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The Twitter Index

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Tracking the soaring stocks and junk bonds of social media, helping you to invest carefully and speculate wisely. (By Rhodri Marsden)

June 21st

Rising: "North by North West"

If a topical gag immediately springs to mind, it’s 99% likely that someone will have thought of it already. Below are just a few of the many millions who have failed to heed Gideon’s sage advice today. The joke is being tweeted hundreds of times an hour by people who are convinced that they’re the first to think of it. The repetition has pushed this thing way, way beyond humour. It has become an artwork. A Reichian incantation. To properly illustrate my point I’d have to make this Twitter Index entry about four miles long, but I’ll spare you. Maybe just one more – one of the 65 virtually identical jokes that have been posted since I started writing this entry: Get your live joke update right here.

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June 20th

Falling: "I am in you"

No-one is obliged to be interesting on Twitter. That's partly what makes it more of an accurate reflection of human life than Facebook, or a confessional blog, or a tell-all autobiography; mundane thoughts are splurged into the ether, combining to form a chequerboard of this and that, the spellbinding alternating with the sterile. One of the things we like to do is to tell people where we are – especially if it's somewhere where we usually aren't. It doesn't have to be far from home. It could be just around the corner. Or it could be vaguely exotic: But describing your whereabouts by saying "I am in [placename]" lost its currency around mid-2011. The correct syntax, if you wish to observe Twitter etiquette, is "[placename], I am in you." This can be neatly and amusingly subverted, if you're feeling inventive: But generally, people aren't feeling that inventive. They're just, you know, somewhere, and their phone is switched on. Memo all depts: No-one in the history of Twitter has yet tweeted the phrase "Trouble, I am in you" when they're in trouble. Possibly because people in trouble generally don't have the time to impose Germanic sentence structure on tweets describing their predicament. But if you fancy being the first, knock yourself out. Be my guest. Just don't follow it up with "Custody, I am in you", "Prison, I am in you" or "Death row, I am on you."

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