First of all lets face it – Twitter is important. People who claim to be too busy in ‘real life’ (which essentially means working hard on weekdays to make money and accompanying the wife and kids to the malls to watch them spend it on weekends) to have time for Twitter, either don’t know what they’re missing, or more likely are too dumb for it. Even the high and mighty of the world who have underestimated the power of the little bird have often ended up with its shit on their botoxed faces. Twitter might have less users than Facebook, but its power is multiplied many times over its actual user count, because of its ability to connect millions of perfect strangers from all over the globe in a trending cause. On Facebook you’re often forced to interact with the same people whose persecution has forced you to flee from the real world into the promised land of the virtual world. But on Twitter you can choose to interact with people of your level of wits (or tits if you desire) and your real life tormentors would probably be too dumb to follow you there.
But then unlike Facebook, Twitter is not easy. People who sign up to Twitter with high hopes of instant success and stardom are too often disappointed and forced to go back to the clutches of real life. It’s a medieval world out there, with its Kings and Lords, who have staked out their feudal kingdoms which they jealously and fiercely guard against bright-eyed aspiring adventurers. The purpose of this article is to give you the weapons and the strategies and tactics to scale their fortresses, murder these kings in their sleep, and steal their castles and lands, their acolytes and their maidens (virtual of course).
Just as in the real world, the rules are different for different genders. I will take up only the cause of the male and the female genders. Transgenders, transsexuals, mixed genders, shemales and others should go to other authorities skilled in their unique problems.
NB: If you’re some sort of freakish genius like @Roflindian or @RameshSrivats, with your brain teeming with witty ideas like ants in an ant-colony, you don’t need this article. This is meant for lesser mortals like me
At the risk of appearing to be an MCP, I’ll take up the case of the men first – simply because its tougher for the men. So fellas, lets get started, and lets start at the beginning.
The first step is of course making an account. Its crucial to have the right handle, because that conveys an instant message to people what you are, and what you promise them. Also, most people on Twitter, just as in real life, are too dumb to go beyond first impressions. For instance, I use the handle @doctoratlarge .I realize now that it was not a great handle. Firstly, it didn’t make sense to many people. They still keep asking me what it means. Many have assumed that it indicates my interest in above-average size feminine assets and a certain celeb has even went on to insinuate that I might be a star in the midget porn industry. Also, it’s the general impression that doctors are dull, uninteresting people, too busy with suffering humanity to have any cheer or wit left in them. So it happened that it took me many months to even get 50 followers.
You can lech onto a famous personality, preferably someone who is also controversial, and derive your handle from his name. Pretend to hate that famous person, even if you’d give your right eye to be like him one day. Also you can derive your handle from mythological figures, popular Bollywood villains, delightful sexual acts or positions – anything that gives the impression that this chap could be fun to follow.
Choose a DP which is creative, rather than outrageous. Outrageous DPs give the impression that you’re begging for attention which is totally uncool. If you’re skilled with your hands, use a hand-made sketch or painting – if not, at least something that matches your handle and your bio. For God’s sake don’t use pics of your ugly phallus or posteriors, unless you want only porn bots to follow you. If you can think of nothing, just use your face, suitably photoshopped to make it less ugly, of course.
Bio is important. It should represent what you stand for and what people can expect from you. If you’re a Maoist or a right wing fanatic or a cannibal, state your ideology in no uncertain terms so that people of your ilk and inclinations flock to you in hordes. Or if like me you’re essentially bored with real life and wish to con people into believing that you’re a witty and fun guy, then be a little outrageous and a little creative. But believe me, it isn’t wise to harp on your favorite sexual depravity.
Getting the first few hundred followers is the most difficult task. Basically, no one on Twitter is really interested in what you have to say. They’re all interested only in what they have to say. To get them interested in you, they have to find some use for you. If you think you’re witty, then send your witticisms to celebs (Twitter celebs, not real-life celebs). However, remember that just as in real-life, Twitter is ruled by celebs who are mostly assholes. Asshole is king, everywhere. And its typical asshole behavior to ignore an upstart. So mostly, you will be ignored. Persist. Keep sending your tweets to them. Because the degree of assholism varies. Some celebs are less assholic than others, and may retweet one or two of your wittiest tweets, thus starting you on your career. Once a celeb shows some interest in you, his hangers-on generally start following you.
But if you’re not witty, your only hope is to suck up to the celeb. Put your mouth around his/her virtual organ and suck relentlessly. Go HAHAHAHAHAHAHA on his stupidest witticisms, retweet him like mad, agree with all his viewpoints on politics, religion, ear-piercing, everything. There are many legends of upstarts who went on to be celebs merely using the power of their oral muscles to suck.
For every asshole on Twitter, there are several nice guys too. These are men who’re truly disenchanted, their real-life dreams shattered, hearts broken – typical losers of the world. They are often blessed with genuine wit and humor, and more importantly are interested in humor as a principle. Which means, if you have something witty to say they will be genuinely interested in you and will do their best to promote you (I told you – typical losers). Follow these guys and they’ll often follow you back. Later on when you become a celeb you can unceremoniously unfollow them. Because it really doesn’t look cool for a celeb to follow losers. Until then, interact with them freely. Massage their fragile self-belief. Tell them that they’re fine fellows who have been really badly treated by a cruel, cruel world.
