Twitter Contest – The Memes, Cleverness, and Prizes….

So we’re almost a week in, and the twitter contest is ticking along nicely….

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can check out the first blog explaining the game here.)


There’s been a lot of discussion as to the best way to refer to a group of Rothfi. A ponderance? A blither? Someone very clever suggested “Pontography.” Someone else proposed “Pisser” as the proper collective noun. There were a lot of good ones.

Personally, I think a group of us should be “a maunder of Rothfi.”

And don’t bother running off and seeing which of the profiles has mentioned that. I just made it up right now. I’m not going to tip my hand here.

Grammatical flummery aside, so far the contest has been a ton of fun. I’ve enjoyed it immensely, and it seems like most of the spectators are digging it too.

And honestly I’m amazed at the level of competition. Amazed. I knew I was bringing in clever people here, but I didn’t give them *nearly* enough credit.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and kisses in the shade. There have been a few problems, and the biggest of these has been…

  • Verification:

Normally, getting verified on twitter is something you strive for. It’s a stamp of legitimacy. It shows you’re *really* Neil Patrick Harris, and not just some schmoe that grabbed a picture off the internet.

Before I started this contest, I thought verification was something you applied for. I thought there was some arduous process, some gauntlet you had to run. A quest you needed to complete that would please the distant ineffible twitter gods, high on their mountain.

And apparently, that’s kinda true. There is a form you can fill out. There is an application you can submit. Many do strive for verification. Apparently John Scalzi himself has been trying to get verified for ages and hasn’t managed it.

But look at what happened to us about 18 hours into our contest:

First Verification

See that little blue checkmark? That means that they *verified* one of our accounts.

What’s really funny is this. We created all these accounts using throwaway e-mail addresses *literally* named like this: [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

What’s more, the accounts were all identical except for the name and the picture. They all followed the same 7 profiles. They all had the same tagline: “It’s my job to break your heart.” They all listed my blog as their website. They all had one identical post.

And they’ve all sat there, inactive for more than a year.

Then the contest started, and within 18 hours, one of them got verified.

This is because, in addition to having an application process, twitter has a bot that searches around for people and auto-verifies them.

We were all a little stunned when this happened. We figured it was an odd fluke, and figured out how to remove the verification by changing the name on the profile and changing it back.

Then less than a day later….

The second verification


We don’t know what sort of algorithm the twitter-bot uses. Nobody does.

After the shock wore off, I realized how hilarious it was. You see, this means is that one of us has completely convinced twitter that this profile is Pat Rothfuss.

And I think this is awesome.

A lot of people have taken this to mean that the contest is over. That it’s spoiled. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, the only information the twitter-bot has access to is circumstantial. It’s deciding based off the tweets themselves. The friends added. The links linked. I dunno. Maybe the picture, too?

It’s making a judgement based on those things. The same information you have access to.

All this really means is that the twitter-bot has decided to cast its vote early in our contest.

You can trust it if you want. It seems pretty sure of itself.

But personally, I’d like to think that my readers are more independent than that.

In fact, one of my favorite things about the contest so far is watching people declare their allegiance, sometimes just due to a turn of phrase:

@PatRothfuss Header Photo

Or a piece of punctuation:


Some folks are just having fun with it:

Beautiful game 2

I see folks planting their flags, then sometimes spinning 180 with such force that you’d be amazed they don’t break their own necks.

beautiful game 4b

Here’s one of my favorites:

Beautiful game 1

I love this. These guys are fucking *into* it. They are using their vasty human intellect to crack this puzzle.

This is the very essence of a #BeautifulGame.

So… yeah. If you want to pick a profile based exclusively on what some computer algorithm thinks. That’s your choice. But honestly? I’m a little sad for you….

  • Other ways to screw yourselves by being too clever.

I know a lot of you are game players. Probably excellent game players. And if you like my books, odds are that you have at least a passing interest in looking for hidden clues.

