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The best of Twitter

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We'd recommend that you place your freshly brewed cup of tea down before you hear this as it might involve an involuntary scolding. But today, Twitter turns SIX YEARS OLD.

It seems like yesterday when we were assuring our mates (on Facebook) that it would never catch on. 140 characters? Ridiculous. A bird as a logo? Horrendous. Tweeting people? We'll never use it.

Well, we were wrong and we don't say that often. To highlight how brave we are in pointing this out, we're looking back at some of the Twitter milestones that have gone down in cyber-history. That time you drunkenly tried to talk to Russell Brand not included.

Follow us on Twitter @ShortList.

March 21st 2006

@jack just setting up my twttr

Drum roll please...this is the first recorded tweet, posted by co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey. It's hardly thrilling stuff but does give us a pre-warning of some of the scintillating personal insights we're set to hear about in the next five years.

April 10th 2008

@jamesbuck Arrested

An American student was covering an anti-government protest in Mahalla, Egypt when he was arrested, along with his translator. His rapid tweet launched his followers into action and he still continued to inform them of the mistreatment through Twitter. Eventually his university hired a lawyer for him and he was set free.

May 23rd 2008

@TomRaftery Re my new RedMonk position. The formal job offer was made and accepted via Twitter!

Bypassing the soul-destroying job interview is one of the most tremendous achievements that Twitter can brag about. A consulting firm in the US offered a job to an analyst through a tweet and he accepted. Three years later and things are still going well in his job.

January 15th 2009

@jkrums There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.

One of the first instances where Twitter reported the news, this tweet from an onlooker, accompanied with a widely-reported image, gave us an early look at the NY plane crash.

February 4th 2009

@stephenfry "We’re stuck in a lift. Hell’s teeth. We could be here for hours."

Stephen Fry, one of the most famous tweeters (2.3 million followers and counting), made the news when he was stuck in a lift two years back. This was one of the mainstream media's first insights into the site. Oh how they laughed. Twitter's laughing at you now, media.

March 11th 2009

@dlprager Maybe I should lock my door - I swear a random dude just walked into my bathroom and I can't believe I haven't freaked out

After an unknown man broke into his flat, David Prager did the obvious. Sat in his bathroom while tweeting updates. His captive audience gave him advice on what to do and he even set up a video stream so they could watch him confront the stranger.

August 3rd 2009

@sh*tmydadsays I didn't live to be 73 years old so I could eat kale. Don't fix me your breakfast and pretend you're fixing mine.

This was the first tweet from one of the most popular Twitter feeds around, with over 2 million followers despite being run by a non-celebrity/brand. The feed became so popular that a TV show in the US was created, starring William Shatner.

January 22nd 2010

@Astro_TJ Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station -- the 1st live tweet from Space! :) More soon, send your ?s

Notable for being the first tweet EVER from space, this was proof that Twitter had become a universal phenomenon. No one ever poked anyone from space, right?

February 24th 2010

@ThatKevinSmith Dear @SouthwestAir - I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?

Outspoken filmmaker Kevin Smith headed straight to twitter after he got kicked off a plane for "being a safety risk" because of his weight. Cue a bucketload of apologies from the airlines and a $100 voucher, not the best way of trying to make it up to a millionaire filmmaker.

July 31st 2010

@kanyewest You are the chosen one dun dun dun dun.

After the modest rapper joined Twitter, his followers grew rapidly yet he wasn't following anyone. After Steven Holmes, from Coventry, commented on a picture he posted, the two started a conversation and he soon became the sole person West followed. West's fans backlashed, Holmes enjoyed his 3 minutes of fame and West unfollowed him. End.

September 14th 2010

@alqaeda Just noticed Twitter keeps prompting me to "Add a location to your tweets". Not falling for that one.

One of 2010's most retweeted, this update from the fake (we assume) Al-Qaeda feed used one of Twitter's tools to make a funny.

October 15th 2010

@gmpolice Call 567 woman reporting somebody putting a video on her youtube site.

To protest against cuts, the Greater Manchester police tweeted every 999 call that was received within 24 hours. It was designed to show the inanity of many calls and how busy they really are. Tweets like the above proved this successfully and we thought twice before picking up the phone and pretending to be Seymour Butts again that night.

January 9th 2011

@RyanBabel And they call him one of the best referees? That’s a joke. SMH (shaking my head).

After losing at Old Trafford, Liverpool forward Ryan Babel posted a doctored picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Man U shirt and then posted this update. Despite a quick apology, he became the first player to be charged by the FA for an indiscretion on Twitter.

March 1st 2011

@charliesheen Winning..! Choose your Vice... #winning #chooseyourvice http://twitpic.com/455ly9

After Sheenmania gripped cyberspace like a vice, it seemed only natural that the publicity genius would join Twitter. In just two weeks, he has almost three million followers, breaking the record for the fastest rise on the site. We'll choose to ignore the rumour that someone else writes his tweets for him...

May 1st 2011

@ReallyVirtual A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S

Before the rest of the world began tweeting about the death of Osama Bin Laden, Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant in Pakistan, began unwittingly live-tweeting the entire raid. Before he knew it, he'd given an outsider's step-by-step guide to what was happening at the time in Abottabad. You can see his whole set of tweets here.

August 9th 2011

@AndrewHaydSmith Brooms up London! #riotcleanup http://twitpic.com/63g7jr

After the ugly riots of last summer, the country, and London in particular, was in a particularly bad place. But the story of Clapham residents coming together to clean up the mess was a much-needed heartwarmer. This tweet from Byker Grove actor gave everyone an instant look at the community spirit that brightened up the city.

January 26th 2012

@tom_watson I should log out of my twitter so that my intern doesn't twit-rape me..

After West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson went into a meeting, his 21-year-old intern pretended to be him and sent this rather misguided tweet using the term "twit-rape" which soon led to a re-tweeting frenzy. Both Watson and the intern apologised and #savetheintern started to trend as people worried she would get sacked. Thanks to his followers, she managed to survive the tweet fail.

(Images: Rex Features)



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