Paste to Win! (A Twitter Contest)

If you haven’t been following my Twitter account, you’re missing all the fun! In between going aggro on teakettles, taking an unseemly joy in crude wordplay, and in general trying to channel my incessant nattering into an attempt at being entertaining. But now I’ve tried to do something a little bit different, starting a little Twitter contest with some simple rules of entry:

Okay, everybody, it’s Ctrl-V time! Paste into Twitter whatever text you copied last, and @anildash me. Best paste gets a prize.

Amazingly, I got 160 responses from over 150 different people, and I’ve assembled the results into a few categories here for your enjoyment. I removed the date stamps and other clutter from the responses, and formatted the (many!) links into readable formats with some very brief descriptions appended. The categories I’ve grouped them into include mundane, passwords, links, links with text, actually working, nerds and coders, explainers, jokers, WTF, and pleasant. And then, finally, from all these submissions, I name our winner, along with the surprise prize. Enjoy, and please feel free to mention your favorites in the comments.


These were, of course, the perfunctory entries in the contest, people who had the misfortune to have been doing something simple and ordinary when the contest launched. They’re all exciting, talented individuals, but just had bad luck at the time with what was on the ole’ clipboard.

  • alexhutton Herrera, Javier
  • beuwulf g8 timing….
  • blackbeltjones sizewell B
  • blogdiva @lolololori …seriously, i always need to cut and paste twitter names
  • davidmohara Walnut Hill and N Central Expy
  • DeanLand something tells me this will not win. here goes: (hit ctrl-v) ok (guess who has been IMing)
  • gfmorris Massey, Ed; Cagle, Chris — was sending emails and needed to move some people from To: to Cc:. Lame, I know.
  • mdclements May 7, 2008no_watch_me Oops.
  • popgloss Go to Sam French and get the play…I have to be at Idol by 3pm. (I had to copy and paste because the 1st text didn’t send)
  • rcphq “yes!!! twitter im reboot (delete and readd the bot) worked for my IM notifications”
  • rey I’m only giving updates to friends. Add me.
  • shaneomack … (I’d paste something, but I just started my computer…no clipboard data to paste! That’s good for something, right?)
  • torrez 1Z1A715V0355643267 1Z1A715V0355643267
  • underoak ?
  • USSJoin Kibbutz Hanaton
  • vanderwal V


I don’t have any proof that all of these random strings are actually people’s passwords, but I’d like to think we can hack all their accounts with this information.


Ah, the bread and butter of Twitter. A surprising number of wacky or topical news stories, along with the detritus of people passing along links to their friends. Almost all of these were originally TinyURLs; I rewrote them with brief summaries for convenience, but may have sacrificed some accuracy in the process.

Links + Text

Same thing as the links, but these folks had something to say about their links.

Actually Working

The brief snippets that showed up from a few folks indicated they were actually in the middle of doing productive work when the contest began. I take no small satisfaction in having interrupted their productivity.

  • Bash photography? scheduled for 19 May 2008
  • jaysavage Believe me, I sympathize, but IT has no role in this process. ITs role is limited to making sure the computers are plugged in.
  • jreighley Vivain called back to check the status on this…
  • mat Water flume tests were used to assess the effects of passive drag
  • meyerweb Coming to Boston on June 23-24, San Francisco on August 18-19, 2008, and Chicago on October 13-14.
  • nichcarlson Jackson’s ire this time: the Yahoo board’s insistence on $37 a share after Microsoft upped its bid to $33 rather than looking …
  • pamslim Coaching agreements are constructed around specific objectives such as: * Defining the kind of work that you love .. (too big)
  • shifted “I hate email like this”
  • sighclub here’s my Ctrl-V: Should I? Is that a good idea to explore the conversation or would it stifle it?
  • tenuto not really sure what that is, actually
  • thoughtfarmer After looking at six or eight products last summer, [Hicks Morley] settled on ThoughtFarmer (, server-based
  • wayneyeager – Ctrl+v = automateyourbusiness
  • wfreds external link to eDM case topics
  • zackgonzales Franchise Development 78 Product Engineering 77

Nerds and Coders

Some of these could easily have fallen under the Actually Working category, but I know a lot of geeks, and that manifests itself as a lot of code, errors, system messages and the like showing up in people’s copy-and-paste tweets.

  • Asfaq SL is in the down cycle that precedes slow disappearance or phoenix like re-emergence. Hope its latter
  • atonse well i don’t want to go to a coffee shop cuz we do the whole find-an-outlet dance
  • banky use master go CREATE LOGIN PPENGUIN WITH password = ‘PPENGUIN’, CHECK_POLICY = off, DEFAULT_DATABASE = siebeldb go use siebe
  • bsdeluxe stopping after explicit exit
  • chrisfullman 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 (Yeah, seriously.)
  • coffeechica insomnia who has long be a voice of reason, passion and technical knowledge here in the world of LJ…
  • DanielLight somafm
  • elbrackeen Boolifyha3rvey help my PC is way too old and the headphone jack is not working
  • intabulas delete from reality where acronym like ‘soa%’; – note, credit to @snoopdave since I was copying hiw tweet to email to someone
  • JeromeGotangco 33126 1 root 0.0 1164 pause nginx: master process /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx
  • jperkins update_pacing_and_reports
  • kevinshay Profile::Templates::template_keys()
  • knowncitizen Error Type: KeyErrorle_mous “2 hours, 11 minutes, 10,611 files examined, 1,851 duplicates at 77.0 Gb in size. Duplication scan is 1% complete.”
  • LoganTwedt — Main.LoganTwedt – 07 May 2008 (my user/date stamp from the internal dev Twiki)
  • LoriHC 1777381. thrilling, I know! (it’s a bug number.)
  • markpasc uh: body{background:#1d1815 url(new-electro.png);} body,h1,h2{color:#ccc;} a{color:#99f;} #pagebody{background:rgba(0,0,0,0.8);}
  • marshallyount cgTrackContainerExportScale
  • mickmel

miz_ginevra (pasting) • Ability to have a blog


These folks were unsure about what they sent along, so they had follow-up tweets to offer context.