So when I put this contest together, I knew I had to thwart those tendencies. For example, if you try to guess based on what device different profiles are twittering from? You’re probably going to be wrong. Why? Because one of the requirements for all the players is that they tweet from all manner of different platforms and devices.

Also, you should be aware that some of the profiles started this game with 5000-6000 more followers than others. In the year the profiles sat around, some collected 6-7 thousand followers. Others only collected 1-2 thousand.

So if you look at a profile and think, “Wow, this one has 4000 more followers, obviously that’s the one pat would pick to use as his own.” or “Wow, this is the one pat would pick because this twitter name is more like something he’d want.” you’re kinda screwing yourself.

First, because you’re missing the main point of the contest, to see who’s best at being me.

And second, you’re screwing yourself because when we assigned these profiles, we pulled names out of a hat for each one. They’re deliciously random.

Ultimately, this game is based on skill. It is a contest of trickery, persuasion, and cunning.

If I were you, I’d base your choice off that….

  • What’s still to come.

Two weeks is kind of a long time.  Particularly with something that moves as fast as twitter.  Maybe I should’ve thought of that before, but I had no way of knowing.

Lest things start to get a little same-y. We’re going to add a few things to the contest just to keep things interesting.

One of the suggestions someone made to me was that if I’m selling out and getting on twitter, I might as well go whole hog and start making memes too.

I don’t know if they were being snarky or not, but either way, I think it’s a great idea. I think memes and twitter go together like…

Like a…

Like a pithy writer and a good analogy.

So I’m going to challenge my fellow competitors to meme everyone’s new favorite pet from the photo contest.

That’s right: Ugly Cat.

I’ve never memed before. So we’ll use this as another piece of the puzzle that will help people discover #TheRealRothfuss.


(Oh Ugly Cat, you still fill me with such joy…)

Are you good to go, gentlemen?  Ready… set…. meme!

  • On Being A Winner.

After my first blog post, there was some confusion about how the money was going to go to the charities in question.

So. Just to clarify, when the contest is over, there will be a great voting. The profile that gets the most votes, wins. The person running that profile will be the winner, and the charity they chose will get the $1000 from DAW.

Originally, that was my entire plan. But now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t see why y’all can’t be in the running for some cool things too….

Iron Drabs resized

These are some prototype drabs we’re working on. They’re not ready to go up in the store yet. But do I have a few we can give away as prizes….

So here’s what we’re going to do.

The whole point of this contest is for people to be clever and have fun. To play a beautiful game.

So starting now, if you do something on twitter that strikes me as particularly cunning, or funny, or sly, or smart. I will make a post along these lines.

“Congratulations, @JoeTwitter. That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen today. You know how to play #ABeautifulGame.”


“That’s a really good point, @JustSusan. I bow to your unassailable Aristotelian logic. Congratulations on #ABeautifulGame.”

Then one of my lovely assistants will get in contact with you, get your mailing address, and we’ll mail you one of these prototype drabs. You can then use that drab to taunt your friends until they cry.

Each of my five Rothfussian comrades will be doing the same thing, of course.

This is a new part of the game. Not only do you have to guess at what might tickle the fancy of the Rothfi, but seeing what behavior each profile rewards should give you a lot of insight into which one of us is #TheRealRothfuss.

Have fun, everyone.


This entry was posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Beautiful Games, contests, My brilliant ideas. By Pat58 Responses


  1. kaylamarie
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Damn it Rothfuss! Now I have to make a twitter account. I was perfectly happy watching the contest from afar but now prizes are involved!

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

      Let me just say that having been on twitter for a week, I don’t want to encourage anyone to throw a piece of their life into the dark hole that is twitter.

      There will be other contests, and other prizes. You can play in one of those where the price of admission isn’t a piece of your soul….

      • TLadd
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

        I’m in the same boat. I I have resisted the twitter bug for years, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on the prizes as well as all of the Rothfussian memes!

