Tracking the soaring stocks and junk bonds of social media, helping you to invest carefully and speculate wisely. (By Rhodri Marsden)
November 29th, 2013
Rising: Black Friday
question what is black friday— maggie (@xhungagayums) November 29, 2013
What is black friday??— MustriX™ (@MustafaKamsari) November 29, 2013
Back came the answer that it's the day after Thanksgiving, the day when shops open early in order to cater for a particularly violent orgy of pre-Christmas spending. Non-Americans pondered whether that had anything to do with them – after all, we didn't spend yesterday stuffing our faces with turkey and pumpkin pie while the shops remained stubbornly shut. It was just like any other Thursday in November. Consequently, our attitude towards Christmas shopping is as indifferent today as it was yesterday, despite retailers in Britain and beyond desperately trying to make us believe that it's a thing. But it's not a thing, unless it's already a thing. And the evidence that it's not a thing is clear on Twitter for all to see.
what is black friday is it a fundraiser for racial equality or ??— had enuff of ur beef (@furiousbuttsex) November 29, 2013
what is black friday??????????— ☆ elle ☆ (@elle_banner) November 29, 2013
What is Black Friday— chelsea (@mikelakedong) November 29, 2013
What is Black Friday?— Aimee Dexter (@aimmmeeee) November 29, 2013
what is black friday?— Soph (@SophieaHollands) November 29, 2013
Am I missing something what is Black Friday!?— Becky (@rebeccawould) November 29, 2013
But the more we asked about Black Friday, the more people became aware of it, and then it started trending, so more people started asking what it is, and suddenly, from it not being a thing, it suddenly became a thing, and retailers could scarcely contain their glee, because next year they'll be able to say that it's a thing, and use that thing as a reason to get us to buy more stuff earlier in the Christmas season, which means selling more stuff, because people who start buying stuff on November 29th will inevitably spend more money in the run-up to Christmas than people like me who start buying stuff on December 21st. So today is about education, about learning what Black Friday is, about learning how to be good consumers. Next year, these people won't be asking. They'll be thinking about spending, or maybe even spending. Whoo-hoo.
What is Black Friday and why have I never heard of it before— Connor Harmer (@ConnorHarmer22) November 29, 2013
what is black Friday someone tell me— :) (@wtfnxrry) November 29, 2013
What is black friday tho??— ❁ (@biebssconda) November 29, 2013
Probably a stupid question but what is Black Friday!?— Chloe Dolby (@Chlo_04) November 29, 2013
November 27th, 2013
Falling: The grave of H from Steps
Ian Watkins from the Lostprophets – who's admitted sexual offences against children – shares a name with Ian Watkins from Steps, also known as H. Both Welsh, unrelated musically, unrelated criminally. Yesterday, as Lostprophets singer admitted his guilt in court, the obvious joke surrounding mistaken identity was made on Twitter. Not particularly funny if you're H from Steps, having your photo posted under accusations of paedophilia (not that he'd have seen them, as he quit Twitter a few days ago, possibly in anticipation of all this.) But these things tend to snowball, and now we have celebrity site eonline reproducing the error and presenting it as fact.
The departure of H from Twitter has resulted in another perennial Twitter phenomenon; the repetition of the "H's Grave" gag. It's hard to believe that people haven't seen it already, but it's so regularly retweeted that you can only imagine that people have developed a limitless ability to enjoy the gag several times over. Cue pictures of fire hydrant signs in their dozens:
Anyway, isn't H from Steps dead? Every year the swans appear at his final resting place. Nature is extraordinary. pic.twitter.com/45kbrCY1Gc- Maia Dunphy (@MaiaDunphy) November 27, 2013
RIP H from Steps So sad x pic.twitter.com/b25RlV8KmK- Jonofthesouth (@jonofthesouth) November 27, 2013
Oh no, H from Steps has died. pic.twitter.com/TAk0I5oEqY- Fran (@Yidski) November 27, 2013
RIP "H" from steps. Gutted. pic.twitter.com/PyCfi6pvul- BUS WANKERS (@Holidaywankers) October 25, 2013
R.I.P. H from Steps pic.twitter.com/joFGsSVJVl- Josh Connolly (@Joshmcfc) July 21, 2013
I would post more of these, but you get the idea. Maybe just a screen grab of the results from an "H from Steps" Twitter image search:
Poor H. But I mean genuinely, poor H.
November 25th, 2013
A Wikipedia article explains that the song "outlines the grief that Stringer felt following the death of his grandfather, and easing the pain of death. The video features the band members on pulleys and wires to create an energetic aerial display." The incongruity of these juxtaposed statements made me laugh. I hope it made you laugh too.
Anyway, the song still sells. Not many, but it ticks over well enough. And for reasons beyond my comprehension, a Twitter account has been set up in order to highlight how many "Hands" (as the fans call it, probably) are shifted each week.
