Friday 5 February 2010

twitterview #1 @comedyfish

When I posted on twitter last week that I was going to introduce 'twitterviews' I had my first interviewee lined up.  I was gonna pretend we’d met up over a beer and I had a Dictaphone, but seeing as neither of us would have had a hope in hell of keeping a mini tweetup quiet, I’ll be honest and say this was conducted via email.

@comedyfish is one of the funniest tweeters around and you should be following him. 

If you haven't already, meet @comedyfish.

What made you join Twitter in the first place?

Good question, simple answer, I can’t remember. I joined almost exactly a year ago (4th Feb) & it seems a lot of people (that I now know) joined around the same time. I guess I was just curious. At first I didn’t know what it was for, what it did etc. How I use it

and interact now is completely different to how I did a year ago. Which was basically following celebs and being ignored by them
So why call yourself comedyfish?  What's that all about?

There is a forum called Digital Spy, I was fairly well known on that as comedyfish so just kept it. Originally it came from my eBay account though and was, I think, randomly generated. It does sound a bit pretentious on twitter because I try to be a little funny here and there,  this was obviously not the case with eBay where my listings were pretty straight laced and focused on selling items with a minimum of e.g. knob gags... I mean highbrow political satire.

You say you use it differently now, in what way?  What do you get out of it that you don't get from facebook?

I use facebook to not learn about what plants people are growing in their farms; or not keep track of how many people they have killed in the Mafia, or more likely not looking at the 100 pictures of their kids that I have no interest in.

The most interesting bit of facebook for me is the updates bit, which is essentially what twitter is. Ironically twitter has/had a reputation for being ‘I just ate a sandwich’ where as I’m more likely to hear that on facebook than twitter. Especially as, if I don’t find your updates particularly interesting, on twitter I can unfollow you – this is a lot harder on facebook (where it seems more personal).

I didn’t join twitter for social networking, that aspect never occurred to me, and that is how I use it differently. You can just go and say hello to someone without a friend request or however you would do it on facebook

Now I interact with almost 200 people that I wouldn’t normally have and have met some of them in real life too.  I have never added someone I didn’t know already as a friend on facebook, ever. I’m sure some use facebook in this way but for me it’s to keep in contact with people I already know.

You recently passed 10,000 tweets and 1000 followers on twitter.  That's pretty impressive stuff, what do you put your success on twitter down to?  Is it merely being funny or do you think there's more to it than that?  In essence what do people get when they follow comedyfish? 

Ha ha OK well I’m going to try and answer this honestly, hopefully without sounding like too much of a c**t.

First off 10,000 tweets doesn’t guarantee quality. A monkey could tap away and do 10,000 tweets so that just means I tweet a lot (and am possibly a monkey). Most of my tweets are the interactive between mutual follower types that everyone else won’t see.

1000 followers is a good milestone (for a norm) and I was genuinely excited to reach it. I put it down to my avatar.

(Very) obviously this is (very much) an untruth. I think it is genuinely because I am very interactive. If someone says hello – I’ll do my best to say hello back. Also the more followers you get the more your secondary network expands, so if anything is retweeted it gets seen by more people and then more and more so it grows exponentially. The transition from 800 followers to 1100 or whatever I’m on now was pretty quick and I don’t do anything differently just got lucky with who retweeted me.

I used to write a lot of sketches and actually one of the things I enjoy (and am getting better at) is encapsulating quite a big idea in 140 characters. So if you follow me you can expect the odd shit joke, probably quite a lot of puns that make you want to punch yourself but also some friendly banter… obviously the more we get to know each the less friendly the banter becomes – for that is my way. (you idiot.)

At this point I cried like a baby.

Is there anyone on twitter that you can single out that has had the single biggest influence on who you talk to and explain why that's the case? 

This is pretty easy. it has to be Lisa (@lmlc).
I can't remember how many followers I had before I stumbled across Lisa but I think it was like, I dunno maybe not even 100! I saw her blue avatar on a Trending Topic, she said something funny I made a comment and that was that.
She suggested various people, I followed and got to know them, they recommended people and so it began. I'm not sure but if it wasn't for Lisa I might still be waiting for @glinner or @stephenfry to respond to me... they never have :) 
So basically her getting on with me and recommending people to me and recommending me to other people started the thing I keep banging on about: interaction. it changed the way I saw twitter as something to follow a few celebs to actually talking to and having a lot of fun with tweeters. So yeah Lisa.. and @diaryofaledger of course.  Tongue firmly in cheek at the end of that answer…

What about the 'celebs' then?  Do you think they're numbers will dwindle?  Or they'll stay as long as they have something to promote?  Or are there celebs that use it well and like you've said, engage with people properly?

I have actually dropped nearly all the ‘celebs’ I followed at the start. I find them actually a lot less interesting than ‘normal folk’. I don’t really miss anyone save perhaps Peter Serafidowicz (he is a very funny and witty guy but it was all a bit much). Will their numbers dwindle – I’m sure something bigger and better will come along eventually. At the moment Twitter is still going strong, I can’t help but think maybe it has peaked for some reason, time will tell….In summary… *shrugs*.

The celebs that I still follow do interact, my favourite being @kevcecil who is very giving with his time and very funny of course.  It’s funny but some of the bigger personalities on the Twitter perhaps are well known for being on twitter e.g. @shitmydadsays (got his own TV show now) or Fireland (who I don’t follow but have heard his name a few times)

Why doesn't the wife tweet?

I'm not really married ;)

She doesn't like all that type of stuff. probably the biggest difference between us - that and the genital thing.

Right... anything that we don't know about you that you think we should?

I wrote a few things for Smack the Pony (kiss me).

Really? That's pretty cool, how did that come about?

A producer gave me his details and I was short-listed for a BBC sitcom writing competition, he got in touch with the producer of STP and that was that. 

What's been your favourite tweet ever from some one other than you?

Hmmm that’s difficult  to answer, unfortunately you can laugh about something like an idiot one day then forget it the next.

One recent one that springs to mind was by @elibraden, ‘E.T.'s last name was "Cetera"’. it’s one of those ‘damn I should have thought of that’ ones.

Your best moment on twitter?

It has to be Christmas day (just gone) when one of my tweets (comparing Dr Who to Jesus) was retweeted about 200+ times. That was pretty cool (for me I mean).

That's pretty cool for anyone, I dream of hitting such heights. 

Who would you most like to meet from twitter?

I think it might be @kevcecil just cos he seems like a nice bloke or further a field maybe @succitaM (he’s in the states somewhere). Oh and @indielou and @MandyPandy32 (hashtag queens)  and the ledgers of course  ;) That’s the nice thing about twitter, there are loads of people that I feel I could get on with if we met face to face.

I’m aware that I’ve answered these questions pretty sensibly – sorry about that!

Thanks to @comdeyfish for his time.  If you’d like to be the subject of a twitterview let me know. 

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