        • ali rahemtulla
          Posted October 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

          I have never understood this. Isn’t social media just for communing/communicating with someone? Talk to them, and that’s it. I just see it as a computer version of text messages. Even then, I rarely use it. Mostly for creating accounts on stuff with minimal hassle. Honestly, I don’t get why the Rothfuss-beard is calling it a dark hole. In fact, I think since making my twitter, I’ve gone on twice. In about six months.

    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    I have a twitter account and have been watching the contest unfold, but I’m not a fan of the medium and I’m not necessarily witty, which sucks because I really want a drab :P

  3. cgorman1
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

    I have been fundamentally against Social Media for years now. I made a twitter to participate. I am fighting off the feeling of betraying my inner being.

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

      Geh. I feel like someone who was trying to get people to come to his party, then accidentally ended up getting half his graduating class hooked on heroin instead.

      • Darkstand
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

        So… I went to comment about how you are tempting me to create a twitter account just for this, and discover that two others beat me too it.
        No biggie, I sign in anyway…
        …to discover that in the minute or so it took to log in, you have posted two responses, including the nugget “You can play in one of those where the price of admission isn’t a piece of your soul….” and the comment I replied to – this stuff is why I come here.
        Awesome ninja commenting aside, I still have the dilemma of whether or not to sign up for twitter (which I shall inevitably never use again) or just watch from afar… there is some small part of my brain that wants to hate your for this, but the rest of my brain is telling it to shut up and enjoy the show. And it is quite a show.
        Edit: as I was typing this comment out, my computer decided it did not want to accept keyboard input any more, and required a restart to fix. The fates do not seem to favor my commenting. But, I’m stubborn. I WILL PREVAIL.
        Also, GO ACCIDENTAL UBERPOST. I have the same tendencies as you in making things far longer than they need to be… and I am doing it again. Um, yeah. Lets just post this now before I write something else.

      • Kerensky287
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

        Man, if I had a nickel for every time I accidentally got half my graduating class hooked on heroin…

      • Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

        Yah, Best watch it Rothfuss, you’re about to make the list of controlled substances for being a Gateway Drug to Social Media.

        And, now I think I’ll go make a twitter account. You should be ashamed yourself……….seriously.

        (not really) XD

  4. Holmelund
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    As much as I love Rothfuss and despite REALLY wanting to win one of those I wont make a Twitter/Facebook account.
    And if the chance of winning that Drab is not enough of an temptation I really dont know what would be able to make me do it.

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

      I am proud of you. I not only respect your choice, but I approve of it. If it wasn’t part of my job, I wouldn’t be mucking about with this stuff either….

      • Holmelund
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

        Does your respect and approval earn me a Drab?

        I may have some stern principles regarding Twitter and Facebook, but I am not below begging. (Typing this plea on my knees)

        • Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          Rest assured that the drabs will be made publicly available at a later date. You’re not going to be left out in the cold here….

  5. jdetgen
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:36 PM | Permalink

    So what you’re saying is, I should have tweeted my funny comic about the sandwich after this blog for a chance at more than minion points.

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

      What I’m *mostly* saying is that I just had this idea tonight, when I was finishing up the blog…

  6. xespum
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat — how do you know that somebody who works at Twitter isn’t a fan of yours? and is looking out for your tweets and then manually verifies them? I only ask ‘cuz I know that you have fans in Xbox (ahem), Amazon, etc….

    • Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

      If it’s a person, then it’s worse, actually. I’d hope a reader of mine would understand that it’s fucking up the game by confusing people.

      And you seem to have missed one of the major points of the blog: That there is no way someone at twitter could know which profile is mine, no more than an auto-verify bot could. They’re all set up and run from anonymous e-mail accounts.

      • zusias
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

        As a computer geek, the ideal circumstance for a twitter employee manually verifying you could also involve geolocation of the ip address you make tweets from. You’re kind of in a unique location out there in the middle of nowhere.

        • rjleduc
          Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

          True, but they could use anonymizers or Virtual Private Networks etc. to fool this.

