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The World According to Twitter

It all started with a live demo of Twitter.

During a talk, I was trying to demonstrate the real-time nature of Twitter. On stage, I typed: “Anyone got a pun that can fit in 140 characters?”

Your responses started flowing within 10 seconds. In fact, the one-liners rained in for days:

  • I used to work at an orange juice factory, but they canned me because I couldn’t concentrate. (@alancshaw)
  • She was only a moonshiner’s daughter, but I loved her still. (@matthewdooley)
  • Two TV installers met on a roof and fell in love. The wedding ceremony wasn’t so great... but wow, the reception! (@marqueO)

Man, this was AMAZING! Real-time feedback from the masses!

Next, I posted a picture of a squirrel in my yard, and asked for captions. You turned out to be the wittiest caption writers ever (click here to read). 

Then came my call for the best advice your parents ever gave you. This time, there was more than humor; there was practical information and real emotion, too:

  • Son, there’s a time and a place for everything. It’s called college. (@BarrSteve)
  • Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom. (@_hillary)
  • Don’t let school get in the way of your education. (@Navesink)
  • If you caught a fish every time you went fishing, it’d be called catching. (@BruceTurkel)
  • If you buy the dress, the occasion will arise. (@haejinshin)
  • If someone offers you a breath mint—take it. (@dsr)
  • Two eyes, two ears, one mouth. Use them proportionally. (@pcz)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, we’ll still love you. (@zwb)

That was it. I knew my mission in life: to compile and edit a whole book of these responses, written by my 200,000 followers.

Every night for the next few weeks, I’ll pose another question on Twitter. For example:

  • What’s your greatest regret?
  • Sum up your life story in six words.
  • Tell us about your wedding proposal.
  • What’s the best toast you ever heard?
  • What’s the best Internet joke you ever got emailed?
  • Anyone seen any good bumper stickers lately?
  • Tell us about a Brush with Greatness (a celebrity encounter).
  • What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
  • Write a haiku about your childhood.
  • Send me your best anagram of a current famous person’s name.

Each two-page spread of the book will contain the best of your responses to a single question. (Click here to see a list of master questions.)

“The World According to Twitter” will be a charming, irresistible, extremely hilarious little book, a book that couldn’t be written in any other way.

If I publish one of your tweets, I’ll send you a free copy of the book, inscribed to you personally. I’ll also credit your response in the book, using your Twitter name. (Don’t come crying to me if you suddenly pick up hundreds of new followers!)

So that’s it: a challenge, a ride, a crazy experiment.

Let the communal book-writing begin!

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