Something bizarre and hilarious happened today.
You’ve probably heard the buzz about GIF creator, Steve Wilhite, accepting his lifetime achievement Webby Award in front of this:
It just so happened that yesterday I asked my friend Walker, lover of GIFs, to send me some so that I could then send them on to a friend in hopes of cheering up her day. Walker also sent me this NYT article about the Webby Award and Wilhite’s declaration of the pronunciation of GIF. Then, I tweeted this:
Vindication! I’ve always said “jif” and then felt self-conscious. “An Honor for the Creator of the GIF” nyti.ms/1a2BMr6
— 3 Chainz (@meag_new) May 22, 2013
Today, someone tweeted at me asking for my email address. Initially, I thought it was spam. But I looked at the user’s profile, and it turned out to be Amy O’Leary, New York Times reporter and former producer at This American Life (eee!) She said she had used my tweet in a post on the NYT’s Bit blog, and her editors wanted to run it in print, so she needed to verify the spelling of my name and get some more details.
So, I looked at the post thinking how funny it was that the NYT used my tweet. And then I remembered I had changed my name to 3 Chainz. And I realized how ridiculous that looks next to the other tweets with the users’ real, normal names.
I wanted to keep my account public, but also didn’t want my coworkers to be able to find my account so easily just by searching my name, since I frequently tweet about #cubelife. So, why 3 Chainz? My friend Hanif has given me innumerable nicknames, most of which are actually related to my name (usually it features replacing “mega” with “meaga”), except for this one. And honestly, I mostly just thought it was funny to get emails from Twitter that said, “Dear 3 Chainz, you have a new follower, etc.”
What is most crazy to me, though, is that I probably would not have known my tweet was in the post if Amy O’Leary hadn’t asked for my email. Public tweets are public domain, so she didn’t have to ask to use my tweet, or even tell me that she did. That’s nuts. And now it’s being printed! Hopefully they won’t include the name (or my photo for that matter, blurg) in the article.
In closing, all I wanted to do was send my friend a few GIFs, and now I will go down in history as 3 Chainz.