Every Friday, Twitter users (or "tweeters," if you want to be colloquial) suggest feeds for other users to follow. It's called "Follow Friday." In Madison, an active community of bloggers, journalists, marketing professionals and others has sprung up, communicating with 140 characters or less.
Description (140 characters)
Cartoonist, nerd, a really swell guy. Creates games and comics that combine fun and Cthulu. Does what he loves in life. Is an "amiable idiot."
There should be a specific word for a sudden increase in stride to beat a group heading towards the same coffee shop as you.
SPAM: "Ready to play games all day and get paid? Find out how now! " ME: "Ummm...be me?"
When I was a kid, I certainly thought that I - as an adult - would be eating far more Buster Bars than I currently do.
Originally from England (but without a discernible accent), John Kovalic is well-known in nerd circles as the person responsible for Dork Tower, a long-running web comic series. He's also the co-owner and co-founder of Out of the Box Games, the illustrator for "Munchkin" and co-developer of "Apples to Apples."
"Twitter is like the flash cards of the Internet," he says. His sudden love for the micro-blogging platform came shortly after being featured in a WIRED piece about 100 geeks you should be following. "Before that, I didn't really get it."
On Twitter, Kovalic tries to keep his personal and professional lives separate. "I've created an online persona for myself, a sort of amiable idiot," he smirks.
He uses Twitter for three purposes: to promote his work, to test out jokes for his "Dork Tower" comic and to keep up with friends. As far as joke-testing goes, he often throws little jokes out into the Twitterverse and waits for a response. "If something gets a lot of positive feedback, I'll add it to the strip. Sometimes I'll think I have a great joke, and someone will tell me it's been done before, so I won't put it in."
Kovalic has about 4,500 followers, and he recently pared down the number of people he follows from 150 to 140, "a very Twitter number."
"Twitter is the great leveler," he says. "It's so casual, and most of the big names are open and decent about it." Kovalic remembers the first time that Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal-winning author and nerd crush object, @ replied him. "My wife heard me screaming from across the house."
Why should Madisonians follow John Kovalic on Twitter? "I do a fair amount of Madison tweeting. Just the other day I tweeted about finding pretzel M&Ms at Walgreens." Any other reasons? "Because I provide more comprehensive up-to-the-minute coverage of Dane County than @Channel_3000. I'm sorry. Did I say 'comprehensive up-to-the-minute coverage of Dane County'? I meant 'muskrats.'"
Find John Kovalic on Twitter at @muskrat_john