A #placeyourhands update! Last week, the Reef classic sold 209 copies - a 12.6% drop from the week before and the lowest sales for 5 weeks.- Place Your Hands (@PlaceYourHands) August 19, 2013
A #placeyourhands update! Last week, the Reef classic sold 331 copies - a 31.3% increase from the week before. Err...can anyone explain it?- Place Your Hands (@PlaceYourHands) September 2, 2013
A #placeyourhands update! Last week, the Reef classic sold 195 copies - a 27% drop from the week before. The band play Manchester tonight!- Place Your Hands (@PlaceYourHands) November 18, 2013
This week marks the first anniversary of @PlaceYourHands first tweet, and I've celebrated this by creating a sales graph:
A #placeyourhands update! Last week, the Reef classic sold 143 copies - a 26.7% drop from the week before & the lowest sales since July '06.— Place Your Hands (@PlaceYourHands) November 25, 2013
November 22nd, 2013
Rising: Historical Ignorance
"Who is Paul McCartney" is trending. You better BELIEB you're a douchebag if you were one of the people who asked this.- I Spy A Douchebag (@ISpyADouchebag) February 13, 2012
... thus causing "Who is Paul McCartney" to carry on trending, appearing prominently in the sidebar, prompting people to tweet more things like this, and exacerbating the situation still further, giving the impression that vast swathes of the computer-operating populace have no idea who Paul McCartney is, when actually most of them do.
#ASO to "Who Is Paul McCartney" trending on twitter. maybe the world should end this year- UWshoutouts (@UWshoutouts) February 13, 2012
Anyway, some people don't know who JFK is, and with any luck "who is JFK" will be trending in a similar fashion by the end of the day.
who is JFK and is he died?- Katie Greenwood (@katieegreenwood) November 22, 2013
For real tho who is JFK?- Kevin Seefried (@KSeefried) November 22, 2013
Who is JFK?- Claudia (@iisyaya_) November 22, 2013
There are also a small number of people on Twitter who aren't aware of who the historical figures below are. So when it's coming up to some big anniversary, or there's a newsworthy moment featuring said figures, get ready to retweet these people and prompt another magnificent "who is?" trending topic.
Who is Mark Twain by the way??- Same..Er.. (@cigarin) April 21, 2013
Who Is Gandhi ?- Zeen (@Zeen___) November 20, 2013
Who is Margaret Thatcher? Don't really follow that politics lol x- Stefan Ward (@StefanWard) April 8, 2013
Who is Charles Dickens??? He sounds super familiar...well Happy Birthday anyway!#JustWondering :)- Robyn Hernandez (@ImSoRavin) February 7, 2012
who is martin luther king? why is he trending ?— sadgalriri (@SamerSum) August 29, 2013
who is nelson mandela sounds like a type of fruit- jordi (@miIeysbiew) July 14, 2013
November 21th, 2013
A gorgeously low-key example of baiting on Twitter can be found at @kurtquote. It comprises low-level mischief of a magnificently mundane kind:
"Wine lovers are better off at Asda" - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) November 10, 2013
It's not impossible, of course, that Kurt Cobain pointed out at some stage that wine lovers are better off at Asda, but it's unlikely. However, it's not the misattribution of supermarket marketing slogans that Kurt Cobain fans get most annoyed about when they stumble across @kurtquote. It's the fact that Kurt Cobain died in 1994, not 1993:
@kurtquote kurt cobain died in 1994- Joe Ness (@joe9ness) November 16, 2013
@kurtquote Great quote but Cobain died in 1994.- Bek Hobbes (@Greebobek) December 6, 2012
People even get annoyed about it even when they're aware it's a joke.
Why does f*cking parody account @kurtquote not know that Kurt Cobain died in 1994 not 1993?- Jay (@Jay29ers) September 13, 2012
They also don't like the fact that the account uses a photo of Alexander Skarsgård instead of a photo of Kurt. They see this as poor research verging on gross negligence.
@KurtQuote your pic is of Alexander Skarsgard not Kurt Cobain. Is that on purpose?- Kandace Martin (@kandacemartin) September 19, 2012
A picture of Alexander Skarsgard is used for the avatar for the Kurt Cobain quotes account (@KurtQuote)?- andie (@bluemilk) September 4, 2012
In the meantime, @kurtquote just keeps on going.
"10 SURPRISING SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS THAT WILL MAKE YOU RETHINK YOUR SOCIAL STRATEGY" - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) November 21, 2013
"demonstrable ability to work collaboratively with business stakeholders and colleagues" - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) October 28, 2013
And, with cunning sleight of hand, @kurtquote then constructs an intense social media feedback loop by attributing the criticism levelled at it to Kurt Cobain himself. 1967-1993.
"kurt cobain died in 1994" - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) November 17, 2013
"Why is there an account named "Kurt Cobain Quotes" with a picture of Alexander Skarsgard" - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) November 17, 2013
"April 5th 1994" - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) July 26, 2013
"1994 dude. Not 1993. Come on." - Kurt Cobain 1967-1993- Kurt Cobain Quotes (@kurtquote) May 3, 2013
Some may find this childish, but I revel in it.
November 19th, 2013
If that's the case for you, @TerbilDraems might be more up your street. It's written by the same chap who does @CrimerShow – @AstonishingSod – but each of the tweets can be enjoyed as stand-alone nuggets of perfection, capturing the horror of everyday nightmares in 140 characters.
