The triumph of @InvisibleObama over @FadedObama: a lesson in spoof Twitter accounts

Chris Wilson
The Signal

From the "Timing Is Everything" desk, here's a reminder of how quickly Twitter moves:

Two spoof Twitter accounts for President Barack Obama emerged from speeches at the Republican convention last week. The first, @FadedObama, was inspired by this line from Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan: "College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." As of Tuesday afternoon, it had been mentioned on Twitter 182 times and attracted 194 followers.

The second, @InvisibleObama, sprang (of course) from Clint Eastwood's interview with an absent Obama Thursday evening. That account has 66,797 mentions and 68,193 followers.

Eastwood's puzzling routine may have generated far more buzz than that single line from Ryan's speech, but there's another explanation for the two-orders-of-magnitude difference in reception.

@InvisibleObama was created at 10:14 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to the Twitter API—literally within seconds of Eastwood leaving the stage. @FadedObama was created at 11:17 p.m., 13 minutes after Ryan wrapped up. (The timing for the speeches was graciously provided by the Yahoo News PR team, which has tools to track these things to the second.)

In the time frame of Twitter, that's 13 minutes too late.