Twickerati celebrated three whole years of existence at the weekend. Perhaps ‘celebrated’ isn’t quite the right word… more a bemused questioning of ‘just how many hours have been spent on that bloody website?’ But to make the birthday event a bit special, the kind folk at Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery created this giant cupcake for us to mark the occasion. It’s huge, delicious… and now gone.
That’s one big cake!
(Shhh. No need to mention that it was three years not four.)
We get through a lot of words on this site. No sooner has the latest delivery arrived at the twickerati warehouse near Heathrow than we’re out and about spreading them around the site. Do any of them make sense? Individually yes, but once we start stitching them together into what we like to call ‘sentences’ then the meaning can sometimes be lost. We reckoned that summarising what it all means is best done through the medium of a ‘word cloud’ and so we went onto the Wordle site and cooked up this thing. It shows the most commonly used words on twickerati at the moment. It also shows we love local Twickenham stuff. Beyond that? Not a lot, but it’s quite fun.
Twickerati “Wordle” graphic
* Make your own at Wordle
“I remember when all this were paper.” Is that what you think when you stand looking out across the local media landscape? It often feels like the once-dominant local newspaper industry has been bulldozed to make way for a bright new media estate of tweets, blogs, microsites, listing sites, Facebook posts and just about anything else that can be used to transmit news from person A to person B. Except that it’s not quite like that because somewhere in the middle of this confusing new landscape still stands the local newspaper, like a listed building surrounded by new-build.
But even that’s not a totally fair assessment either, for two reasons. The first is that the local paper, in our case Ye Olde Richmond & Twickenham Times, is not just some thatched cottage totally overshadowed by the new. It still has an important role, significant influence and is trying to adapt to the new world. The second reason the thatched cottage analogy doesn’t work is that when the going gets tough, the local paper is not a listed building that can be propped up by English Heritage or Lottery grants for historical or sentimental reasons; it’s a business and could quite easily suddenly stop being one.
TIMES ARE CHANGING
Why mention any of that? Well, sometime ago, many months if we’re honest, a message reached us asking if anyone actually read the Richmond and Twickenham Times anymore and “wouldn’t it be good to do a survey about it”? The answers to those questions are yes and yes. People still read it, businesses still advertise in it and angry residents still write letters to it. But all three of those groups also increasingly do those things online. The business of making actual newspapers out of dead trees is in serious decline. It’s only a matter of time before the traditional printed newspaper is found only in the world of Hoxton retro-chic.
Prize of the week? Well, more like prize of last week. Remember our recent Twickenham themed caption competition? Congratulations again to our winner, David. The prize was a gift box of Twickenham and twickerati themed cupcakes from Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery on Church Street. And here they are. Good or what?!
Cupcake Prize from Sweetie Pies
And in case you missed it, here’s the photo again:
And the winner?
It was David. He correctly identified Church Street as the home of Sweetie Pies and won the tie break with this caption:
“Lord True regretted agreeing to judge the cup-stacking competition after it ended in a judicial review.”
You can see all the entries here.
Blimey! Just when you thought to yourself, “I’m feeling a bit peckish, when, oh when is twickerati going to run some kind of food themed competition?” and, hey presto, one appears on the screen in front of you. That’s right folks, it’s only bloody competition time isn’t it?!
We know how you love a photo. And we know how you love a cake too. Well how about if twickerati teams up with Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery in Church Street to run a competition combining those two wonderful things? Could life get any better? Well, yes of course it could, if you win the competition that is.
A delicious gift box of twickerati themed cupcakes made especially for you by Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery. Yum or what?!
What do I need to do?
You just need to answer our tricky question and then wow us with your witty caption in case there’s a tie-break. Well, to be honest, it’s all about the caption competition really.
In which street in Twickenham is Sweetie Pies based?
The witty tie-break photo caption?
Whatever you like as long as it’s not too long. Here’s our topical Twickenham picture to inspire you.
So there you have it. Get to it, Twickenham!
- You can enter by posting your answer and your caption either on here, or on Twitter. If you answer on here you need to use a valid email address otherwise we won’t be able to get in touch with you if you win. Don’t worry, email addresses are not published on the site. If you answer on Twitter you must use the hashtag #twcupcake otherwise we may never find your oh so hilarious answer!
- Your response must answer the question (on which street Sweetie Pies based) as well as including your photo caption.
- Judging of the best caption will be done by Sweetie Pies and twickerati. The judges’ decision is final. So, even if you don’t think the winning caption is funny, tough!
- One entry per person please.
- Closing date is midnight on Monday 25th February.
- The winner will be notified by messenger pigeon and must then contact Sweetie Pies to arrange collection from their shop during normal opening hours (sorry, no deliveries)
- If you don’t like the rules, don’t take part.
