what to expect if you follow me on twitter (or: how I’m going to disappoint you in 6 quick steps)

Yesterday, my friend Alan tweeted a link to this story of how Twitter was born. If you use Twitter at all, you should totally check it out because it’s awesome. If you don’t use Twitter, you should totally check it out, because a lot of what you may have heard about Twitter is probably filtered through the traditional media lens, and Twitter is off in a completely different direction.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter lately, mostly because I have a whole lot of fun using it, but also because the number of people who read my stupid messages on Twitter has exploded by several thousand in just the last few days. Yesterday morning I said Things I didn’t expect to see when I woke up today: 4714 people have looked at a picture of my socks. 51000 people are reading this. Um. I also said Now I have self conscious performance anxiety. Don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don-PENIS! Sigh. Dammit. Ha. I slay me.

The truth is, that’s really weird to me. Even accounting for the damn spambots that auto-follow everyone, that’s a hell of a lot of people. I bet a lot of them don’t read my blog, and only know me as Gordie LaChance or Wesley Crusher, or the gangly kid who played those characters and was a lot more concerned about whether girls liked him than he was being honest and true to himself. The problem with being in the public eye is that the media always filters everything you do, highlights every stupid mistake you make, and aren’t as interested in showing people what you’re really like as they are in printing the story that will sell the most papers.

On Twitter, and on my blog, you’re seeing me, the husband, geek, and stepdad. You’re not seeing the kid in the Bop poster. (I don’t currently own that many watches or Batman painter’s caps, among other things) or the guy who is occasionally on your TV. This disconcerts some people — not a lot, but enough that I feel compelled to write Wil’s Quick Guide To Following Me On Twitter, mostly so people know what they’re getting themselves into, what to expect, and how much I’m going to disappoint them. (Pro Tip: No one is ever going to publish a tell-all biography about my life. Except maybe Wired, if I’m really lucky and earn it.)

Oh, and if I can make something painfully, embarrassingly clear before I begin: my whole idea here is to manage expectations and explain my own personal limits. I’m not trying to go on and on about how fucking cool I think I am and how you have to follow rules to follow me, or anything like that. I’m saying this now because some of the things down below, you may not want to hear. It’s not you, it’s me, and I hope you believe that.

So. We cool? Cool.

Message begins:

Hey there, @you! Welcome to my Twitter thingy. I’m @wilw, and I’ve been using this service for a long, long time, because my friend @seanbonner told me that it would be fun. At first, I didn’t understand what the point was, until @warrenellis said that our mutual friend @rstevens was fun to follow on Twitter because he was this constant stream of jokes and puns and wry observations. It was then that I realized that Twitter didn’t have to be about What are you doing? but could be about What’s on your mind right now? It was, as the saying goes, a light bulb moment for me, and I started using Twitter for off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts that didn’t warrant their own post here on my blog.

Since that day, I’ve sent out nearly 4000 updates (also called Tweets, because some people got together and decided that we needed a term that was even sillier and more embarrassing to say than ‘blog-o-sphere’) to a bunch of people, including, probably, @you.

I’m not going to tell you what Twitter is, or how you should use it. As @Pogue said in his NYT column about Twitter, The Web is full of “rules” about the proper way to Twitter, and a lot of them are just knowier-than-thou garbage. I couldn’t agree more, and encourage you to ignore them all, choosing instead to use Twitter however it amuses you.

Now, having said that, if you plan to follow me on Twitter, here are some things you should probably know, so you know what to expect from me:

1. I send out a lot of Tweets, frequently about stupid stuff that’s just amusing to me. From time to time I will send out several in just a few minutes. You probably shouldn’t follow me on your phone, because it’s going to get annoying. I have friends who are so prolific, I don’t follow them on my phone, and they’re my friends! I have friends who don’t follow me, because I tweet way too much for them. It’s cool, I know text message charges can be expensive, and I wouldn’t follow me, because I use Twitter a LOT. I don’t plan to change that, either. It’s fun and I like it.

