Nobody wants to be the main character of Twitter if they can avoid it. It’s a one-way street to a hell of an experience.
Those who do are often there for their own actions: say something stupid or behave in an outrageously racist manner.
Not so with Derek Guy, a menswear writer from California who writes as @dieworkwear. His ascension to the center of the Twitter timelines of millions of users came about entirely by accident — and through no fault of his own at all.
After a user recently asked, “Why is Twitter so determined to get me to follow this menswear dude?”, some people responded that they, too, have been inundated with his posts lately.
He’s all over everyone’s timelines now and he’s just as confused.
Guy has been publishing stories and blog posts about men’s fashion online since 2010.
“I started getting interested in menswear blogs, like a lot of people did in the early 2000s,” he said in an interview with the Daily Dot. “Then I started my own menswear blog.”
Guy is also an editor at Put This On, a self-proclaimed “blog about dressing like an adult.”
In the years since, he had built a small but dedicated fanbase of like-minded fashion enthusiasts with whom he shared private jokes about the industry. “It’s always been for … I think you’d say it’s a niche audience to some degree,” he said.
That all changed in October — around the time Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. Back then, Guy had around 50,000 followers on Twitter – he has more than 100,000 now – and was still posting his usual content of niche jokes and zany fashion content to his loyal following.
Guy gained a small semblance of fame when he called an overpriced watch being auctioned off by Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports. Guy claimed that Portnoy sold basic $40 quartz watches for thousands of dollars through his Brick Watch Company. Portnoy replied with a video posted on Twitterattacks Guy.
“It got me a bit of exposure,” Guy said, “but it wasn’t significantly more exposure than I’ve had in the past from my quote-unquote ‘semi-viral’ tweets.”
people Replies to Portnoy and his fans, which bombarded the menswear commentator with insults, gained him more followers. That came with its own problems.
“After that point, I started toning down what I had previously tweeted,” he said. “I used to mostly tweet jokes because I was writing for a very specific audience; Guys who have bought brands like Engineered Garments and are interested in this menswear culture. I was starting to get insecure because a lot of these people were starting to follow me, and I just felt like those jokes weren’t going to get through.”
Instead, he switched his account to the public fashion service and tweeted threads that helped people using things he had learned over the years.
These informative threads helped continue to grow Guy’s following, and seemed to catch the eye of Elon Musk’s new Twitter algorithm, a TikTok clone — a bit like the recent Instagram Reel rip-off — determined to find creators who Do not follow them in any way possible to include in your feed.
But Guy only noticed in the last few days that people are being bombarded with his tweets – a change he noticed when reading his mentions.
“I’ve been called a Nazi and all sorts of things have been said about me that make me feel kind of depressed,” he said. “It’s not like I walk into people’s timelines on purpose; This is how the algorithm works. It created that kind of commitment that sometimes hurts me.”
The impact of being propelled into people’s Twitter feeds hasn’t just been detrimental to those forced to engage with Guy’s mind the changing silhouette of men’s suits or Leads to following thrift store finds in tailoring.
It has also impacted his Twitter experience as users he used to follow have now blocked him.
“Brian Stelter — I think he’s over at CNN — blocked me, which is perfectly fine,” he said. “That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s reasonable: If you don’t like my content, you should block me because I’m not trying to make your life uncomfortable.”
Stelter did not respond to a request for comment, but did tweet that it was about suppressing Twitter’s algorithmic enthusiasm for Guy’s appearance on Stelter’s timeline. “I had to block him from showing up,” the former CNN journalist wrote. “No offense.”
While silent blocks to salvaging users’ sanity have an impact on him, it’s those who go out of their way to let Guy know he’s not welcome that have the most detrimental effects on his own user experience.
“Most responses are positive,” he admits, “but the default mood on Twitter is anger. This doesn’t feel good because I’m not getting paid to tweet this stuff. I just do it because it’s fun. It lowers the fun factor and I kind of feel crappy.”
Guy is also now much more confident about what he tweets and is aware that people who haven’t asked to see his posts may come across them. The larger size of his following has also prompted reflections on how he interacts with others. He previously ridiculed UNTUCKit, a shirt retailer, and Allbirds, a shoe and apparel company, for not representing good menswear to him.
“Now that a lot of people are following me, I don’t want to make a joke about UNTUCKit or Allbirds because some people wear those things, and I don’t want to make people feel bad about their clothing choices.”
Despite the challenges, Guy takes a long, 12-second pause when asked if he’d prefer Twitter’s algorithm to go back to normal and keep him from appearing in so many stranger timelines.
“It just happened recently,” he said. “I don’t know what benefits will result from what has happened in the last few months. If I can inspire a lot of people to take up this hobby, that’s what I find most rewarding. It’s too early to tell.”
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*Initial publication: January 26, 2023 9:13 am CST
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/menswear-guy-twitter-dieworkwear/ Why is the Menswear Guy all over your Twitter feed?