Best Kiwi Tweets of Christmas 2012

Happy holidays, everyone!

The People of Twitter didn’t let the silly season get to them. Much.

There were gifts
robtreacher I now have incredibly sexy underwear. All I need now is a wax job and 6 months in the gym…
Sportzfreak Those 1000 things to do / see / hear / visit / cook etc before you die books make great gifts. But not for the elderly

We watched some TV
AnnaGConnell Mum and are watching ‘Kendra On Top’. Mum seems to know a lot about her.
TophHooperton ‘To my brother, the richest guy in town’. You may now commence sobbing like a middle aged divorcee. #ItsAWonderfulLife
rarahsobson I am so emotionally invested in this one direction tv documentary.

We ate some food. Mostly Trifle.
joesomething_ Trifle for all meals.
MoataTamaira Trifle breakfast, round 1 underway.
AnnaCoddington At Christmas time your second helping of pudding better be AT LEAST as big as your first was.
dane_0k I’d like to throw a baby shower for my food baby

We drank a little
allstarangel In hindsight six shots of sambuca in six minutes was not the brightest idea I’ve ever had.
_HannahTweets_  I am clearly the drunkest of my family right now because I just sang happy birthday to baby Jesus as “grace” before we ate.
Rageaholic_ I’m about to put the code thing on my phone ….#crhishmis
Stitchpunk …,,a bit sozzled, just quietly..which not stop me having more when we get home….
unstatusfactory Christmas made me drunk.
VickyRF Eggnog is made! Everything from this point on may be a blur.

We had interactions with whanau
toryhipster Cousin’s boyfriend calls himself the Timinator. Fuck. Send help.
Rose_Matafeo “So, have you seen any good film recently” – actual conversation I tried to make with my 3 yr old nephew
hakiclark You’d be proud of me. Uncle asked how I was, told him. “I’m all for counselling” he says. “Tell me how it goes”. So that was unexpected.
Tenani I feel like at Christmas everyone tweets about how weird their family is & in doing so realises since every family is weird none of them are
mattdeevee 1.5 hour Skype session with the family in NZ… 4 generations sharing Christmas at the same time on opposite ends of the world. Priceless!!!
kathadu Wearing a top that is entirely inappropriate for Christmas with the ex. Oh well. It fits and it’s comfy. Merry Cleavage everyone

It was hot
karenhurley 830pm and haven’t started cooking Xmas dinner yet. Too damn hot. Poor kids been surviving on carrots & corn chips.

Some weird stuff went down
I_Am_Artemis My chicken has the right idea, she is fast asleep in the tree.
ashleigh_young Just passed a bunch of people having their Christmas lunch in the middle of a roundabout. Picnic table and umbrella and everything.

And there were some adorkable grinches
guywilliamsguy So many people have wished me a “Merry Christmas” this year, I’m feeling a lot of pressure to live up to such high expectations!
terror_nz Goddamn I hate Christmas. Which Santa was never born.
blendy All the boxing day sales emails coming at once are making it easy to unsubscribe from all the annoying mailing lists I’m on.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays,  New Zealand. And for the first time ever, I’ll let Brad have the last word!

Kiwi_Chatter Ngā mihi nui mō te Kirihimete.

When good internet warriors go bad

By now you will have heard the terrible news about the shooting at the Connecticut primary school.

Not everyone online treated it with the respect the situation deserved. Among those were a handful of Justin Bieber fans, who took to Twitter to express their angst that extended shooting coverage meant that the Biebs would probably not be on the Ellen show that day as planned.


Yeah. Pretty thoughtless, eh?

The People of the Internet tend to be pretty good at sorting this level of herpderpery out – tweets came thick and fast, telling the offenders what was going on, how bad it really was, and giving them a little perspective.

However, it wasn’t long before this started to happen [NSFW]:

abuse1 abuse2 abuse3 abuse4 abuse5 abuse6 abuse7 abuse8 abuse9 abuse10

It’s actually part of a wider trend I’ve been noticing lately: Someone is a bit of a dick online, or just says something someone else doesn’t like, and as part of the ‘community service’ of correcting that person, a line is crossed.

