Sifting through the remnants of Twitter past…

Twitter recently celebrated it’s 7th birthday.  It’s easy to forget just how old that is in internet years, until you try to find a good user handle and see that all the good ones are not only taken, but also very, very dead.

Case in point: @TVExec

For a project I’m working on, I wanted to find a handle that could be used for a fictional TV executive.  I figured @TVExec  would be taken, and probably even abandoned by now, but I was still surprised to see just how dead it was.

6 tweets. Two followers. Following just one person. Hasn’t been touched in two years.

TVExecTwitter1

It’s also readily apparent that this account was created for one purpose and one purpose only: scoring with a porn star.

TVExecTwitter2

Assuming he really works in TV in some capacity (hence the Idol and So You Think Can Dance drops), I’m guessing he thought his connection to mainstream media might actually be attractive to her.

First I was upset that this great handle was being wasted… but then I was intrigued.   Is he really a TV exec?  Did the porn star agree to go out with him?  Did she take his money and leave his dead carcass on the bed at a Motel 6 and that’s why he never tweeted again!??!

With concern for his safety on my mind, I now had reasonable cause to dig a little deeper.

All it has for a name is “T. Williams.”  Sadly, the picture is not of Treat Williams.  But if this guy really did want to score with a porn star, I’m guessing he used a real photo. After all, his attempt to sleep with her might be shameless, but it wasn’t dishonest.  The last thing he’d want is for his perfect night to be ruined when she discovers the anonymous twitter troll she agreed to meet isn’t the one she pictured.

A quick Google Image search revealed that the same picture was used on a second, more legit-looking twitter account.

RealTwitterer

It’s a pretty normal twitter account for guy, mostly tweets aimed at sports writers and whatnot.  Not a proposal to a porn star to be found.  And, as it happens, this guy does appear to have a connection to major TV network.  Interesting…

And this is when I got kinda freaked out.  He roots for the same sports teams I do: the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Bucs.  He must be from Tampa.  I’m from Tampa.  Heck, he might’ve even gone to the same high school I went to (if not with me, then with one of my older siblings).  Okay.  This is hitting too close to home.

So I ended my search.  “Mr. TV Exec” if you’re reading this, I hope you and your porn star found true love and she didn’t kill you.  I also hope that one day you may relinquish that awesome twitter handle to someone who might actually use it.

There are some other good, dead handles I’ve come across that are worth a blog post, too. I’ll follow up with them at some point. In the meantime, what are some abandoned Twitter handles you’ve come across that you wish you could use?

UPDATE (6/18/13):  Per the comments below, you’ll see that the real Twitterer has reached out.  He also emailed me.  He seems like a nice guy, so I’ve gone through the post, removing details that could identify him.  It’s also worth noting that as of today, The “@TVExec” Twitter account no longer exists.

So you want to be a podcaster…

I don’t have a podcast.  I’ve only been a guest on one a couple times.  But I listen to a lot of them, and if I have one piece of advice for would-be podcasters it’s that…

Listener fatigue is real.  You really can have “too much of a good thing.”

I know what you’re thinking:  “But Eric, podcasting is cheap and there’s no restriction on length or posting frequency, so I’ll just put as much out there as possible and let my listeners pick what they want to listen to!”

First off, if that’s what you’re saying… you’re a liar.  Every podcast of yours that isn’t getting downloaded will send you into a tizzy.  If you don’t believe me… well, just ask anyone who’s been podcasting for a while.

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How does a techie/filmmaker/magician pop the big question?

How do you surprise someone who wants to be surprised?   That’s the problem I faced proposing to my girlfriend.  If I did anything out of the ordinary, she’d be suspicious.

I knew I wanted to do it around New Year’s — which would give us enough time to have a summer wedding — but as that day grew closer, I still found myself without any good ideas.  Should I use some of my old childhood magic skills to make the ring “appear” somewhere unexpected?  Should I use some tricks I learned in film school to do it with a heartfelt video?  At the time, I was just getting into the tech consulting biz.  Should I do something high tech?

Three days before my target date (Saturday, Jan. 1st), we went out for sushi.   My eyes kept wandering onto a TV in a corner of the restaurant.  And it hit me.  I pictured us sitting down to watch a Netflix movie at home.  Mid-way through the flick, a character would get down on one knee to propose to another, and that’s when I’d get up, walk to the TV, reach into the film, and pull the ring out of the movie world and into ours.  And then I’d propose with THE RING THAT WAS JUST IN THE MOVIE.   No way she’d see that coming.

I had no idea how I’d do it exactly, but I knew it’d require a little bit of magic, a little bit of filmmaking, and a little bit of techie know-how.  As soon as I got home, I started working on the following plan:

On Saturday, when I’m at her place, we’d get a disc in the mail from Netflix.  But what disc?  It’d have to be both a movie that’d realistically be on our Netflix cue, but also something with a half-decent proposal scene.  I rented a bunch of DVDs, scanned through a bunch of movies, and settled on…


Leap Year
, starring Amy Adams.  It was a romantic comedy that came out within the last year that neither of us saw in theaters, so it could realistically be on our Netflix cue.  It had a proposal-like scene in the 1st ten minutes.  Perfect.  I’m not going to wait two hours to do this thing.  Also, Melissa always falls asleep twenty minutes into every movie we sit down to watch together.  I mean always.  I had to beat the clock.

I’d rip open the envelope, pop the disc into the DVD player, and we’d sit back to watch the movie.  Ten minutes later, Amy Adams and Adam Scott would be on the TV, dining at a super-fancy restaurant, where Amy thinks Adam is going to propose to her (Spoiler Alert:  He’s not, but Melissa doesn’t know that).  So basically, their situation is the exact opposite of ours in every way.

Adam reaches into his pocket, pulls out a small jewelry box, and places it on the table.

Amy looks down at the box and lights up.  This is the moment her character has been waiting for her entire life.

And it’s at that exact moment the DVD will start to get glitchy…

After a moment of skipping, the DVD will freeze on the image of a jewelry box on a restaurant table.

Melissa will think the DVD is scratched.  I’d say “let me take a look at it.”

Then, as I reached behind the TV to “fix” it, Melissa will see…

…my hand and arm, reaching into the movie, grabbing the jewelry box, and pulling it out into the real world.

“I found the problem,” I’d tell her.  “This isn’t for Amy Adams.  It’s for you.”

At least that was the plan.  And for the most part, that’s how it went down.  Read on to find out how I did it, what went right, and what went wrong…

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Is à la carte cable really the answer?

There’s a growing demand for “à la carte” cable pricing — i.e. the ability to pick and choose just the individual channels you want.

After all, why pay for stuff you aren’t using?  You don’t want the electric company forcing you to keep your lights on when you’re not home.  Paying only for the TV that you plan to consume makes sense.  More choice and lower bills?  Sign me up!  Right?

Wouldn’t it be nice to order cable like we order dim sum?

There’s just one problem with that line of thinking.   There isn’t a direct correlation between the bulk of your cable bill and the number of channels your receive.  Choice is definitely good, but we could wind up paying more for less.  A lot less.

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