I feel like I owe Jason Bradbury a massive thank you. I have just had the most amazing weekend and it really is all thanks to him.
I joined twitter in September 2008. I knew some other people who had joined and thought I should grab myself a decent username in case I decided to start using the service, but I really didn’t take it any further than that. Around this same time I started reading Jase’s blog on his newly relaunched website (coinciding with the release of his first novel) and at some point after that he started tweeting and added a link to his twitter feed from his website. I discovered the link to Jase’s twitter feed one Friday lunch time and remembering the account I had created for myself decided to log in and take a closer look. I was amazed to see that Jason was exchanging messages with normal people and confused by the strange #ff that accompanied so many of the messages that were flying back and forth. I quickly discovered that #ff was short for follow friday and that this meant that people were recommending other people to follow. I was quite taken a back by this, after all, my previous experiences with social media were fairly limited and the tools I had used had a nasty habit of sustaining relationships that I would happily have left behind, but here was a tool with the power to connect me to new and exciting people. I followed three people on that day, Jason Bradbury, Becky Kingston and Wayne Thompson, at the time the thing that stuck in my mind was that Jase followed me back, if I had only known what was to come!
Over the next few weeks I began to check twitter more and more regularly, following more and more people, although tending to read far more than I posted, I couldn’t believe that anybody who didn’t know me would be interested in reading my thoughts. I began to follow one of my favourite wrestlers, Chris Jericho, and was enjoying reading the tweets that Chris was retweeting, they were like Chuckisms, but Jericho themed. I tried to think of something funny to tweet in the hope that Chris might retweet it and then I nailed it “@IAmJericho Chris Jericho future endeavoured Vince McMahon”. If you don’t know much about wrestling then you will just have to trust me that I nailed it. Chris did retweet my message and I was ecstatic… and then a strange thing happened, other people started retweeting it… and following me. For several days after my original tweet I received RTs and new followers. This gave me a new confidence to start conversing with people rather than just consuming the tweets of others. One of the people that I began talking to was Wayne, he seemed to be kind of like me, we talked about PlayStation games and the Gadget Show (some things never change bro ;) and Wayne added me on PSN.
Tweeting along to the Gadget Show has become something of a ritual for me and I thoroughly recommend it, I’ve met so many cool people in this way including a badger from outer space!
One day I was playing MW2 when Wayne invited me to join his party. I did and we had a few good games, I wasn’t as good as he was (some things never change bro ;), but I had fun. A few weeks later I was online again and Wayne invited me to join his party again, I did and was slightly surprised by the two other people also in the party, veedubhev and supermarioex. Wayne introduced us and explained to the others that I didn’t have a mic. We had some great games and exchanged some banter (I tended to be on the receiving end due to the lack of a mic) and this became such a regular occurrence that they invited me to join their TWIT clan and pushed me both to get a mic and to follow the rest of the clan. The rest is history, if it wasn’t for the fact that we all live so far apart, we would be inseparable, but modern technology means that we are all only a tweet/text/email away and can normally be found shoulder to shoulder, slaughtering the competition on CoD Black Ops.
This weekend was the first weekend that we were all in the same place at the same time. It was awesome. I spent the weekend with SMX, Wayne and his lovely fiance, we went to Gadget Show Live 2011 at the NEC on Friday (where we met up with a bunch of our other twitter friends) and traveled down to meet up with Hev and her beautiful daughter on the Saturday. So you see, it is all thanks to Jason and The Gadget Show that I met my three best friends and that is why I owe him a massive thank you. Thank you Jase, see you at the NEC in 2012!
Shameless plug: Jason Bradbury’s third novel is available now from all good book retailers. ;)