Archive for the ‘1-2-3 eyes on me’ Category

[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]Three months and 1,300 tweets ago, my ID was the only topic most of my followers were interested in. The ideas ranged from plausible to crazy. Somewhere in the bowels of Twitter lay tweets suggesting that I’m Jim Carrey, The King, Jesus, Ashton Kutcher, Kelsey Grammer, Edward Norton and simply an ambitious nobody. All of that despite the fact that from the day one I made it clear that I was not interested in discussing my ID. Then, in the midst of conspiracy theories, one very considerate person said that she thought she knew who I was, but was concerned that voicing that theory would bring in a lot of people into the conversation. The question came in right between “Are you Tom Cruise?” and “You are Santa Claus!” tweets, so I didn’t mind. In fact I didn’t care. So she went ahead with a tweet, and so “John Mayer’s Secret Twitter Account” conspiracy was born. I’m still thankful to her for asking me that question.

Fast forward three months. The @unmaskd account has a very moderate number of followers. ID theories are gone. Unmaskd is accepted as a name. But most importantly we’re having a conversation. A conversation about things I and people who read my tweets happen to care about. Twitter or blog, 1 tweet in a week or 10 in a day, it is still a conversation of people mutually interested in each other’s opinions. That was the case until today.

Today that three-month old warning came true. A rumor published on John Mayer’s fan site has sent quite a few people in my direction. The old PR wisdom claims that no publicity is bad publicity. Some utterly bizarre questions that showed up in my feed today make me question that theory. At the same time, it was great to read many comments and tweets about my blog posts. Serious or funny, thoughtful or blurted out, they are all part of what I’m looking for here — a conversation. If you were one of the people who took time to read my thoughts and reply — thank you! If you’re one of the people who don’t have anything better to do than ask a stranger about things like their sexual preferences… well, I feel sorry for you.

Denying rumors is more futile than fighting off Borg. I’ve said more than once that I wasn’t Mayer — and look how much it helped. So I’m not doing this anymore. Instead, let’s make a couple of things clear and move on. I’m not going to disclose my ID, at least not anytime soon. It doesn’t — at least it shouldn’t — matter what sequence of characters is associated with me outside this Twitter account. What matters is that here you’re getting a real deal — my real thoughts and real feelings. If there’s one thing I promise it’s lack of bullshit. As people who’ve been reading my tweets for a while know, the whole point of being @unmaskd for me is to have zero limits on expressing my thoughts. So if you’re curious, read a post or two on my blog. Skim through the tweets. Then decide if this is interesting enough to stick around. If it is, welcome to the conversation. If it’s isn’t, thanks for stopping by. But if you’re following me, expecting to hear John Mayer’s thoughts, you’re wasting your time. For that you’re much better off following his Twitter or Tumblr account.

So many people go online pretending to be someone they are not — smarter, richer, cuter. But the best kept secret of Internet is that here you can be who you really are. And that’s why I’m here.

With so many theories swarming around @unmaskd I feel obligated to deny or confirm at least some of them. At least occasionally. So far I’ve been mostly in denial mode. No, I’m not this person… No I’m not that celeb… No, I’m not that dude you slept with last month… At the same time I’ve been confirming some theories. Yes, I’m a beagle, playing with his human’s keyboard (and inspired by this). Yes, I’m The Riddler (the benevolent kind). Yes, I’m Frasier in hiding and I’m listening…

But now I’d like to step out of the joking mode and in absolute seriousness confirm one conclusion that has been tweeted around more than once recently. It is not about my identity. But it is about my goals, at least about one of them. Twitter is full of shrewd people, so it comes as no surprise to anyone that a few smart folks have already observed the following: “That @unmaskd is looking for attention!” Somehow it didn’t sound too positive, which is I’m writing this post.

I confess, I am looking for attention. And not for anyone’s attention. For your attention. And so is everyone else. Any writer who has ever written a line, any actor who has played a part in any show, any producer, any poet, any reporter, any news anchor, any company, any non-profit… So does a firefighter who is shouting “Leave the building!”, so does any politician, any teacher, any preacher, anyone and everyone who has something to tell to others. They are all looking for attention. You are looking for attention, otherwise you would not have ended up on Twitter. Because looking for attention is as human as breathing. Except, some need attention of a couple of people, while others want the entire world to listen to them.

Attention is our social currency. It is your social capital. And like any capital is limited. There’s only as much attention you can give to anyone and anything. Which is why everyone wants it. It is your attention that creates or destroys a star. It is your attention that solves a social problem or creates a social disaster. It is your attention that makes the world whatever it is.

So yes, I do want your attention. Now that we got that out of the way, you will probably ask, why I want it. Well, to find an answer to that question, you may have to stick around and decide for yourself.