'Tweetstorm' Is Trademarked, So 'Timeline Colonialism' Is On The Rise?

It was inevitable that once the meme 'tweetstorm' was trademarked, 'timeline colonialism' would become Twitter's latest craze. Odd that something as common as sending multiple tweets in succession to make a point needed an identity before it could actually become part of the Twittersphere's zeitgeist.

Get a Blog. . .

Multiple tweet threads that deliver a continuing narrative is nothing new on Twitter. Multiple tweet activity probably began shortly after Twitter was first launched on March 21, 2006. While many early adopters were intrigued by the idea of keeping one's thoughts constrained to 140 characters, there were just as many others that favored an assault-rifle approach of shooting multiple tweets in rapid succession in order to make their point.

Remember the old adage, "get a room," -- well, one might also wonder why one would resort to this type of public display of emotion, when a full-length blog might be a better format to comment on a certain topic. After all, Twitter themselves referred to themselves from day-one as a "microblogging" site for a reason.

However, as the convention persisted, it wasn't formally named, "tweetstorm," at the onset. The only way followers knew that successive tweets were forthcoming is when the sender began each tweet with (tweet 1 out of the total number of tweets), similar to the @leehopkins tweet sent on April 25, 2007 (something, critics referred to as 'timeline colonization,' since tweets of this nature have a tendency to clog up one's twitterstream).

Laying claim, just because . . .

Marc AndreessenMarc AndreessenThen some seven years later, entrepreneur-extraordinaire Marc Andreessen was given credit for coining this activity as a "tweetstorm." This lofty accolade was announced in a tweet by Chris Dixon, one of Andreessen’s colleagues at Andreessen Horowitz who also legitimized Marc as the supposed "Father of Tweetstorm," by indicating the term was also trademarked, i.e. "tweetstorm™" when he tweeted. . .

Marc Andreessen (aka @pmarca) who's known as the founder of Ning and Netscape issued 20,300 tweets through the first half of this year, or about 100 tweets per day. He modified Lee Hopkins format somewhat by prefacing his tweets with a “1/,” which is to let you know that a series of tweets on a similar topic are forthcoming (while running out of steam at around 12/ or 13/ mark). There are multiple websites now dedicated to collecting and archiving Andreessen’s tweetstorms, with topics that range from "Will Robots Eat All Jobs," to "Snowden & Acts of Treason."

What's in a Name?

So, how does Mr. Andreessen get to trademark the meme "tweetstorm?" Well, in actuality,  if one was to conduct a Google search, it doesn't appear that tweetstorm™ has truly been filed through the court system. In fact  in general, 'memes' are harder to trademark on a whole because they typically contain two parts: text and image.

Then, more than often, the text and images will change again and again, as people refine the joke — which helps the meme go viral, but makes it more difficult for the original meme author (or those who want to make a buck off of the creation) to trademark the meme. And such is the case with tweetstorm™. As a developer by the name of Sumukh Sridhara has taken it upon himself to create a make-shift logo image of tweetstorm™  on his Twitter site, aka @Tweetstorm.io,  I'm sure Andreessen isn't going to take any litigious measures to close down his account.

Tweetstorming and Timeline Colonialism aren't going to go away any time soon - which leaves us, the recipients, with two options of recourse - endure the inclement weather, or click on that option that says "block" - it works as well as an old-fashioned umbrella.