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
Posted by FinallyHeSleeps