Web culture

Bi-winning

This morning, for some reason, I kept thinking about Charlie Sheen’s crazy 2011 interview. This became the subject of the lone tweet I made:

It’s the typical Twitter motivation – something is annoying me, so I will tell you about it and maybe you will be annoyed too. I didn’t give the tweet or the subject much thought after that.

nzherald-tweet

@martynpepperell also comes highly recommended

Then later in the day, I discovered I was part of the New Zealand Herald’s “Top tweeters’ top tweets” list. The Herald had asked New Zealand’s top tweeters for their recommendations and Peter McLennan had kindly listed me for my efforts with 5000 Ways. This put me in the company of such esteemed tooters as Caitlin Moran, Hamish Keith and the Radio New Zealand time pips.

It also left me feeling a bit inadequate. 5000 Ways is on summer holiday and so I wondered if people had checked out my Twitter feed, seen the lame-arse Charlie Sheen toot and decided to instead take triathlete Bevan Docherty’s recommendation of following Ricky Gervais. But as it happened, I gained a few new followers and 5000 Ways had a noticeable bump in traffic – which is pretty major, considering how dead this time of the year is for regular web traffic. (Last year the site had two visitors on Boxing Day, both from Greg Johnson fans.)

So, an increase in Twitter followers and a boost in web traffic. The Charlie Sheen tweet hadn’t put everyone off. And like Mr Sheen, who declares “I win here and I win there”, I suppose this double success also makes me bi-winning. Um, yeah.

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Web culture

Excuse me, I had beans for lunch #ttrttpt

A few months ago I started to see a few people putting #ttrttpt at the end of some tweets, usually ones that related to some sort of miserable event. For example:

But I’ve asked him before and he keeps saying he’ll get back to me. #ttrttpt

I didn’t know what it meant, but thought maybe it was an expression like “pffft”.

It turns out it’s an acronym used by a small group of New Zealanders on Twitter. It stands for “this tweet relates/refers to the previous tweet”, and it is used to show that two sequential tweets are linked.

I think this hashtag started with a good dash of humour (and it looks like it was first coined by the fab @harvestbird), but somehow it’s been jumped upon by people who use the seven-letter hashtag seriously.

It’s not like it’s impossible to figure stuff out from context. Take a tweet like this:

It didn’t have any water in it. Phew!

I’m not left looking at it thinking “What does that even mean? So weird!”. Instead I’ll just scroll back a little bit and see this:

Arrgh! Mr Fluffy just knocked mum’s vase on the floor!

Years ago Ellen Degeneres had a comedy routine about how writing “PTO” in a letter is unnecessary. Does anyone reading a letter, she asked, actually get to the bottom of a page and wonder why the correspondent suddenly stopped mid-sentence, without thinking to turn the page over and check to see if there’s writing on the back?

Before #ttrttpt came around, was there even a problem with letting your followers know you’d written sequential tweets? No. Conjunctions – otherwise known as ‘nature’s #ttrttpt’ – serve that purpose well. And this also explains why #ttrttpt hasn’t caught on with the larger Twitter community.

The most hilarious thing about #ttrttpt is how non-users of it have no idea what it means. It’s not at all self-explanatory, so most people just ignore it or assume it’s some sort of a fart noise. Perhaps it actually is.

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Observatory

I wanna hex you up

In lieu of actually properly writing something, here are some recent tweets:

My Sunday exploration has revealed that Karori has two supermarkets and not much else.
2:01 PM Jul 26th

I love that Color Me Badd’s Wikipedia entry has a subsection titled “Downhill Slide“.
1:38 PM Jul 27th

A #nzff poster taunts me with its image of the good-times train while instead I wait for the crap-times bus.
5:39 PM Jul 27th

I made a Mad Men cartoon likeness of myself: http://bit.ly/ojc28
12:13 AM Jul 29th

In lieu of sitting down and actually properly writing something (which would take a bit of effort), I redesigned my blog.

Well, I switched WordPress themes from K2 to Atahualpa. K2 was OK, but I got a bit sick of how the text was justified and, well, I felt like a change. Atahualpa is nice. It does what I want it to do, and now I can finally start mucking around with WP widgets. It takes a bit of self-restraint to not fill up all the sidebars with stuff. Oh hey, stop looking over there – keep your eyes in the middle!

In lieu of putting some time aside and actually properly writing something, I took some photos:

Haere maiFutuna cookieWot?Last train to Matangi

I take lots of photos but I don’t get around to uploading them much due to my iBook being almost ready to donate to a technology museum as an example of how computers were in the olden days.

But eventually I get motivated enough to set aside an hour or so and get the photos off my camera, tagged and uploaded.

See the last photo – the one of the train? That’s a drawing of one of the new Matangi trains that’ll be replacing Wellington’s urban trains next year.

As previously mentioned, Matangi was also the name of the little village I grew up in, south-east of Hamilton. But now seeing this train with Matangi in its destination board makes me feel a little bit ill.