        • JBG
          Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

          We also have not idea where the other Rothfora are located. For all we know, they could all be in Point, tweeting from #theRealRothfuss’s house.

  7. Brandon Nichols
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been enjoying every minute of this. You should throw a poll up with as many people’s names that you can think of and have people vote on who they think the fake Rothfi are. Keep it up Pat! You help make life interesting!

    • Daniel Cressman
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

      I second this! I was just thinking it would be cool to see folks take a crack at who they thought each account was. I can see the outrage now…

      “What?! You guys thought I was Anne Wheaton? How on earth do you figure that?!”


      • Brandon Nichols
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

        I just nioticed in an above reply that Sir Rothfuss did *this*.. One of the Rothfi does that too! Shesh, this is a bad obsession lol

  8. Daniel Cressman
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    Bah! I hope you realize you just condemned me to analyzing every tweet from each of the Rothfi for the maximum wit potential in a reply. Except I’ll probably end up overthinking it just looking dumb. :P

    Each person will be replying with these messages, though? Does each “winning” reply qualify or just the ones from the actual Rothfuss? Gonna trust your judgement here and assume that no one is going to end up buying votes with foreign currency. (Though that person would totally be the best Rothfuss ever and would totally have my vote!)

    Worth a shot. ^_^

  9. DShannon
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, I know this is late in arriving, but it should definitely be “a cromulence of Rothfi.”

  10. Richard
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

    This looks like a fun contest… but still, I believe twitter is the worst thing to happen to internet communication since… uh… the beginning of the internet. It’s like, you don’t even have to *take* quotes out of context if you want to misrepresent someone, since they don’t have one to begin with.
    Not to mention that the the signal-to-noise ratio is generally atrocious…

    And second – Pat, I know I’m being pedantic, but my language senses wince in pain when I see “Rothfi”. Since Rothfuss is German in origin, if you insist on forming a plural, it should be “Rothfüße”, or, if you don’t want deal with umlaute, “Rothfuesse”.
    Also – little-known fact – not even all genuine Latin words that end with “-us” have their plural formed with “-i”. Some also have “-us” with a long u, like “genus”, plural “genus”.

    • Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:18 AM | Permalink

      Well Christ, I better change my opinion on how to pluralize my own name lest I offend anyone…

      • SporkTastic
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:58 AM | Permalink

        If anything, your wit and gibe are clearly among your more awesome qualities. I laughed harder than this probably warranted.

      • Little My
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

        Yeah, yeah, but it’s kinda fun to say “Rothfüße”. Looks cool, too.

      • Treggar
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

        I like Rothfi.

      • megphotini
        Posted October 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

        I like that there are a variety of ways to pluralize Rothfuss. It’s a naturalistic language environment, just like the four corners world. After all, this is a world in which Cealds are Cealdish people from the Shald who speak Ciaru. Language is so much fun.

        When I’m annoyed with the game, I refer to “the Rothfi.” When I’m enjoying it, I maunder on about watching a plethora of Rothfora.

        The Rothfussen may shoot me down, but at least I’ll enjoy the game.

    • Brady Dill
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

      Not to mention the Latinate words ending in -us whose plurals are -ora.

      • Amanda
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

        Ooo, I really like the word Rothfora. I think I’ll pick that as my new favorite.

    • pjmintz
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

      Grammar and Language Nerds, Unite! Richard, I loved your post with all my heart.

      The SMBC comic also made me laugh… at myself. Touche, Pat.

    • JBG
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

      Genus (singular) –> Genera (Plural)

  11. Story Weaver
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 5:52 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for running this game. It’s a lot of fun, and I appreciate the spirit of playing a “beautiful game” that you are approaching it with and trying to instill. Long may we continue to make each other laugh and think and do good. :)

  12. gabogap
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    You said you can submit an application to verify the account. So why don’t you create another account and apply for its verification? Does it take a lot of time for them to process it? Or you don’t want to split your soul in seven parts Voldemort-style?

