Sunday, July 28, 2013


Okay, if there's anything I know for sure about CollegeMisery readers: they hate our Twitter account.

For a brief period of time the TweetieDomo actually wrote funny remarks back to students who had inane and insane things to say about their professors. These were often signed, "Your Professor." Some of the "kids" actually got a kick out of a proffie calling them on their shit.

When the Domo asked me to feature some of the funnier exchanges on the blog, we got a shitpile of mail saying mostly: "I'm reluctant to okay College Misery tweeting rude things to idiotic students in my name." I'm not making it up.

So we killed that. The Domo now only RETWEETS funny things college students say about college, and occasionally links to one of our blog posts that seems to have a little traction.

But, in today's mail a few folks suggested we bulk the Twit up a bit. Thank you for the comments.

If you want to find us on Twitter, you won't believe it, but our Twitter "handle," name, user name, nickname, whatever, is super hard to divine:

See you there.


PS: Oh, and in news of another tech-thingie I don't understand, we offered our blog up through Feedburner about 12 hours ago, so folks could get their CM info through a tube into their medulla. In the past 12 hours we've had 815 subscribers sign up. We have no idea what that means.


  1. Am missing Google Reader.
    Bloglines, here I come?

  2. I'm really impressed with the idea of us talking smack to students on twitter. I would PAY to see collections of that on Buzzfeed. Why the frack did we kill that idea? And what can we do to start it up again? Sounds HELLA entertaining.

    I would totally volunteer to smack down some complaining snowflakes once a week. #professorsucks #Ohyeah? #Saythatagainyoulittleshit

  3. Yeah, I don't get the "not in my name" business since this is an anonymous blog. What am I missing?

  4. Without searching for that post and my comments, I seem to remember being suspicious of Twitter and I will accuse myself of advising caution. After some thought, I believe my concerns were overblown or misplaced.

    Based on my experience in the parts of the internet that I frequent, controversy drives pageviews (so do kittens, sexy Cosplay costumes and recipes, I mean, that's what I hear). We have a community here in which we don't want to encourage people sniping at each other. And really, what's the point of proffie-on-proffie attacks? Let's remember who the enemy is, after all. Entering another venue like Twitter would allow us to kick the shit out of some deserving students and make this place more interesting. And God help the poor students who think they can step foot in here.

    Really, you just need to run this like a country. When there's a little unrest at home, you start a war somewhere else.

    1. And for everyone else, just imagine the beauty that would be a Beaker Ben takedown of some slacking student?? Just thinking about it makes my heart patter.

  5. I've already gone on record as a Twitterphile, and I loved the old talkback Twitter feed. (I saw the responses as a series of teachable moments, and it's not surprising if many/most students responded fairly well to this approach.) I still love to see CM student retweets, even if the vast majority of them make me shudder in trepidation for the future of humanity.

    Seriously, for all the skeptics out there (and you are apparently legion), please take the time to learn how Twitter works, even if it's not (just) for the sake of this blog. It's a great tool to connect with like-minded academics, many of whom are pseudonymously snarky in a very similar spirit to the one we cultivate on CM. (Shoutout to personal faves @DrBadProfessor, @SarcasticMethod, and @SmugAcademic... are any of you on CM???) Scholars who use Twitter as a serious tool--to connect with other profs/students/authors, to get the word out about their research, to keep vigilant about current events--are also inspiring, at least to me, and remind me that this really is a day-to-day job despite how few and far between the big rewards (publication on paper, awards, etc.) might seem.

    It takes some futzing around to use Twitter well, but for me the initial investment has been well worth the effort. There are certainly worse things to do with the dead days of summer.

  6. I received direct mail and quite a few comments about the Twitter feed and 95% of it was very negative. A lot of the strongest comments seemed to suggest I wasn't offering students enough privacy protection, even though, of course, they've already posted these inanities under their own names - and yes, some folks on Twitter use their own names.

    It was quite a bit of time I was spending for a while, so after I was discouraged from doing it, it freed me up to groom my new mustache.

    The other main complaint was that somehow people who wrote for CM hadn't signed off on the action, and that was a sticking point for quite a few people. Les heard more about that than I did and she should weigh in on things.