2. I’m probably not going to follow you. I follow a few close friends, a few people whose work I really admire or whose Tweets really entertain me, and a couple of news sources. I can’t possibly follow all 53,000 of you (it went up since I sent those Tweets yesterday. Weird.) — or even one percent of that number — and still get any work done. I’m easily distracted, so I have to draw the circle very small so I can step out of it when I need to.

3. I do try to keep up with all the @replies to my messages, but most of the time when I’m at my computer, I’m working, and I can’t afford to stop what I’m doing every time a reply comes in. (Easily distracted, remember?) The extended conversations at Twitter can be awesome, especially when we’re all playing a global Improv game of Yes, and…, but ultimately I have to focus first on what pays my kids’ bills and keeps our roof up. Please know that even if I don’t reply, I do pay attention, and I thank you for taking the time to respond.

4. There is no number four.

5. If you’re expecting some kind of weird “celebrity” experience, I’m not your guy, and this is where some of you can point and scoff and pat yourselves on the back for saying, “Dude, you’re not a celebrity! Hurr hurr hurr.” That’s, um, kind of the point I’m trying to make. If you’re looking for a real celebrity, you want to follow someone else, and there are plenty of guides to who those people are. I’m just a geek, and I’m just this guy, you know? No one’s following me around with a camera hoping to catch me not wearing underwear under my skirt. I know, I’ve tried. Sigh.

6. The last thing I want to say really makes me feel like a dick, but it’s come up a lot and I owe it to all of you to be honest and open. I’m not going to lie to you, @you, it’s overwhelming, really cool, and a little scary that there are about 53,000 people following me on Twitter. If I think about it too much, like right now, I get freaked out. The way I continue having fun with Twitter is that I do what I want with it, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride if you think it’s worth it. But if you do follow me, please don’t @ complain at me about how often I’m tweeting or what I tweet about. I’m not interested in censoring myself for anyone — not for @you, not for @youtoo, and not even for you, @wilsmom. If you’re disappointed that I’m not the kid I used to be, or you decide I talk too much, or you just don’t think I’m very interesting, that’s cool — no one likes everything or everyone. But don’t ask me to change to please you. Just unfollow, and we’ll each go our own way, cherishing the time we had together and moving on. No regrets. We’ll always have Paris.

7. Lastly, a small request from me to @you: I’m not Gordie and I’m not Wesley. I’m Wil. Please show me the courtesy of using my real name, not the name of some guy you saw in a theater or on TV 20 years ago. I hope this explains why I’m sensitive about that, but if it doesn’t, think of it as someone using a nickname you really hate. They may not know any better, they may mean well, but it still gives you that little pain behind your eyes, doesn’t it?

Finally, on the off-chance that someone who makes Twitter go sees this: please let me give you money. I love Twitter and I really want to support it so it doesn’t go away.

Okay, that’s it. I hope this handy little guide has made it a little easier to know what to expect from me with this neat new toy. See you in the Twitterverse, @you!

Message ends.

Whew. That was really tough to write, because I’m so afraid of coming off wrong, or being misunderstood. Well, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right? I will just hope that this is received in the way it was intended, and not the other way.

235 thoughts on “what to expect if you follow me on twitter (or: how I’m going to disappoint you in 6 quick steps)”

  1. Perhaps this has already been answered, but what happened to the Tweets on the right hand side of the screen?
    I loved those.
    I am totally clueless on how to follow tweeter. So, I used to look forward to seeing them on the side.
    Please bring them back!!

  2. Hey Wil. I totally get you. And while on the one hand I think it’s kind of sad that there are those out there who need this stuff spelled out for them, I think you did it in a very nice and non dickish way. For myself I pretty much got that from the get go, and honestly it’s your, low key approach that has gotten me into your blogs and your tweets. Plus well you have a messed up sense of humor and I respect that.

