In this week's cover feature, "The Twitterverse", we dive into the world of Twitter to spotlight some of the best things going with the social networking hub, and also uncover some of the worst things permeating the site.
We talked to tweeting Texans in Dallas and Houston to get their take on the social media phenomenon, tracing it from it's beginnings in San Francisco all the way to the behemoth it is now, boasting now over 75 million accounts and counting.
There is no doubt that it can be a fun way to meet new and interesting folks and get involved in your community, especially in Houston. But the fact of the matter is that some users are still utterly clueless when it comes to interacting on the site.
Sadly, there are no classes you can take to learn how to use Twitter correctly as of yet, so we offer you these five ways you can make the Twitterverse a better place.
Before we begin, can we please pin down exactly what "FTW" means? Some of you say it means "for the win" while others say it stands for "fuck the world." Personally, we prefer the latter for obvious reasons.
We don't care where you are at all times of the day, nor do we want to know that you scored an "Explorer" badge at Ikea. Stop tweeting your Foursquare updates like you are your own paparazzo. It's actually torturing us to the very core of our being to know that you are at Fuddruckers with three other people who have also just tweeted that they are with you. Please keep some things your own little secret, like being the "mayor" of your proctologist's office.
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4. Amway Tweets
We love free things, but we aren't about to sacrifice a bit of our soul to tweet that we signed up in order to win a new shiny piece of plastic from a sketchy website. You sound like a spambot, and we block and report those kinds of things as spam on the regular with a gleeful grin. Do you know anyone personally or even through your vast and varied following of 86 people that has won an iPad in an online sweepstakes? We have unfollowed people outright for less offensive crimes.
3. Think McFly, Think!
Don't lovingly tweet about wishing to be heavily involved in charity work around town, and five minutes later blast the fat sweaty guy you see walking down the street to delight your followers. Also, make sure if you are going to use the #FAIL hashtag, that you spell check every single word that precedes it. We hat when you do thot, 2.
2. Talking About What You Are Eating
Big deal, you can afford Kobe beef for lunch when we are experimenting with making ramen noodles for breakfast. Just because you had the foresight to get a well-paying job that allows you to visit restaurants that have working bathrooms and don't reuse disposable utensils doesn't mean we have to know about it. And don't say "nom nom" when something tasted really damned good. If you are a five-year old with a Twitter account, it's adorable. If you are a grown-ass man, it's creepy.
1. TMI Doesn't Make Us LOL
A wise person once told us that the secret of being boring is saying everything. We like you enough to follow you on Twitter, but we still don't care about how great your new foot lotion smells or when you are going to bed. When you do that you aren't adding an endearing dimension to your personality for us to see, you are actually showing us how starved you are for attention.