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Meet the man behind some of the best questions on Twitter



Meet the man behind some of the best questions on <b>Twitter</b> thumbnail

Eric Alper

(CNN)Eric Alper is a music publicist. But if social media is any gauge, he spends a good part of his day sparking conversation by crafting questions on Twitter, like “What opening lyric of a song gives you chills?”

More than 45,000 people responded to a question he posted about the film that traumatized them the most as children (“Poltergeist, “Salem’s Lot,” oh and “Dumbo”). And his question about perfectly-cast film roles generated 5,000 responses, including one from someone who tapped the entire cast of “Casablanca,” another suggesting Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and a third nominating the actors in the Harry Potter films — responses that give a sense of the wide of people chiming in.

Sure, other Twitter accounts have more followers. Just within the entertainment sphere, for instance, comedian Ellen DeGeneres has 79 million followers, compared to Alper’s considerable but much smaller base of 750,000 Tweeps. Few if any of Alper’s tweets go viral. But the Toronto-born music enthusiast is perfectly fine with that.

    “I know how to get popular on Twitter, and it is never even a consideration,” he told CNN in a recent interview.

      Amassing a massive following is not Alper’s intent. Instead, he’s said he’s just trying to tap into a shared sense of nostalgia. Witness the 3,000 replies in less than 24 hours earned by his tweet asking for the album we can “objectively” consider a masterpiece. (And the answer is: Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall.” Or Manu Chao’s “Proxima Estacion Esperanza.” Or is it “Tapestry” by Carole King?)

        His questions are such a fun, walk down memory lane that his Twitter account may just be one of the reasons not to delete yours.

        While Alper frequently asks about music (a topic he knows thoroughly even though he doesn’t play any instruments himself), he deliberately posts threads that tap into knowledge everyone has rather niche stuff. Topics like the first record you ever bought (for Alper, that was “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis; the year was 1978, and Alper was eight years old.) Or he’ll ask his followers about the first concert they attended (Alper: ABBA in 1977 with his parents).

          “It is not a grand experiment. It is not a way to scrape data — just a really great way for people to keep talking,” Alper said.

          He added, “The ability to make the questions as broad as possible is a way for people to calm their nerves during a time when social media and normal conversations are tight and narrow and full of emotion.”

          Alper said even some artists have responded where they’ve been tagged.

          Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith said it made his day when a fan references him or one of his songs in a response to a question from Alper on Twitter.

          “Twitter can be an angry, unforgiving place but Eric’s Twitter feed is a force for good,” Sexsmith told CNN.

          Beth Ward has been following Alper on Twitter for five years and she said she considers his feed “a free-form democracy” where “everyone can interact.”

          “It’s not political. It’s not angry,” Ward told CNN in an email. “There’s an element of joy, it’s like when your favorite song is played on the radio or in the supermarket … Everyone can come to the table and share their preferences in a judgement-free zone.”

          Alper said his direct message inbox is full of people who say they check his account first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night because “it’s a place for positivity.”

          “It’s like an open call-in show,” says Alper, who also hosts a show in SiriusXM.

          And while he’s naturally nostalgic for the 70s and 80s when he was growing up, he has an appreciation for current music, too.

          “Drake is their Bruce Springsteen,” he said about his younger followers.

          The former record company executive, who once worked for Ringo Starr (“You don’t bring up the Beatles unless he does”), is also motivated to teach the younger generation about what came before.

          “I know there were people who have never heard of Pink Floyd, as amazing as that sounds,” he said. “There are 15-year-olds who have never heard of Nirvana.”

            A desire to educate new music fans is one thing that keeps him going. The other thing? The simple thrills that music gives him. He can still viscerally recall that first concert back in 1977, and the hum of anticipation he felt in front of the curtain, waiting for it to lift, waiting for it to reveal ABBA.

            “There is nothing like [that] excitement,” he said. “I am still chasing that high in a natural sense every day.”

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            NBA Twitter erupts after Luka Doncic’s hot Game 3 start vs. Clippers



            NBA <b>Twitter</b> erupts after Luka Doncic's hot Game 3 start vs. Clippers thumbnail

            Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

            Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

            Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks wasted no time in Game 3 of their first-round matchup with the LA Clippers, and NBA Twitter erupted over their hot start.