One good and honorable way to instant stardom is to pick a fight with a Twitter celeb. But remember certain principles before you start. Pick the right celeb. The really witty and confident celebs will just ignore you if you berate them, or worse, block you if you’re too pesky. Pick someone who has a bit of talent but which he has exaggerated in his own mind to be Einsteinesque and whose ego is so fragile that he can never condone a sarcastic comment on himself, especially if the comment is true. This is generally an asshole who has earned a name by being a parasite of a famous man, pretending to hate and ridicule the man who he is leching upon. And never fight for the sake of fighting. Fight for a principle. For instance, when I picked up a fight with such a celeb on Twitter, I fought him because in those days I used to hate assholes on principle. Also, never fight with a celeb until you have at least a few hundred followers yourself – otherwise even this type of celeb will ignore you. But this method of directly challenging a celeb is fraught with danger. Because usually, the favourible type of celeb is empty inside and his bravado and bragging is merely to hide this fact. So he will always move about in a gang of similar fellows like himself, and they will all gang upon you, to beat you to a virtual pulp, and if that fails, they’ll try to discredit you. The friends of the celeb I had a fight with tried to get my Twitter account suspended by spreading all sorts of falsehoods about me. So this approach, though undoubtedly highly effective, is a potential landmine that can actually blow you off Twitter.
Another time tested technique to success is to ridicule real celebs. Some celebs are meant to be permanently ridiculed. Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Rahul Gandhi, Digvijay Singh, Kapil Sibal, Nitin Gadkari, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Chetan Bhagat, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kamaal R Khan, Uday Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan, Sagarika Ghose, Rajdeep Sardesai, Arnab Goswami, Barkha Dutt, Ravi Shastri, Rameez Raja, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja ……. the list just doesn’t end. Pick your own pet celebs to make fun of. I chose Chetan Bhagat, Salman Khan and Rahul Gandhi for most of my barbs – Chetan, because he’s a glorified masaala writer who is desperate to be accepted as an intellectual; Salman because he’s unabashedly dumb and commands a huge following of equally dumb fans who are generally too low-witted to even understand sarcasm, and Rahul because of his charming dimwits and his proclivity to insert his foot into his mouth with predictable regularity.
If you’re serious about being a Twitter celeb, never engage in long, serious discussions with anyone. Be pithy, to the point, and never drag on an argument – people are generally not on Twitter for serious discussions. They want fun and a relief from the mundaneness of real life. In fact, after you have a couple of thousand followers, just stop replying to mentions. Its the same rule of life that also applies on Twitter: People look up to snotty arrogant bastards. In fact, I seldom reply to my mentions – that I still occasionally do so is because I’m not yet a fully developed asshole, just an aspiring one.
Rules for girls
Many of the above rules for men also apply to you ladies. But women, no doubt, are a privileged lot on Twitter. Its easier for them to get followers, because well, they’re girls. And yet there are some principles which they should remember.
Firstly, the DP. Believe me, overtly sexual DPs are passé – in fact a complete no, no. Don’t believe that mediocre blogger turned Bong writer who once wrote a magazine article on how to get more followers and advised girls to show cleavage. Pliss not to listen to him. Showing cleavage on Twitter gets you stalkers, not followers. Let your pic be cool and photoshopped to make you look cute with an ineffable air of mystery about you. Background is important too. Choose a background with pristine scenic beauty if you wish to portray the image of an innocent Wordsworthian heroine. Choose a bookshelf with the proper mix of modern booker winning authors and old classics (suggested ratio = 80:20) if you wish to appear as the intellectual woman of substance. Or go for a plain white or modern-art background if you want to be seen as an angst-ridden tragic Shakespearean heroine, holding back her tears with the firm determination of the walls around her broken heart. And keep changing your pic. Men quickly get bored with a woman who never changes – constancy is after all a masculine characteristic.
What you tweet is less important than how you look. If you’re a girl, just tweet about your daily life, the new soap that you’re trying, how much Biba clothes suck, how mean your new boyfriend is, how possessive and loving your mother is, how you’ve rescued an adorable kitten from the streets and have put him up for adoption, how cute the new trainer in the gym is, and so on. Also twitpic your breakfast, lunch and dinner, the fancy cookies you’ve baked, simultaneously cribbing about the weight you’re putting on despite all your long hours in the gym.
The intellectual woman should of course not tweet such stuff. If you’re the sort of lady whose favorite color is NOT pink, and who thinks that Barbie is an evil invention to keep women enslaved to the image of the frivolous woman, then you are an intellectual woman. Tweet about all the important events of the day – politics, films, music, crime, and the latest Chetan Bhagat book. Always tweet in a moralizing, sermonizing tone. Believe yourself to be always right and never brook any opposition. If someone calls your views rubbish, brand him a misogynist, and let the world know that you’ve blocked the idiot. When you follow someone, make the fact known to the whole of Twitter as if you’re bestowing a huge favour on the poor bugger. Also, its beneath the dignity of an intellectual woman tweep to button retweet anybody – she only does manual RTs. Never stoop so low as to engage in a conversation with an ordinary tweep – interact only with celebs, preferably media persons who’re as addicted to sermonizing as yourself. If you have had any association with an IIT or IIM or similar hallowed institution, even as a typist or a receptionist, proudly proclaim the fact in your bio. And put yourself down as a feminist – any intellectual woman worth her salt is always a feminist.
Disclaimer: Like most self-help books, this article too may turn out to be of absolutely no use to you. But since you’ve paid nothing for it, except your jobless time, you cannot sue me for it