  3. NoScript wouldn’t let me install the widget, even when it turned it off.
    I could have done it in a different browser or even by hand, but I just got all distracted by a red balloon, and when I was done chasing it, I was in Poland in 1963.
    It’s actually pretty astonishing that I made it back at all, now that I think of it.
    Um, also, I’ll try to re-widgetize my blog again.

  4. Number 4 FTW.
    I joined Twitter recently to see what it was all about and since I still pay for every text message that I receive, I did not opt to forward any tweets to my phone. I read everything on the web and I enjoy it all. Enough people value you for who you are now that you should to ignore those who can only identify you as one of your characters or that young actor of years ago.

  5. @wilw…
    to be honest, i didnt think this was the “real” you (you know, there are a lot of people that pretend to be someone famous but really arent.) ..but after reading your (multiple) daily tweets and checking out a few of your links, i can honestly say “WOW!” you are such a cool guy! (okay.. i can admit, i had a crush on you when i was younger but who didnt? and i also admit that i knew you as ‘wesley’ growing up… so shoot me X_o).
    Aside from that, i am a faithful follower of your tweets and they are more than entertaining, i can relate to them (well..some of them) and frankly… you make my day.
    i have no qualms with what makes you tick :)

  6. TypePad Connect, which I’ve been using for comments so we can do this neat threaded thing, is REALLY in Beta, like so in Beta that I may revert to the old system if they don’t get some of these bugs worked out soon.

  7. Separate question: Are you rereading HHGG right now? Last post, “digital watches are a neat idea” and this post, “just this guy, you know?” Loved everything I’ve ever read by Douglas Adams.

  8. No, I just love that book so much I wish I could marry it. I’ve read it about …. well, enough times to constantly quote it to my very patient wife.

  9. I started following you cuz my fiance told me you were a geek and your tweets kill me. I am laughing a lot and that gets me through the days I have to be at the hospital. ANYONE who takes stuff to seriously on the internet are crazy! Everyone has the right to say what they want and even if someone doesn’t agree with it, you should still say it…..

  10. Wil —
    Everything you’ve laid out is completely reasonable.
    Sad state of the internet when behavior that seems so commonsensical and courteous *must* be said….but also absolutely understandable. The odd phenomenon of the internet is half the people who are dicks in this faceless environment, would never have the balls to be that way in person.
    Kudos for looking past those annoyances and sharing your thoughts with those who are earnestly and intellectually curious.

  11. PERFECT example of why I follow you. I mean, do @mchammer or @britneyspears or whoever-the-heck-else is on the twitter celeb list even KNOW what the ravenous bugblatter beast of traal IS (much less how to escape one)? I think not, Wil, I think not.

