I’ve been on Twitter a long time — almost eight years now. (Wowza!) We were perfect for each other from the beginning, and it’s been my go to social network ever since. But even in the most solid relationships things can start to feel a bit stale, and you start looking for ways to spice things up. Several years ago, I noticed perfectly innocent things my friends said in conversation would strike me as particularly funny when taken out of context (yes, I am 12). It might sound naughty, it might sound weird, but it was always random, out of context, and made me giggle. So naturally I started posting these snippets to Twitter, with the simple lede of “OH:” (short for “overheard”, you pronounce the two letters separately, “Ohh Aych”, not “Oooohhhhhh”, and not short for Ohio — I always find a new follower somewhere who is confused about that, actually). I’m not the first person to overhear things on Twitter but, somehow, it’s become a thing with me. So be it. It makes me happy, people watch for it, and I don’t lose too many friends when I OH them. However, I don’t take this responsibility lightly. There really are rules that I follow when posting something I’ve overheard:
- It can originate from anything I see or hear.
- It’s always anonymous — I never out my source in the OH.
- I can’t OH myself (though I can retweet someone OHing me).
- I rarely explain the original context.
- I never make up an OH.
Friends and coworkers alike know about this game of mine, and sometimes they’ll catch themselves after providing me with a particularly delightful OH and stop, flustered. These are usually great OHs, because the more innocuous or innocent the original statement, the better. Sometimes people try to lure me in with what I like to refer to as “OH bait” — the sly statement that’s already clearly meant for Twitter. I try to sidestep those because they’re just too obvious, and don’t abide by the original intention as I’ve defined an OH. But the slightly naughty statements in an unconventional surrounding? Yeah, they sometimes get added to the mix. It’s a judgement call — my game, my rules.
They tell you early on not to have favorites — and if you do, never, ever let them know it. But honestly, I can’t help it. Mike Petroff has long been one of my favorite people in higher ed. He’s that wicked smart guy who can’t help but have ideas, and then acts on them mostly because figuring out challenges is fun. You’d think that being a new dad and a Digital Content Strategist at Harvard would keep him busy enough, but I think he just gets bored if he sits still too long. A Twitter bot? For me!? Of course I’m game!
Yesterday, Mike unleashed his little bot in the higher ed community.
This bot absolutely tickles my funny bone, and now I finally have a reason to go back through my Twitter archive and sort out the OHs. One good turn deserves another, so I’m going to repost OHs collected over the years. Never fear, gentle readers, I will still be posting OHs from my @Robin2go account; but if your Twitter feed has gotten choked with too much information, or if you just don’t want to listen to me blather on to the Twitterverse, then follow (or list) @OH_by_Robin to get right to the good stuff. It’s awesome. And you should probably follow @MikePetroff too, while you’re at it. Because he’s awesome.
So thank you, Mike. You really are my favorite.* Just don’t tell the others.
*and yes, you can OH that.