It's Still Not A Tree

Mooquackwooftweetmeow's been a bit dead recently, but with good reason. I've been working on The Twaddle, a magazine-style thing I and my most esteemed colleague, Matthew Gardner, set up a couple of months ago.

The site first came about in mid-December, in response to our college (Hartlepool Sixth Form College)'s new newspaper, entitled “I Was Once a Tree”, or “I.W.O.T.”. To put it mildly, we thought it was a bit rubbish, and set about creating an alternative, better, web-based college magazine. The site's original title was “This Wasn't A Tree”, and we used the acronym, too.

The college paper having been released on a Monday, we were rather pleased to have the site going, and our first visitors, on Wednesday night. Then came the Christmas holidays and, for a while, the site was dormant; but in January, we embarked upon a monumental, unauthorised postering spree. (i.e. we printed off some posters and stuck them up about the college.)

Now, it turns out one requires permission to put posters up in the college; we'd assumed one didn't, given the proliferation of “Happy 18th!” posters. And I don't think the fact that our name was written acrostic-style helped.

That Friday, the head of the English Department “had a chat” with us, and it was agreed that our parodytastic name would be changed; and that our (few, passing) references to I.W.O.T. would be removed, on account of their having demoralised the I.W.O.T. writers.

That evening, I decided upon the new name, and relaunched the site, as “The Twaddle”. As a result of the “chat”, we could no longer claim to be the “unofficial” college magazine; evidently “unofficial” wasn't unofficial enough. This actually worked in our favour, as participation in the site was no longer restricted to HSFC's students, as it'd felt before.

Soon after, we launched The Twaddle Forums, which currently comprise over 3800 posts (most non-Twaddle related, it must be said); and we recently launched an RSS feed and klip. Just yesterday I received an email from the organisers of the unofficial college parties (we'll be starting an unofficial college soon), asking us to announce the parties on our site; this has only reaffirmed our ties to the college.

Yet one of the regulars on the forums lives in America, and we're getting page views from all over the world - Israel, Germany, Australia, Canada... OK, so I suppose none of them stayed very long.

I won't bother with a conclusion - just visit The Twaddle.