- If you want to win a gift box of tasty twickerati themed cup cakes, what are you waiting for?
If you don’t follow @twickerati on Twitter or ‘like’ it on Facebook (and why should you) then you might just have missed an interesting feature in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday. Locally based MoS journo Vicki Owen wrote a good article about how social media is being used to help UK high streets and stone the crows guv’nor, she only went and wrote about Twickenham, didn’t she? OK, so she also wrote about Dunstable and Whitstable but, frankly, Dunstable, Schmunstable.
The background to the piece, or at least the Twickenhammy bits, is the opening of Ruben’s Bakehouse on Heath Road back in December. Here at twickerati HQ we’ve given some blog space and tweet time to Igor the baker and his excellent bread, and Igor was tipped off about getting in touch with us on Twitter by local estate agent, Milestone Commercial. It seems our tweets and high street updates helped Igor raise his profile in Twickenham and pick up customers at his new venture, and that’s something we’re very pleased about.
Now, as you know, although we’re pro-Twickenham on these pages we’ll never say that everything is wonderful locally or that every Twickenham business is brilliant, but we do like to mention the good stuff and raise awareness generally to help people make up their own minds. Of course, one local website is not going to create a thriving town centre and there are plenty of others who are working much harder than the team here at twickerati HQ to improve Twickenham, but we’re very happy to get some recognition – and free publicity – for helping.
* Mail Online / This Is Money Article
* Ruben’s Bakehouse
* Vicki Owen on Twitter
Oh, and thanks very much for all the positive feedback on Twitter and Facebook about this. Tis much appreciated.
UPDATE: The hour is nearly upon us. Yes, on Thursday 24th, January the second ‘Twickenham hyperlocal meet up’ will shake Twickenham to its very foundations when it takes place at Ales & Tails Bar in York Street. Read on for the full monty on the whys and wherefores. Or better still, come on down to talk local Twickenham stuff, social media, t’interweb, kick some ideas around or just sneak a crafty drink or two. All welcome (i.e. buy your own drinks) from 8.30pm.
And it looks like we might have made it, yes, it looks like we’ve made it to the end.
Some Twickmas going on
Wise words from Mr Albarn but it’s probably a reasonable assumption that he wasn’t thinking of the year 2012 in Twickenham when he penned those lines back in the early 90s. But folks, that doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that it’s been an interesting year in Twickenham. Fascinating in its own way. We’ve covered lots of it on here, had plenty of insightful discussion and a good few fatuous comments too, most of them from your humble correspondent.
2013 promises to be no less interesting mainly because stuff just keeps happening. That’s the weird thing about stuff, it’s either just happened, is out there happening right now or is getting ready to happen. From all the (small) team at twickerati HQ we hope that all the stuff that happens to you over Christmas is good.
We’ll be on a bit of a go slow over the next week and a bit, but will be back all keys blazing in January. So, fellow twickerati, in the meantime, thank you for all your site visits, support, comments and recommendations over the last year and we wish you all the very best for 2013. See you soon.
Oh, and if you’re in the mood to show your appreciation for this site through the medium of ‘small charitable donation to help local homeless people’ or you’re simply in the mood to donate anyway, then you can give money to the excellent local charity SPEAR right here.
And as festive season comes to a close, we’re saying a big old ‘thank you’ to everyone who made a donation to the local homelessness charity, SPEAR as part of our Christmas Appeal. Nearly £400 has been raised to help this Twickenham based charity with their great work across the Borough. If you want to make a contribution then you’ve still got time. You can go direct to the donations page or read more about why we’re doing this below. Thanks again for your support.
Twickerati: younger than this card
Today (May 4th) is the ‘official birthday’ of the twickerati
site. It’s been going two years. TWO YEARS! We don’t think you’re that bothered otherwise you’d have baked a cake and sent it to us in our bunk hole on the top of Regal House or at the ice cream van or wherever, but we’re pleased nevertheless. Interest in the site continues to grow and so we continue to witter on. Whether we’re blathering about the TWAP (Twickenham Action Plan), El Brute (London Borough of Richmond upon Thames), the best Chinese in town, the surfeit of cafes or even the latest pronouncement from Lord True (aka The Duke of York [House] or The Blue Baron), we just want to keep people interested in all things Twickenham. Some of the best pieces on the site are the contributions from you lot, the readers, whether it’s features, reviews or just comments on stories. And of course, more contributions are always welcome. Don’t be shy, this is your site after all. (Well obviously it’s not
but you get the drift). If you like the site, please tell others and if you don’t like it, tell others anyway. We’ll not go on about birthdays every year so for the time being, thank you for your support and keep those contributions coming in.