Some of you might recognize the term "Tweep", and some of you may not. In the world of Twitter
, saying "What's up, tweeps!" is like saying "What's up peeps!" (aka, "What's up, people"). This fits today's blog, because today's blog is a shout out to all my friends and fans on Twitter for helping me make something pretty special happen recently on the night of Friday, March 18th, 2011.
What happened, you ask? Well, all hell broke loose pretty much. It all started with my weekly "Follow Friday" shout outs that I like to do every week. On twitter, we have this thing called Follow Friday where every Friday, people like to mention and recommend their friends to the rest of their followers list. If you're good friends with someone or you think their tweets are worth sharing, you recommend that person to the rest of your followers - and how you do it is by using special hashtags: #FollowFriday and #FF for short. In case you're wondering what a hashtag is, its the same as just writing a word, like "Poop", only you put a pound sign in front of it so someone reading your tweets would know that you intend that to be a special topic. For instance, Charlie Sheen has recently been around the media telling people he is "Winning", and that he has Tiger's blood, so after some of his tweets he'll hashtag #Winning #TigerBlood. If you wanted to tweet about how you're angry, you can use an #Angry hashtag to let people know it's a topic: "I'm so pissed at my boss today #Angry". Get it?
Anyway, now that you get hashtags, you can understand a little bit better why people will #FollowFriday hashtag each other. Well anyway, besides the obvious fun there is in watching twitter's search results for certain hash tags, twitter has a section called "Trending Topics" where you can see what topics are "hot" at any given moment on twitter. Sometimes a person's name will trend, sometimes a hashtag like #WorstFirstDateEver, sometimes just other things people say.
While doing my usual "Who else wants a follow friday shout out?" announcements, I noticed a tweet by one of my followers, mentioning that they were wondering who else was a "Mike Peralta fan". Since my followers can't really search for other people following me to connect with each other, I replied to her that she should just tweet the hashtag #MikePeralta, and other fans should do the same, and then they should all go to the twitter search results for that tag to be able to find each other. Then a few times I tweeted the same thing to make sure enough people saw the idea.
A few minutes later, perhaps 5-10 people had tweeted something like, "Who else is a #MikePeralta fan? Lets connect!" I was tickled pink to see that people were trying it, so I decided to "Retweet" the 5-10 tweets I saw on the page. In case you're wondering what a retweet is, it's basically when you see a tweet by someone else you like, so you click a little button that says Retweet, and then the tweet gets posted by YOUR account too, but with credit to the original tweeter. So essentially when I retweeted those tweets, it was as if I tweeted them all to my profile, but each person's profile picture and link show up instead of mine.
... the shit really started to hit the fan. Some of the people saw me retweeting their tweets and got a kick out of it, so they continued repeating the #MikePeralta hashtag. Then more people started to join in. I started to retweet every tweet that I saw coming in, with extra tweets in between reminding people that the point was for them to connect to each other, and so they should watch the search results. At first, every couple minutes I would get 2-5 new tweets coming in. So I kept going at it. Pretty soon I was seeing 10 messages every couple minutes. Then it got faster, and faster, and faster. People were getting excited. They had decided that they wanted #MikePeralta to show up on the twitter trend page. They were repeating tweets several times in a row, or doing tweets that consisted of nothing but several repeats of the hashtag - like "Hey friends #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta". A core group of loyal supporters were tweeting like machine guns, while a larger group of fringe tweeters popped in to help out at random.
Even a local company tried to jump on board by offering discounts to people who mentioned me!
At one point it was going so fast, I couldn't keep up. Between the pressure to retweet fast enough and the excitement of what was going on, I started to breathe heavy and fast, my mouse clicking a million miles a minute to keep up. I was still behind. Every time I thought I was finished, I would click the refresh button in my browser, and 25 more tweets would show up. People were getting crazy and happy, and having fun. People were getting angry that I was flooding my timeline. Some people were going off the deep end "#MikePeralta for mother fucking president bitches!!!" and others were getting pissed off "Who the fuck is #MikePeralta and why is his hashtag all over my timeline!!!! Stop it!!!!". Other people had apparently never heard of me before but were turned into fans by the frenzy. A few started throwing jokes into the mix (I'll include those below).
