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Sure, with a Twitter account you can tell your friends about the amazing contents of your lunch. You can even hear about the amazing contents of your favorite celebrity’s lunch. But that’s just the tip of the Twitter iceberg. You can use your account enter contests, sign into other sites, even get famous—or control the actions of otherwise sane human being. Here are nine of our favorite Twitter resources.
1. Have a Twitter parade.
Sure, you may have a 1,000 people following you on Twitter, but what fun is that if you can’t see them literally following you. IS Parade lets you create a virtual parade, where you get to be the Grand Marshall. Hang around long enough, and a handful of them will even carry a giant statue of you. You can also pick a keyword and see who’s been talking about it.
2. Tip the Twitter Swear Jar
Twitter isn’t always the most family-friendly of places, but the Twitter Swear Jar is trying to clean things up. Of course, the site can be a little overzealous in its purity, suggesting fines to me for Tweeting about Herbie Hancock and Joe Cocker. The site has logged over 5 million swear words since it launched June 1. It’s also raised a little over $2,000 for charities like Malaria No More and Stand Up to Cancer, making the occasional curse word worthwhile.
3. Check the status of your status.
For those of you who think of Twitter as a numbers game, Twitter Counter will crunch them for you, answering questions like, “What’s my Twitter rank?” or “How many new followers do I get in a typical day?” or “How many followers will I have in a month?” Twitter Counter tracks your follower trends.
4. Join a book club.
If you’ve seen the hashtag #1b1t pop up, you’ve got a friend in the One Book, One Twitter club. Launched by CrowdSourcing.com, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was selected by the crowd as the first book to read chapter-by-chapter with other club members from around the world. Looks like voting will begin on the next selection soon.
5. Be a puppet-master.
Tweet your instructions for 29-year-old David Perez, and he’ll do it. The Leo Burnett employee agreed to follow his followers—doing anything they ask—during the week of June 21-26 in order to secure a trip to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France. He’ll wear a webcam streaming on his site, David on Demand and go six days without free will.
6. Hit the mute button.
Is there a topic that’s grating on you like an army of plastic vuvuzelas? Maybe you’re tired of hearing people talk about vuvuzelas. Muuter will filter out Tweets with unwanted keywords, meaning you won’t have to hear another word about Justin Bieber, at least via Twitter.
7. Schedule your updates.
Like the Twitter version of a modified DeLorean DMC-12, services like Twuffer and FutureTweets allow you to schedule your Tweets, while you, you know… live your life.
8. Support a good cause.
The hope140 initiative is using Twitter to raise money for causes like ending malaria in the world and helping Haiti. Using RTs to generate $10 pledges through Twitpay and getting matching funds from the Case Foundation, hope140 raised $11,000 to fight malaria in April.
9. Embarrass your friends.
Just like on Facebook, TwitPic now lets you tag your friends in photos. You can then Tweet to all your other friends with proof that he did have a mullet in high school.
Follow Josh Jackson on Twitter at @joshjackson & follow Paste Magazine at @pastemagazine.