  12. You tweet. You tweet alot. The point not to miss about that fact is that you usually seem to be having a helluva lot of fun when you’re twittering the day away. This post is perfectly timed in fact. I just joined the Twittering masses this past weekend, mainly because I enjoyed following your entertaining little thoughtbursts, and those of the people you interact with when you are on there. Surprisingly those simple little 140 char conversations can be quite lucid and/or laughter-inducing much of the time. My preconceived notions about what went on in the Twitterverse were sent packing the longer I started hanging out there and reading people’s posts.
    I, too, had originally avoided Twitter because I had presumed it was just a place for people to post a laundry list of, among other mundane things, their laundry lists. I didn’t really care that someone was washing their dishes, shaving their legs, or buying milk at the freaking market at any given moment in time nor did I want them telling me that very same fact in as much detail as 140 characters would allow. Now I know better and understand the positive part of the Twitter experience.
    I started following your Twitter stream (of consciousness) not long after I began bombarding the comment sections of your blog a few short months ago. I never joined in as a tried-and-true Twitter member because, for some reason, I was always under the assumption that you could only use the service on portable devices, like cell phones and PDAs. Once I realized I could participate simply by using the provided web interface version of Twitter, I signed up.
    It is quite daunting at first to delve into this digital susurrus of constant conversation. The fact that ANYone could be reading what you wrote in the next few seconds was quite intimidating. After I began to overcome my performance anxiety, I, too, decided to take the tack of simply using Twitter as a soundboard for whatever interesting little tidbits of thought skittered (twittered!) across my brain.
    Throughout the day, I will have brain spasms that produce odd little observations, or bouts of sudden inspiration that don’t really warrant a blog-sized post, or that don’t belong on messageboards of any kind because, frankly, most people probably wouldn’t care about them. They are just those random unfiltered, unconstrained pieces of a snippet of a really great thought that come unbidden and need to be freed, that need some place to go before they get lost to that infinite nowheresville where good ideas that don’t get written down for posterity tend to go. Twitter is the perfect place for them.
    I’m very glad to see item no. 3 in your list, too, dude. I’ve tweeted to you a few times and feared from the lack of response that I had somehow inadvertently tripped myself up with some egregious Twitter faux pas, coming across like the asshole fanboy with the annoying questions. That possibility always remains I suppose but I feel more relieved after reading your post. My tweets have and will remain as respectful as possible to their recipients. As someone above already said, you couldn’t possibly spend the productive part of your day answering Twitter replies so I will never feel slighted if I don’t get a response.
    So, yeah. Blah blah, me. Get to the point soon, please. The point is that I didn’t really realize the true potential inherent in the Twitterverse until I saw how much fun Wil and the twittering horde that follows him were having without me. I took the plunge and am now swimming freely in the waters of witty banter and friendly, fun (if albeit clipped) conversation. Put on your water wings and wade on in. The water’s fine.

  13. It’s easy to understand why there’s so many new followers lately.
    You oughta know that they’ve all been living on a prayer. Just trying to find the beat and keep things separated as best they can. Sometimes it’s too much to play on hard and they lose their grip on the dreams of the past. When that happens, they need to know why we fought the Spanish-American War. They need to know that someone out there is entertaining them any way they want it. So, they find their way to The Neutral Zone.
    Yep, that’s it.
    In a nutshell.
    1-yeah, I did it. I’m that much of a dork.
    2-I can’t say how I first stumbled upon your blog. It was at least three years ago (I know I read it in my old house), but it feels like more. I think I wandered this way via a Trek connection and read out of curiosity. Since then, I’ve read because I’m close to your age, into the same things you’re into, and just a geek myself.
    I only recently started commenting, when I finally accepted that having one more blog to play with wouldn’t kill me.
    As for Twitter, well, not long ago I finally got an account, and I am following you and a handful of other people. People I already followed online via links to their tweets. Making it official (using TwitterFon) just made life simpler.

  14. Wil — very timely post (for my selfish benefit, anyhow). I’ve been following you on Twitter for awhile but only @replied during the Superbowl. I wasn’t sure how ya felt about “invading your space” so I figured I’d play it safe.
    Keep it up. The blog and the tweets are great.
    P.S. Thanks for the @reply about Happiest Days

  15. I hate to put this here, but I couldn’t find a good place for it.
    I just wanted to let you know that I just bought the audiobook version of The Happiest Days, started listening, and couldn’t stop. I made it through the entire thing in one sitting [it felt like 20 minutes]! I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, and it really got me thinking about a lot of things. I am clicking my way over to the audio purchase of Just a Geek right now, and then ordering all your books in paper form to line my shelf with.
    I’m sure you get this sort of praise all the time, but praise like this is what keeps people like us writing and blogging, motivated and happy. Keep it up Wil

  16. Also wanted to ask, any recommendations or suggestions on decent Windows social software clients to use for Twittering? I can’t use Twitterific like Wil does, and all I’ve heard about so far is Twhirl. Any others worth investigating?

  17. Wil- You’d don’t tweet as much as the effing spambots, and you don’t tweet things that should be DMs. You grew up like the rest of us, act like a normal human- geek or not. We cuss, get caught in the Wayback Machine, and have fun being ourselves. The suddden explosion of followers- blame YouTube- as we all told our friends “You gotta see this…” and they all go “Hey, Wil’s cool…” of course 53,000 is a little overwhelming- look at it like Karmic pay back. Wil- the accessable, intelligent, cool guy- who happened to have had a cool job 20 years ago- is finally being seen as just that.

