Who knew a snake could cause so much conversation?

I know I really should be writing about the violence in Libya or the relief efforts in Japan. But since it’s Thursday tomorrow and thus the beginning to the end of the week, how about we talk about something a little more positive shall we?

Well, if you’re not a fan of snakes (like me) then this really isn’t that positive. You may or may not have heard of the baby Egyptian Cobra that escaped from her habitat at the Bronx Zoo last week. Zookeepers are convinced she is hiding somewhere warm and dark in the confines of the reptile house and will eventually emerge in several days or even weeks when she goes searching for food or water. Got the shivers yet? I do.

While the story has circulated news outlets across the country, possibly what has gotten more attention is the fake Twitter handle that has been set up in honor of the sly snake, @BronxZoosCobra. The identity of the anonymous tweeter is still unknown but whoever it is has sure stirred up conversation. Since Monday, the feed, which recounts the adventures of the snake throughout Manhattan,  has accumulated more than 175,000 followers as of 10 p.m. EST Wednesday, more than the Bronx Zoo’s Twitter feed itself.  Celebs are joining  in too: Ellen Degeneres and Steve Martin among them have been active tweeting about the snake, the feed has been profiled by every major television news channel, in Vanity Fair and the New York Times, and even Mayor Bloomberg on Tuesday during President Obama’s visit to the city. Some tweets from the snake:

“Does anyone know if the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle sells organic mice?”

“Getting on the ferry to Ellis Island. Let’s hope this goes better than that time on the plane. #snakeonthetown

“Getting my morning coffee at the Mudtruck. Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee. Seriously, don’t. I’m venomous.”

“Not a fan of G.I. Joe.”

“Taking the Sex and the City Tour!!! I’m totally a SSSamantha.#snakeonthetown

Pretty freaking funny. But heres’ the thing that got me thinking: would you even know about the Bronx snake escape if it hadn’t been for it’s fake allusive Twitter account? I’ll admit it, I might not. I stumbled on it and I will admit I read the Twitter feed before I read the actual news story. I then shared it with co-workers in my office and we spend about 5 minutes straight laughing. It just gets me thinking how many small news stories or pieces of information we know about thanks to Twitter and other social media outlets that we wouldn’t normally know about. Let’s be honest, unless you’re from the Bronx, would you even give the slightest care about an escaped baby cobra? Probably not. But admit it, now you’re hooked. You are following  @BronxZoosCobra and if you’re like me, will probably keep up with the news story too.

So my advice: use Twitter to your advantage. Sure, you may think no one is following you or your tweets are pointless, but who knows where they could end up. You never know who may be talking. And in this case, it’s pretty much the entire county.


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