The Twitterati Speaks: 20 Questions


Twitter emerged in 2009 as the online tool that people without a Twitter account love to hate. In 2008 it was Facebook. In 2007 — well, who remembers 2007 on the internet? — or, as we are known in the Twitterverse, @newmatilda — has a flourishing community of Twitter followers who share our articles, pummel us with feedback, and keep us on our toes. As regular readers know, we’ve been asking various notables recently to answer a set of 20 Questions. In the spirit of Christmas, we decided to turn over a special edition of 20 Questions to Twitter. We asked our tweeps to keep their answers tweet-length and made grandiose promises about the fame that awaited them.

Twitter-sceptics can chime in about how much they hate Twitter in the comments — or answer the questions they missed out on because they weren’t on Twitter. Those who are already converted might find a few new tweeps here and those stuck in the middle can get a sense of what we all do on Twitter everyday: answer questions, share resources, blather and dump on MC Hammer.

1. Where are the best fish and chips near you?
@newsflake: The Sydney Fishmarkets. Apparently. Honestly, in a decade in Sydney I’ve never been. Shh. Don’t tell anyone.
@fooderati: Fishy Bite, Bronte beach. Grab a fish burger and iced tea and sit on the sand. Perfect.
@bondles9: Sweetlips, in Leederville, WA.

2. Will this be your first tweeted festive season?
@nomesmessenger: Yes and I’m scared.
@tammois: Yep, & I’ll be tweeting my love of the solstice & disdain for quasi-religious, hemispherically inappropriate xmas celebrations!
@fortunegrey: I’m tweeting my way through the ham, pudding and prawns season for the third time on Friday. But it’s friends/fam/eating/drinking, not tweeting.

3. What’s the best Christmas present Twitter could give you?
@kymtje: Amusing photos of drunken family gatherings to make up for the absence of any kin this year. A drunken uncle is a drunken uncle after all.
@newsflake: Twitter gives presents? SWEET! I mean … world peace. A couple of good youtube vids would be ok too. I’m a cheap date.
@lyndenbarber: A real live Tweetdeck that sings carols while making the tea.
@jason_a_w: 4 more hours in every day.
@gn0sis: No fail whale for a day?

4. Followers: quantity or quality?
@bronska1: Not quantity, because that just means more people read your drunken disgraces.
@dfg77: Quality. Being retweeted by Mark Colvin (@colvinius) is much more satisfying than being followed by 3000 bots. (And yes, he has retweeted me.)
@kymtje: Whatever I can get. Or was that Facebook?

5. What is your favourite season-appropriate song?
@eventmechanics: That one the driver plays in Die Hard by Run DMC.
@lyndenbarber: Warmth of the Sun — Beach Boyz.
@fortunegrey: I love doing Xmas specials on my radio shows and have songs well and truly stockpiled. Wayne&Wax’s heavy remix-mas is a fave.

6. It’s Christmas Night. You turn on the TV. What movie should be broadcast?
@daiskmeliadorn: There is no TV on Christmas night! That’s just wrong. Turning it on is too risky — you might accidentally find yourself sucked into the Queen’s message, for example.
@fortunegrey: Flying High, Spinal Tap, Weekend at Bernie’s? Short attention span, a little stupid and definitely no Xmas theme.
@bondles9: Oh, to find A Muppet Christmas Carol there. Christmas is about the inner child, and nothing is more nourishing to inner children than Muppets.

7. What is your attitude to office Christmas parties?
@fatzombie: Drink fast, drink often, get out early without spewing.
@fooderati: Please clean the glass after photocopying your arse. Thank you.
@kymtje: Drink early, drink often. So often "networking" is code for "tequila shots".
@levis517: HURRAH! Free drinks! What? No free drinks? LAME!

8. Will social media technology play any role in your celebrations of the New Year?
@tobiasziegler: Between midnight and 1am I’ll mock QLD tweeps for being stuck in the past.
@kymtje: I’ll be using FourSquare to crash people’s parties.
@levis517: I expect to use Twitter to show off to the rest of the world when I get to 01/01 first. (Suck it, ROW, I’m already in tomorrow.)

9. Does MC Hammer have a future beyond Twitter?
@newsflake: Seriously? We can’t touch him.
@fatzombie: He didn’t have a future before Twitter …
@jason_a_w: Yes. He’s an "On-tr-pru-NOOR".