            Game 3 Friday night was arguably the biggest game in LA Clippers franchise history. After falling down 0-2 at home to the Dallas Mavericks, winning this road game was critical for a team that entered the 2021 NBA Playoffs with legitimate title aspirations.

            Unfortunately for the Clippers, Luka Doncic and the Mavs came out laser-focused to put their opponent in another early hole.

            Just over two minutes into Game 3, Dallas already had an 8-0 lead in its first playoff game at home since 2016 … and all eight points belonged to Doncic, who’s rapidly become a Clippers killer. As such, NBA Twitter could immediately smell the blood in the water, erupting over the early deficit and how frazzled LA looked.

            NBA Twitter was eating it up as Luka Doncic went off on the Clippers yet again

            For starters, we can’t go any further without acknowledging how much Doncic personally torments this LA team. The disrespect on these step-backs!

            It was awesome seeing Doncic so fired up in front of a massive Mavs crowd at the American Airlines Center, and the home team quickly built up a 28-11 lead.

            People quickly noticed how ruthless Doncic was as he repeatedly targeted poor Ivica Zubac on his step-backs.

            Three Ivica Zubac switches, three Luka Doncic buckets. Mavs 8, Clippers 0 and a perhaps concerned Ty Lue calls timeout.

            — Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 29, 2021

            Others couldn’t help but point out how the Clippers’ defensive strategy has had absolutely no answers for Doncic for the last two years now:

            Clippers have had absolutely no clue how to stop Luka for two yrs now

            — Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) May 29, 2021

            luka really don’t like them boys 😂

            — Ja Morant (@JaMorant) May 29, 2021

            Either way, there’s no question we are witnessing greatness from a superstar who’s still only 22 years old.

            I mean, if Luka wants the be the best player ever, I would not object

            — Josh Eberley🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) May 29, 2021


            — Ahmed🇸🇴/Mach Hommy’s Pray For Haiti AOTY (@big_business_) May 29, 2021

            Luka is quickly moving up my favorite players list, this guy doesn’t make sense

            — Jacob (AKA Rusty Buckets) (@RustyBUCKETS321) May 29, 2021

            “Make Luka a scorer.”

            /Luka later holds up the 100 sign

            — Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 29, 2021

            It’s still early, and the Clippers went on a late first-quarter run to cut Dallas’ lead back down to single digits (with Doncic sidelined, of course), but there’s no question Luka’s early run was a memorable moment with LA on the ropes.

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            Why Kylie Jenner’s Shoe Collection Has Desi Twitter Abuzz



            Why Kylie Jenner's Shoe Collection Has Desi <b>Twitter</b> Abuzz thumbnail

            Why Kylie Jenner's Shoe Collection Has Desi Twitter Abuzz

            Kylie Jenner shared a pics of shoes that instantly created a buzz on desi Twitter.

            At 23, Kylie Jenner is one of the most popular entrepreneurs of our times. The fashionista — born to Caitlyn and Kris Jenner and sister to the famous Kardashian siblings — has an enviable career. Fans have been hooked to the minutest of details of the star’s life, thanks to the reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians (and its several spin-offs) as well as her gigantic social media presence. Given this, Kylie Jenner may not have thought twice before sharing a photo of her collection of high-end footwear in just about every colour of the rainbow. The post, as is the norm with her, went viral.

            fittings ✨????????????

            — Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) May 10, 2021

            While Kylie Jenner surely caught the Internet’s attention with the jaw-dropping collection, what she didn’t take into account was desi Twitter users. Her desi followers had a very unique take on the image. In short, the first thought that popped into many minds on seeing the photo was that they resembled the slippers that line up outside our homes when we host a prayer meeting or a satsang.

            Losing no time, one user said that this looked like “every Indian house during satyanarayan pooja.”

            Every Indian House during Satyanarayan Pooja ????????#KylieKeGharPoojaHai

            — Prathmesh Thaker (@PrathmeshThaker) May 26, 2021

            “When you have keertan at home,” read another comment.

