So cool and so sweet
So Lord if it pleases
Just send me a tweet

Ballad of Miley Cyrus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

Miley Cyrus

The World as manifest in Twitter was rocked at the news. Miley Cyrus has stopped tweeting, saying it was becoming a drug, affecting her personal life

“I need to be able to live and learn in private. I never want to quit entertaining it is my life, my love, and my passion but I can’t have my personal life be other people’s entertainment. If we spent more time enjoying what we are doing besides tweeting about it, we would enjoy our lives a whole lot more.”

One tweeter does not make a summer, nor one less the start of winter. Already the movement to get Miley back tweeting has taken off through #mileycomeback.

Miley Cyrus
Caught the virus
Caught it real bad

Must admit her
Love of twitter
Made her real sad

Miley Cyrus
Beat the virus
Put it in a sack

Will Country’s fears
And Western tears
Bring our Miley back?

The Mysterious Case of The Reluctant Twitterer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 12, 2009 by Tudor Rickards

Picture 001

It has been several months since the first messages began to appear. It now seems time for an update on the mysterious case of the reluctant twitterer

I am that Reluctant Twitterer, although I have no way of convincing anyone of the truth of that statement. Let’s just say that you can assume that this post has been written by the person responsible for the other contributions to this blog.

There are several recurring themes to be found in earlier posts. Many verses refer to current news stories about Twitter. I have said that I do not have a Twitter name, and I do not tweet directly through Twitter the social media site.

Why should someone so interested in Twitter avoid tweeting directly? Wouldn’t that be the best way to tell other people whatever it is you want to say? Maybe. Maybe I will be persuaded to sign-up on Twitter as a result of what happens in the future.

I have chosen what is obviously a less direct approach. Why? Why should someone be so reluctant? I have decided to leave that question for others to work out. In which case, there are deeper meanings to be discovered, and which are concealed in the posts because of my deeper concerns. The verses, the tags, the images, the themes all may have to be studied to arrive at the deeper message. This would explain the strange and apparently unconnected aspects to be found in the posts.

In one, an appeal was made for a detective to help solve an unspcified problem. Following the appeal, posts appeared about detectives, often connected for some reason to children’s nursery rhymes. Indeed, some of the detectives take on the forms of intelligent creatures such as Albert the Snail, and The Little Pink Ant.

Maybe I have no such deep secret which needs to be told. Maybe this is all a game. Or maybe this is a tale told by a twitterer, full of sound and fury but signifying not a lot. You have to decide for yourself if you want to get involved in the mysterious case of the Reluctant Twitterer.