  • asimaythink “Portishead veröffentlichen nach 14 Jahren ihr erstes gutes Album”
  • asimaythink Which translates to “Portishead finally release their first good album after 14 years”.
  • digitalstew ————————————-
  • digitalstew Seriously, what are the odds?
  • dunq Hi guys In the last couple of hours I’ve become pretty impressed with postfix, and rather less so with courier.
  • dunq I hope I don’t win with that one.


I suspect that not all of these were the actual content that would have been pasted into Twitter without some editing taking place. But I don’t mind so much.

  • elbowdonkey command-V says: that’d be a donkey=
  • essl pregnant mothers in mexico give birth to stillborn monster babies hideous deformed two-headed monsters
  • fimoculous No more fucking models.
  • ghostwhispers Anil was working late again. Hey let’s GTD, said a voice. It was Merlin, his hair mussed seductively. Anil’s heart raced. At last. …
  • gknauss Crtl-V: Man, that Anil Dash guy is just a complete bastar–
  • theonetogoto Okay, everybody, it’s Ctrl-V time! Paste into Twitter whatever text you copied last, and me. Best paste gets a prize.


Delightful non-sequitirs.

  • aburnett23 Sonoran hot dog
  • AndrewCrow “Dude, I’m sure the burning will subside.”
  • camworld Mercedes 380K: Only one with removable Hardtop and orig specs. No car like this. Made 1934, Black, Leather. Price: 3,500,000 Euro
  • ckolderup oh no, semantic polysemy! we’ve never had to deal with that before!
  • csessums patched with rat stubble from a barber’s dust pan
  • cwaxler civil case Tiffany brought against eBay
  • drothschild iT WAS A QUEER, SULTRY SUMMER, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York
  • jessamyn Personally, I’m after the uncontrolled growth of pubic hair. Great hedge rows, barely contained by trousers. I try to get onto th
  • joeks “Stop tainting the waste stream with pieces of wood and old underwear!”
  • lowery a chewy malbec
  • mattl Ctrl-V: the freedom to wear shoes whenever your pinky toes are not hooked up to transcutaneous electrodes
  • miketempleton orange_botline
  • skampy – AIM IM with zoestoe. 9:48 AM is pregnancy an STD? i’ll bring the dental dams just in case.


Consider all of these runners-up in the contest. Almost all could have fit in one of the other categories, but they ended up here because they put a smile on my face.

  • akselsoft I hope I’m mistaken.
  • avemii 10k Monkeys w/ Typewriters
  • brandonmeek every good boy does fine
  • cookthink This stripped-down non-Sicilian, non-caponata caponata came out as my favorite.
  • DaveTitle INT. EMPTY STAGE CASTING DIRECTOR Ok, number sixteen please. Jon shuffles meekly onto the stage, clearly uncomfortable, barel …
  • fauverism Ctrl-V (Shitting a brick)
  • jacklail ATLANTA (AP) _ People who sleep fewer than six hours a night — or more than nine — are more likely to be obese.
  • jbrotherlove my last Ctrl-V = are you a good kisser
  • jeffarena and by kick butt, i mean getting stomped by 12yr olds online.
  • kenlotich sootiest
  • KnowMiracles Jake Warga’s
  • lisaphillips o/~
  • Lossofmemory “suckit Rob – you are not as good as you think you are…in fact you suck”
  • MaryHodder fifteen/fifty-one: a num neologism used to describe the optical illusion creatd by “cool-mom” who look 15 from back, 50 from front
  • melissagira Faithful readers know there is but one thing that will make me crawl over broken glass, head down, ass up, and that thing is Jarv
  • oski huey lewis and the news – the power of love
  • patricking “waitaminnit. you expect your readers to want access to your last hundred printed pieces? i’d reconsider that.”
  • racerrick I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You want answers? You can’t handle the truth!
  • Zotnix groggy
  • zuhl Here’s what on my clipboard right now: “Obi-Wan Kedoofus”


And finally, ladies and gentlemen, our winner, Jessamyn West! Her WTF entry was:

jessamyn Personally, I’m after the uncontrolled growth of pubic hair. Great hedge rows, barely contained by trousers. I try to get onto th

Jessamyn offers up, after an apology to the rest of her followers, that the full quote she had copied was from a mailing list that she belongs to, and reads in its entirety: “Personally, I’m after the uncontrolled growth of pubic hair. Great hedge rows, barely contained by trousers. I try to get onto the N-Judah one day and my furry rose bush of a hair bloom parts the crowd, greeted by great choruses of outrage.”

It’s a striking, vivid, and moving image. And one that’s well-deserving of an award, in the eyes of this judge.

In Jessamyn’s honor, thanks to Donors Choose, we’ve funded Whoooo, Whooo Ate What? This will provide 15 owl pellets for dissection by a group of kids in 4th grade . Let’s just not tell them what the winning quote in our little contest was, shall we? No need to scar them for life.