The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

On-demand personas and the pentagigatweet

In a way, posting the message numbered five billion on Twitter was actually very similar to producing EPIC 2014 with Matt. In both cases, we got very serious people to say a very silly word. First it was Googlezon, and now it’s… pentagigatweet. Make no mistake: This is a triumph.

But all of the news articles (I know, right?) missed the real resonance of the pentagigatweet. Let me walk you through the exchange.

First, @rodnaber says: Loving @brizzly. Now someone invent something to make follow notifications less spammy than myspace friend requests and we’ll be all set.

I replied: @rodnaber WHY WON’T YOU FOLLOW ME BACK I AM NOT A SPAMMER. I can’t help it that my profile pic is so gorgeous… Signed, @sexysloan9912e

(And I have to admit, I thought that was pretty funny.)

So already, we’ve set up a satirical dialectic about identity and authenticity on Twitter. But then, OF COURSE, in a flash, someone sets up a @sexysloan9912e account.

Our on-demand, single-use friend jokes: anyone want to “kickstart” my photographic career?

To which I reply: Oh lord.

And that was 5,000,000,000.

So you see, this was pure poetry. The pentagigatweet—a tiny symbol of the scale and arbitrariness of the moment we’re in—was itself the culmination of a thread of commentary about the malleability and absurdity of identity in the age of Twitter!

I don’t know if you can tell whether or not I’m being sarcastic… and the truth is, I’m not sure myself. I am, however, authentically gleeful that the word “pentagigatweet” was included in real news articles, and that the pentagigatweet was part of such an odd little exchange.


I would just like to add that today I was with Herr Sloan in San Francisco’s ever-hip and new media-y SOMA district when he was recognized by an admirer. Recognized with ‘You’re Robin Sloan, right? Congratulations on the pentagigatweet!’

No previous association by Herr Sloan and said gentleman (though said gentleman does now have an impending financial relationship with him courtesy our friends at Kickstarter). Just another life affected by the digital occult magick of the pentagigatweet and its five billion spindly little arms. (T-Rex arms, I imagine).

Andrew, correct me if i’m wrong but didn’t robin also get an ovation today in the current offices after someone blurted out “nice 5 billionth tweet, sloan”. an ovation. for a tweet about a fake account of himself. i love it.

Yeah, come to think of it, this really was a weird day.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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