In my opinion, in this kind of situation it’s never okay to tell someone you wish they’d get shot, or that they should kill themselves.

I’m reminded of the recent Charlotte Dawson situ – regardless if you felt she was being a jerk or not, there’s no place for telling someone to “neck yourself”. Some of the recent tweets at The Oatmeal after his pathetic rape joke aren’t winning anyone over to the good side. The Pike River memorial Facebook page I help the Grey District Council manage has receiving end of some of the most disgusting stuff you can imagine, from trolls who see a page like that as “grief porn”. A fair number of those trolls genuinely believe they’re correcting a wrong. Some are just dicks.

In the last two days, I’ve seen people tweet to another user that they should drink bleach, get shot in the face, be mutilated to death, and be beaten to a pulp. Just mocking someone can be bad enough without adding threats and inciting to suicide.

I’m not the moral police, I know that. I’m not saying telling people off online is wrong. I’m not even saying that I think swearing at people is wrong. The shooting, in particular, was a highly emotionally-charged situation, and it’s only human to get ragey, upset, frustrated, scared, annoyed. But as humans, I believe we’re called to something bigger than expressing every unfiltered emotion we ever have at a 13-year-old who is being a bit selfish or thoughtless.

Not everyone treats terrible situations with the respect and care they deserve, we can’t control that. But what we can control is how we act towards those people.

Lets not be a part of making a horrible situation worse.

Tweeting from a bubble

Celeb Boutique use "Aurora" to promote themselves

We have all heard about the terrible shooting in Aurora, and know what a difficult time those affected are having. Naturally Aurora, shooting, and Batman became top trending topics on Twitter, and most of the online community was talking about what had happened.

Then online retailer Celeb Boutique made a terrible call – to use #Aurora to talk about their dress of the same name.

Celeb Boutique use "Aurora" to promote themselves

After a barrage of replies, the tweet was deleted, and Celeb Boutique published a four-tweet apology, claiming their social media team were not aware of what was really going on.

“We are incredibly sorry for our tweet about Aurora – Our PR is NOT US based and had not checked the reason for the trend, at that time our social media was totally UNAWARE of the situation and simply thought it was another trending topic,” they said. “We have removed the very insensitive tweet and will of course take more care in future to look into what we say in our tweets. Again we do apologise for any offense caused this was not intentional & will not occur again. Our most sincere apologies for both the tweet and situation.”

The response to Celeb Boutique’s apology was frosty at best. Many tweeters didn’t buy the non-US excuse, and called for the PR company to be fired. Others wished the company would go bankrupt, and still others called the company all manner of bad names.

Tweeting from a bubble has happened in New Zealand before. During the night of the Pike River disaster, one very famous designer auto-tweeted links to a huge sale she was kicking off, while the rest of Twitter was talking about Pike. The updates stood out like a sore thumb.

The feedback the team behind the account received was not pleasant, to say the least.

This is not a good thing to do, people. In fact, I tell people I work with that if they set up auto-tweeting – which I don’t recommend but know sometimes you’ve got to – the second they hear anything of national significance kicking off, they must turn off all non-human comms.

The lessons here are: Don’t live in a bubble, and don’t hijack a hashtag. Read the environment before you tweet, and if for some reason you’ve given the community the middle finger, apologise fast and be honest about why it happened.

Things a Twitter addict learned while on holiday

This holiday, I went on a social media fast. No Twitter. No Facebook. I wasn’t allowing myself to see anything remotely work-related. I was having a Proper Break.

Sounded good in theory, but I didn’t realise just how much I used Twitter to keep up with news, and find alternative perspectives from the ones in my head, in the paper, or on the TV.

I Googled "Twitter Troll" and this came up. Pretty much exactly what I look like.

I’ll cheerfully admit, I’m sometimes a Twitter troll*. I’ll make a big, bold, topical statement, and then watch for fireworks. It’s interesting, the reactions you get: From the earnest to the angry, people on either side of the coin will either call you out or triumph their hurrahs!

Luckily, there’s truth mixed in there somewhere. The answer is never black-or-white, and opinion trolling – although must be used with caution – usually starts a fantastic discussion where we can all learn something, gain perspective, or feel grounded.

