Desired Hearts Announces Twestival Contest Winner

Congratulations to Lenwood Brown from Amherst, New Hampshire for submitting the winning design to the official Twestival T-Shirt Design Contest that was held by Desired Hearts. Brown is no stranger to good causes, along with being a talented designer, he also helps out his community as a volunteer firefighter. And if you saying to yourself, hey that designs looks familiar – well, you’re right! The design is a play on the famous “Fail Whale” splash page that appears whenever Twitter is down for maintenance. 

This winning Twestival shirt will be available for pre-sale until Monday for $20. All proceeds from this sale will be going to Charity: Water. And remember, the Twestival will be happening all over the world on February 12 so be sure to check out the official site Twestival site to see where your city’s Twestival will be held. 


Twestival Shirt

Desired Hearts Back and Helping With Twestival!

After recently closing their site down, the Desired Heart team is back in action, re-branded and hopefully better than ever. To kick off the re-opening of Desired Hearts, they have teamed up with the folks running the upcoming and worldwide Twestival and is currently organizing the official Twestival T-Shirt Design Competition. You can now vote for your favorite entry (12 from the 45 submissions were selected) and can even pre-order your Twestival tee now for $20.00. Voting closes this Sunday and the results will be announced on Monday, February 9. The profits from this sale will be going to Charity: Water – a group dedicated to bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 

Here are the 12 Twesitival designs that you can choose from and vote for:


For those of you wondering what the Twestival is all about, here is the information that you need:

On 12 February 2009 175+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.

Join us by:

Attending one of the events detailed on the city sites listed on this page.
Uploading or buying music at
Taking part in the t-shirt design competition.
Donating to charity: water.
The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects.

10tees – The 10 Best of Everything!

10tees is a great place to find themed collections of tees. They do all the work by thinking of interesting themes (i.e. 10 Star Wars Tees Every Fan Boy Should Have, 10 Funny Tees About Strange Creatures, etc.) and then collect and post on their blog the 10 best shirts from a mix of indie and popular brands. It’s fun to see which shirts make the list and its a great way to find random tees that you would not have know about otherwise! 

Be sure to also check out and subscribe to their RSS Feed, a secret birdie told me that you can find some goodies in there, like handy dandy coupons! And if you’re like me, always looking for people to add on Twitter, then go ahead and follow 10tees on Twitter to stay up-to-date on everything 10tees.

The Tcritic To Collaborate with Hide Your Arms

According to ongoing Twitter conversations, It looks like the Internet’s number one t-shirt blog will be collaborating with the author of another hot tee blog. Karl Long, better known in the tee community as the Tcritic has invited Hide Your Arms author Andy Bowness to be a guest poster on his blog.

The Tcritic has been around since 2006 and has over 4000 subscribers according to his Feedburner stats. Although one of the most prolific tee bloggers around, he has slowed down a bit, producing just one or two post every week or so. Hide Your Arms, on the other hand has been busingly pumping out content like a mad man. Fellow tee blogger, Taddict, even pronounced Andy as the “heir” to Long’s t-shirt blogging throne.

Needless today, this is a great thing for both Andy and Karl. It’ll help to feed the thirsty palettes of the Tcritic fans looking for more content and it’ll boost Andy’s credibility in the community and help to bring in more traffic to the already popular Hide Your Arms blog.

Is this the beginning of a passing of the torch from one top blog to another? Only time will tell.

5 Twitter Tips To Get Brand Exposure

This is a follow up to a post that I made last month regarding how you can use MySpace to market your T-shirt designs. I continue with the social network theme and describe 5 handy tips of how you can utilize the micro-blogging tool, Twitter, to maximize exposure of your personal brand. 

1. Engage in conversation. This tip is probably the most important when trying to use Twitter to gain exposure for your brand. The more you interact with the people you follow and your followers the more engrained you will become in the collective conscious. The more you @ reply and dm (direct message) people the greater the chance that they will remember who you are. The ultimate goal is not only to build on the relationships of those you follow but for you to develop strong relations with your followers.

