Tracking the soaring stocks and junk bonds of social media, helping you to invest carefully and speculate wisely. (By Rhodri Marsden)
October 28th, 2013
Falling: Garden Furniture
The 2010 Canadian earthquake was magnitude 5.0, it lasted about 30 seconds, and it injured a fisherman near the village of Bowman in Quebec. Hence the picture. It's a celebration of human endurance in the face of not very much suffering at all. I've no idea if Michael Joffe took the photo, but his is the first posting I've found online after wading through hundreds of identical pictures, so he deserves some kind of credit, if only for not being an obvious plagiarist.
In the three years since Joffe's post, the picture has become a symbol of nature's failure to deliver on a promise of widespread devastation. There was an earthquake in Wales earlier this year, for example.
And another in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Earthquake damage in Blowing Rock pic.twitter.com/wNCYluYo8h- Brittany Dula (@mrsbdula) August 25, 2013
And one in Ottawa, and so on.
But never underestimate a) the capacity of people on Twitter to cane a joke to within an inch of its life, and b) the fact that, despite the joke having been soundly caned for three years or more, it's still new to some people. And so they retweet it. Or they post it all over again and pretend that they thought of it.
We had a storm in the UK earlier this morning. It was supposed to be cataclysmic. It was, in the event, merely quite bad, with two fatalities. But most of the country escaped unscathed.
Terrible scenes across the UK as the storm strikes early pic.twitter.com/arIqaf179l- Nathanael Field (@NathanaelField) October 27, 2013
MENTAL STORM GUYS!!! UTTER CARNAGE OMG!!! pic.twitter.com/0NLdFaHckd- Georgie- Renè (@GeorgieRene_) October 27, 2013
This storm is awful, causing carnage pic.twitter.com/1cLnz7yfqJ- Connor Wylde (@ConnorWylde) October 27, 2013
Let's hope tonight's storm isn't as bad as last years . God help us all . pic.twitter.com/wWQAZYFq6g- Chris Wright (@wrighty65) October 27, 2013
THE STORM HAS HIT LONDON HELP! pic.twitter.com/nL9u0HY8H4- Justin Bieber (@biebersbrows) October 27, 2013
I didnt know about this terrible storm until this happend earlier in my garden pic.twitter.com/i3ZGJD2hJz- The CC ⚽ (@chairboy22) October 27, 2013
This 'big storm' is having terrible effects... pic.twitter.com/Z7s6QfHNDd- Clark Kent (@Nathan_forsdyke) October 27, 2013
Carnage as storm hits the uk... pic.twitter.com/WrNsNcDd5S- Becca Selby (@beccaselbyyy) October 28, 2013
Carnage across the UK due to the 'storm' pic.twitter.com/3nE1cNo8tu- Dazza (@Dazz_stance) October 28, 2013
Omg awful storm damage in my garden pic.twitter.com/yB8knaEAS6- Rachel ✌ (@rachel_lloydx) October 28, 2013
Thing is, it IS a great joke. But only the first couple of hundred times you see it.
October 25th, 2013
James blunt is a knob- Josie (@KettlebellsUK) October 25, 2013
James blunt is a complete and utter tosspot- 19 Days.... (@pottypoo) October 19, 2013
James blunt is a wet wipe- Cait Fraser (@CaitFraser1) October 18, 2013
No-one likes being called a wet wipe. James, however, deflects criticism on Twitter in the most self-effacing way imaginable. He just smiles, briefly engages and then lets it go, and we can learn a lot from him, which isn't something I ever thought I'd say. I mean, ideally you wouldn't search for your own name on Twitter, you wouldn't retweet it, you wouldn't even mention it, in fact ideally you wouldn't spend any time on Twitter at all – but given that he does all those things, he's succeeded in giving a social media masterclass in how to respond to criticism with a modicum of grace.
Me! Me! Pick me! RT @blackeyelined: Who is a bigger twat: James Blunt or Robin Thicke?- James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) October 22, 2013
Yes. He could start tweeting you. RT @MigsterMMA: Jesus christ, James Blunt's got a new album out. Is there anything else that can go wrong?- James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) October 20, 2013
My mum's in the audience. RT @AtaraMcBooth: Who the fuck is cheering for fucking James Blunt.- James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) October 11, 2013
No drama, no subsequent bullying from fans, no blog posts or articles about the tricky social dynamic between celebrities and the general public. (Except this one.) Yep, James Blunt's a good chap. Even his detractors are forced to admit it.
