Did you have a happy Christmas?
Lovely. Let’s never speak of it again.
Now, back to normality.
As earlier posts on this blog thing will have told you, I’m useless around technology. I have a FaceBook page and a MySpace page. And this blog thing. If pushed, I can even download music now, which in my world is like putting a man on the moon – I’ve done it three times so far and, while I could do it much more, there’s a fiscal deficit to be dealt with first.
I even signed up to Twitter a few months ago.
That’s been my biggest question about Twitter ever since I first heard of it. I’m happy for the people who love it, but I just couldn’t see how it could possibly benefit the life I live.
Now cut to circa 1981 when a friend was telling me about this “computer” thing he’d bought. It took ages to fire it up, with a high pitched signal that he had to play in from a cassette machine, and when it did come to life, its black and white (or was it green on a black screen? I think it may have been) flashing courier writing had, for me at least, all the sex appeal of a heart monitor and none of the usefulness. Yet he insisted this was the future and I ought to be part of it. “We do everything on it now”, he told me. “Well, what?”, I asked. “Everything! Christmas card lists… everything.”
He kept his Christmas card list on it. That’s what computers were for in 1981. They’d never catch on. How could a computer “do everything”? Ridiculous.
I lost contact with that guy. I heard from his ex wife a couple of years ago, but he’s not on FaceBook, so we’ll probably never see one another again.
Well, obviously, computers slowly crept up on me. Then came something called email which was exciting initially but became just another thing to fall behind with (current backlog is 142- not a personal record), then the internet… you get the picture.
And one day, a comedy promoter who’s quite hard to get seen by announced that any future opportunities to perform at his club would be advertised exclusively on Twitter. I had no option. If that was the only way to find out about spots at a club I want to perform at, obviously, I had to sign up.
But I didn’t have anything to say. So I thought I’d wait a while before doing my first tweet to the world. A few months passed. Friends heard I’d joined, so ‘followed’ me. I ‘followed’ them. After quite a short time, I stopped visiting the site, but would still occasionally receive an email telling me of a new ‘follower’. Mostly people I had never heard of. A couple of them supposedly gorgeous young women looking to er, “hook up”. They must have seen my photo and thought “phwoarrr. He’s someone I ought to be following”.
Just before Christmas, I started being followed by someone who works in PR. Probably befriending several comedians that day as that’s the area in which he specialises. Which is a perfectly sensible thing to do and I’ll think of him next time I want and can afford a PR.
Then I read this: http://stuchopslaws.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/twitterphiliaphobia on Stuart Laws’ blogsite thing – yep, didn’t take long to reference Laws again, did it? Other inspirational comedians are available – and I realised my mission in life is to be part of the Twitteratti.
A part that is never seen or heard, but a part for all that.
I’ve never tweeted. I never expect to tweet. Yet strangers follow me. They follow someone who doesn’t say anything. Ever. They clearly enjoy the calming silence I offer, the oasis of serenity in a noisy twittodesert. More people should have the opportunity to benefit in this way. It’s my gift to the world.
So I mentioned it on my FaceBook page and few new people started following me. My friend Jane Hill of the Milky Drink Kids (@janehill64) mentioned me on Twitter itself today and I gained another 20 or so. Then my friend Tony Cowards (@TonyCowards) mentioned it and more came flooding in. At the time of writing, I now have 50 followers. 50 people who don’t want to miss a word I won’t say. This is becoming a popular movement. Like Live Aid. Or something. But quieter. And of less use.
Won’t you join me in this TwitterQuest? All you have to do is let everyone know that @richardrycroft is hoping to become the most followed non-tweeter on Twitter and the rest will follow. Stephen Fry currently has 2,065,574 followers (which is 376 more than when I checked about three hours ago). That’s just 2,065, 524 more than me. This is eminently do-able, people!
If you’re not already signed up to Twitter, join today and follow me. You don’t have to do anything else. In fact, the less you do, the more palpable your commitment to the cause. I already have one follower who has never tweeted. Join the chorus of silence!
- Stephen Fry has added another 11 followers since I wrote the above
- I have added 30
- Every time I’m notified of a new follower, I follow or send a request to follow them, depending on their security settings. It’s my way of letting them know I’m a real person, and of saying thanks for playing along. If you follow me and don’t want me to follow you, just delete me from your followers; I shan’t be offended. But please keep following me. Your followship feeds my silence.
- Some people have been a little confused about this project. “Why follow someone when you learn nothing at all about them?” asked @kyleorchid. @ Peapod1974 said, “I would follow @richardrycroft but he seems to want to beat @stephenfry for some reason? What’s the competition?” Happily, Jane was able to reassure them that my intentions are pure, and they’ve joined the gang. It’s just a bit of fun, you know.
- My favourite tweets today have been: “That’s the equivalent of saying “Listen to me, I’m not going to say anything” and then trying to get a crowd together” (@Huggibear) and “Will be interesting to see how high he can get. Fascinating idea. A million followers following nothing :)”(@bosunrsa).
Thanks to everyone who’s joined in so far. Any comments?
ps I’ve just found an interesting blog by an American guy called Dustin Curtis at
He says I should sign off by saying:
YOU SHOULD FOLLOW ME AT TWITTER HERE: https://twitter.com/#!/richardrycroft
(I don’t know how to attach a link to a word)
TwitterQuest updates elsewhere on this blog:
|1. 4th January 2011 https://richardrycroft.net/2011/01/04/twitterquest-begins/2. 6th January 2011 https://richardrycroft.net/2011/01/06/twitterquest-1000/
3. 22nd January 2011 https://richardrycroft.net/2011/01/22/heroes-of-twitterquest/
4. 23rd January 2011 https://richardrycroft.net/2011/01/23/twitterquest-2000/
5. 5th February 2011 https://richardrycroft.net/2011/02/05/twitterquest-affiliates/
6. 24th July 2011 https://richardrycroft.net/2011/07/24/twitterquest-concludes/#comments