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Monday, March 23 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.

It's been over a month since the last Mailbag, and I hope you'll agree that it was worth the wait. First, you might want to start out by reading the Twitter Premium story that supplied the BBelievers for this Mailbag, and also my BBlog post on what happened on Thursday...

Before I get to the BBelievers I'd like to share some of the coverage the story received. The first site to "debunk" the story was unsurprisingly TechCrunch, which also had the added bonus of posting my early morning Tweet about what I had wrought:

I love the smell of BBelievers in the morning. It smells like... victory.

Then comes an article from Real Business which might want to change their name if they continue to cover BBspot.

Twitter Hoax Gets All the Tweeters Talking

I take issue with all the people calling it a hoax, and I'm not the only one. An article over at just thinks people are dumb or lazy...

Does Twitter make us dumb, or just lazy?

Seriously, why can't it do both? The story even go coverage in the venerable Industry Standard...

Twitter fans fall for 'premium account' hoax

Twittown which does news stories about Twitter has the proper headline...

Twitter Premium Accounts, How a Joke Became a Hoax

Unfortunately, you can't expect good headlines from The Insider...

Tweeting for Dollars: Hot Hoax

ZDNet covered the story and even used "Brian Briggs" as a tag...

Twitter premium account hoax fools Twitterverse

I'm not quite sure what to make of this one...

It's rumored that Briggs plans to continue writing his scalding brand of tech satire while touring this summer with Cirque du Soleil, playing the role of an endearing clown-dwarf, 'Marcel The Midget Boy.' I will pay money to see that!

And now for this one...

Could a real version of EmbellishTwit be a logical next step?

And finally another "hoax" article from TG Daily...

Users Outrage over "Twitter's Premium Paid Accounts" hoax

And now for what you've been waiting for, the...


Let's start off with an old reliable source of BBelievers: Fark commenters...

Charging people for something they are used to getting for free. Who would have thought that would be the business model?

Not to be outdone, BBspot commenters wanted to get on the action. Be sure to click the comment for all the BBelievers in the thread...

I think it's a good idea.It's time for Twitter to make money now. And I find this premium account idea very useful, easy and interesting. But how they will do to hire twitter "concierge"?

And then there's Digg...

I don't like the idea of "random followers" because there is too much spam already. I also think spell check is silly because we purposely misspell to get it all to fit.

It's one thing to post a BBeliever comment in a thread. It takes a special kind of BBeliever to do something like this...

5 Reasons Why the New Twitter Premium Accounts Will/Won’t Work

He wasn't alone though...

It would be great if some one could confirm that whether it's a rumour or truth. Not even a single response from any higher official.

Not alone at all...

The day has finally arrived. Twitter has unveiled new Twitter premium accounts so that they can finally make some chedder like everyone else. With millions of members and as one of the hottest properties on the internet we all new it would happen we just didn’t know when.

And it goes on...

Twitter has just gotten 10 times better, it’s time you come on board and take advantage of the Twitter Phenomenon.

More of these can be found on Google Blog Search for Twitter Premium.

Of course the BBelievers were thick as flies on Twitter itself. It would be impossible to list them all here, but if you have the stamina you can just go to and enter "Twitter premium". It looks like Twitter limits search results to 1500 items. That only gets me from 5 pm to midnight on Thursday. There were even more earlier in the day. I've grabbed some for your viewing pleasure, but deleted the names to protect the guilty, except for this first one since he's the CEO of Twitter (it's not a fake)...

I'm pretty sure it's the Fail Whale tuxedo that will bring home the Benjamins

Just read about premium Twitter accounts. Random followers? They're gonna make people force to follow you if you pay? And celebrities too?

Twitter premium accounts? Really? Now I must officially hate Twitter. Which means it is done. Sorry, 'tis true.

twitter premium accounts? it's like bladerunner in here, and all the "special" people want to be off-world.

@Dove page does not exist but twitter is not allowing to take the news looks to be true about its premium accounts

I guess I'll be unfollowing a lot of 'Eagles' when this Twitter Premium Accounts launches...I mean 500char. limit? What is that a paragraph?

Twitter unveils premium accounts (This is not only retarded but defeats the entire purpose of Twitter.)

So, I had an exchange with one person who congratulated me on the story, she said...

AlohaArleen: @briggsb Your story is wonderfully crafted! From the"story" you should get offers to write tweets for others! *giggle*

I replied that I'm already writing tweets for some celebrities (Twitter lost the tweet though, so I can't reproduce it exactly). Then I see this message.

lawrencejob Is what @briggsb does technically fraud? He's the one responsible for the fake Twitter Premium article and impersonating celebrities.

briggsb: @lawrencejob No, it's called satire not fraud or hoax.  It's been going on for quite some time.

lawrencejob: @briggsb What about the ethics of ghost-writing?

Oh my, this guy thinks I ghostwrite tweets for celebrities. I decided to have some fun.

briggsb: @lawrencejob I think that's been well established too.  You should ask @wilw, @kevinrose and @barackobama if they mind me writing their posts

He can't possibly BBelieve I write Wil Wheaton, Kevin Rose, and Barack Obama's Tweets can he?

lawrencejob: You're suggesting Kevin Rose has a ghost writer? Obama is fairly obvious - that's why I have no interest in following him.

briggsb: You should quit while your ahead, oops, too late.

I guess I shouldn't have been so mean, oh well.

From: Greg
Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: neil gaiman on Twitter
To: Brian Briggs

I follow [Neil] Gaiman's twitter feed. He'd re-posted someone else's mention of the article, then suggested that the premium accounts disturbed a level playing field. I should have gotten a screen shot, because unfortunately he deleted it from his account. Well done though!

I'm still looking for the tweet cached some where but I did find this one, in an ironic response to why his tweets weren't disappearing...

Neilhimself: obviously, twitter premium magic. <g>
3:18 PM Mar 19th

I'm sure this story will continue to provide BBelievers for another week at least, but before I go, just so you don't think everyone on Twitter is a complete moron. Here's one final tweet for you...

You are a dumb motherfucker if you actually believed that fake news article saying twitter will have premium accounts with perks.

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