Nise baech, suney doy.Whats is thise? A mesige in a botle . It saye Looke Behinde Youm.Turn rounde,thosandes Of scoorpoins .Gete inthe botle- Terbil Draems (@TerbilDraems) November 15, 2013
A telavison quize.Thers One quesiton lefte,easeypeas.Whats is longr ,tung or bige fingare?Rong ansewr.Looke downe. Fingares longr than Leges- Terbil Draems (@TerbilDraems) November 14, 2013
Its is Wensdoy ,1960.Yor at Waxe musuem wit a Doge. Evrey tiem youm looke soemthinge, doge eate it.Man telyu Its tiem to leafe .But yor waxe- Terbil Draems (@TerbilDraems) November 5, 2013
I wish I could work out exactly why these things of @AstonishingSod's appeal to me so much. I dunno whether it's the language, which seems to be kind of sub-Chaucer crossed with a 4-year old wielding a crayon, or just the joyous freeform absurdity of the DRAEMS themselves. But I could read these all day. I love them dearly.
Ther a Sok moveing alonge floore.Yor tel it Stope,its not lisen.Get yor gunne.But no Bulets, juste soks.Looke yor feets.No feets, juste Soks- Terbil Draems (@TerbilDraems) November 1, 2013
Eigt o'clokc. Stuke inthe Hal of Mirirrs.Noin o'clokc?Stile stuke.Ten o'clokc ,smosh the wal .Bad ideae.Thats is wher the Crokydoil slepe- Terbil Draems (@TerbilDraems) October 30, 2013
Anyway, to paraphrase a Crimewatch presenter, please, don't have terbil draems. Goodnight.
November 15th, 2013
Why does @Daybreak say its an hour earlier than it is? X- Georgia May Foote (@georgiafoote) November 13, 2013
Because, Georgia, you were watching ITV+1 last night, you turned on the telly this morning, you didn't realise that you're watching with a one-hour delay, and then you got confused. But Georgia, bless her Corrie credentials, isn't the only one to make this mistake. There are probably hundreds of people doing it, and many of them are moved to tweet about it.
@Daybreak your clock is wrong lads- Charles Manson (@George_Depths) November 13, 2013
My phone say its 7:14 but daybreak says 6:14 #confused- Jordan (@Jordan_weddell) November 12, 2013
Is it just me or does #daybreak say 08:08am as the time?- Vikki turland (@vikkiplum1) November 13, 2013
It's not just you, Vikki.
@DaybreakDimwits is now performing the charitable public service of rolling all these tweets up into one convenient social media account, just so we don't miss any. Admittedly, it's something of a one-joke pony, but the regularity with which these kind of tweets roll around on a daily basis is rather delightful.
RT @jakebuggers: Whys daybreak saying the wrong time or is it the right time and every other clock is wrong- Daybreak Dimwits (@DaybreakDimwits) November 15, 2013
Manually retweeting people and just sticking an RT before it is generally perceived as poor Twitter etiquette, but in this case it performs a useful function: the offender is immediately alerted to their error, allowing them to perform a red-faced volte-face:
Realised was watching itv+1 #blondemoment- Jordan (@Jordan_weddell) November 12, 2013
@Daybreak it's my mistake. Ha, too early!!- Christine Strike (@StrikeChristine) November 14, 2013
@Daybreak watching ITV+1, my bad- Charles Manson (@George_Depths) November 13, 2013
They won't make that mistake again. Well, probably not.
November 14th, 2013
And I'm not alone. I know other people who feel the same way. We figure that if someone's going to get 250 quid for sending in some woozy camcorder footage of themselves, they should have been made to suffer to really earn it. This deeply unpleasant schadenfreude is captured beautifully by @youvebinframed, whose sole purpose is to describe, in flat, unexpressive tones, the scenes of misery contained within this bankable stalwart of Saturday evening ITV.
Unhealthy teen trapped beneath weight lifting equipment. Pleas for assistance go unheard by camera operator.— You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) September 26, 2013
Startled defecating Badger runs into patio chair.- You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) September 27, 2013
Bat flying around dimly lit caravan, peppered with screaming and bleeps.- You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) September 26, 2013
I enjoy @Youvebinframed more than the actual programme. It saves me loads of time. I can whizz through a dozen tweets in less than a minute. Granted, I don't get to hear Harry Hill's laconic commentary, but that's not why I watch it in any case. I just sit there, sneering, waiting for suffering.
Sudden appearance of a man from thick fog. Running. Shouting. Pursued. Sudden appearance of a goat. Galloping. Bleating. Pursuing.- You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) September 25, 2013
Collapsing lamp post with screaming man holding on tight at the top.- You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) September 11, 2013
Racing car speeds round corner & flips over. Silence ruined by misplaced canned laughter. We never find out if the driver is okay. £250.- You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) August 28, 2013
I'd go as far as to say that @youvevinframed provides us with an uncannily accurate facsimile of modern Britain.
Musical montage of teenagers kicking and being kicked set to The Undertones Teenage Kicks.- You've Been Framed (@Youvebinframed) August 20, 2013