Thursday, October 15, 2009

Twitter as news source

I don't read (or watch or listen to) the news, but sometimes the news is unavoidable. On 9/11, I got in my car to drive to campus and every station was a news station.

Having TweetDeck open at work is like having a radio on in the background. If something remotely newsworthy happens I tend to hear about it. If it's "big" it shows up as a trending topic. It's how I found out about Michael Jackson, for example (future "Where were you when...").

Here are some of the "news" stories that shocked and amused me this week, and which I might have missed if not for the magical world of Twitter:

#balloonboy: "Remember Balloon Boy?" ("Remember X-that-happened-10-minutes-ago" is such a layup of humor! What's with everyone using the figurative "layup" all the sudden? I heard it at work like five times this week.) I actually watched some of the live video of the aircraft floating around in the sky. With no frame of reference, it was impossible to tell if it was the size of an actual UFO or a remote control toy. Pretty lame video. Turns out, the kid everyone thought was inside was hiding in a box in the attic. Also, his name is Falcon. In short order, "Imma" and "Anne Frank" are also trending topics on Twitter. Please google to understand if you don't see it immediately.

#pepsifail: Pepsico's AMP energy drink released a promotional iPhone app targeting major douchebags. Called Amp Up Before You Score, the idea was to nail your female prey down as one of 24 stereotypes and use the suggested pickup lines on her, then "brag" via social media about your conquest to your friends. Women and non-douchebags expressed outrage. (Douchebags said "Lighten up.") In response, the Amp guys posted this twapology:
Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate your feedback. #pepsifail
(Shouldn't that be "the humorous lengths guys go 2 2 pick up women"?)

The result: Gleeful hand-clapping for the #fail hashtag; ultimately, forgiveness. I love this comment on the Gizmodo post about it:
they tried 2 sound with it, but failed. this is how it should have read:

R app trd 2 sho d lol of guys tryn 2 pick up chx. sry if its fail txt us if ur mad.
Twitter is hilarious.

Filippa Hamilton: In fashion "news"! Ralph Lauren model Filippa Hamilton was photoshopped into cocked hat; people complained; Ralph Lauren was forced to apologize. (Are you picking up a theme here?) Then Filippa was fired, supposedly for being too fat.

Basically, newswise, this whole week was a #women'sissuesfail. (I think #ballonboy qualifies too, for making light of Anne Frank.)

The End.


  1. fuckin kanye. anyway, the latest is, apparently the kid let it slip in a wolf blitzer interview that the parents told him to do it "for the show"...

  2. Shit I just saw that!!! Not only that but the family was on Wife Swap. God the media is retarded. They couldn't wait five minutes before making it national breaking news? Who am I to talk, I blogged too soon.

    My coworker Ken totally called it, saw publicity stunt all over it.

  3. also, did someone fart in that video? around :44?

    they were on wife swap twice! imagine. i mean, the odds of being on wife swap *once* must be astronomical!

  4. The comments on that vid are hilare.

    Wow I need to step away from the internet.

  5. The balloon boy story has already fallen into the "women'sissuesfail" category: the kid and his brothers made a video (pre-ballooning) railing against "pussification." I only mention it because it will be the national subject of conversation for the next three weeks.