  18. I tell you this: they’ll be the second to have their backs against the wall when the revolution comes. (After the phonebooth sanitizers, of course.)

  19. I am so happy you liked the audio version of Happiest Days, and I hope you’ll let me know what you think of Just A Geek.

  20. Wil, I follow your tweets via RSS because I still don’t “get” twitter but your random thoughts and conversations with your iPod (among other things) make me laugh at least once a day.
    As others have said, I read you because you are a geek/guy/dad who writes and sometimes acts. Keep tweeting and screw those who can’t figure out you aren’t a fictional character.

  21. I pretty much love your tweets, Wil. If you had some sort of agenda it wouldn’t be as awesome! Your tweets make me feel like you’re just a fellow geek (almost like you could have gone to my college full of über geeks!)… a normal person who happens to be awesome, famous, and an author, actor, and geek all at the same time!

  22. 15 years ago, I might have followed because of Wesley or Gordie…to start with. I actually started following because my favorite webcomic artist does. I’ve found someone instead I find eminently relatable and enjoyable.
    Oh, and Wil? I promise to NEVER call you by a character name. I have a former child actor cousin. Great guy, he’s glad to talk to you about DJing, gaming, Poi…but don’t call him Gage. And being into his 20s,he’s WELL aware of the difference between boys and girls. He hates having that line quoted back at him, possibly more than ANY other he ever delivered.

  23. It makes sense to have rules. As one of the TwitterElite
    you need them to stay on top. I gotta tell ya though, you’ve been slippen. WHY DON’T YOU TWEET M *SLAP* DOWN FANBOY, DOWN!! Bad fanboy, no cookie.
    Sorry about that. Anyways, I don’t have twitter yet,(not sure if I’m that interested in it really) but I have been enjoying your your blog ever since I followed a link here from your nemesis Phil Plait.

  24. I’ve got a few friends that use Twitter, and have been suggesting I get into it as well. While I appreciate the opportunity to describe what’s on my mind, I suppose I have to temper it with a degree of caution. While its not a matter of national security, I suppose its fair to say that as a Social Worker in the Child Welfare system here where I live, that I need to be mindful of what I say, how I say it, and where I say it. Its a small enough community here where I live, that its likely people I know cross paths with other people I know. Heck I just found out today that one of my co-workers used to work with my mom in a volunteer outreach program some years back.
    It can be frustrating at times, on one hand you’d like to be able to write things that your friends can comment on, to get a better sense of how you’re doing or what’s on your mind, but nowadays its so easy for information to be found and taken out of context. Out of professionalism, as much as I might like to, I can’t really vent the way I’d like to about a frustrating meeting I may have just had, or musings on the sad state of affairs of a particular case I have, even by leaving it vague, it’d be possible to have it reflect back on me in ways I’d not expect.

  25. Just want to add my 2 cents.. which is really just echoing a couple common sentiments here:
    – WE follow YOU… you dont have to do anything different. If WE dont like it, WE will just have to deal.
    – WE accept the fact that you are a popular guy, and cannot (and will not) reply to each one of us. We also understand you may not even notice all of us all the time. We get that. We will deal.
    – “I” follow You… because you are a guy who has many of the same interests, hobbies, likes, etc. Your “celebrity” gives you access to a lot of things that the rank and file Geeks do not. Then you choose to share. You dont have to do that… but be advised: it is MUCH appreciated.
    – “I” also follow you because you communicate well.. both in style and presentation. I like the way you do what you do. You make me laugh as well as think critically. I enjoy the challenge, and the diversity.
    Thank you for giving us these peeks, Twitter or otherwise…

