I’ve already written 1,000+ words today on a short story I’m working on, and I originally intended this entry to be short and sweet, but I feel like this is something that needs to be “on the record”.
Paul and I loooove to play hashtag games on Twitter (if you don’t know what that is, you can go back right now to reddit, Fark, Facebook, YouTube, surfing for porn, or wherevs, and check back again tomorrow.) When we get cranking, we can spit out two dozen #StarWarsInstruments, #DuneSnacks, or #JohnMellencampDescribingHisBreakfast zingers inside of five minutes. Most people tolerate it, and many even follow us for it (and participate themselves, which is awesome). But some people actually get kinda angry that we’re “spamming” their Twitter feed.
I’m not going to press the issue of whether or not active tweeting deserves the same level of scorn as email solicitations for discount boner pills (it doesn’t). But I will say that we aren’t offended in the least when people choose to Unfollow us. We know that it means not reaching as many people when we have shows and products to shill, one-off jokes to tell, or links to share. But we do what we do on Twitter because it’s in our basic nature, and though P&S is in many ways a business, at the heart of it we exist as a band because it’s more fun than anything else we’re qualified to do. And if we chose to edit ourselves for the sake of reaching more people to improve our Social Networking Metrics and Engagement Ratios…well, it would just turn into a job like any other.
I can’t speak for Paul (though I suspect it’s the same for him), but I’ve been playing pun/variation games since I could speak. As a kid, my dad would lead our family on epic word game quests in the car, at the dinner table, and anywhere else there was oxygen and not too much background noise. In elementary school and junior high I suffered greatly for this habit. For example, someone might ask me “can I have some of your chips?”, and I’d reply “what’s that? you want me to swivel my hips?”, at which point I’d start woggling around as I wiggled my ears and eyebrows in what I was certain was a spot-on imitation of the universally-loved Fozzie Bear.
It was only by the grace of my husky-sized body that I didn’t get the shit beaten out of me every day. My faulty assumption regarding Fozzie’s appeal among my peer group would have been enough by itself, let alone the constant wise-assery. As it was, there were very few who were willing to run the pun gauntlet and sit with me at the lunch table.
Of course you know that I’m not looking for sympathy. It’s because of those inane games that I can now (occasionally) do cool shit with words, and have found friends among all the other oddballs and awesomes* who do offbeat and/or awesome stuff with their brains.
Don’t get me wrong: we’d love to have a million Followers. Maybe some day Twitter will have a “pause” feature or some kind of stream-flood threshold that can be set by each user. But until that day arrives, if we achieved a tremendous heap of Followers by being something we’re not, then whose Followers would they really be?
*Oddballs and Awesomes is my Gwar cover band.