What the #FF?!?: My First Follow Friday

Twitter, to all intents and purposes, is sort of like a secret society, which you are slowly inducted into through public humiliation and hazing.  Okay, maybe they don’t make you run through the streets naked while chanting “BANGARANG, RUFIO!”, but you certainly have to make a complete fool of yourself until you’re well-acquainted with the guidelines and slang terms of Twitter.

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@….Mention…Re-Tweet…Tiny URL…Small URL…Hashtags…180 Characters…Trends…Following…Followers…Lists…DM…PM…and there’s probably a BM, too…the list goes on and on…

I pride myself in knowing almost all these terms, and today, I take that last step in becoming fully initiated in the Twitterverse:  I will finally use a hashtag, and I will know why.

Hashtags are applicable labels to your Tweets which sort of act like tags on blog posts.  They organize ideas/thoughts/trends/topics all over Twitter so that you can search for, say, #ripePeruvianmelons, or #ChristianBaleRants.  You simply apply a "”#”, or a hashtag, to your topic, and boom…instant organization.  You are now a responsible Tweeter.

Most topics are pretty straight forward (#parenting, #beverages, #movies)However, there has been one hashtag that has continually perplexed me, and it’s time I put a stop to the madness.  I present for your examination…the elusive hashtag:

#FF

So, you’re probably asking “What the FF?!?”, especially those of you who do not Tweet or cannot Tweet due to a pre-existing medical condition.  “FF” stands for Follow Friday, Friend Follow, or even Followable Folks.  Allow me to open your eyes, ears, and other orifices to what #FF really means, through the use of a brilliant comic from my new favorite website, The Oatmeal (copyright Matthew Inman, 2010):

In a nutshell, the #FF hashtag is a way for Tweeters to promote and advertise other Tweeters/bloggers/websites with a simple mention.  It’s a wonderful reciprocal gesture in the Blog-O-Sphere, creating connections between friends, acquaintances, and people you like to follow.

Originally, the #FF tag was reserved solely for Fridays, and you’ll notice how highly it’s trending today on Twitter.  So, in the spirit of friendship, following, and FREEDOM (sorry, had to throw that one in there for my alliteration/Braveheart fans), I present to you my #FF picks for the week of December 26th-31st:

#1:  Photos of Edinburgh’s Blog

As a new camera owner, I’m constantly looking for photography/picture website which give me great ideas and inspiration for my own shots.  This week on Freshly Pressed, there was a photographer featured who chose to shoot the same scene eight times to demonstrate how lighting, setting, time of day, and minute details can drastically change a picture. 

It’s a study on photography, but it also has a deeper meaning, too.  How often have we let something once exciting and wonderful in our lives become boring and ritualistic?  Why has a drive around the lake become just another car ride?  Why has a friendship, once energizing and fulfilling, become an acquaintance?  And, more importantly, how can we keep the things that mean most to us in our lives consistently full of the energy we initially found in them?

Take a look below at some beautiful shots of Edinburgh Calton Hill and a wonderful photography blog.  If these don’t inspire you to re-invent your Friday, I’ll video tape me dancing and post it on YouTube.

Never be afraid to take the same photograph again…

Never be afraid to take the same photograph again... As a photographer I’m constantly seeking out new views and subject matters. However, with Edinburgh being my main focus over time it can be difficult to find something new. What this led me to discover is that doing the same shot over and over again isn’t a bad thing. Familiarity with the subject and trying something a little different can often produce a vastly improved or very different shot. This is the scene I’ll use to demonstrate, the class … Read More

via Photosofedinburgh’s Blog

#2:  The Oatmeal Comics

If you’re a fan of Cyanide and Happiness, then you’ll love The Oatmeal Comics.  Irreverent, batty, and always hilarious, The Oatmeal features several different comics, all written and produced by the very talented Matthew Inman, who also runs his own blog and store.  He produced the aforementioned comic about the #FF hashtag, as well as comics like the following, which can be viewed with a simple click:

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That’s it for my first #FF Friday!  Follow me on Twitter to watch me give in to the craze and awesomely put this hashtag to good use.  Enjoy your respective New Year’s Eves, and please come back to me Saturday with all limbs, heads, and eyes still attached! Happy New Year!

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14 responses to this post.

  1. That my friend was fabulous! The comics are hilarious! I will follow The oatmeal comics fo sho!

    Reply

  2. OMGOSH!!! Too freakin’ (FF!) funny! I love the comics and this is soooo classic Twitter crap-o-la. I love it!
    It took me much longer to figure out the hashtag, categories, lists, and all that stuff. In the end, it’s really just like high school. HA.

    You are GREAT! I should FF you!

    Reply

    • I should “ff” YOU for being named as one of the top 11 blogs to watch in 2011! Kudos!

      I think Twitter is a useful tool now. I used to hate the idea of it, plus it confused the crap out of me. But, now I guess you could say Twitter and I get along now :)

      Reply

  3. Fans of alliteration and Braveheart? Hmm…whoever could you mean? The Twitterverse is strange indeed and as soon as you figure out what something is supposed to mean you realized that most people do other things instead. I like to find new peeps as long as they have something in common or interesting. You are definitely interesting :-)

    Reply

    • Well, right back ‘atcha! I figured you’d pick up on the Braveheart reference, but now that I know you like alliteration, you get a gold star in my book. I signed up for Twellow! Trying my best to get acquainted with it. I think I still need to master Twitter first…

      Reply

  4. “His tweets are like waterballoons of joy and wonder” Hahaha! Make sure to look at TheOatmeals comic on things you should never take pictures of! I am not a tweeter (tweeter-er?) (twitter-er?) (twit?) for the simple purpose that those codes for everything make my eyes bleed. Good for you for learning the lingo and becoming an upstanding Twitter Citizen!

    Reply

    • I stayed far, far away from Twitter for a long time. Almost boycotted it, in fact…that was, until I had a blog of my own. Now I can really see the usefulness in it.

      I really love what I stumbled upon at The Oatmeal. I will have to look at that comic you were referring to!

      Reply

  5. Posted by Fidel Hart on January 1, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I’m trying so hard to tweet more and follow more tweets, but I think this blog – although educational, thanks- has shown me how out of the Twitter loop I am.

    Reply

    • Ugh, don’t worry, Fidel…I boycotted Twitter for the longest time. I still am blown away by how many codes and uses there are. In the case of a blog, it really seems to help get your name out amongst those who have similar interests as you. You’ll learn through experience….that’s how I did it.

      Reply

      • Posted by Fidel Hart on January 2, 2011 at 12:20 am

        That is a good advice. And your blog here is helpful. Do you think that having a twitter account helps to promote your blog?

      • I definitely think so….it pulls in a few more views because you soon find “friends” on other blogs who use the service. They, in turn, will often “re-tweet” posts you’ve written, which will get seen by their friends, and so on, and so forth. Any question you have about Twitter…please don’t hesitate to ask!

  6. […] Follow my travel journals and view new photographs on my Facebook “fan” page. While I’m out to sea, it is sometimes the only way I’m able to share my travels. I also reopened my Twitter account now that government computers will allow us on Twitter. Still learning the terminology of Twitter thanks to fellow blogger Miracle On 32nd Street. […]

    Reply

    • Thanks for the shout out! Anytime you need any help with Twitter, just ask! You should check out the option to post pictures on Twitter, since you seem to be taking a lot on your travels!

      Reply

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