It’s as if one day I could get on the train, expecting it to take me to the Hutt, but actually its destination would be Matangi, and I’d end up getting off at the siding by the old dairy factory:

View Larger Map

Also, see how it’s quite a nice sunny day in the Google Streetview pic but yet it looks really bleak and desolate? That was my childhood. I hope this helps explain my my issue with the trains being called Matangi.

In lieu of actually properly writing something, I renamed my website. Sort of.

My site has been called Robyn’s Secret Passage since I bought secret-passage.com in 1998 (You can read more on that history here.)

I thought it was a perfectly nice name, but I eventually got sick of the “Hur hur hur O RLY” response when I’d first tell someone what it was.

I’d switched to robyngallagher.com but my site was still titled Robyn’s Secret Passage. Then a couple of weeks ago, I decided to ditch that name and just name the site after myself.

Even though it just required changing text in a box in WordPress, I found it a strangely emotional experience. It took a while before I could click the “Save Changes” button.

I also ditched the tagline “The coolness that is Robyn”. That one originates from something that OG journal girl Olivia wrote in her online journal about a party she’d held and how “the coolness that is Dean and Robyn” came. (Jesus, that was too long ago.)

From memory, I originally used it ironically, but 10 years later it’s tired and faded and what it says doesn’t match me any more. Like a pair of those bumster jeans from the late ’90s.

In lieu of actually properly writing something, I’ve sort of tricked myself into actually properly writing something.

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Film & TV, Observatory

In the back row

Every now and then I have to work a Sunday and so I get the preceding Friday off. I like to use the time to go out and do stuff that would normally be busy on a weekend.

I was considering going to the Food Show, but I think I’m over that. Senior citizens and cheese cubes and packet-mix pasta sauce samples have limited entertainment value.

So instead I strolled in to Newmarket and saw “Starter For 10” at the Rialto. I was kinda bored while I waited for the film to start, so I texted live updates of the trailers, etc, to Twitter.

2.17pm It’s my Sunday Friday so I’m enjoying the pleasures of a near empty cinema.

2.18pm I would like to point out that the movie has not started yet. I an not a rude film texter.

2.20pm Eagle vs Shark trailer – makes me want that crazy love. Unf!

2.25pm Black Snake Moan looks dirty and filthy and awesome.

4.07pm Movie review: Starter For Ten. Funny, sweet, heartbreaking, uplifting and with a choice ’80s soundtrack. What being a student is actually like more than most movies manage.

4.57pm Foodtown on a Friday afternoon is tolerable when one has the Mint Chicks on one’s iPod.

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Observatory

The only thing standing between you and me is the bus, baby

I had the day off today, so I decided to go to Sylvia Park because it is a mall and it is shiny and new.

I considered taking the train – the new Sylvia Park station opens today – but it actually looks like going from Mt Eden station Sylvia Park could require three trains, which is, like, totally ridiculous.

So instead I took the 512 bus. It starts off fairly ordinarily – Symonds, Khyber, Broadway, Great South, Main Highway, Ellerlie-Panmure Highway, but then once it hits Mt Wellington, it goes on this dizzying circuit of various suburban streets, including one called Ferndale, which is the fictitious setting of Shortland Street, which makes me think that the bus isn’t actually grinding around the suburban hills, but rather I’ve accidentally jumped across a vortex in the space-time continuum and am in a parallel universe/limbo where I must circle the mean streets of Ferndale South in a bus until finally I get to jump back in to the relative civilisation of Mt Wellington Highway.

Now, when I first visited Sylvia Park a few weeks ago, it was a quiet Friday. The mall felt like a 1960s English Corbusian-inspired housing estate that had been turned into a New Zealand mall, and I was quite excited by it all.

But when I got to Sylvia Park today, I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. It was the school holidays, so the mall was packed with babies&children&teenagers.

Enough Sylvia Park school holidays mayhem! I jumped on the first bus that came along with “DOWNTOWN” on its destination board. What I didn’t realise was that it went to downtown via Panmure, when meant entering a whole other space-time continuum and going on more crazy-ass circuits, past butcher shops that offer discount rates on sausages for sports clubs and hangis.

But as it happened, I’d just signed up with Twitter, so I amused myself by sending progress reports to the interwebs:

3:25pm On a bus. Endlessly circling the streets of south central Panmure. Oh, make the relentless suburban landscape end!

3:38pm Taniwha Street in Glen Innes. I paid over five dollar for this bus ride. I expect magic.

3:44pm The sun has come out and the bus is turning into Kohimarama, which is not in my cellphone’s dictionary.

4:02pm Why can’t this bus do what the 274 does and drive along main roads instead of detouring along all these suburban side streets?

4:13pm Downtown, sweet downtown. Only an hour to get here from Mount Wellington.

Life would be so much easier if I were a shut-in/hermit (hermette?) type.

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