  13. justinistired
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    Maybe it should be an Equivocation of Rothfi?

  14. js207005
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    Just for clarification, you called those prototypes drabs first and then Jots later. Which are they?

    • Amanda
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

      Oops – they’re drabs. Thanks for pointing that out, it’s fixed :)

      • Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

        Thanks Amanda, you’re the best.

  15. ChrisC
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    It’s got to be a Carnival of Rothfi, or perhaps a Troupe :)

    Because reasons! ;)

    • christie
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

      Troupe Troupe!!!

    • ederoulet
      Posted October 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

      You have my vote for Troupe.

  16. Neville Longbottom
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    > Are you good to go, gentlemen?

    Do NOT believe you can throw us off Felicia’s trail THIS easily!

    • ebbedaway
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure Felicia is one of the bots. :-p

  17. emmythecat
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat/Amanda/others in the know,

    I was wondering whether the voting will be held on twitter or elsewhere? I don’t have an account and though I can bear not playing for the drabs I must have my vote! I’m *sure* I have it right. Mostly sure. With some doubts. Serious doubts.

    So if it’s on twitter I’m probably going to cave and sign up. But if it’s here (I don’t even know if twitter does polls…) then I can happily watch and vote.

    Such a beautiful game. And pretty fun too :P


    • Amanda
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

      Heya Kate! No worries there – we’ll be putting the voting up here, as well as on the contest website, and sharing links to it on Twitter. You’ll get the chance to vote :)

      • emmythecat
        Posted October 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

        Thanks Amanda – amazing news!

  18. Ladybug63
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    I can’t do it. I cannot justify opening a twitter account… not even for the lure of the drab. I have enough things to distract me on the internet. Not even you, O Mighty Rothfuss, can I temper my dislike for the self serving inane chatter of millions of people who I don’t know that is called Twitter.

    Call me a Luddite… in 50 yrs I’ve been called a lot worse. And by my own family.

  19. Kal-el42
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    Wow am I excited for November 12th. Quick question on the tickets. I selected two tickets (I think) and paid my donation (although I didn’t realize the donation was total and not per ticket, so I’ll definitely use that as an excuse to buy extra drinks that night), but the email receipt doesn’t mention the number of tickets anywhere.

    Is there any way I can verify that I got two tickets? Otherwise I’ll have a very angry girlfriend.

    • Kal-el42
      Posted October 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

      Ooops, wrong thread.

  20. Hadria013
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    So… I have no Twitter account and I do not wish to create one but could there be a way for me and all the other poeple who still haven´t “taken the leap” to vote? I don´t know, maybe some website designed for that specific purpose, no matter how simple it could be so that somehow we could also be involved in this beautifull game.

    I thought that maybe on the last day of the contest all of the Pats could make some sort of final statement saying why are they theRealRothfuss which could be published so that we could base our vote on that and not only in a random choice. I guess that we aren´t a lot so our votes would not drastically affect the overall results but we could still participate.

    As for the problem that people could vote twice, (once using the twitter account and another time as non-twitters) well… I thought you could ASK them not do it, after all, we are your faithfull readers aren´t we?

    It´s just a suggestion but I thought that instead of complaining about it we could just find some middle-ground that could allow everyone to share a little fun.

    And I just wanted to say that even though I am not an active member of the game I have really enjoyed the posts with the screenshots… they have made me laugh a lot of times, so yeah… Thanks Pat

  21. ImaginatoEstVito
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,
    A girl named Christy made a list of all the Rothfi on Twitter. It makes it a lot easier to follow what’s going on.
    Maybe all the Rothfi could retweet it :)

  22. mr_meaney
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    I personally refer to a multitude of Rothfi as “Rothfussarians”.

  23. HZVi
    Posted October 31, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    My God, Pat saw my tweet and used it in his blog. There is something very gratifying about having a person you admire acknowledge your existence

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