10. We’re emerging from the Noughties. What should we call the decade ahead?
@nomesmessenger: #tweens.
@bronska1: The Goodies.
@dfg77: The Daves. There really isn’t enough attention paid to people called Dave, we deserve a decade at the very least.
@kymtje: The Future. And anyone who calls them the "teenies" will be taken down by 4Chan.
@kedgie: iNoughties 2.0.

11. In 140 characters or less, what is the future of journalism? @fatzombie: Everyone becomes a journalist, talking heads become irrelevant, print dies, Andrew Bolt explodes.
@baldpom: Syndication, subscriber, online.
@gn0sis: Stop panicking!
@jason_a_w: More "less is less" than "less is more".

12. Turkey, snow, and sleighbells: are they un-Australian?
@fooderati: Yes, but we’re a culture based on convenient appropriation.
@lyndenbarber: Yes. Aussie Santa’s surf-ski is pulled by wombats. You didn’t know?
@bondles9: Un-Australian doesn’t enter into it; seafood, beer and backyard cricket is just a better way to spend a day.
@kedgie: Yes, but so am I, coming from Wales.
@frombecca: Of course! A winter wonderland is not relevant in a hot dry summer! Celebrate with seasonal Aussie seafood, fresh cherries and berries, pavlova.

13. What is the hashtag you love to hate?
@nomesmessenger: #justsayin #justsayin.
@daiskmeliadorn: What I hate is that people who tweet about cricket *don’t* use a hashtag, so I can’t filter them out!
@tammois: Ha. Can’t think of one. But I love love love #RIOT.

14. Who should be tweeting?
@bondles9: Randall Monroe, writer of xkcd. He views the world through a wonderful frame.
@dfg77: The real Steve Fielding, for the days when @fakefielding simply isn’t crazy enough.
@newsflake: No one. It is VERY distracting.
@lyndenbarber: Mum. So I don’t have to ring her.

15. Slip, slop, or slap?
@fatzombie: All 3. Remember, no ozone layer over Melb …
@tobiasziegler: Slip — you won’t like me when I’m topless.
@KingsTribune: Yes, yes and yes. Fluorescent blue Celtic skin doesn’t deal well with Australian summers.
@levis517: Schlurp?

16. If the Walkleys had a best tweeter category, who would you nominate?
@nomesmessenger: @benpobjie oh how I LOL.
@daiskmeliadorn: @jen_bennett for her Woollahra Council coverage!
@gn0sis: @latikambourke. Her coverage of the #spill was second to none.
@kymtje: @sophblack — my first fully fledged twitter-crush. And informative and insightful too.

17. The Bully of Yuletide Past manifests in your living room demanding you sacrifice your computer or your phone. Which do you choose?
@fatzombie: Phone. I never wanted to get the thing anyway.
@tammois: Dude. That is not okay. Let’s pretend you didn’t ask that. It’s like "my firstborn or my secondborn?"
@kedgie: You can have the computer, but you’ll have to take my HTC Magic running Android from my cold, dead hands.
@dfg77: Phone. No contest. My phone sucks.
@eventmechanics: I would sacrifice myself before either. I would so take that ghost out. F*cking ghosts.

18. What song would you nominate for inclusion on our hotly anticipated compilation album Twitter: The Soundtrack?
@bronska1: Duran Duran — Communication.
@gn0sis: My favourite music tweeter is @ladygaga so being self-indulgent (like Twitter), I say "Bad Romance".
@tobiasziegler: The Doors — "People Are Strange".

19. What is the best thing you have discovered via Twitter?
@dfg77: Nerds and wonks. So many nerds and wonks, and so often the same people.
@newsflake: I am totally cool online. It’s true like Tony Abbott is hot to women is true. People don’t like to admit it but they know.
@kymtje: A fish with a see-through head.
@tobiasziegler: The joy of watching TV with a very large group of friends.
@bondles9: #coconutcarryingoctopus. The antics of tool-using animals always brighten my week.

20. What have you said on Twitter that you would never say IRL?
@lyndenbarber: IRL? Woot! Pwned!
@gn0sis: Nothing I can think of. I live by @LEIGHSALES’ Twitter rule: If in doubt, leave it out.
@philch: Where’s my bloody retweet button?!

Big thanks: @tobiasziegler, @nomesmessenger, @bronska1, @baldpom, @ColesOnline, @fatzombie, @newsflake, @bondles9, @dfg77, @tammois, @lyndenbarber, @kymtje, @KingsTribune, @eventmechanics, @fortunegrey, @levis517, @fooderati, @frombecca, @philch, @jason_a_w and @kedgie.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.