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Why i created a Psycho on Twitter – @dinner_guest

Claire Stokoe

No i don't kill people, eat their liver or shrink a human head down to the size of an orange.

Well, where do i begin. To use apt menu terms;

  1. A smattering of obsession with Web Memes
  2. 2 ounces of the Deeper web
  3. about 13 pints of Horror movies
  4. Not alot of sleep

The culmination of all of these things plus the fact that working in Social Media hasn't given me enough time to paint in oils recently, resulted in the birth of a twitter account simply called @dinner_guest. (the name coming out of the recent Obama dinner news). The image was always going to be a Francis Bacon picture, he is after all the (GOD) of the art world.

@dinner_guest went live on November 10th 1.53pmwith the post

dinnerguestnewhere

The dinner_guest twitter account
The dinner_guest twitter account

It might not be to everyone's taste, but i have read, watched and written alot of horror fiction in my time, and adore the likes of Clive Barker, Bret Easton Ellis and  Thomas Harris and of course i have watched Dexter.

fireshot-capture-1337-american-psycho-02_jpg-jpeg-image-496a638-pixels-fusedfilm_com_wp-content_uploads_2009_02_american-psycho-02 fireshot-capture-1265-twitter-twitter_com_account_profile_image_dinner_guest_hreflangenfireshot-capture-1336-hannibal-lecter-hopkinsopt_jpg-jpeg-image-455a267-pixels-2fm_rte_ie_blogs_dave_fanning_news_2009_09_21_hannibal-lecter-hopkinsoptfireshot-capture-1338-dexter1_jpg-jpeg-image-332a376-pixels-www_sweatybettypr_com_blog_wp-content_uploads_2009_09_dexter1

So what is @dinner_guest? for those who don't know. Well it's the inner dialogue of a cannibalistic, slightly camp serial killer living in Brighton that people thought might be real.

When i first started writing @dinner_guest, it was research for a character in my novel "Deeper web". But then after a few posts all of which were pretty grizzly, i decided to push the envelope and seeded it. I sent a tweet out to my Twitter followers saying that i had come across a creepy twitter account called @dinner_guest whilst doing outreach for food bloggers. (Hey I'm in marketing - i lie).

The 10 things  i wanted to achieve with @dinner_guest?

  1. Shake things up abit
  2. Develop a well rounded character
  3. Make Tweets as experimental as Twitter applications
  4. To hit back at the purist "Toe to the line" tweeters
  5. Get traction on other blogs
  6. Get over 30 comments
  7. Get influencer mentions
  8. Get over 100 active followers (not a passive 1000)
  9. Get 30 RT's
  10. Make people question it's reality

I didn't however imagine that people would think that it was real, it was too campy, too much like Lecter or Barker. But they did, go figure!

Techcrunch mike Butcher on @dinner_guest
Techcrunch mike Butcher on @dinner_guest

Before the TechCrunch story went live, Mike Butcher of Techcrunch DM'd me on Twitter to ask if the account was mine, i said no. Oops! "Not that trusted a source, sorry Mike".

Hey i was interested to see where it went and since most idea's I had a spent ages crafting were  normally "borrowed" by those with 'influence'. This time i thought "sod it" this is my creation... "Pull the lever! mwaaahhhaaahhhhaaa!"

Mike Butcher comment on @dinner_guest
Mike Butcher comment on @dinner_guest

Then i was sitting at home working on a video for my blog and i got another tweet saying "that @dinner_guest thing is everywhere". I thought "Oops.. then shit" and then didn't sleep for 24 hours expecting the police to knock on my door. It had begun to snowball and my iphone bleeped all night with updates as i hid under my pillow.

Brighton and hove news "serial killer comes to Brighton", technews "murder on Twitter, Techblog "viral or real thing?" and Bitchbuzz "are there murderers on Twitter?", the inquisitr a murderer on twitter or a very viral campaign.

fireshot-capture-1340-twitter-aeserial-killerae-comes-to-brighton-a-brighton-and-hove-news-www_brightonandhovenews_org_2009_11_twitter-serial-killer-comes-to-brighton

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Then poor Rob Carter gets the blame only because i followed him, sorry Rob.

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dinnerguestdigg

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It ran for around 24 hours and then after reading the @katiemoffat (katie rules by the way) piece about the fact that something like this could make people question the security of the mediu, and mybe increase stricter government controls, Jan Moir of the Daily Mail for example is exactly the kind of person to get her canine teeth into this kind of controversy, i made the decision to move it to the next level. I was going to 'out' dinner_guest.

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Then what was really funny, was that from a comment on the Techcrunch story byScott Gould who calls himself a "thinker, do-er and passionate christian" and give a top 10 tips why @dinner_guest is a fake, they do make me laugh. Then Techcrunch ran with another update calling dinner_guest a fake based in Scott's odd observations.

dinnerguest12

dinnerguest11

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I then wanted to take it all down a notch and changed @dinner_guests to something a little less 'Dark'

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It was late at night and i picked a blogger https://twitter.com/Zee i felt deserved the story and so i gave him an interview with @dinner_guest at 12.00pm by email.

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Some 2 days later, one of my followers  https://twitter.com/SRQ2U told me that a reporter from MSNBC really upset me by saying that;

"@dinner_guest is posting tweets cribbed from Dr. Michael Stone's Scale of Evil, totally ripping off my  “Law & Order” spec script and getting way more followers than the banal bon mots deserved"

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So what i did achieve with @dinner_guest in 3 days?

  • A Clout score of 37 and connector status in 3 days http://klout.com/profile/summary/dinner_guest/
  • Lists following dinner_guest - 12
  • Unique referers of dinner_guest content- 69
  • A poll asking if followers on Twitter would like to hear more stories got 100 entries
  • Reached 6447 people in 50 tweets
  • Impressions to dinner_guest in 3 days - 12,000
  • Average of 18 RT per day
  • Frequency of followers remains the same
  • Blogs mentioning dinner_guest around 37
  • Got over 30 comments
  • Shook things up abit
  • Develop a well rounded character (DONE)
  • Got 3 influencer mentions
  • Get over 200 active followers (not a passive 1000)
  • G0t 40 RT's
  • Made people question it's reality
  • Got to now a load of very cool (unsocial media) people

I will be following up this post, with a series of videos talking about this type of approach with the @freshegg team (who didnt know about this at first)

Looking further into the analytics behind this campain and how doing something like this could benefit a brand.

Would i do this again? "hell yeah, and i wouldn't come clean about it for weeks!"

What would i do differently? sell alot of teeth whitening products (lol)

"sleep well my friends"

Heres a bunch of amazing Twitter users that were open minded enough and using the medium in the way it should be, for being passionate about a niche

@SRQ2U @RukCooray @joankite @chloelowewew11 @markwilliamsjr @Zee @elisbk @kirstenask @phil__cooper @f0rged @DanxMcGowan @kirstenask @rikt @mrhoneybear @CheddarChad @lord_raiden @chillydog61 @n01d34 @JLuchkiw @maurawhite @charlesgoodall @jeff_duff @BrightonSkip @RitaSnatch @TheNextWeb

@SianeP @Suitov @cityferret @mikiewoods @aaronccrawford @morbidluv @BradleyF81 @Nicolebad @keefmoon @Dabinto @beckara @David_Bobby @HeadbangToday @toxicmenges

If i have missed anyone, please add your twitter name as a comment



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