    At this point, any new CM post goes on Twitter. That's a result of emails saying, "Why did my post not go on Twitter? Isn't my post as good as So-N-So's post, who got on Twitter yesterday?"

    Seriously. We have 215 followers. That's NOTHING. That's NOBODY. We barely exist in the Twitterverse.

    The only other thing I do now is occasionally find a few funny academic comments - usually made my snowflakes - and I retweet them, that is make them available to the 200 people who "follow" us. That is the extent.

    1. I don't "follow" anyone, but I log onto the page from time to time to read the wild things that students say about their class or professors. There is no personal filter anymore in society.

    2. I suggest we add "proftechflake" as a subcategory of the "profflake" to the CM Glossary.

      If someone is opposed to the CM twitter feed because of 'infringing on the privacy of students', then they don't have a damn f-ing clue about how Twitter works, and what it is all about. This has already been said before in previous CM posts about the Twitter feed.

      There are plenty who spend their time retweeting dumbass tweets (e.g. see the whole racist brouhaha that swept Twitter last year when Hunger Games moviegoers saw that little Rue was *gasp* black, not white...) - CM isn't breaking any new ground by retweeting, and we're not in any way violating the spirit of Twitter by doing this - there are dumbasses out there who can't keep their dumbass comments to themselves, they wish to share their dumbass comments with the entire world, and they are fair game for retweets if they use a public, wideopen global platform to make dumbass comments about academia ... and, as Terry P said, realistically the only new people who are going to see the retweet are those who already subscribe to follow the CM twitter feed already - those who follow the original tweeter's feed have *already* seen the tweet, so we're not "outing them to embarrassment" amongst their followers - get it now? 215 followers? Sheesh. My barely-teen niece has about 600 followers, and she only tweets about her latest crush (and breakup about 2 days later), hanging out at the mall, and talking smack in back-and-forths with other pre-teen girls.

    3. I'm all for calling out dumbasses who use their real names in a public venue to showcase their idiocy...

  7. Can I just say that anything and everything that is done by the mods is for the benefit of our current readers. We never want to drive people away. We're trying to make it work for as many people as possible. We have no motive beyond having a great site.

  8. Apparently the duck is a bit confused, too (ducks don't tweet, duck. Leave that to the canaries.)

    I'm one of those people with annoyingly mixed feelings about CM on twitter. I kinda like the idea of an anonymous proffie calling out students who post really dumb stuff on twitter, and think it might even have a salutary effect on said students. I also realize that things on twitter are very public, and that a student who posts something dumb may not be able to effectively erase it later, because it may have been retweeted. I do worry a little that the chances of the tweet becoming more permanent in this way are heightened by CM retweeting it, or posting it to CM (though perhaps given our readership/follower numbers, I shouldn't be). I don't particularly want to be part of magnifying the harm that students do to themselves (though I also find the "not in my name" thing a bit odd; I'll say my piece if the subject comes up, but I'm also aware that we're all independent actors here,and that's part of why the place works).

    My other, probably considerably more far-fetched, concern is the possibility that having an ill-considered tweet recirculated (either on twitter or on CM) and mocked could send an already-fragile student over the edge. There have been some cases of cyber-bullying leading to suicide. I strongly suspect that in those cases the cyber-bullying was the last straw, not the major underlying cause, and I also realize that singling out one tweet is quite different from deliberately and repeatedly targeting a particular person. But I'd still rather not take the chance (though, once again, from my perspective, that could mean just not participating in any retweeting and/or commenting on posted tweets).

    I think the bottom line for me (and just, I realize, for me) is that I'm much more comfortable with smacking down composite, hyperbolized, or at least pseudonymized students than I am setting up real students for the same sort of attention. Pointing out foibles and failures common to modern students strikes me as a useful exercise, mostly because it allows us to blow enough steam to go back and treat our actual students as the complicated individuals they are, and also because it can serve as a warning to any students who might stumble in here of what proffies find most annoying. But I'd prefer to grant them at least as much anonymity as we grant ourselves.


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