October 24th, 2013
Falling: Q&A Fails
#AskHarry are you doing this out of you car window?- Ho1spur (@1_Hotspur) October 24, 2013
The other day a bunch of people who either don't like Ryan Air (or who don't like Ryan Air's Michael O'Leary) posted a series of tweets containing the hashtag #grillMOL, after Ryan Air's social media team suggested that we pose him a few questions.
This week we've also seen a bunch of people who don't like British Gas posting anti-British Gas tweets after the company sat its poor old customer service director Bert Pijls in front of a computer to take part in an #AskBG question-and-answer session.
Hi Bert, which items of furniture do you, in your humble opinion, think people should burn first this winter? #AskBG- Lee Vincent (@LeeJamesVincent) October 17, 2013
All three of these trending Twitter topics have been branded as a "spectacular PR fail" or a "Twitter blunder" or a "social media backlash" across the media; ill-judged campaigns that supposedly cast the creators of the hashtags in a poor light. But you can't control hashtags. Everyone knows that. The PR people know that, we know that, the media know that. It's just a filtering device. It lets the PRs find their questions, it lets people who want to be abusive be abusive, and it lets the media find all the funny stuff and republish it on their websites. It's just people saying stuff. People don't need hashtags to say stuff. They've been dishing out abuse for years to the same people.
Harry Redknapp is a fucking bellend.- The First (@CharmzzTheFirst) October 19, 2013
British Gas are a bunch of incompetent wankers- Jennifer Maguire (@JenniferMaguire) September 28, 2011
Ryan Air are such fuckers tbh- Neesha McLovin (@YerdMe_CMB) November 27, 2012
Neither #AskHarry, #AskBG nor #grillMOL were PR fails, really. The PR fail was Ryan Air providing poor customer service, British Gas raising their prices, or Harry Redknapp inadvisedly buying Christopher Samba for £12m. The hashtags are just filing cabinets plus giggles, innit.
October 22nd, 2013
I thought it might be interesting to see what people's top ten favourite words on @everyword were, judged by the number of retweets each one received. Of course, this is hardly a scientific study, because the account gains followers over time and so words beginning with letters later in the alphabet will obviously be more popular, and other words appear in the middle of the night when fewer people are staring at Twitter. But I think the list gives a flavour of our relationship with language, underlining as it does the fact that we're all a bunch of massive children.
shithead- everyword (@everyword) February 22, 2013
slut- everyword (@everyword) April 2, 2013
sext- everyword (@everyword) February 9, 2013
Number 7. (This one confused me. The dictionary says "Mexican dish of seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed or baked in corn husks". But I heard Nicole Scherzinger say it on X Factor at the weekend when describing the appearance of a female contestant, so it must have sexy connotations I'm not aware of – probably because I'm 42 years old and was born in Bedfordshire.)
tamale- everyword (@everyword) August 27, 2013
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- everyword (@everyword) July 26, 2013
titties- everyword (@everyword) October 19, 2013
tits- everyword (@everyword) October 19, 2013
swag- everyword (@everyword) August 8, 2013
shit- everyword (@everyword) February 21, 2013
Number 1. Was there ever any doubt?
sex- everyword (@everyword) February 9, 2013
Twitter, predictably, was beside itself with disbelief, awe, disgust and titillation.
@everyword IT FINALLY HAPPENED!- sᴋᴜʟʟ ʀʏᴀɴ (@KidzGOP) February 9, 2013
@everyword fake- Turd Ferguson (@wankcity) February 9, 2013
*airhorns* RT @everyword sex- Meaghan's Room (@moneyworth) February 9, 2013
If you'd like to recreate this experience in your own home, you'll find the word "sex" about 4/5th of the way through a dictionary. Enjoy.
October 18th, 2013
Fortunately, @Grand_designz now exists to rip the piss out of the people featured on Grand Designs and thus provide a small amount of relief to those of us less fortunate than the people featured on Grand Designs.
