Archive for January 8th, 2013

  1. On occasion, I tweet about my travels. On occasion, my flights are delayed (or encounter other problems). A delay always prompts more tweets than a routine flight, both because I have more to say and because I have more time on my hands. So my tweeps have on occasion alleged that I jinx my travels, a claim I dismissed for a while, but finally embraced.
  2. Eventually, my travel tweets prompted an unidentified wag (I still don’t know who, but I’m flattered, so thanks!) to launch a spoof account last summer, @WhereIsButtry, retweeting my tweets about travel.
  3. Apparently @WhereIsButtry used a service such as If This Then That to automatically retweet when I tweeted words such as flight, plane, landed, delayed, Dulles (the airport I usually fly to or from) or United (which has a hub at Dulles, so it’s my most-used airline). Of course, I learned of the account immediately, because its tweets always turn up in my mentions.
  4. RT @stevebuttry: A spoof account. I am deeply honored. Thanks, unnamed humorist. RT @WhereIsButtry: RT @stevebuttry: Boarded flight for T…
  5. Most of the @WhereIsButtry tweets do recount my travels, which usually are uneventful.
  6. RT @stevebuttry: No complaints about our Christmas Day flight. On time & uneventful. (@ Washington Dulles Internatio… 4sq.com/12Nse1l
  7. But occasionally the retweets reflect my whining about delays or other travel troubles (which I presume was the point, beyond merely mocking my excessive tweeting about my travels).
  8. RT @stevebuttry: I was way wrong about flight delay being minor. We sat on the runway a long time, took off more than an hour late. May m…
  9. RT @stevebuttry: US Airways screwed us out of our flight home. (@ US Airways Special Services) [pic]: 4sq.com/MHPeX8
  10. But the best @WhereIsButtry tweets come when the trigger words appear in tweets unrelated to my travels. For instance, the Olympics prompted me occasionally to use “delayed” in other contexts:
  11. RT @stevebuttry: RT @BGrueskin: #NBC just televised delayed feed of Lee surrendering at Appomattox
  12. RT @stevebuttry: Tape-delayed, highly produced Olympics are on TV, but @mimijohnson is watching live bears catching salmon: …
  13. RT @stevebuttry: RT @White__Knuckles: If Paul Ryan had used the phrase “No more tape delayed Olympics” in his intro speech today, Romney …
  14. I quickly noted the non-travel tweets getting retweeted, which, of course, brought a retweet.
  15. RT @stevebuttry: Apparently one of the trigger words for @WhereIsButtry tweets is “delayed,” resulting in this non-t… bit.ly/Qq20cy
  16. “Arrived” is another word that triggers the retweets, but I don’t use it just when I’m traveling (it was at the end of the NewsVroom tweet, but was automatically shortened).
  17. RT @stevebuttry: The author’s promotional copies of Gathering String print edition have arrived. http://amzn.to/S8wHci http://pic.twitter.com/vKQBe9Dp
  18. RT @stevebuttry: RT @TH_ashley: This is awesome! Wish @TimesHeraldPA had one of these. RT @TheNewsVroom: NewsVroom h… http://pic.twitter.com/XAUefZap
  19. “Landed” is another word I don’t use just when I’m traveling (it was shortened out of the @dcborn61 retweet): 
  20. RT @stevebuttry: As @tbd gives up the ghost, here’s @mjenkins’ tale of how she landed that username (we started out … zombiejournalism.com/2010/0…
  21. RT @stevebuttry: True. RT @donw: @mimijohnson oh I meant that @stevebuttry landed you, of course. Men mourned your unavailability and env…
  22. These two used “plane” in the travel sense (the first was at the end, automatically shortened; the quote was “it’s a plane”), but they weren’t about my travels:
  23. RT @stevebuttry: Enjoying a starry night in the Georgia mountains, @mimijohnson says, “In the city, every time I think I see a star, it’…
  24. RT @stevebuttry: RT @dbrauer: @stevebuttry read it on the plane. Agree. All was to deliver Rupert’s cross-ownership payload.
  25. When I was tweeting during the Online News Association in September, I used three different trigger words: delayed, flights, landed:
  26. RT @stevebuttry: .@dickc says #nbcfail tweets about delayed broadcasts boosted ratings because people knew what was coming up to watch th…
  27. RT @stevebuttry: RT @sadandbritish: For @stevebuttry RT @azizansari: I bet Endeavor was supposed to have a bunch more flights but United …
  28. RT @stevebuttry: After @MarsCuriosity landed, crowds in Times Square chanted “Science! Science!” #ONA12
  29. RT @stevebuttry: Where Buttry isn’t. RT @WhereIsButtry: RT @stevebuttry: After @MarsCuriosity landed, crowds in Times Square chanted “Sci…
  30. After my nephew Brandon died in November, I was at ceremonies when his body returned on airplanes to Dover Air Force Base, Del., and then to Shenandoah, Iowa. The setting made inappropriate retweets inevitable:
  31. RT @stevebuttry: The ceremony on the flight line was in the nor’easter’s driving wind, rain and cold. Chaplain called the rain God’s tear…
  32. RT @stevebuttry: Brandon’s family watches as the military prepares to bring his casket off the plane. flic.kr/p/dtbQ5U
  33. I guess “United” triggered this retweet.
  34. I’m not even sure what word triggered this tweet, maybe “drive”?
  35. RT @stevebuttry: RT @DylanByers: .@EzraKlein publishes the post that will almost certainly drive the gun-control discussion going forward…
  36. Yesterday, I used a trigger word in a completely unrelated context, praising a former colleague:
  37. RT @stevebuttry: If you’re looking for a top-flight photojournalist, check out @jwestcottphoto. He’s creative, class… jaywestcott.com/onward/
  38. Really, I don’t deliberately work these words into tweets unrelated to travel. But if you use automated services, you should be aware that things may not work the way you planned. If the point was humor, that might be just fine. But if not …

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