WTF Friday

WTF? Friday: Earthquakes and Twitter

By Social Media

Tuesday we had an earthquake in Central Virginia. Maybe you heard about it. As of last night we were still having aftershocks and frankly, I don’t think any of us living here have gotten over the emotional shock of a 5.8 rated quake. I was sitting outside having lunch with my daughter in Charlottesville’s downtown pedestrian mall when the quake hit. It was definitely a WTF? moment as the motion and sound took everyone present a second or two to register the thought, “This is an earthquake.”

It was both hilarious and fortunate for a news junkie like me that people went immediately to Twitter and Facebook to share the earthquake experience. My daughter, 15, went to Facebook; I went to Twitter.

Wednesday night, when we had a 4.5 rated aftershock, many people updated on Twitter, despite it being just past one o’clock in the morning. Twitter, from the first few seconds of the quake, lit up with posts. If you doubted what you were feeling and seeing, Twitter and the community using it around you, provided validation (right; that shaking is not a train going by).

Mashable reported 40,000 earthquake-related tweets within the first minute. 

People in New York, far from the quake’s epicenter in Virginia, read tweets a full 30 seconds before the quake was felt where they were.

Twitter is an excellent vehicle for fast-moving news. If you’ve resisted joining and using the platform for any reason, this should convince you to give it a try.

WTF? Friday: Fictional Characters and their Blogs

By Media

Squarely in the WTF? category comes this bit: Woman’s Day magazine has hired the character Melanie Moretti, from the TV show Hot in Cleveland, played by Valerie Bertinelli, to author a column in the magazine.

Did you get that? The column is written by a fictional character. From television. And then printed in a magazine.


The column, which looks like a blog to me, appears on the Woman’s Day website.

Photo credit: TV Land

The stunt (which, come ON! It totally is!) has been referred to as a “partnership” and a “crossover promotion,” as the column is the character’s actual job on the show, and is referred to during episodes.

Got that?

I personally think this practice of fictional characters writing columns, features or blogs is hokey as all get out. I don’t like it — at all.

Is it fiction?

Is it a column?

What the heck is it?

And who really writes it? Bertinelli? Her writers? I’m so confused.

What do you think?


WTF? Friday: The Five People Who Make Me Nuts on Twitter

By Social Media

WTF FridayFrom time to time I review the list of Twitter users following me. There are many I’m fully aware of and engage with on a regular basis. There are a lot though, that leave me shaking my head.

I’m enjoying the new Klout extension for Chrome , a handy tool that allows me to scan through my list of followers quickly to see who really cares that they’re on Twitter and who’s just screwing around. Anyway, today, my scan through my list and the revelation of ¬†dozens of disengaged followers has really fired me up. Therefore, I give you . . .

The Five People Who Make Me Nuts on Twitter 

You look great! Is that a new haircut? Have you lost weight?

  1. The egg. Really? You’re an egg? Awesome. I’ll be sure to recognize you at the next Tweetup. Please get a photo in there or get out.
  2. The person with no content in their bio. NOTHING. I have no idea who you are, what you’re interested in, where you are or in short, WTF you are doing on Twitter.
  3. The person who set up a Twitter account more than a year ago because, oh, I don’ t know, someone probably told them they needed one, but has never tweeted a single thing. Don’t lurk; engage, you creep. What might actually be worse is the user who has attracted followers and yet tweets maybe once a month or so and never, ever replies to other users.
  4. The person running a Twitter account for a business whose tweets are protected. Kinda ruins the point, doesn’t it?
  5. Here’s a phenomenon I can’t even begin to understand: the user following me because we have the same first name. Can you imagine if my name was Jennifer?

If you’re a Twitter user (with a Klout score of 20 or better), what makes you nuts?