  26. 51,000 or 51,000,000 – don’t change on our account, Wil. Me, I loved Just A Geek so I started reading your blog, then loved your blog so I started following your ‘tweets.’ All systems go from where I’m sitting.
    I sometimes forget to check twitter for a day or two and love when I finally get around to it and can catch up with the WW-stream-of-consciousness. I don’t play Fables 2 but was loving the play-by-play.
    I was going to end with something like geez, man, why do you still care what the wankers say? But like you say, it’s somewhat frightening to know you’re being watched by so many people and I have no idea what that’s like at all. Hell, if I get a mean comment on my MySpace blog (where I get, like, 20 readers, haha) it bothers me for days, so I can only imagine what it feels like multiplying that by x amount.
    You rock – Feel the metaphorical embrace of 51,000 virtual friends!

  27. While I do have a great deal of respect for your body of work as a young actor, I follow you on le Twits because I read your blog, and I’m a big fan of anyone who is both geeky AND attractive. It’s a rare combination in my part of the country. 😀
    Tweet away! Loved your play-by-play of the Superbowl. :)
    And…don’t freak out. I know it’s not the same, but I was astonished the other day to discover that I had almost 1000 friends on Facebook, and I actually knew all of them. It’s cool to have been a part of so many lives, even in just a small way. It shows you are loved and will be remembered after the Zombies come.

  28. Don’t know if you will read this as this update has had a lot of comments! but…
    Your number 13 in the “Twiters top 30″ on the Daily Telegraph’s website. Personally haven’t used Twitter yet, but strangely curious.
    Wil! keep up the great work :) devoted fan of your blog, actually I hope you do read this because I’m gonna quote from you now.
    A few days ago my wife was watching TV and my son asked her and me to go to the Park to play football (from UK so soccer) he’s 5 :). She laughed it off saying “no” as she was watching TV and stated that I would go with him (Which I would and did) but instead I replied saying “C’mon, stop being boring, you can tape this and watch it anytime… don’t look back on this day and regret not playing with your son more one day in the future.”
    She grabbed her coat and we had fun :)
    Thank you.

  29. I follow you on Twitter the same reason I follow the likes of Veronica Belmont and Leo Laporte – geeks of a feather flock together :-) Not to mention as an aspiring writer, I absolutely love reading your blogs, plus you say more funny/interesting stuff in 140 characters or less than most people can say in a full article. So keep on Tweetin’ Wheaton 😉 See what I did there? :-)

  30. I think Wil is something of a celebrity. At the very least, I’d say he is what I wish more celebrities were like: Honest to himself, grounded, good to his fans and just a generally great dude.

  31. I should apologize for breaking #7. Phoenix Comicon this year was my 1st con. I thought I’d come by and thank you for the cool stuff your blog pointed me towards. I reread you’re entries on meeting Gina from Lifehacker and Randall Munroe so I wouldn’t embarass myself and ended up doing the same things.
    I was behind the blogger whose chest you signed (awesome) and got the celebity tourettes that Aaron Douglas described at your panel (not awesome). I meant to say that I digged your blog and appreciated your experience working on TNG being youger than everyone and Wesley the character because I had similar experiences to both working for Intel at a young age.
    It all came out wrong since I was nervous, but you seemed to understand what I meant and was very cool about it. Sorry if I called you Wesley. Your manga stories were great by the way and if I were in your shoes I wouldn’t be able to choose between them either.

  32. For what it’s worth, I totally remember you from the con, and I don’t remember thinking that you were anything other than excited and friendly. Thanks for saying such nice things to me.

