Wednesday, 25 August 2010

@bertswattermain 's Alternative Follow Friday.. #altff

@bertswattermain came up with this inspired idea.. #altff.  Each week Bert tweets a theme for that week's #altff.. last week it was draw a cartoon self-portrait and tweet it, with the tag #altff.  Those who like what you have done will retweet you as their #altff recommendation.. sweet.

Twitter is stuffed full of talent, it was a real joy to witness.. Here are some of my favourite twitpics from last week's #altff :







This is absolutely fantastic from @the_original_PD , who tells me he isnt known as "Dick Face" for nothing..

Last and definately least.. my effort, complete with little Pickles:

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"Twitterati" and #Duncansfriggindream

Much has been said of late about the so-called "Twitterati".. I believe the term relates to people who have large followings and hence influence on Twitter.. They are usually celebrities or mini-celebrities, or in the case of @fiatpanda, fake celebrities.. They are adored and hated in equal measures..  The adoration is easy to explain, the hating not so easy.. I think it stems from how they do or dont "engage ".  Many of them tweet and never respond to anybody with a low following, they often only tweet back to people they know. Some of them like @SarahBrownUK  follow thousands of people back which on the face of it is lovely.. "Ooh, Im being followed by Sarah Brown"..  but will she ever read your tweets?  Doubtful. That is not because she doesnt want to, it simply isnt practical. 

My recent birthday gave me an insight into the world of the Twitterati... in the half an hour before my birthday began, so did the count-down.. my lovely friends @Ivan_Jelical and @hannmrfitz tweeted how many minutes to go.. then the "Happy Birthday's" began. Oh, it was lovely.. Ive not had so many good wishes sent my way since my wedding. I went to bed having thanked about 20 or so people, big smile on my face.  The next morning I opened Tweetdeck to several more greetings.. I tweeted "out loud".. then it began, I estimated about 50  "Happy Birthday" messages, each of which I answered personally.. we're now on about 80 thank you's.. through the day there were twitpics with Happy Birthday and Audioboos.. along with lots more tweets.. Every time I sent out a tweet, I got about 8 or 9 replies.... It was a fabulous day and Twitter made me feel really special.  It did however, open my eyes as to what the "Twitterati" deal with every day, every time they tweet... no wonder they dont answer everyone personally!  They would literally be there responding all day..

Duncan Bannatyne recently started a silly new hashtag #DuncansDream ,the idea being if you tweet with that hashtag, everyone who sees it will follow you and you follow them back.. Wow, sounds great.. only what have you in common with all these new followers? And why would you want to read their tweets anyway? How on earth anybody can keep up with truly following more than 300 people is beyond me.  I used to religiously read every tweet in my timeline until recently, I simply cannot keep up with it. It is not so much the volume of "out loud" tweets (the ones you send out as a status update), its all the conversations.. People replying to other people who you follow, it takes up at least half of my "all friends" stream. Well, until recently.. I am trying an experiment, I truly hope it works, so far its been great although I have upset a few people. This is what I do now...

I make lists.. all my new followers and new people that interest me are put straight onto a list.. I have lots of lists including :"the quiet lot".. the people who rarely tweet or dont introduce themselves to me, "smut and filth". . ahem... "PNB" potential new boyfriends (well, a girl's got to try) "lovely labourites" and "chatterboxes", the people who talk to me the most.  By splitting people into groups, I ve cut down on a lot of conversations.. so I am now able to scroll through my list views on Tweetdeck and mostly just see the "out loud" tweets again..  I know people are upset that I dont follow them back, but I think this may be the new way forward for me, I am far more likely to notice you and respond now than when my timeline was crammed full of conversations, retweets and hashtag games. 

Following back is lovely, but surely we should just follow people who interest us?  I was amazed to check one of my new followers' profiles the other day, he has 150 followers and has yet to make a single tweet.. people are being polite by following him back but its a bit daft really...

Saturday, 14 August 2010

My love affair with Tweetdeck

Yes, I know you all think that @ericpickled is the love of my life, he does play a very heavy part in it but my true Twitterlove has to be Tweetdeck.

When I started tweeting in December 2009, like many others I suspect,  I didnt really "get" it..  I 'm not one for reading instruction manuals and always work things out for myself so didnt research it at all. More fool me but at least it cut down my tweeting - for a while anyway ; )  Slowly I discovered features like "mentions" and "DM's" Direct messages.. also the Retweet section where I could see if I had a tweet RTd.  All of that took ages though and I found it a chore to reply to people, often having forgotten what tweet of mine they were responding to.

Then, one fine day, a friend installed Tweetdeck for me.  I must say, I was unimpressed.. she jokingly told me it would change my life, she was right!  Suddenly I could easily join in conversations, see mentions, DMs and all friends tweets at the same time. I could add columns to see everything my favourite tweeps had to say and see what they were saying to each other, nosey cow that I am ; )   I can reply to a person hashtagging and the tag appears automatically, saves typing it out again. I could go on.. and in fact I will : )

I have started making pages with more info about how to use Tweetdeck, as they are finished I will link them up to this blogpost. It is quite a big topic so bear with me!  : )

Monday, 9 August 2010

Pussy Galore...

Introducing the new love in my life..