I had to retweet so often and so many times that my twitter account actually broke twice. And I'm not talking about that message you sometimes get when you follow too many people or tweet too many times too quickly, and twitter tells you "You've hit your hourly usage limit". I'm talking twitter was telling me, "Whoops! There was an error posting your tweet, please try again in a few minutes". The first time it broke, and could no longer retweet for everyone, I got panicked and private messaged a few trusted fans, asking them to spread the word that I was out of commission for awhile. They took the reigns, tweeting things like "Mike's twitter broke from all the tweets! Lets keep #MikePeralta going!". Then I came back and started to help again too. Eventually my twitter broke for about 2 hours, effectively killing the campaign since my retweets were fueling people's excitement.
When all was said and done, twitter's search page showed that in the span of less than an hour, almost FIVE HUNDRED #MikePeralta tweets had gone out. And that's just the results that I could count. Twitter is known for omitting accounts from search results when they have too many friends/followers, when they tweet too much, or just at random, so in reality this number was probably much much higher. I even connected to twitter's search API and downloaded the results to a small database file, so I could write a little program to turn the tweet data into a rich list of everyone's tweets, complete with profile icons, dates/times, and links to everyone's profile - but there was so much data, it crashed my website! My web server is literally not fast enough to parse all the BBCode I generated on one blog page, and just went blank. (Sidenote: BBCode is a "safe" version of HTML that my blog uses, so when I want to write images and links and stuff, that's what I use). One fan's tweet actually was listed as a "Top Tweet" for a couple hours. That is crazy because Top Tweets on twitter are usually only reserved for tweets that get retweeted a ton of times by a ton of people. He literally just posted a #MikePeralta hashtag tweet, and since he was one of the first, enough people retweeted it that it just got promoted! And that's not to mention all the fans who got to meet each other because of this thing.
In case it doesn't go without saying, THANK YOU
to everyone who helped out. You made the beginning of my Friday night so so so much fun... and you made it fun for everyone else. I'm going to fondly remember this day for a long long time. I hope the friends you made and the memories you generated together have touched you too.
I'm going to take a moment here to post my favorite tweets of the night, and a screenshot of the tweet that got promoted to a Top Tweet. Please keep in mind it was impossible for me to manually look through all of the tweets, so if you feel one of your tweets was funny or weird enough to post up here, please go back to your tweet, and mail me it's link (every tweet's link can be found under its "something minutes ago" timeline label).
|I was at a club once and I saw #MikePeralta 's dog making out with Sigourney Weaver. ...no joke. That dog's got game. @mikeperalta|
by user Aoas
|#MikePeralta he never posted how Paris Hilton's cake tasted like!!!|
by user calodixit
|if there's one thing I love about #mikeperalta, it's that he's not Rebecca Black.|
by user loveyourcake
|@mikeperalta made me turn to the darkside! I cannot disobey! The power of the darkside! #MikePeralta|
by user lordvader311
|#MikePeralta is the definition of Aural Sex. Mmm..|
by user notanangel81
|@mikeperalta #MikePeralta is paying us to tweet his name and RT others. Right Mike?|
by user Brownielocks01
|#MikePeralta is WINNING! Take that Charlie! #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta #MikePeralta|
by user rescuemeJR
|@mikeperalta ~~~ #mikeperalta is having my baby|
by user TVKimmy
|I will physically GIVE #mikeperalta a baby, like TAKE a baby from someone and give it to #mikeperalta. He wouldn't ask, I'd just do it.|
by user Samantha12Jane
|#MikePeralta is better than Charlie Sheen he is #Winning!|
by user Brownielocks01
|A movement of new Indie/Folk sonic sounds, bringing endless soul & live, give a follow!RT @IsaFork: Who in da freaking heell is #mikeperalta|
by user indiefolk8
|#MikePeralta!!!! Get ready for some TWEET OVERLOAD <3 You can't hate someone when there way better than Rebecca Black, Ahaha!|
by user rebecca_hoch11
|@mikeperalta has more tweets than #sxsw #mikeperalta|
by user veechic
|My timeline just got raped by @mikeperalta!!!! #MikePeralta|
by user soccer319