Green eggs & spam: a Twitter poem

Beg to Differ is going to take a quick break from our greatest hits series today to reflect on a profound thought. We all love Dr. Seuss and Green Eggs and Ham right? Myself, this I’ve read the story to my kids fifty kajillion times. Which got me thinking. Sam I Am is a humourous little fella – in a book….


@SamEyeEm shows off some new features of the interface. But is he perhaps already of the rails and heading for a fall? Read on.

But would you follow @SamEyeEm on Twitter?

I will not follow @SamEyeEm!

  • Would you become my Twitter friend?

I won’t become your Twitter friend!
To Follow you I don’t intend!

I would not sir if you ReTweet.
You might just be a spamming cheat
I won’t become your Twitter friend!
I will not follow @SamEyeEm!

  • Would you post to my #hashtag?
    (I will not block or flame or flag.)   

I will not post to your #hashtag.
I won’t debate or wank or brag.
I would not sir if you ReTweet.
Or DM me, or kiss my feet,
I won’t become your Twitter friend!
I will not follow @SamEyeEm!

  • But if I link out to your blog?
    Or tag a TwitPic of your dog? 

Not for my blog.
Don’t perv my dog!
Won’t use your tag.
That’s not my bag.
I would not sir if you R-T.
Or even if you Follow me
I won’t become your Twitter friend!
I will not follow @SamEyeEm!

  • Would you? Could you? If I list?z
    I’ll add you twice, oh I insist! 

Look buddy, now I’m getting pi….

  • You may follow. You will see.
    When Demi Moore, she follows me!   


I would not, could not for Celebs.
I will not for your convo threads.
I will not join your Mafia clan
I do not want your virus spam
I do not want to stay up late
To learn about what you just ate.
I would not sir if you ReTweet
My best words you would just delete.
I won’t become your Twitter friend!
I will not follow @SamEyeEm!

  • Reply! Reply!Reply! Reply!
    Oh could you, would you just reply? 

No! No reply! No props! No links!
You cannot spell! Your grammar stinks!
Your thoughts are often just bizarre
You have a dorky avatar.
You tweet ten thousand times a day –
With never anything to say!
I would not sir if you ReTweet
I would not for the sake of Pete!
I won’t become your Twitter friend!
I will not follow @SamEyeEm!

  • Say! Will this do?Will you if I find for you
    A hundred thousand followers too? 

But only seven follow you!

  • Would you, could you, on TweetDeck?

I would not, could not, on TweetDeck.
Nor will I with another tech.
I won’t on Facebook find your face.
Nor FriendFeed, LinkedIn, or MySpace.
Not in my Outlook e-mail box.
And not with Chrome or FireFox.
Not even Wikipedia
I’m anti-Social Media!

  • You will not follow me at all?

Now we’ve breached the firewall!

  • Could you, would you, for free stuff?

No swag could ever be enough!

  • Would you, could you, if they placed“
    ReTweet” on Twitter’s Interface?   
Apologies to Dr. Seuss
Apologies to Dr. Seuss for butchering his rhyme. But please buy the original, and read it to a kid.

Excuse me?

  • But when you clicked it you would find
    These Tweets came out all deaf and blind
    With no real chance to edit them
    Then would you follow @SamEyeEm? 

Um… no…
Where are you going with this?

  • No room for context, irony
    Or “Laugh-Out-Louds” oh you will see
    How clean the new ReTweets can be.
    And you don’t have to follow me. 


  • The best part of this brand new model:
    If just one friend ReTweets my twaddle,
    Ta da! I’m there within your stream!   

No, no, what is this evil dream?!?!?

  • So now it’s neither here nor there
    Don’t follow me, I just don’t care.
    I may be the biggest Twitterbator…
    But I’ll still CU-L8r G8r

    The end… or is it?

    If you hate the new ReTweet feature on Twitter as much as we do, please read more in our Twiterloo post from last week to see what you can do about it.

    Fight the DUM-RT!

    (our term for the new “feature”)

    Long live SMA-RT!

    (the classic RT that works – rhymes with “party”, for your own poems.)

31 thoughts on “Green eggs & spam: a Twitter poem”

  1. I don’t hate the twitter retweet feature as much as you do yet, but i suspect I’m just at an earlier stage in the annoyance curve. What amazed me was that you managed to make both points and jokes in this format.

    1. Re. annoyance curve. It’s tough to get worked up about the issue from a straight-up user perspective, because most of us don’t use the Twitter interface. That’s why I’m trying to use a couple of “right brain” angles to highlight some of the bigger picture implications of a product management decision like this – the implied arrogance and lack of respect for the owners of the Twitter brand: you and me.

      Re. mixing jokes and points: I call that “mixed media”, and it’s what I try to do with my ReTweets

  2. That was brilliant! Loved the twist when it came to the stupid new RT feature. I agree with you on the DUM-RT, which I why I’ll continue to use the SMA-RT.

  3. This was great!

    Though, personally, I would have saved the comments on Retweet for a second post. The first “story” about spam and being a “twitter friend” was perfect on it’s own.

    Having said that, I do agree with your comments and opinion on Twitter’s take on reTweet. As a Beta tester, I have already given them my similar feedback

    1. Funny you should mention that. I was agonizing over that very point a couple of nights ago when I wrote this. You see, originally (that is in my head), it was going to be maybe one or two verses very tightly focused on taking a humourous stab at the new ReTweet.

      Sam I Am would show himself to be annoying, the other character (“Sam I’m not?”) would rebuff him, and bob’s you’re uncle, the RT stuff would come into play.

      But then I started getting creative…

      Or rather, I had fun writing more and more verses, and the thing took on a life of its own, and Sam became the encapsulation of all the annoying sycophantic Twitter abusers out there (and we all do these things in our own ways), and gradually, the DUM-RT point became a bit buried. My worries: 1) does the twist come too abruptly, and 2) do I “earn” the twist by setting the stage early enough? 3) Does it feel like a cheat, or is it a payoff?

      In addition to my “day-job” concerns, I’m a hack actor, songwriter, and one-time improvisational comedian, so I’m fascinated by how the mechanics worked for you…

  4. Very Very clever. Twitter is annoying. I was using it for a while, but then my account was hacked, and I found I was sending out these random tweets about an online game. An unfortunate by product of Web 2.0. Have you considered a second career as a children’s book writer? Or maybe a grown up’s book writer?

    1. Considered. And considering.

      Sorry to hear about your Twitter problems. There is a bright side to it all though – so I don’t want to come off as just a Twitter basher. That’s why this RT thing has me up in arms a bit.

    1. Well Ian, as a guy who works in the word-choosing industry – who has also traveled extensively to places where they have all kinds of colourful terms for all kinds of things – let’s just say I don’t ever “toss off” words at random.

  5. As an privacy and security educator, I say we need more creative ideas like this to make lasting impressions on information-overloaded folks, especially where safe use of the Internet is concerned.

    Nicely done. I just wish I’d read it sooner. It will go into my Fun With Security blog…

    – Scott

    1. There’s my thought for the day: “Fun with Security” sounds like a contradiction in terms – until you think about it. Yesterday I got a nice complement for making microchip branding sexy; today it’s Internet security; tomorrow? Who can say?

      Thanks Scott!

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