Another thing I didn’t do this week was share stuff I was reading or watching to Facebook or Twitter. It made me feel very disconnected – it turns out I’ve been using Twitter almost as a bookmark: A place where I can go back later, find the link, and share again. Not to mention the enjoyment my friends get from the good oil. I didn’t get to read their comments. I didn’t get to see what they were sharing.

No, this week, I haven’t been on Twitter. I haven’t seen the 140-character vox pops of people’s take on news and current affairs. I haven’t seen the trending topics. I had FOMO. It makes me feel out of touch, and I don’t like feeling out of touch.

The flip side is, I didn’t facepalm. Not once.

During my holiday, I never felt misunderstood (a misunderstood sometimes-troll? Who would have thought!). I didn’t get frustrated. I didn’t have to adopt the fetal position at all! I didn’t feel scrutinised – that at any moment something I tweet may get twisted and end up in the paper. No stress that a tweet – oopsie! – could come from an account it shouldn’t have. I did not see any of the mob-mentality, angry, angry tweets about something that doesn’t even matter in the scheme of things. I know, I know. Us “professionals” are supposed to wax lyrical about how we’re all amazingly thick skinned, and you shouldn’t be working near flames if you can’t handle heat etc. Wah, wah, wah. But let me tell you: This week, muting Twitter was bliss.

Well, it was very nearly bliss.

I missed seeing my friend’s streams of consciousness. I did miss taking advantage of “anyone free for a drink” tweets. I missed the warm humour and the pithy one liners.  I missed knowing the news when it happened. I missed BexieLady’s amusing pregnant oversharer tweets and TroyRFs ragey bus tweets.


It’s tweets like these that make Twitter what it is


It was also hard to not share my own random thoughts – having a really funny untweeted thought was almost like putting a note in a bottle and then never releasing it to the ocean to see what will happen.

Gawd, I did just write that.

Oh the things I could have tweeted! There was the half-hour phone call with my older brother, explaining why he couldn’t just use his first name as his Skype login, and then working out that he didn’t have an internet connection in first place. That would have been awesome to live tweet.  There was the time my flatmate a random person I was hanging out with,  upon seeing a happy child skipping along the street remarked, “bet that’s a weird little kid… I mean, ‘unique’ little kid. Whatever we’re supposed to call it these days.”

So Tweet-worthy.

But I digress.

The NZ Twitter crowd really is one big whanau. There’s the younger siblings, who bring us Bieber and Gaga and Shore Girls news. There’s the mums who make sure we’re all doing okay and eating our veges. There’s the angry uncles getting drunk and arguing the Demise Of Everything in the corner. There’s the older sisters who say “fuck it” and wear leopard print jeans with tie-died hoodies even though they look a bit mad. There’s the grandparents who are mostly graceful and amazing but turn out to be batshit crazy enough to hang out with the rest of us.

I missed you, tweeple.


*Trolling. Not to make people uncomfortable, or to show a company what a dick I am, but just to get people talking. And thinking, hopefully.

5 major mistakes brands make on Facebook

Facebook pages. So easy, anyone could do it, right?

Yes. But here’s the rub: There’s actually best practise for pages, and it seems like a lot of people don’t think about them. It’s as if the humans behind the business stop thinking like a Facebook user, and start thinking like a broadcaster.

Here’s five common mistakes people make on brand’s Facebook (and Twitter) pages.

They don’t write like a human

It’s okay for a brand to call someone “mate” online. It’s fine to start a post by saying “hey guys”. It builds rapport, reminds users that they’re talking to a human, not just a brand. It gives people the warm fuzzies, and does not look out of place in a social forum.

There’s a special place in my heart for brands who insist their name must be in capitals, all the time. On the internettywebs, that’s shouting. I get the branding thing – you know I do – but I once lost a disagreement with a client whose name was long, in capitals, and had a trademark on the end. They insisted the post contain their brand. Twice. And wouldn’t listen to reason. So I posted the status, and users called the brand out.

Because the WRITTEN FOR HUMANS®™ post didn’t look WRITTEN FOR HUMANS®™ at all.

Which ties into my next point:

They think in broadcast, not conversation

On behalf of the People of the Internet: Please stop telling us what to think. Help us experience your product or service for ourselves.