Gash and Byron are implementing revolutionary new techniques into the build. They're using soap and mince to create a post apocalyptic lido- Grand Designs (@Grand_designz) October 18, 2013
Mataphor & Roxette, professional E-personal trainers, are building a giant bee hive from straws and Roquefort. The walls will secrete honey- Grand Designs (@Grand_designz) October 18, 2013
Linseed & Mogwai, nitrogen bakers from Bath, are building a spherical, triple glazed bio orb which is to be suspended from the Severn Bridge- Grand Designs (@Grand_designz) October 17, 2013
@Grand_designz's followers have been contributing with both gusto and ill-concealed fury:
@Grand_designz In Tring, retired vivisectionist Floormop and his houseboy Sigh are building a fish scale clad uterus from raspberry jelly- John (@somewiganbloke) October 17, 2013
@Grand_designz irony lovers Tabitha and Bruce are burning down a forest in Shropshire to build a carbon neutral underground bunker.- Ben Strowger (@bgstrowger) October 18, 2013
@Grand_designz Trustafarian media fucktards Egg and Spoon are building a 5 story Chelsea yurt out of their parents spit and hate.- Owen Thomas (@Owen1975) October 18, 2013
You could dismiss all this as a completely impotent expression of hatred for a world that has always been deeply unfair, but if you can't use Twitter to impotently express your hatred for a world that has always been deeply unfair, what CAN you use?
October 16th, 2013
Rising: Pink skies
The sky is so pink!- Sophieee (@sophieodomm_) October 16, 2013
This morning, large parts of the UK were helplessly trapped underneath a pink sky. It freaked people out. They couldn’t stop going on about it.
Can we take a moment to appreciate that the sky is pink- I do trees and shit (@Bill_Moore_) October 16, 2013
People were unsure as to why the sky was pink. They asked Twitter, in their hundreds.
Why is the sky pink?- L i v (@Liv_Rocks96) October 16, 2013
Answers came there several.
Sky's pink= alien abduction- freeds (@adamfreedman99) October 16, 2013
the sky is pink this is the apocalypse- georgia. (@thirlsberry) October 16, 2013
Pink sky, shepards pie or something- Sarah Martin (@Sarah_Martinx) October 16, 2013
Look how pink the sky is! That means today will have bad weather..- Hollye Chesney (@HollyeChes) October 16, 2013
“@punkzialls: BUT SERIOUSLY WHY IS THE SKY PINK” greenhouse gases yay.- ✿ MICHΔEL ✿ (@aLxox) October 16, 2013
People started looking for new, exciting ways to say "the sky is pink" in order to break up the tedium.
Sunrise over the foggy Dorking hills this morning is creating a pink marshmallow effect in the sky- Holmwood Farm (@Holmwoodfarm) October 16, 2013
the sky is really pink and light blue and pretty it looks like a bath with a dissolved bath bomb in it- els (@lightsxber) October 16, 2013
Swear the sky's like pink or something- Rebecca☺ (@RebeccaRob99) October 16, 2013
People started posting pictures of the pink sky. Hundreds of vaguely identical pictures.
Pink sky in the morning Shepard's warning ⚠️⚠️⚠️ pic.twitter.com/mUgVlBb7O8- ellie aucott (@ellllxxx) October 16, 2013
Not all these pictures conveyed the true pinkness of the sky. One person, and perhaps one alone, saw that as a reason not to post a picture at all, bless him.
Te sky is like pink and orange and none of my cameras will pick up the right colour- zeus (@RomanMalin) October 16, 2013
People began to openly muse whether the colour of the sky was something they alone were experiencing, even though a single glance at Twitter would have shattered that misapprehension.
Am I the only one looking at a pink sky or???- orange and blue (@prongsandme) October 16, 2013
Am i the only one that is seeing the pink sky right now?..- roshni (@Roshni_Rihanna) October 16, 2013
Other people became jealous.
Everyone is saying the sky is pink but where I live its fucking grey- rocio. (@Stratfordsgangs) October 16, 2013
IS BUCKINGHAM THE ONLY PLACE WITHOUT PINK SKY OR SOMETHING- clo☮ (@chloeohara99) October 16, 2013
everyone is tweeting pictures of the sky and its all pink and cute but i look out my window and its still the shit hole it was yesterday- tilly ♡ (@tropicanahxrry) October 16, 2013
no the sky is not pink I'm in rotherham it is grey and fucking shit- The 1996 (@T0llerfield) October 16, 2013
But still people continued to observe that the sky is pink.
