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25 random things about Twitter

Fail Whale fan club; Shorty Awards coming up; originally called twttr

By , Network World
February 09, 2009 05:06 PM ET

Network World - Facebook's "25 random things about me," in which people divulge a big list of things about themselves and pass it on, is all the rage, for better or worse. We took it upon ourselves to mash up that application with the other online obsession of the moment, Twitter.

1. The first Twitter prototype took about two weeks to build.

2. Ben Walker's "Twitter Song" was closing in on 300,000 views on YouTube as of Feb. 9.

3. Twitter is built using Ruby on Rails.  

4. The Twitter "Fail Whale" (the image you see when the site is overrun) has its own fan club. 

5. President Obama has 250K-plus followers on Twitter and is following about as many.

6. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone grew up in Wellesley, Mass., and worked at Wellesley College.

7. The company is based in San Francisco.

8. Twitter saw five times the tweets as usual on Inauguration Day. 

9. Dave Matthews Band, the Raconteurs and Bloc Party are among bands with Twitter accounts. 

10. Twitter's version of the Yellow Pages is called Twellow.  

11. Twitter started as a project within podcasting company Odeo in 2006.  

12. Twitter's team supposedly turned down a $500 million buyout offer from Facebook.

13. Qwitter is a program that can alert you when someone stops following you on Twitter.  

14. A Nudge is a friendly reminder to update Twitter.

15. The Shorty Awards are being presented Feb. 11 to "the best producers of short content in 2008".  

16. Twitter CEO Evan Williams' Twitter name is "ev".

17. Twitter bought a company called Summize in 2008 to power its search engine.

18. Twestival is a multi-city funding raising event set for Feb. 12 and to be attended by Twitterers. 

19. Hackers and phishers validated Twitter's position in the world at the start of the year by attacking the system.  

20. Twitter sometimes limits the number of searches its users can conduct on the site.  

21. Before starting Twitter, Jack Dorsey developed software used by taxi companies and others for dispatch routing.

22. Twitter in February 2009 suspended a fake account purporting to be that of the Dalai Lama.  

23. Twitter was originally called twttr.

24. The name Twitter comes from the idea of birds twittering, spitting out short noises.

25. Twitter was credited with helping an American jailed in Egypt with getting freed after he tweeted: "Arrested." 

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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