Page managers sometimes don’t seem to be aware that the internet is an amazing place where you can experience things not available to traditional broadcast. Ignoring the interactive part of social media just leaves you with media.

Which is fine, except then you’re missing 80% of the point of being on social media.

I know it can be difficult to get your head around, and thinking up interactive posts can be hard. It also feels a bit risky to step outside the “broadcast” box – it means things can (and will) go wrong.

It’s still worth it.

They repeat posts that didn’t work the first time

Again… Broadcast mentality. Repetition is fine in traditional outlets, but it’s a different story on social. If your audience didn’t engage with the post first time around, why would you keep hitting them over the head with it?

Adjust. Learn. Grow. And remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always had.

They delete negative feedback

I know why this happens. It freaks brand people out to see something slamming the brand on the official page, so they get delete-happy. We can all think of examples of this…

Yes, a few unhappy punters can ruin the experience for others. Yes, you have to take feedback in context. But there are other ways of dealing with unhappy users, rather than deleting their message. You wouldn’t hang the phone up on them, right? So why delete their post?

How is this for a suggestion: Actually listen to the feedback.

Yeah, I went there. Stop being shit. And if you can’t stop it, minimise it. Adapt. Adjust. Revise. It’s like someone saying “I don’t like chocolate ice cream” and the brand saying “LAHLAHLAH, I can’t hear you!” and then doing a post about how great chocolate ice cream is.

Your fans offer you a gift when they give you honest feedback. Don’t slam the door in their face.

They measure themselves with the wrong yardstick

What’s actually important to your social media strategy? What’s your end goal? Do you want hits to your site? Brand awareness? Sell lots of product? Get your message out?

Long story short: It’s not all about follower or fan numbers.


What do you think are some of the main mistakes brands make on Facebook and other social media outlets?

Tweet links like a boss

Dan Zarrella of HubSpot has got some handy data about linksharing on Twitter. This is really important if you want to maximise click throughs. In a nutshell:

  • Tweet later in the week
  • Tweet later in the day
  • Dont bombard your audience with links
  • Put the link 25% of the way through the Tweet
  • Don’t use all your 140 characters!

Here’s his infographic

NZ in 2011: As told by Kiwis on Twitter

Twenty Eleven was a big year in Kiwiland: A year of huge highs, and gut-twisting lows. This was a year of elections, world cups, earthquakes, tornadoes, and even a Twitter baby.

Calling these few the “best” tweets isn’t right; throughout the process of looking at the tweets of 2011 there were so many that made me laugh, think, and cry. There are some amazing ones which have not made the cut: There are simply too many to list here. But thank you – each and every one of you – for sharing a part of yourself with the rest of us.

May we never lose sight of the fact that we’re all just human beings, being human.

Cate x

There was an earthquake that broke our hearts – but not our spirits

We shared the dark times

We shared messages of hope

…and didn’t lose our senses of humour

That awesome tweet where Paula Penfold stood up against a tabloid writer

Remember that time we nearly got raptured?

2011 was the year we learned of ‘monthly sickness’

Remember that time it snowed?

It snowed in Wellington…

…and Auckland refused to be outdone

The NZPA closed its doors

A ship crashed and started spewing her shit everywhere

We did this a lot

There was a lot of Rugby World Cup madness

Remember the Pink Fist?

Sonny Bill Everything

There were the flags…

Do you remember the day that Graham Henry’s face changed?

And then we all got really, really drunk.

Then there was an election

And Movember

Then we got straight into Christmas

So that was some of New Zealand’s 2011, via Twitter. I hope next year is disaster free, full of fun, and has many, many amazing Tweets in the works.

Here’s to 2012!

Five reasons Twitter users want to quit

Social networking platform Twitter has many uses – staying in touch with friends, catching breaking news live from the scene, networking with potential business contacts, finding feedback, help and general rubbernecking.

But lately many high-profile users are abandoning the interface, and the reasons are just as varied.

When I put a call out on Twitter about twittexhausion, I thought I had a fair idea how this blog would turn out. Well, I was wrong.

