Twitter can be a different thing to different people. It can be a place to vent your ire, a forum to discuss cool ideas, a network to make new friends, and much more. For some souls, though, it’s an avenue to let their creativity run wild.
Where you and I might see a box for 140 characters, these people see a blank canvas that they can turn into anything they want. And that’s what they do. Who would have thought Twitter could be used like this?
Very Short Story | @VeryShortStory
Ken sat opposite the bear on the life raft. Each eyeing the other. Soon the food would run out and somebody would get eaten.
— Very Short Story (@VeryShortStory) October 9, 2013
Legend has it that when Ernest Hemingway was challenged to tell a story in six words, he came up with the gem: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Sean Hill follows a similar challenge every day by trying to tell a self-contained story within the 140-character limit of Twitter. The stories are funny, melancholic, philosophical, and often invite you to let your imagination run wild with them. You can even tweet at Hill with nouns, and he tries to use the most inspiring ones in his stories. Indeed, the art of literature on Twitter is alive and kicking.
Sockamillion | @Sockington
SOCKINGTON SHUTDOWN CONTINUES essential services like mouth will remain open HINT HINT — Sockamillion (@sockington) October 6, 2013
If you’ve been on Twitter for a while, chances are that you have come across Sockamillion’s tweets at some point, retweeted by someone you follow. Sockamillion is Jason Scott’s cat and has over 1.3 million followers. Scott basically has tapped into the Internet’s inherent love for our feline friends and made an account where he tweets things that he thinks his cat is thinking or saying. Follow for hilarity, although it’s not updated frequently now.
Evan Blass | @evleaks
Can a tech publication be run entirely from a Twitter account? Evan Blass thinks so. The journalist has an uncanny knack for getting images of smartphones and other gadgets before their official announcement, to the point where Nokia even tipped its hat to him at a recent event. Blass does not use a website to publish his leaks and only posts them on Twitter (and slowly starting on other networks), even turning the whole thing into a successful business.
WW2 Tweets From 1941 | @RealTimeWWII
This year, UK has had no icecream or lollies; children offered, instead, delicious iced carrots: pic.twitter.com/ovCwq4fLg2
— WW2 Tweets from 1941 (@RealTimeWWII) October 26, 2013
Live-tweeting is a big part of breaking news today. But what would the Second World War have been like if Twitter existed back then? To find out — and for the most fun history lesson ever — follow @RealTimeWWII, which attempts to reenact the whole war through a series of tweets. The project, helmed by British historian and Oxford graduate Alwyn Collinson, started in August 2011. Collinson has said he will be tweeting for the full duration of the six years of the war.
Modern Seinfeld | @SeinfeldToday
Elaine is uncomfortable about how excited her adult co-workers are for NSync at the VMAs. George’s gf dumps him for liking Miley’s twerking.
— Modern Seinfeld (@SeinfeldToday) August 26, 2013
One of the most popular sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld went off air almost a decade before Twitter. And while Jerry Seinfeld may be on Twitter, you have to wonder, what would the show have been like if it was on today. Well, follow Modern Seinfeld to find out as writers Jack Moore and Josh Gondelman — both long-time fans of the show — try to come up with the kind of situations that made the show such a hit. If you aren’t a fan of Seinfeld, this one is lost on you, but how can anyone not be a Seinfeld fan?
Karen L. Nyberg | @AstroKarenN
For the most stunning images of the Earth, tune in to astronaut Karen L. Nyberg’s feed. Nyberg regularly tweets photographs of our little blue ball, up high from her temporary residence in the International Space Station. It was Commander Chris Hadfield who started this tradition, but now that he’s back on earth, Nyberg and her colleague Mike Hopkins have taken up the mantle. Hopkins isn’t as regular, but Nyberg will sometimes post multiple images in a day, and even shares cool zero-gravity videos once in a while.
Andy Gray | @SI_Vault
Andy Gray holds the key to Sports Illustrated’s vault, dating back all the way to 1954. That’s almost 60 years worth of photographs of the greatest athletes of the past few generations. And like any sports fan, Gray likes to share his treasure, proudly showing off some of the best images ever clicked of sports men and women, as well as some fantastic candids. Using the archives of one of the best and oldest sports magazines to make it available to the digital public for free? Now that’s something you’d never have imagined.
Who Do You Follow?
With over 218 million users, this is obviously just a small section of the great and unusual Twitter accounts out there. There are meme accounts you should follow, and even active accounts of celebrities who passed on a long time ago.
Are there any Twitter users you follow who make a cool and unusual use of the social networking service? We’re all ears.