Ha! My favourite six words of fiction. “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn” come a close second. I am a sucker for brevity, and appreciate writers who can cut a long story short without losing the essence of the plot. (Unlike Woody Allen who said he “speed-read War and Peace. It was about Russia.”)

So, have you heard of Twitter? It is like SMS, but online, and lets you follow a group dialogue. To understand it, it is best to check it out yourself. What makes Twitter work (when it does) is what some perceive as its main downfall: you can only send messages that are less than 140 characters long.

That takes some ingenuity, let me tell you. No way I could tweet (that’s the verb) the above paragraph, had I wanted to. It would have to be condensed into something like this:

Heard of Twitter? Check it out. Works superbly, despite only 140 characters/message.

And I still have 54 characters left over. What can I say? I am a pro.

The point of all this is that I am a judge in a “South African Twitter Competition”, started by Muhhamad Karim, and I would like you to enter. The rules are simple:

  • You need to write a story that’s exactly 140 characters long.
  • Being that it is South African, you need to include at least one word from any of the 11 official languages
  • Post a link to your story tweet in the comments section of this blog post.

You have to sign up to Twitter before you can enter. Once signed up, “follow” me. My screen name there is EveD, and you can find me here: EveD. Post your story, and link to it in the comments of this blog. If you have any problems, ask me via Twitter message or email, and I will reply pronto.

While you are there, should you decide to follow more people so you can take part in a “full” conversation, visit Satwitter.pbwiki.com for a partial list of all South Africans using Twitter. Add yourself to the list! Email me if you have issues.

For inspiration, here are some stories already submitted:

  • Jo found her new red stilettos on her brother’s bedroom floor. He was still asleep. The heels looked worn down from dancing.
  • He was both at a loss and lost, staring at the road sign that seemed more to describe how he was feeling than where he was going: Bakgatla.
  • “I love South Africa,” she said, glaring up: “It’s beautiful and stupid. Like a shackled Popeye grinning for spinach inside a baby’s eyes…”
  • If you want to enter, you better hurry. The official deadline is Thursday June 26. There are some fun prizes up for grabs, including a T-shirt form our very own local start-up Springleap.com, an Amazon voucher from Qatarliving.com and a Wi-Fi access voucher form Telkom Business.

    Good luck, I look forward to reading your submissions!


    • Eve Dmochowska spends her day playing on and with the Internet, and thinks it is a rather fun way to make money. She is the founder of Crowdfund, a crowd sourced fund to help local online startups get off the ground, and of the Geekspace, Joburgs first hot desking space for geeks. She is also the co-founder of The Broadband Bible which helps SAfricans find the perfect ADSL plan and the Airtime Bible, which compares the costs of cellphone contracts.


    Eve Dmochowska

    Eve Dmochowska spends her day playing on and with the Internet, and thinks it is a rather fun way to make money. She is the founder of Crowdfund,...

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