2. Automate Twitters Across Platforms. It doesn’t make sense for you to tweet a message and then type out the same message to update your status on other platforms like Facebook, FriendFeed and Pownce. Make these platforms work with each other. For instance, every time you make a tweet you can instantly have your Facebook status updated with the same message. Similarly, when you Pownce, you can have that Pownce message automatically made into a tweet. FriendFeed is a cool aggregator of social networks so you can have your tweets automatically appear in your FriendFeed profile as well. Now instead of typing the same thing 4 times across 4 different platforms, you just need to do it once. 

To auto update your Facebook status with your most recent Twitter tweets:

1. Install the Twitter for Facebook application
2. In the Twitter for Facebook application 
3. Click the “Allow Twitter to Update Your Facebook Status” button just above the text box.

Check this post out to see how you can sync Twitter with Pownce. 

3. Friend Up. Do you have a particular niche that you’re interested in? Let’s take for example T-shirts. If you blog about T-shirts then it would make sense for you to be friends with people on Twitter who are also interested in the T-shirt culture. Here’s what you can do, you can actually search Twitter by going to Look up key words related to your niche. For instance, I am interested in tees so I did a Twitter search of people talking about Emptees and Threadless. Once you find these people, follow them. Chances are that they will follow you and then get your Twitter updates as a result. Now that you’ve found these people, chances are they are friends with other people interested in T-shirts, so be sure to check out who they follow as well. Also remember to search for friends feature in Twitter to check your email (i.e. Gmail) for contacts who are already on registered on Twitter. Find your audience and be friends with them. Feel free to add me @cotygonzales!

4. Sync Blog Posts. This is a no brainer. Every time you make a new blog post, tweet about it. Again, you can automate this process, however, for this instance I do not. I always provide a personal message quickly describing the post and make it sound interesting (hopefully increasing the chances that my followers will click on the link) instead of having just a generic automated link to the blog post. However, if you decide to take the automated approach, check out Twitter Tools for WordPress, it allows you to sync your blog with Twitter and provides different ways of displaying your tweets on your blog. 

5. Be Interesting, Fun and Tweet Outside Your Niche. It’s important for you to Twitter about things related to your blog (see Tip #4) but it also important to tweet about things unrelated to your blog. People like out-of-nowhere tweets that raise an eyebrow or two. Tweet about random and fun things that happen to you throughout your day. Random posts remind people that you are human and not just a robot spamming Twitter with links to your blog!

Twitter is powerful. Learning to harness that power will unleash an invaluable tool for anyone trying to develop a name or brand for themselves in this increasingly social-centered Internet.

By the way, here are some Twitter T-shirts that might peak your interest!

You can also find more Twitter themed tees at Eat Sleep Tweet!

Obama Taps Into the MySpaec, errr, MySpace Generation

Kudo’s to Obama’s publicity/marketing team for reaching out to generation Web 2.0. In an ingenious move, whenever an intrepid Myspace user types in the url to their favorite site, and inadvertently misspells the url as (go ahead try the link) they get forwarded to Obama’s campaign site. 

This just goes to show how ingrained social networks like MySpace has become in society. In the 90’s candidates tapped into MTV. In 2008, they utilize Web 2.0. Both Obama and McCain have official MySpace and Facebook pages. Obama has more Twitter followers than Kevin Rose. More Followers than Digg king, Kevin Rose? Say what?!

How long before we see interactive political debates via Web 2.0 upstarts like Ustream and Seesmic? How long before viral videos, like the popular Barack Roll video, are initiated by the candidates themselves. The technology and networking tools that we have available to us today makes it possible to reach millions of people at the click of a button. These are powerful times. I’m glad to see our presidential candidates embracing the technology. 

By the way, if you’re typing in a url to a site you probably visit multiple times a day then shame on you. It’s all about the bookmark bar. 

*Cheers to Emptees user JacobPlague for pointing this out!

FTW! What Does it Mean?