I was inundated with messages. It seems there’s a fair amount of long-term, high-level users who are about to put Twitter onto semi-permanent hiatus. Why?

Shortland Street called, it wants its storyline back

“Did you hear @someone just lost their job?” “OMG did you SEE her tweet?” “I heard that @suchandsuch has hooked up with @thatguy!” “My life sucksssssssssssssssssssssss.”

It’s exhausting, and yet we get sucked into dramas and whines that aren’t even ours.

“So many gloaters, whiners and gossipers,” one user said. “When did it get like this?”

“I’ve almost stopped tweeting as was getting so worked up reading other people’s comments. My stream full of whining! Time off = good for me,” another user tweeted.

“The ridiculous immaturity of some users at times. The gossip. The scandal. The negativity. The drama,” one user said.

“I was worrying and getting angry about things that just weren’t important or getting sucked into dramas without even contributing to them, or knowing the people involved – dedicating head space to the dramas of strangers is just stupid,” another person messaged.

This leads nicely into point two:

Twitter fights, bullying, and inappropriate messaging

Several high-profile tweeters were targeted recently by a bully who posted inappropriate content about them, and a group of young women were targeted by a local tweeter who wanted to see nude photos, then chastised them for not sharing.

“It’s hard. It makes me feel gross. I’ve blocked him now but I feel uneasy when I see other people talking to him,” one user said. “I want to tell them all what he said to me but I don’t want to bring it all up again. I’d rather leave it alone.”

“Enough with the faceless, nameless people who hurl abuse!” another high-profile tweeter said.

I am not my workplace

For those who use Twitter openly for both work and personal use, the pressure to stay “on brand” and above-board can be overwhelming.

As one community manager puts it, “people keep asking me work questions on my own account. I was hoping for some time out but there’s no down time when people know where you work.”

“People’s expectations don’t match reality and that’s taken the fun out of Twitter for me,” another user writes. “People expect me to be on call for them 24/7, and then they abuse me when I’m not. I’m feeling frustrated, sad, overwhelmed and over it.”

Twitter is not the Olympics.

Why are so many Twitter users focused on measuring tools like Klout, follower numbers, RTs and the like? It’s exhausting.

“The need to be the most RTed, or replied to or doing that thing where you don’t RT properly and you mangle my carefully crafted tweet by shortening words,” one tweeter said. “Or worse: Make it into a tweet that uses or twitlonger, just so you can get your name in front of it. That still pisses me off.”

You don’t have to be first with breaking news. You don’t have to have 100 Klout. You don’t need 10,000 followers. You aren’t playing for a trophy. It’s not a competition.

The fakes and the wannabes

“The charlatans, the fakes, the really fucking bad writers who publish blogs about writing and engaging with people but with spelling mistakes. It is as damaging to your brain as watching the E! channel without any of the shows, just the loud, shouty, vacuous promos,” one Twitter user said. “And even though you don’t have to, you’d find yourself clicking links and ingesting the rubbish.”

“Twitter is getting overwhelmed with social media gurus who are regurgitating the same stuff, then wanking each other off over it,” another said. “New Zealand is too small for that kind of crap. It puts me off them and using Twitter.”

“The bigger twitter gets, the more it reminds me of High School, and then [I] worry I’m not cool enough,” another user wrote.

Simone McCallum has blogged about her experience of nearly giving up Twitter – give it a read.

So what can we do about twittexhausion?

Here’s five steps I suggest you take to relieve some of the Twitter fatigue

  1. Have a break. Turn the Tweetdeck off, go for a walk or watch some telly – even if it’s just for a few minutes. Don’t tweet your rage.
  2. Re-assess Twitter’s place in your life. Recognise which of your buttons are being pushed, and why, then deal with that by talking it through with a friend, writing it down, or however you process.
  3. Make a private list, and fill it with people who make you smile. Use that as your main feed.
  4. Assert yourself. If you don’t like the way someone is tweeting at you, tell them – and if you have to, block them. Be polite about it, but don’t stand for behaviour which makes you uncomfortable.
  5. Go out for drinks with like-minded Twitter users and have a big bitch. Get it off your chest, then have a laugh about it. You’ll feel much better knowing that you aren’t alone.