I Myself Google... Myself
Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 05:34PM
Zach Buscher

If you've ever visited the front page of this site you might have noticed that I keep a modest (not to mention scantily updated) Twitter account under the name PoetryTwit.

For the past year or so I've been trying to muck about with the site's 140 character constraints to decidedly mixed results. I am thrilled to have published a few of these in a previous issue of Otoliths, under the working title "from Tweet Tweet." I am even more happy to have turned some of these fragments into more fleshed out poems in progress. Still, I have found it difficult to keep up with the project, one I feel could be worthy of every day attention. As so often happens with writing that is solitary, whether the project "fails" or "succeeds"-- I should mention that I am not sure what these words imply in such a context, but I suppose that increased "readership" would constitute "success"-- will surely be commensurate with my own investment. It is an investment that, like this website, I would like to push further.

As a lapsed Luddite, I have some questions about Twitter: How do I foster readership? How do I "win" new followers? Is it one of those (forgive the poor lit-biz analogy that follows) you publish me, I publish you kind of things?  I follow you, you follow me, yeah? More regular updates would certainly helps matters! My ex-girlfriend has, like, 4,000 followers. Then again, social media is her realm. I'm not nearly as good at the whole networking thing... 

Anyway, I digress. The question that concerns me right now concerns access. I am trying to figure out how to get a hold of my older tweets. Let's say older than a year. I was shocked when I logged in today to find that I had four previous tweets rather than twenty-four or something. Can we blame the dreaded "fail whale" (...) as pictured above? I've tried a few sites that claim to archive old tweets. No luck. The social links feed through SquareSpace takes me back about twelve months, yet I'm trying to get them all from the beginning. Any recommendations? You see, I would love to parlay this [Twitter] project into some sort of tome. A "Collected Tweets" as it were. This could be a terrible idea, but I haven't seen much contemporary poetry in poem/tweet land (is there any to be recommended?). There are Twitter novels being spun and the concept of the Japanese cell phone novel, sure. But wouldn't poetry seem a more logical pairing?

A funny thing happened on the way to today's dead end. I found out that I am listed as one of the "Top 100 Twitterers in the Book World," sitting at number 32 (it's not a countdown, instead categorically grouped). I'm not sure how the blog-arm of www.onlineclasses.org came up with this, but it seems they are very fond of making lists. Thanks, guys! I do appreciate it! Even if they did identify me as Zach Busher, a typo not quite so hilarious to me as My Name is Mud contributor Zach Buschler, I love it. I am curious how that came to pass, though. I am just a poor boy from the Masshole of the earth, with only 140 followers (140 followers, 140 characters... I'm quite content with such symmetry) to my credit and only a few tweets under my belt. I think it's the name. It's gotta be the name.

So in conclusion, I feel inspired to continue with the project at hand! Whatever that project may be.

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