Small, sweet, smelly.. a real little character and has become so attached to me that I am seriously thinking of calling him "The Growth".. a name that hasnt been in use since my middle child was a baby..

Being as "The Growth" isnt really an ideal name for a cat  I have been asking Twitter to help me name him.. Here are the idea so far, Ive highlighted my faves.. this is really hard!

Stanley, Eric, Bowie, Pickles, Hector Bushbush, Biscuit Mc Gingin, Spike, Loki, Steve, Greggs, Edward, Slaine, Boris Johnson, Ed, Black Forest (that suggestion may not be for this pussy methinks),Keiffer, Minski, Elwood, Guissie, Chaplain, Cornish (from Eric, says it all really, the man is obsessed), Fido, Humperdink, Jeremiah, Fang, Thor the Destroyer, Cushy, Snowball, Joker, Gunnery Sargent Hartmann , Hand Job. Trevor, Minister, Fluffy, Mogwen, Blue, Elvis, Pepper, Fireman Sam, Rufus, David Bowie, Cobweb, Neill  (Ahem) , Loki the Trickster, KoStar, Hector, Splott, Crunchie, Rasputin, Caboodle, Kayfor, Seafor.

You can either tweet me or write in the comments if you have any to add : )

(mostly owing to the fact that he is usually to be found trying to eat my food or crawl into my top...)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.....

Wise words from Benjamin Franklin.. so why do we "Follow Friday" ?  To be honest, I rarely follow people through Follow Friday as I dont like being told what to do (except in the bedroom *wink*)  I love being nominated for #FF s tho, nothing like a good #FF ing but does it really work.. ? Week after week I see tweets saying "why do I always LOSE followers on Follow Friday?"..

The knack of gaining followers on a Friday is to only tweet extremely fantastic tweets all day and have a cracking bio and avatar.. your new followers may not stick with you tho when you swiftly return to your usual tirades, hashtag games, smutty jokes and "here's my dinner" tweeting..

And why do we all want more followers anyway? To make us feel good about ourselves... and it does, most of the time. Until you start getting into the big numbers and almost every tweet you make leads to people sniping at you, retweeting you with a twist and sometimes, literally abusing you for your opinions.. oh, just me then!  OK, if you only tweet jokes and stay off the controversial topics then you are pretty much on safe ground having a large following.  

Personally, I like a large following for two reasons.. one to share my humour with as many folks as can stand me, I literally cry with laughter at some of the tweets I have in reply to mine.. The other reason is more serious, I have a lot to say (you may have noticed) on current affairs and general do-gooding issues.. The larger my following, the larger the potential audience and importantly, thanks to the re-tweet, the quicker the information can spread..

It is really hard to pick reasons to recommend someone for a "#FF" though and I often cop-out and only do a handful.. I have saved some favourite tweets this week to share with you, these folk made me laugh this week and I would love to give them all a good #FFing.. *wink*  Enjoy xxx


And finally.. this gem from @krunchiefrog...

Monday, 2 August 2010

The "Big" One...

So, ranting over (for a minute).. the blog is entitled "The Big One".. not because I intend to bore you even more than usual but because, in case you have missed my subtle hints... I will be 40 this month.. hard to believe I know.. *cough*

How do I feel about turning 40? Hmm.. couldnt give a stuff to be honest.. I remember one of my older sisters making a big song and dance about it, she didnt want cards, presents.. we werent allowed to speak of it.. how silly. To me, its just another birthday, I dont want fuss but then I never do.. despite my extreme Leo tendencies and appretiation of gifts and love in all forms..

I shall however, be hosting  a #TwitterFancyDressParty on Saturday 7th and you are all invited.. you must bring with you a new avatar, virtual goodies and a sense of humour : )

Other Lovely Leos with birthdays this month are @SkyBlueStacey & @Splottdad (both on the same day as mine!).. @madsainty, @Fleur75 , @FrancisT27 , @dnsnow , @CarolynAWebster , @blacflag and @zainyk.. Happy Birthday!!

Thanks to all who came to the party, was a great night!  Extra thanks to these nutters who dressed up with me:

Housing "Benefit" you say?

So, I am a bit cross today. My landlord recently visited and asked me to start looking around for another house as he wants to sell this one.. We ve only been here for 6 months and I had asked for a long-term let as, to be honest, we ve had enough of moving. But its his house, his decision obviously so I started making enquiries.

We live in a small village, with just 54 council houses - all of which are taken and with a massive waiting list for them. The only chance I will have of ever getting one is through somebody dying and us being made homeless. We need to stay in the village as I struggle to drive and the children need to get about as independantly as possible, their school and friends are all here and they can easily pop to the shops for me if I need them to.

There are currently two, three bedroomed houses available to rent in the village, that in itself is rare.. I asked for more information as you do and was "interviewed" by the Estate Agent about my current circumstances. I told her that I can provide glowing references, deposit etc and will easily pass the credit checks.. Oh, but I am off sick at the moment from work and as I am on minimum Statutory Sick Pay , I am receiving a rent top-up via Housing Benefit. The Estate Agent fell silent for a moment and said, I ll check with the landlords and get back to you..

Some five minutes later I was given the news that the landlords are not prepared to rent to me as I claim Housing Benefit..  in this day and age..

Here we go again, kids.. all aboard: