I'll sleep when I'm Dead...

I'll sleep when I'm dead... my credo... my motto... my downfall

Friday, February 25, 2011

Favstar - what's the big deal?

It's late, I'm tired, dozing in and out of sleep and I'm a little drunk so this isn't going to be the most coherent post. Fuck it. Enjoy.

"Look at me! Look at me!" pretty much sums up twitter. It's the perfect enabler for the those of us who must be the center of attention, at all times. Whether it's because you grew up with neglectful parents who never showed you the love you deserved or your spouse ignores you because the relationship is dead and neither of you can admit it or you have low self esteem and crave any and all types of personal validation you can get or you're a Comedian or you think you're a Comedian… twitter is perfect for you.

Twitter allows you to run into a crowded party, scream something profound and then wait for everyone to turn around and acknowledge you for saying it. "Look at me! Look at me!" and then watch the attention shift in your direction. Do it a few times and the rush can be addicting. How do you know that people are acknowledging what you're saying?

1) Favorite - The most obvious form of acknowledgment comes in the form of the "favorite" selection. Often called a "star", favoriting someones tweet shows them that you acknowledged it and you thought it was funny or you agree. It lets them know that you read it and approve.

2) Retweets - This is the twitter equivalent of, "Did you hear what John just said?" Telling a joke, that someone thinks is funny enough that they repeat it to their other friends is powerful. It creates the chain letter effect. Retweets are unfairly underrated yet may be the most effective form of twitter validation… which is why they get me so excited I actually pee a little.

3) @replies - Replying to someone's tweet lets them know personally that you read their tweet and have something to say about it. These little conversations can end there or sometimes may lead to friendships... or all out @reply "fuck you" wars.
NOTE: As a rule of etiquette though, if you agree or find something entertaining or funny, it's nice to "favorite" the tweet BEFORE an @reply.

4) Follower count - This is the final say in acknowledgment. Everything you say can lose or gain you followers for whatever reason. Piss someone off and they'll unfollow. If you're not consistent in your posts and they'll unfollow. Don't follow them back (this is a whole other topic all together) and some people will unfollow. BUT if you say something that gets people to retweet or star it, it can lead to new and interesting people. It's like a real life version of the "Sims". Sort of. Not that I've ever played the "Sims"...

This brings me to favstar. I've been asked quite a few times, "What's the big deal with favstar anyway?" Favstar is the means to which people's acknowledgments of your tweets are collected, evaluated and rated. It's the talent show. It's the prom. It's the popularity contest that drives us to say the shit we do. Favstar is crack to the twitter junkie.

Say something, people retweet it, favstar records it. Say something, people star it, favstar reports it. Get 50 or 100 stars and favstar acknowledges it. If someone thinks it's funny enough and they're addicted enough to have purchased the favstar bonus features (which I'm not even going to attempt to get into here), they can crown it "Tweet of the Day". If getting a star or a retweet is like a mini orgasm, then a "Tweet of the Day" trophy is like being invited to an all out Orgy. Plus, give someone a "TotD" and you're almost certainly offered thanks in the form of sexual favors. Not really, but wouldn't that be great?

Favstar also has a Leaderboard where the most active accounts are collected along with the Tweet of the Day trophy winners and recent up and coming tweets. Getting on the Leaderboard is like making the prom court. It's also a great place to go to find some really funny and/or fucked up people to follow.

A lot of times, you'll hear people talk about "starbanging" or "star fucking" someone. This is when they visit your favstar page or your timeline and go through your tweets, starring and retweeting the shit out of your account. This is like walking into an office full of long stem roses... or in my case, the closest thing to sex I've seen in a long time. Getting star fucked will actually bring a tear to my eye and some moisture to the nether regions. "They like me, they really like me". Excuse me, I need a tissue.

The best followers are those that acknowledge they're following you. Their stars, retweets and conversations let all of us twitter junkies know that people are listening and that we're entertaining, disturbing or turning them on. In any case, it fuels the fire. The best way to keep someone talking and taking things to the next level is egging them on. Encouraging the behavior if you will.

I'm a star whore. I love getting them as much as I love giving them. I pass em out like a Pharmaceutical Rep with Viagra pens. Make me giggle, you get a star. Make me gag, you get a star. Make me blush, you get a star. Make me cum, you get a star. I've even got a sheet of stickers in my purse. Not really, but wouldn't that be great?

In conclusion… Star, Retweet, Reply. In that order. Let em know you're listening and you're enjoying.

- Angie @getoffendedcom

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm Losing my Best Friend...

I bought my house when I was still in college. It's a three bedroom two-story, so back then a single girl and her dog didn't need all that space let alone have enough furniture to fill it. I lived here for three years all by my lonesome and I hated it. Then, by a twist of fate, by bestie broke up with her boyfriend of nearly a decade when she found out he'd been cheating on her for years, the piece of shit. She moved out of his place and needed a place to stay. What started out as a "sleepover girl night" became "let's buy a bed for the other bedroom." She's been here seven years now and is my closest friend and like a sister to me. She's been here in the next room so long that I just assumed it would always be this way. About a week ago, she told me that she was planning on moving out. She felt it was time to "grow up, join the rest of the adults, and buy her own house". I figured in this market, she'd be here for a while and I'd deal with it when the time came… She closes on her new house Friday. We've done everything together for so long that I really don't know what I'll do without her. She's my constant, my rock. I love her and I'll be lost in this house all by myself. Does she care? Yes she does, which is why it's going to hurt so much and why I'd do anything for her. She's only going to be a couple of miles away, but it may as well be half way around the world when I need someone to curl up on the couch with and make fun of cable till 3am. The saddest part is I truly think she feels the same way. It's been Angie and Annie against the world as far back as I can remember. Her boxes are packed and the U-Haul will be here in 2 days. I plan on spending as much time with her as I can. I keep joking that if I'd agree to sleep with her she'd stay and we could rent out her new house. I'm not gay, but at this point, I'd be willing to take a few for the team to keep her close. Could this get more depressing? I bought another dog today. He's a lab mix and we (yep, "we") named him Toby. Before you know it, I'll be crazy dog lady. I love you Annie and I'm proud of you. I'll miss you but I know you need this. One last non-lesbian-platonic-scissor before you go? Thought so.

- Angie @getoffendedcom

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Twitter: Why I'm Sleep Deprived

When I was approached to run our Twitter account at GetOffended, at first I was hesitant. I don't even have a facebook account. I honestly hate the new media stuff and have always preferred to interact with other people over a pint of Guinness. Now don't get me wrong, I use email, love my cell phone and have even been known to Skype while I'm traveling, but it's more productive than social. I'm the bubbly chick with the loud mouth and the comments that most people would filter before saying not the texting twit you see at the traffic light with her latte. It took some convincing but I finally agreed but only if two other people here at work helped out.

I had no idea what Twitter was less than two months ago. I'd heard about it, mostly from Tosh.0, but that was the extent of it. A co-worker, Travis, set up the account under the pretense that three of us would tweet on it including me, a single, snarky 33 year old girl in an adult's body. It literally took two weeks before we were able to rack up 100 followers, 90 of which were bots.

I think I should put a little background in here, just so you can understand why we did this. I work for GetOffended.com. It's a website that's been around for more than a decade which deals primarily in offensive t-shirts and stickers. The website is actually an off-shoot of the original venture, "The Glossary of Perversion". As the story goes, in the mid eighties, a group of friends made it a normal drinking game to sit around, describe and make up disturbing sex terms... the "Angry Dragon", the "Cincinnati Taco Chop", the "Sunny Side Up", the "Donkey Punch", etc, etc. These disturbing and disgusting terms started to take on a life of their own. Then one day, while sitting at an Applebee's in Cincinnati, Ohio in the mid 1990's, they heard a table behind them mention a "Donkey Punch" and start laughing. What the fuck? A couple years later, one of the group heard a "Cleveland Steamer" mentioned at a frat party in Tennessee when he was visiting his girlfriend... What the fuck? The terms had somehow made their way out of their basement and into the world. Seven degrees of Kevin Bacon? Apparently. The "Glossary of Perversion" was born. This dictionary of sex terms was started back in 1994 by our owner and his college roommates. This was years before the Urban Dictionary and the various other knock offs that are all across the web now. Remember, this was all years BEFORE the internet. Back then, the only way to spread stuff like this was through underground magazines and word of mouth. They printed up their Glossary and sold it for beer money.

Get Offended.com was started by the same group of guys, tired of the same old everyday t-shirts. Someone said, "Man wouldn't it be funny if we had t-shirts that said 'Donkey Punch'?" Every time we said it, people replied "I want one if you make'em". Well, that's all it took. We decided to bring it to the masses. The site went live in 2001 with a select group of 10 terms we were especially proud of.

Within two years it exploded. 2003 was marked, "The Year of the Dirty Words". Not only did every one of our made up major terms get mentioned on Howard Stern but the terms "Dirty Sanchez" and "Donkey Punch" were both mentioned on the MTV Music Awards! We like to think we had a part in that as well. We also were doing a lot of radio interviews and sponsorships... We were heard on the air in Ohio, New York, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, California, and Illinois.

Over the last eight years we've seen highs and we've seen lows. We've stuck it out, fought tooth and nail for the little corner of fucked-up-dom that we maintain. But, alas, we had fallen prey to a market that was moving in a new direction. New media is now ruling the web. If you don't have a facebook page and a twitter account, you're not seen as relevant. Henceforth, "Next item of business… Angie, you're going to run our twitter account."

Back to the year 2010. In order to help our Christmas sales, and increase site traffic, we opened a facebook page and the twitter account. My "boss", Travis set up the profiles and all settings for the accounts while I spent hours online researching how to bolster a following and increase traffic. We tried everything from buying traffic to followback promotions. All the ideas resulted in temporary followers… none of which were in our target market. We were actually tweeting promotions and ads for our stuff. Looking back, there's no wonder it was failing.

For some reason Travis started using the Twitter account to follow some of his favorite boxers because it wasn't working for anything else. (Side note, we're all big boxing fans here at the office. Even those who don't like sports have gotten into it over the years, for the drinking during fight night if nothing else). Tweeting with other boxing fans and a few boxers started generating followers. Then we added in some soccer clubs (I loves me some soccer). Twitter was getting fun, but still not adding any traffic to our site.

