Thursday, March 3, 2011

My plans for world domination are proceeding nicely...

One of my favorite cartoon shows was (still is!) Pinky and the Brain:

YouTube | Pinky and the Brain intro

The two mice were constantly engaged in plans to "take over the world," plans which, of course, went significantly awry every single time. If you've never watched the show, I highly recommend checking it out on YouTube or elsewhere. It's deliciously snarky and extremely quotable. ("Are you pondering what I'm pondering?")

A few years ago, South Park had an episode featuring characters called "Underpants Gnomes" who also had grand designs for dominance, but economically. Their grand business plan is as follows:

Phase 1: Collect underpants
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Profit

As you might expect, the Gnomes' scheme was also unsuccessful.

So what is the secret to world domination?  

Well, I can't claim to know how to take over the planet, but apparently I've been doing a halfway decent job taking over the internet.  A few weeks ago I became the most followed person on Twitter in Winter Park (Full Sail University, a fertility clinic, and a rock band T-shirt/merchandise company are ahead of me, but I'm the top-ranked individual).

Then, this Monday, I woke up to a larger-than-normal number of emails, text messages, Facebook messages, and Twitter alerts on my BlackBerry. "Uh-oh. What the heck happened while I was sleeping?!"

Well, Peter Schorsch at Saint Petersblog put together a list of "Florida's Top Political Tweeters" and apparently I made the list.  Cool. I clicked on one of the links from Twitter and read the article, and nearly fell over when I saw how high I had ranked.

The list was based on scores, which are grades for Twitter accounts based on not just followers, but also influence - i.e., how often your tweets get replies or retweets. I've been pretty active with my Twitter account (@rumpfshaker - if you're not already following me, and geez, you should be), especially this past year, but didn't really have any perspective on how I ranked in comparison with other politicos around the state.

So, according to the Saint Petersblog list, the "Top Political Tweeters in Florida" are:

1. Democratic consultant Joy Reid
2. Republican consultant Rick Wilson
3. Jeb Bush
4. Sarah Rumpf
5. a tie between Progress Florida, Peter Schorsch (who made the list), and Senator Bill Nelson...

Wait. What?!

I'm number four?! Out of the whole darn state of Florida! Holy cow.

No, the movie's not about me. But maybe it should be!
Here's the entire should see a lot of very familiar names:
Florida's Top Political Tweeters

Charlie Sheen may have a world record for fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Twitter, but I am completely satisfied with my 1,400+ followers (as of today) and my non-fried brain cells, thank you very much.

So what's my secret? Is there an underpants gnome-like "Phase 1. Join Twitter, Phase 2. ?, Phase 3. Win teh Internets!" plan?

Not really. I've built up those followers little by little, step by step, day by day. I follow people I find interesting or funny, and interact with them, and try to respond when people interact with me. I retweet well-written articles and use hashtags strategically. Collecting followers on Twitter is not that much different strategically than making friends in real life. Be friendly, be helpful, be informative, be entertaining, and people will want to hear what you have to say.

It may also help that I have a somewhat silly but definitely memorable username. If you're not getting the reference, then look up a certain hit single by the early 1990s rap group Wreckx-N-Effect. I'm doing the best I can with a clunky last name.

Link to Orlando Sentinel "Tech for the rest of us" blog post by Sarah Lundy about the Top Florida Political Tweeters

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