Saturday, 29 May 2010

The reluctant tweeter

We’ve heard all about the celebrity tweeters with a million followers, and almost as much about the twitter refuseniks, the people who wouldn’t know a tweet from a pod, a tube or a flickr. What you don’t hear much about are the people inbetween: the part-time, reluctant tweeters. I keep coming across neglected Twitter pages on the internet, made by people who’ve been on Twitter for a year and have managed about five tweets, the last one on 9 November saying they really must get round to using this thing properly. Despite this twittery costiveness they don’t seem to have any problem accumulating followers, people who are hanging on their every infrequent word like truth-seekers waiting for the wise words of a holy man.

This is a roundabout way of saying that I have joined this band of Salingeresque tweeters at

and have managed 7 tweets in just over a month. As you will see I currently have no followers, and no idea how you acquire them. If any tweeters out there would like to break my duck, I think I can promise I won’t be bothering them very often.

Mundane quote for the day: ‘One day is much like another for the desk-bound office worker: life ebbs away, almost imperceptibly, in a blur of meetings and memos and gossip, of coffee-drinking and conferences and sticky summer afternoons when a post-prandial slumber becomes almost de rigueur; and our passage from our thirties into our forties and beyond is accompanied, and given definition, by the complicated movement of pieces of paper from one place to another.’ – Jeremy Lewis, Kindred Spirits


  1. You now have at least one follower. And a reply! You have joined the Twitterati and nothing will ever be the same again.

  2. And then there were eight! At this rate, you will be the Ashton
    Kutcher of Liverpool by Tuesday week.

    As a veteran tweeter, however, I might politely point out that not following anyone is considered very non-U. As someone else said, "If you've got 20,000 followers and aren't following anyone, you're not on Twitter, you're on a megaphone."

  3. Thanks both for the heads up. I'm wondering what I've let myself in for.

  4. What you've let yourself in for? A lot of distraction, and a direct line to what your friends had for breakfast. This is both wonderful and terrible in equal measure.

    It's best with friends: people you know in the real world (but this is my old-timer preference coming out). It's doubly good if you like the minutae of people's lives, or a good grumble. It's like a big, distributed soap opera, where we're all groundlings. It totally made Eurovision, this year, too.

    Oddly, Philip Schofield has written a beginners guide which is actually *quite good*.

    I'm going to resist the temptation to offer you loads of advice. Enjoy yourself. Don't feel obliged to use it in a certain way. Oh, and AL Kennedy is consistently excellent:

  5. Thanks for the tips, Kim. I'll check those out.