  33. You mean all that doesn’t go without saying?
    Dude, I’ve been reading your blog since almost the start and was an active “Soapbox” participant for a couple of years. I was drawn to your blog and the ‘box because you remind me of a lot of people I know. My friends. Geeks like me. Ergo I consider you a peer, neither mythical “celebrity” nor “friend” (I’m not delusional – we’ve never interacted one-on-one). You’re an online acquaintance (albeit one-sided). As such, you deserve the same respect as everyone else.
    I do worry that technology – first email, then blogs, then “web 2.0″ – makes some people think that their access to “celebrities” gives them rights that they don’t have: The right to be dicks. The right to think that “celebrities” (or “writers slash actors”) are their new friends. I fear that people think that they KNOW the “celebrities” that they’re following, like they know their friends. Not to make you paranoid, but I wonder if this opens the door for cyber stalking and wonder if well-known people are risking themselves by being so accessible.
    I feel slightly self-conscious when I tweet celebrities/actors/former child stars because I don’t want to overstep their boundaries as human beings or make them uncomfortable. I emailed an author once after identifying with a character in one her books and felt like such a dork doing so (she emailed me back).
    Also, silvertales’s comments were right on and more articulate than my own. KCFlatlander’s point #3 is also right on.

  34. I think anyone who follows this blog, knows what to expect while following Twitter. What I have noticed is that a lot of the ol’ Jocks are now going Geek. It makes me a bit defensive about it, but I see it happening a lot lately. Maybe it’s the iPhone/Blackberry increase, or the affordability of laptops. Usually you can just tell who doesn’t belong. Most of them have no filter on their mouth or keyboard.

  35. It seems like I may be the outlier here.
    I’ve tried using Twitter a couple of times over the last few years. I just Don’t Get It. I can understand how it would be useful for liveblogging an event (several of my friends did so at Obama rallies last year), but other than that the noise-to-content ratio is insanely high to me. Very little actual useful information and just a lot of chatter, and I was only following a few people (including you, @wilw). I just don’t have time for that. I ran out of noise-to-content patience back in 1994, when AOL let all their lusers onto my nice, peaceful Internet. That is a day I will never forget.
    Also, the complete lack of user help drove me crazy. Where’s the documentation? How does a @you really work, so I can see who replied to my Tweets? (There’s no threaded comments that I can tell.) There’s private messaging? I wasn’t aware of that. And 3rd party tools like Twitpics & Loudtwitter and stuff that apparently you have to find out about when your friends use them. Really, it’s unhelpful to the newbie.
    But that’s just my opinion. It’s obviously very popular and a more people seem to be using it every day. Maybe I’m just getting crotchety in my old age. (Which I find funny, because Wil’s about a year older than I am.)

  36. I follow you on Twitter and I’ve been a fan of your blog for years. I’ll admit the original draw was that I was a fan of “Stand By Me” and “Trek.” But what hooked me was an post on your old blog where you talked about going to a convention and freaking out some schmoe selling “I Hate Wesley” buttons and then wearing one all day. Made. Of. Awesome.
    I can’t speak for all of us relative strangers that keep up with you cuber style, but for me the appeal is that I am a nerd and so, obviously, are you. But you’re a funnier nerd than I am, so there we are.
    Put another way, not being the average celeb is exactly your appeal. You get fan culture for genre fiction at the same time you participate in making said fiction. Plus, again, hilarity.

  37. You’re absolutely right. There are a ton of geek poseurs out there right now.
    Don’t worry, they’ll get bored and move onto the next thing soon enough, but what’s great about this current mainstreaming of geek culture is that it’s letting people who were in the closet about their geekiness completely embrace it like we have. Those people will stick around long after the poseurs are gone.

  38. I follow you both here on your blog and on Twitter because you’re freakin’ hilarious, not because you once played Gordie or Wesley or anyone else.
    Anyone who expects you to be someone you’re not just to please them, well, they can go pound sand. Just keep on being your silly, geeky, family-man self!
    PS: Your conversations with your iTunes? Priceless.

  39. Now picture this. My brother, Captain of the Football team in high school class of 89′, wedgie monger, popularity to the max…is now calling himself Geek. He owns some SW figures from Sideshow, attended Comic-Con, and is now Facebooking the world. One look at him and you know, this dude is not geek. He’s a great guy, and I love him to death. But, it’s like this exclusive club that just went public.
    I get what you are saying, and yes it has allowed me to show my true self a bit more. And, it will most likely fade. Be yourself, right? I’ll try to worry less about him, and more about embracing the geek.

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