Check me out! Leg!!— Angelina Jolie’s Leg (@AngiesRightLeg) February 27, 2012
Speak up • After Monday night’s strange bullpen call (Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he asked for “Motte” but the bullpen apparently heard “Lynn”), you knew it was only a matter of time before a parody account would pop up on Twitter. Now it has.
And me, of course: @weatherbird.
That hurt to read…
Bullseye • A fake Twitter account had several in St. Louis excited for a downtown Target store. CityTarget is real: The small-format Target stores will roll out next year to a handful of cities. But Twitter account @CityTarget is not an official spokes, uh, store.
Social not-work • A new Missouri law aimed at preventing sexual abuse of students by their teachers appears to prohibit private communication between a teacher and a student. It may make it illegal for teachers to have students as friends on Facebook and other social media platforms. The law goes into effect on Aug. 28, leaving school officials and teachers scrambling to try to figure out just how broad it is. Does it cover email? Twitter? Can teachers answer a student’s text message about a homework assignment? Can coaches use text messages to alert their teams about changes in practice times?
When the St. Louis County Twitter account, @SaintLouCo, retweeted a Miley Cyrus fan’s tweet, a Twitter dust-up broke out. @MileyLikeABoss, publicly tweeting with a friend, tried to clarify that she lives in St. Louis County: “STL city is downtown. the county is so much nicer.” @SaintLouCo retweeted that comment, then tweeted: “@MileyLikeABoss thanks for the #StlCo love.”
The fuse was lit. Kara Bowlin, spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and @KaraBowlin on Twitter, took offense at what she felt was a potshot at the city. The two entities have been taking steps to coordinate more, even dancing around the topic of merging services. Then more people jumped in.
Now there’s an unwritten rule that birdlines — the quip that accompanies my picture every day on the front page of the paper — are six words or less. You know the problem with unwritten rules? They’re unwritten: Today’s bird line is nine words.
When Zach Becker saw the devastation from last month’s tornado in Joplin, he knew he had to do something to help. Less than two weeks later, Becker has created and released “Songs for #Joplin.”
Born on Twitter and adopting the Twitter hashtag style for its title, ”Songs for #Joplin” (@songsforjoplin) features 18 independent artists and is available for free at songsforjoplin.com. Donations are encouraged; all money from the album goes to the Heart of Missouri United Way and will be directed to recovery efforts in Joplin.
Benefit albums are not new — Linkin Park created a similar Music for Relief sampler in 2005 to help victims of a tsunami in the Indian Ocean. That project is now collecting donations to help with the earthquake and tsunami recovery in Japan.
"I desperately wanted to help but I’m unemployed so money isn’t exactly my strong suit," Becker said. Two days after the tornado struck, he turned to Twitter with his idea for a sampler.
"I just tweeted to my 300-plus followers, asking them to spread the word," said Becker, @docmisterio on Twitter. The responses and retweets poured in “faster than my iPhone could tell me about them.”
Artists also began volunteering to participate.
"The initial blast of songs that came into my email was about 35 or so," Becker said. "I didn’t, and couldn’t, pick everyone who submitted a song. There are a couple of big ‘gets’ for me personally: Waterdeep and Derek Webb happen to be two of my favorite bands/acts."
To quickly put the project together, Becker has had help from Webb, who co-owns music distribution site noisetrade.com where the album is published, and friend Sam Wade (@samwade). Within 24 hours of its Friday morning release, the sampler had collected $1,000 in donations. Word has spread primarily through social media.
"Our first day we had lots of people talk about and/or retweet us," Becker said. "I never expected any of this; I simply just wanted to make a difference to a hurting community where I couldn’t personally make a difference. Initially, my thought was ‘Man, that would be awesome if I could just get $1,000 or something — that would be $1,000 they didn’t have before.’ But since this thing has started picking up traction and I’ve been doing interviews, I’m optimistically hoping for $10,000 or more."
Of course it’s a bird! (By the way, this bird is on Twitter too: @Weatherbird)