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Alton Brown Brings Twitter Back Into 20th Century

Twitter, founded in 2006, boasts more than 500 million active users and 340 million tweets per day. Accounts are used by the President of the United States, leaders of industry, and porn stars. It has helped launch revolutions around the world, from the Green Movement in Iran to the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement here in the United States.

Twitter has become the medium for international discourse. And for cracking hilarious jokes in 140 character spurts.

Post-it notes, on the other hand, are (classically) 3-inch square, canary yellow pieces of paper with an adhesive strip on the back. They were invented by 3M engineer Art Fry after the company was attempting to create the strongest glue on earth and came up with almost the weakest glue on earth. Post-its were released in 1980 to general acclaim.

Post-its can be found in most home and office environments, informing people where to sign on documents or warning hungry marauders not to invade the contents of a lunch in the shared fridge.

Alton Brown, celebrity chef and Food Network personality, had an affinity to Post-it notes but not to social media. His agent dragged Brown into the 21st Century, though, according to an interview with Wired.

He could choose between a Twitter handle or a Facebook profile. bar.

Right away he hated the 140 character limitations and company’s smartphone app, as well as the infamous grammar Nazis that prowl the Twittersphere. In response, he changed the rules.

Instead of traditional tweets, Brown photographs doodles and messages scribbled on Post-it notes. He then tweets the photograph (along with an odd “normal” text tweet now and again).

It started as a 30 day experiment but turned into the sole method he communicates with his fans. He’s photographed Post-it notes with messages in Morse code, self-portraits and even the burnt remains of a note he lit on fire. Tweet Brown a question and he’ll respond with a Post-it scribble. It will be stuck to his computer monitor under your original inquiry so you’ll know who he’s talking to.

The scheme seems to work, if Brown was actually looking for more exposure (and it doesn’t really seem like that is his endgame). He has over 400,000 followers, some offering hundreds of dollars for the original Post-its (he hasn’t agreed to sell any…yet). And he started a Tumblr with his notes, mixing today’s digital with yesterday’s analog.