            When you have keertan at home

            — Ritik Gupta (@ritik571) May 26, 2021

            Another was sure you could find similar designs in Agra’s local shoe market. Well, that was brutal.

            Agra ke Sadar Bazaar mei khub milti hain esi????

            — ईशान शर्मा???????? (@ishaaaaansharma) May 26, 2021

            Some users said that the shoes looked like the ones that were available on sale in local stores for Rs 100.

            Sale 100 Di Sale… ????????

            — ਕਰਨਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੌਰ????✨ (@KannuOyee) May 26, 2021

            Why does this look like a Bata showroom that prices each pair at Rs.999

            — Vaishnavi Suresh (@vaishnaviisure1) May 25, 2021

            “Where are the Punjabi juttis,” demanded one user.

            Only heels?

            No flats, no wedges, no ballerinas and most important not even a single Punjabi jutti.

            — Aman Kaur Grewal (@talk2amanjot) May 26, 2021

            It was not just prayer meetings and shoe sales, some also felt that the photo reminded them of the days they would go for tuition and line their slippers outside the class. 

            Home tuitions in India:

            — star (@wordsindisguise) May 25, 2021

            Take a look at the other reactions:

            Why does this look like a Bata showroom that prices each pair at Rs.999

            — Vaishnavi Suresh (@vaishnaviisure1) May 25, 2021

            Kylie making the world aware about all these new fungi … billionaire for a reason????????

            — Viraj (@lmaonade9) May 25, 2021

            Kylie Jenner is the founder and owner of the cosmetic brand Kylie Cosmetics. She has a daughter named Stormi Webster with American rapper Travis Scott.

            Click for more trending news

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            Twitter: Social media giant lists new ‘Blue’ subscription service



            <b>Twitter</b>: Social media giant lists new 'Blue' subscription service thumbnail

            image copyrightGetty Images

            image captionTwitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has previously said the company would diversify its revenue sources.

            Twitter has listed a new subscription service on app stores, in an indication that the social media giant is preparing to trial the offering soon.

            “Twitter Blue” is listed as an in-app purchase, priced at £2.49 in the UK and $2.99 in the US.

            Twitter has given no further details, and declined to confirm online claims that the service could allow users to “undo” tweets.

            It previously said it was working on special features for paid subscribers.

            The firm wouldn’t comment directly on the listing but highlighted to the BBC that it had previously announced plans to diversify its revenue sources.

            Although “Twitter Blue” is now listed on app stores, it isn’t yet fully enabled for users.

            The BBC understands that pilot offerings of the subscription service are likely to start soon although it is unclear which countries it will be available in first.

            According to technology blogger Jane Manchun Wong, who claims to be the first paying user of the service, it includes an “undo tweet” feature as well as a “reader mode” to make reading long threads easier. But Twitter has declined to confirm her claims.

            The social media giant told the BBC that increasing “revenue durability” is the company’s top objective.

            The firm also plans to continue developing and experimenting with other ways to diversify its revenues beyond advertising this year and further ahead.

            These plans could also include subscription services and other ways to offer individuals and businesses access to special features on the platform.

            Twitter has also made clear that it will continue to focus on growing its advertising business.

            image copyrightTwitter

            image captionThe “Twitter Blue” listing has appeared on app stores.

            Last month, the company launched a new “tip jar” feature that allowed people to send money to others on the social network.

            Twitter said the feature was “an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation”.

            To begin with, only a select group of people can receive tips – a group Twitter said was made up of “creators”, journalists, experts, and non-profits.

            The function adds a small icon to a user’s profile – on mobile devices only for now – with a drop-down menu for other payment providers such as PayPal, Venmo, or the Cash App, the latter two of which are popular in the United States.

            But the announcement was not without controversy. Because the payment is made through those external systems, some Twitter users noticed that tipping a PayPal account lets the recipient know the postal address of the tip sender.

            In other cases, the recipient’s email address could be seen, whether or not any money was sent.

            Reporting by Peter Hoskins.

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            Facebook and Twitter’s chief executives were asked during a US Senate hearing in November if there was evidence of their platforms being addictive.

            media captionTwitter’s Jack Dorsey: “Like anything else, these tools can be addictive”

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