Young people talk in strange code, it’s always been like that and it always will be like that. Like doctors and lawyers and most other professionals, young people have their own brand of lingo. The lingo may change from generation to generation, but nonetheless, the lingo is ever present. 

Having said that, I’ve noticed a lot of people using a seemingly innoculous piece of strung together letters to go along with their online statements. If you’re a gamer, belong to an online community such as a forum, or are a member of one of the various social networks like Facebook or Twitter, then you may have noticed an influx in usage of a particular three letter acronym. FTW. Heard of it? I’ve been seeing and hearing (on podcasts) the use of FTW a lot as of late. The problem is, unlike other popular net acronyms like LOL (laughing out loud) or ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing), FTW is very cryptic. Nonetheless, it seems to be the hip term to be using nowadays in the ever vast InternetLAND. Here are some recent (as of this posting) examples that I found by doing a quick search on Twitter for the term FTW:

“Shakey’s Pizza FTW… even though my stomach doesn’t agree, ugh *gurgle*!”

“Joe Dirt FTW”

“”Dorkmeyer” = 1990’s slang. Yeah. THAT didn’t age at all. And Steve Sanders blackout drunk FTW!”

“First beer in about 6 months – Sapporo FTW.”

“I can’t say enough about Hamlet 2. I feel so inspired in the strangest way!@brandonpierce & I were LOL through 90% of it. Sexy Jesus FTW!

“Ugh, my roomate just ate all my food I had planned to eat for work and home for the next two days. Backup ramen FTW! :-(“

But what does it mean? When I was growing up, FTW meant “Fuck The World.” I’d see it written on walls, would hear it used as slang in school and occasionally would here it in popular culture. There have also been a few songs, titled FTW, in reference to “Fuck The World”, like the one found on The Vines album Winning Days. 

Turns out, that the above Tweets are not cries to “Fuck The World.” Instead, FTW, or the FTW used by this generation of Internet users means “For The Win!” A lot more pleasant sounding than the ill-fated sounding “Fuck The World,” but still, very cryptic. 

So that leads to me to usage. “For The Win”, ok, that’s all dandy, but how do you use it? None of the above tweets make any sense. Sapporo FTW! Sexy Jesus FTW! WHAT? HUH? 

It turns out that to understand its usage, one must historically understand the FTW term. FTW was initially heavily used by online multi-player game enthusiasts (i.e. World of Warcraft). It was often used during game chats or in forums. Here’s a few examples of how one would use FTW if they were a gamer:

“Oh yeah, baby, double mega hydro shock spitgun, FTW!

“polymorph, FTW!

“druid hurricane, FTW!

As you can see, the FTW presented in the above gaming examples are excitatory proclamations that a particular weapon (i.e. double mega hydro shock spitgun) or tool was useful in executing a winning maneuver. 

However, as we saw from the previous Twitter examples, FTW usage has moved beyond just exclaiming the virtues of a particular weapon. Instead, it is now used to exclaim the virtues of a particular idea, food, process or device that leads to a satisfying or excellent outcome.

Recently, a user on the Washington Capitals forum board (I’m not a member, I stumbled upon it while researching FTW!) went off on the term. He called for an all out ban of the term on the Capitals forum board:

“For the win”? What does that even mean? It seems to be used to imply that something is good, if I am interpreting the context correctly. But can’t one simply say that something is good? Why obfuscate with an acronym or a nonsensical phrase?

Back in my day, we would use the term “awesome” in a similar manner to this “FTW” nonsense– but at least “awesome” made a littlesense, even if it was rather hyperbolic to suggest, for instance, that Pac-Man actually inspired awe.Prior to all this, the only times I have heard the words “for the win” used came when watching sporting events. But, see, when a sports announcer says “for the win”– as in “Jordan, for the win…!”– the outcome has not been decided yet. The phrase does not reflect whether the outcome was good or bad. So how can one use this phrase to imply that something is good when the phrase itself does not imply anything?

So there you have it folks. You have now been educated on the virtues of FTW. Use it wisely and if you do use it beware of Washington Capitals fans. Definitions, FTW!


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