The huzzahs, hurrahs, and associated fanfare from this week’s launch of the Tiny Poetry Society and twitku contest have died down to a dull roar. In this rare moment of silence, I discovered the other twitku.

[Cue Hitchcockian violin flares].


TwitKu is "a simple web app that lets you monitor the social networking sites, like  Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce, on a single page," a self-described social networking mashup. The site’s tagline is REFUSE TO CHOOSE.

This news prompted a visceral reaction that can best described as fire-in-the-belly meets fierce-mama-bear. My cubs are in danger! My fledgling twitku poets! Virtual loins girded, armed to the teeth with witty repartee, I sallied out to defend our poetic ground. For honor! For Keats! For Byron! For blog and country! My first impetuous thought was to issue a sternly-worded cease and desist letter to the encroaching hordes. But, given my total lack of jurisprudential knowledge, I feared that such a tack would put our case (case? what case?) on shaky legal ground. Second thoughts, like middle children, are usually more sensible. My second thought was to employ the Olive Branch Gambit. I penned the following email to Doug Nakakihara, TwitKu’s creator:


It’s a small world. A tiny world, in fact. I just discovered the mashable wonders of Nice work.

you aware that there is also a growing grassroots movement around a new
Twitter-inspired poetic form called a twitku? Tthink of it as a
micro-haiku. Three "lines" of 5, 7, and 5 characters each (line breaks
are indicated by slashes), mirroring the classic haiku proportions but
in miniature. Interest in exploring the twitku form is such that I’m
hosting an informal weekly contest on my blog.

Glad to have discovered the intersection of our twitku world and
yours. In the spirit of twitku-llaboration, I offer you this twitku:

share/&d share/alike


Doug’s gracious reply came back minutes later:

Very interesting Scott. Thanks. Good luck
with our project.

And with those nine simple, resonant words, the armistice was signed. Stand down, Tiny Poetry battalions! Beat your arms into poems! Pax poetica!

Note, gentle reader, that Doug called it OUR project, not YOUR project. I’m impressed by Doug’s sense of humor, generosity, and collaborative spirit. Maybe we should start a tiny poetry thread on the forum. The list of possible collaborations is long, and the future of tiny poetry mashups is bright. Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of Twitter, Jaiku, or Pownce, I encourage you to check out and say hello to Doug.