Skip to main content

When My Simple Tweet Went Viral

The August heat was nearly unbearable. I arrive at West Orange High School with our three younger kids expecting to find a parking spot painted. We would then pack up and head over to First Watch which is our Saturday morning nosh spot of choice.

Tuns out that seniors at West Orange High School spend almost the entire day in the heat to paint their parking spots. This is tradition. Every year the current seniors paint over the art work from those that graduated the year before.

On this particular Saturday morning with the heat beating down us and kids complaining, I jump in line at the Kona Ice Truck to give the kids some relief. With sweat on the brow and kids clamoring around, I pull out my phone and take a picture of the scene. A minute later, I thumb type two lines of text in the Twitter client to remember the moment. I push the Tweet button at 11:40 AM on August 20th.
That was it, just a normal tweet on a Saturday morning in anywhere suburbia. What happened next with this tweet isn't really that spectacular, but it is interesting and I want to trace it out.

Tuesday, August 23

I'm talking in my office at work and my Android starts buzzing and buzzing. I notice my tweet from Saturday morning getting retweeted and liked. Jokingly, I tell the person in my office, I think I have a tweet going "viral" ha ha.

Around 12:20 I send a text to my wife and daughter, "my parking lot tweet is going viral at your school 37 retweets and 170 likes." At 12:44 I text, "59 Retweets and 177 likes. Aren't you glad I didn't mention you?" Then at 2:20 I send another text, "103 Retweets and 356 Likes."

My daughter learned what was going on. She summed it up perfectly in a text back to me, "Twitter added it [the tweet] to the senior parking spot moments which is like just a bunch of collected tweets about that in one little place." I reply back, "154 retweets and over 500 likes."

Thursday, August 25

A website called Hello Giggles publishes an amalgamation of tweets about seniors painting their parking spots and they include my tweet. A couple of Facebook friends start posting the article to my wall. My daughter sends me a text, "Zooey Deschanel posted it on FB too!"

Later in the day, a couple of people share that a site called Scary Mommy made a post similar to the one at Hello Giggles.

Friday, August 26

Eating dinner at home (on a Friday night) and I get an email from a co-worker. "your tweet is on" I get this text from daughter a few minutes later, "DAD YOUR TWEET IS ON PEOPLE.COM AND YOU DIDN'T TAG ME."

So, what's the results of a simple tweet going viral? Well it was fun, and I enjoyed making fun of the "exposure." As a result of the experience, I have some empathy for those on Twitter that get tons of @replies. It's hard to manage a large volume of incoming notifications on the Twitter platform. In addition, it was intriguing to watch the data. As the publisher of the tweet, Twitter shares some insightful analytics. Here's the highlights as of Friday night (yeah a single new follower):

Total engagements11,643
Detail expands
Media engagements
Profile clicks
Link clicks


Popular posts from this blog

Make Me Smart, Mini Review

I try to be task driven and agile. I use Todoist to maintain my personal backlog with each day being a new sprint with the goal of four to five tasks completed per day. One of today's main tasks was to write a mini review of Make Me Smart - the new podcast from APM hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood. I've been a fan of public radio since I began listening on my short commutes to work way back in 1999. My favorite public radio show by far is Marketplace. I'm a business news junkie. Marketplace is hosted by Kai. Kai is one of the few news people I follow on Twitter. I follow him because he's a good filter and retweets things that might prove to be important. I don't think Kai and I would be good friends, but I do respect him. He's smart and makes a very honest attempt to stay connected with how business impacts people in regular places like Erie, MI and Athens, GA. He has hosted Marketplace from these two cities. When Kai interviews people he pushes them to an…

31 Days of July

A few days before July started I had a realization that I was destined to be in an unhealthy state well into the future unless I tried something different. An idea came to mind to try and really push myself for 31 consecutive days to be healthier. For the month of July (including a week of vacation at the beach), I was going to focus on three tactics to improve my health.

My idea was pretty simple. One, I wanted to track my caloric intake with a goal of less than 2,000 net calories per day. Net calories for me was caloric intake minus exercise. My second goal was to drink 100 ounces of water daily. The third and final goal was to walk more than 10,000 steps every day. Let me say that I'm relatively healthy. I didn't consult a doctor before I started this program, and I'm not providing any health advice. Before you start any program you should consult your primary care physician.

In addition to the three goals above, I also decided to go to battle against sugar. I started r…

Voice Is the Future Input Device

2017 is the year we really start talking to our computers. Without question, Amazon's Alexa kicked off 2017 at CES by dominating the show. Amazon didn't even have an official booth at CES for Alexa, but the Amazon voice assistant was mentioned throughout the four day event.

This is also the year I purchased a Google Home (one of Amazon Echo's competitors), and my Nexus 6P phone was auto-updated with Google Assistant (one of Amazon Alexa's competitors). Google Home and Google Assistant allow natural speech to Google's vast services layer and knowledge graph. As a family we've enjoyed talking to Google Home. I've paired the Google Home with several Belkin Wemo switches and we can rather naturally turn off a few lights around the house.

I also wrote a basic Google Action to learn more about the guts of natural language processing (NLP) development. I used Google's API.AI to create the voice interactions with almost "drag and drop" ease. The only …