For many years, Gonz Blinko has entertained readers in the fictional blinkosphere invented by cdh intended to be an alternative universe where all sorts of things regarding blindness could be viewed through a very alternative lens. I’ve enjoyed writing Gonz stories and, based upon feedback, a lot of readers enjoyed reading them as well.
Recently, Gonz has taken to tweeting and his Twitter feed is laden with wisecracks, paranoia, silliness, actual comments about AT and inclusion of fact, opinion and weirdness. SOme people, however, probably those who do not know Gonz from this blog can’t seem to understand that he is intended to be humorous and doesn’t reflect cdh’s actual opinions all of the time.
In the blog, there is a context in which Gonz lives. In tweets, the 140 limit may make him sound a bit too stark and actually serious.
Gonz has never had a terribly consistent narrative but may be the tweets, as random as they are, cannot be seen as funny in such a medium.
So, should we kill the Gonz Blinko feed?
2 thoughts on “Gonz and Twitter”
I’ve been a Gonz fan for years and was excited to see that he would be posting his paranoid ravings, with just enough factual info to make things interesting, to the Twittersphere. Unfortunately though, communicating in 140 characters or less is a challenge even for those of us who believe ourselves to be firmly grounded in reality. Add Gonz’s unique brand of insanity to the mix and what results is confusion more than anything else.
Gonz’s appeal for me has always been about more than just the paranoid ravings themselves. In the blog, Gonz has a stage. There’s a setting, there are other characters to interact with, and there is some sort of storyline. Without those things, people, including myself, seem not to know how to respond. Should I ignore this as a paranoid rant, and if I’m ignoring it then why exactly am I following this freakazoid anyway? Should I respond to a factual bit of the post? But wait, this guy’s fictional, so why am I attempting a serious discussion then? Should I respond with something wacky of my own? But I’m not fictional. Are people going to misinterpret my response? I can’t very well preface everything with” the following is a tongue-in-cheek response to gonz and may or may not reflect the opinions of this station.
So, I am thoroughly looking forward to reading more adventures with Gonz and the gang on the blog. But I think that when it comes to understanding and interacting with Gonz in 140 characters or less, we’re doomed.
There are ways to make fictional identities work on twitter. Examples are things like tweet jebus, etc. The trick is having some consistency in the characterization, and not breaking character too often. It can be hard to do with Gonz, since fact and fiction do get mixed. I’ve tended to treat “we’re doomed” and “viva las vegas” as signifiers for “this is part of the game”. But having to figure that out can be work for people who aren’t used to playing with virtual identity. Not to mention, it cuts into the 140-char limit.
So it all depends on what you want to do with the gonz feed. It can be an interesting vehicle for experimentation with twitter and fictional identity beyond the blog, but that may not be what you want to do, and yes, you do risk being misunderstood.