I believe it was the week before Christmas, when I stumbled across Jenny Johnson (@JennyJohnsonHi5) on twitter. Three of us spent a couple of hours going through her timeline of past tweets... giggling, laughing and losing it. This chick was the funniest shit we'd seen in years. This took us in a different direction. From here we started following some of our favorite comedians which included Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt), Marc Maron (@marcmaron), Lisa Lampenelli (@lisalampenelli), Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy), Sarah Silverman (@sarahksilverman) Louis C.K. (@louisck) and Bo Burnham (@boburnham). Then we started posting the most disturbing, funny and raunchy shit we could come up with. This was when the addiction started to kick in.

I started spending all day with the twitter feed running in the background. Working on other stuff and twitter at the same time. We started to get real followers, not just people following just to get us to follow them back… get your free iPad stuff. The first person who I think actually laughed at one of our tweets and helped us break through was Bad Advice Nurse (@BadAdviceNurse). Thank you Bad Advice Nurse, if it weren't for you, we may have walked away from all of this after Christmas.

When we started to get a few people that were following us and retweeting our stuff on a regular basis, we broke the account into two separate accounts. @getoffendedcom run by me and @getoffendedBone run by Travis. Our other cohort decided she would spend her time in Facebook. This made things less confusing and allowed the two of us to try to divide and conquer.

Christmas came and went. I started spending nearly eight hours of my work day on twitter reading posts and tweeting every little thing that popped into my head. I tried to be funny and witty but felt like I was failing miserably. Then I started tweeting about my frustrated sex life and my love for my Rabbit Vibrator. Fuck it, I figured I'd use it like my personal soapbox. Air my frustrations to the world and rationalize my libido and lack of dates as twitter fodder… it was ok because it was for work.

I don't know exactly when it happened, but around the first of the year, I became full blown addicted. Not since the late nineties when I would spend all hours of the night in chat rooms like Bianca's Smut Shack have I been this enthralled in the internet. The difference is, this time I'm sort of being paid to live this life. Lucky me.

Through the month of January, I let loose. I started tweeting everything, holding nothing back. No filter, no worries… it is liberating to say the least. Also, somewhere along the line, I've been making friends. There's a handful of people that I socialize with on the side. We send direct messages back and forth, just chat about dating and what's going on. They've become my twitter family.

Beyond the social, there's a larger community of people that make up the heart of my twitter. These are the funniest, most entertaining souls I've been privy to since college. They inspire me. They encourage me. They keep me honest. They keep me sane. All of this since December of 2010. Addicted? Yes. Romanticizing? Maybe.

Did I mention favstar? Favstar is the best and worst part of my twitter. When you tweet something that others like, they can "star" it, which in essence is like the new media version of a "laugh" from someone. They can also Retweet it which is the new media version of "did you hear what Angie said?" Add in "Tweet of the Day" picks and 50/100 "Favstar" mentions and it's a little like a High School lunchroom. But, like High School, it's hard not to get sucked into this popularity contest.

I'm going to try to keep posting about my Twitter experiences here. It's hard to express how much I enjoy it when you are required to keep your thoughts coherent 140 characters at a time. There's so much more that I'd love to get into… Follow Friday, Trending, Hashtags, Favstar, Followback, etc. We'll save that for another day.

I want to end with a few mentions… and I know now that I'm not going to even attempt to mention everyone, but here are a few that I can't forget.

Thank you for being there since the beginning: @BadAdviceNurse @java_chris @F00tballSux @willoffendyou and @getoffendedBone

Thank you for keeping me sane & giggling
(you should be following): @hotmommabits @funsizdprincess @0214inFL @slyoung5 @zip_it_zippy @SugarTits84

Thank you for keeping the funny going
(are you already following?): @JennyJohnsonHi5 @BadAdviceNurse @ShittingtonUK @amyschumer @colinkane @YeahImAshley @willoffendyou @moshekasher @BoobsRadley @kellyoxford @TheThryll @meganamram @RobSprance @shelbyfero @kammygibbler @Slashleen @YUCKYBOT @momfia @andreaseigel @rodney_at_large @tackie_jackie @dietredbull @UNTRESOR @lunchyprices @LittleHarmonica @robdelaney @ChelseaVPeretti
and @nirvana68

AND, I can't forget the following
(You should be following them too!): @thebestmonkey @JillMorris @MrsVitch @MisterPrankster @Cacheinhand @knotta_tardfan @sheepie91 @violetsiva @BillMc7 @SedateMeNow @angrylittlebee @CelticWombat @tamytoo2 @Cocaine_Dealer @PlatinumShower @ArtIsMyPorn @minionzero @cant_win @lifeinsandbox @BohoPoetGirl @Cherhole @Molly_Kats
and @vagstar

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's all Angie's Fault...

We drew straws here at the office and it's Angie's turn to write in the Blog. We've been so busy since Christmas prepping things for 2011, that we've let the blog slide. Since she's the quietest here at the office, we're blaming it on her...