The sky is pink- Simon Carey (@Realsimoncarey) October 16, 2013
The sky is pink, this is the best day of my life💘- Rea✨ (@Rea_GirlsAloudx) October 16, 2013
OK WE GET IT THE SKY IS FUCKING PINK- dom (@likedxm) October 16, 2013
Lets all have a fat wank over the pink sky why don't we- ViED (@Alexvi3d) October 16, 2013
And then the sky stopped being pink.
The sky is no longer pink :(((- flynn (@flynndie) October 16, 2013
October 15th, 2013
Fortunately, passion can be easily feigned, and people do it on Twitter pretty much constantly. You don't even have to worry about misrepresenting yourself, because "passionate about" can just as easily mean "vaguely interested in on alternate Wednesdays":
I am passionate about Burger King's fries!!- Sarah Oliver (@sarahSOgorg) October 13, 2013
i am passionate about my sandwiches and will have nothing less than perfection- Wolfyspooks (@Wolfysmash) October 12, 2013
I am passionate about miley cyrus- A L I S H A♕ (@alishajcollier) October 11, 2013
I am passionate about holiday leftovers- alora (@alora14o) October 14, 2013
It can also mean "paid sums of money each month in order to express an interest in":
I am passionate about Connecticut, any questions? http://t.co/OsFxG2aWtX- Ann Nyberg (@AnnNyberg) October 12, 2013
I am passionate about helping the African Diaspora manage their household budgets better!- Tokie Laotan-Brown (@TokieLBrown) October 14, 2013
I am passionate about seeing others realize their own potential and then achieve things they never thought possible!— Jessica Cratty (@jessicacratty) October 13, 2013
Some people cast their net of passion pretty wide; indiscriminately passionate, they bloody love everything:
Everything I do, I'm passionate about.- Natrium Spiro Kalium (@19946DresdenSt) October 14, 2013
I'm passionate about certain things.— April (@ladyamir) October 15, 2013
I'm passionate about almost anything if you give me an object I can write like a paragraph about its importance and what it means to me- kitty cat (@tiptoelou) October 15, 2013
Others are passionate about microbiology:
I am passionate about microbiology.- seenone (@FuckingRacism) October 13, 2013
Others are a just a bit weird:
I am passionate about children very keen- SantaMaria (@LaSaLace) October 12, 2013
And some, but not many, are refreshingly honest.
I'm good at a lot of things but passionate about nothing- Santiago (@obiEscobar) July 10, 2013
October 11th, 2013
Half 11 you arseholes- The Swearing Clock (@SwearingClock) September 11, 2013
Timechecks are, by their nature, unremarkable. They remind us of the time; they serve no other purpose. Alan Partridge demonstrated the difficulties of trying to be clever by embellishing timechecks ("One hundred and forty past seven", or whatever it was he said) but @SwearingClock has established a straightforward way of getting a laugh with a timecheck: by swearing your tits off.
5 to 3 you cocks- The Swearing Clock (@SwearingClock) September 13, 2013
Just over a month old, @SwearingClock grumpily adds superfluous expletives to the time of day. That's all. Where @big_ben_clock provides cute hourly reminders of the time, @SwearingClock erratically tweets at unexpected moments because it simply can't be arsed to maintain any kind of regular schedule.
Half 12 you tit- The Swearing Clock (@SwearingClock) September 15, 2013
If you were penning a literary critique of @SwearingClock you could criticise it for lack of imagination; the swearing is often repetitive, with "dick", "prick" and "bellend" often featuring several times a day. But what it lacks it variety it makes up for with needlessly furious consistency. @SwearingClock doesn't like being a clock, and provides its service with maximum resentment.
10 am you twats- The Swearing Clock (@SwearingClock) September 25, 2013
It's recently been joined by the weather:
Cold and Cloudy you bell ends highs of 18 fucking degrees- THE BASTARD WEATHER (@SwearingWeather) October 1, 2013
#M1 Southbound, some fucking nugget has broken down between J25 (Derby / Nottingham) and J24A. Queues on the M1 to J26 A610 (Nottingham).- Swearing Travel News (@SwearingTravel) October 11, 2013
Making a glorious triumvirate of shitting arsestains to see you delicately into the weekend.