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Cleveland Man's Twitter Feed Explodes After Google Reorganizes As Alphabet

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Here's the Twitter bio of Chris Andrikanich of Cleveland - dad, husband, self-proclaimed geek. And newly added to that bio - I'm not affiliated with Google Alphabet Inc. That's because Chris Andrikanich's Twitter handle happens to be @Alphabet, and Alphabet is the new parent company of Google. When news of that restructuring broke yesterday, Andrikanich's Twitter feed exploded. And he joins us now to talk about that.

Mr. Andrikanich, what kinds of tweets were you seeing? Did you know what was going on?

CHRIS ANDRIKANICH: It took a few tweets to figure it out. I was getting notifications on my computer, and I started noticing people saying things like, I'm going to be lucky, or, he's going to get paid, I think, was one of the Wired articles.

BLOCK: Oh yeah? And you were thinking, that would be nice, what's (laughter) up with that?

ANDRIKANICH: Yeah, I don't get too many notifications that I'm included in tweets. So when I started getting three, four, five of them back to back to back, one of the tweets had a link to an article and I clicked on it and saw the story and kind of said, oh, well, that explains this.

BLOCK: Yeah? And I saw that you posted at the end of the day yesterday, well, that was an interesting way to end a Monday - which has now been re-tweeted 6.9 thousand times.

ANDRIKANICH: Yeah. I've always been excited since 2007 if I got one re-tweet, so...

BLOCK: And that's when you joined Twitter, right?

ANDRIKANICH: Yes, back in 2007, yeah.

BLOCK: Well, how did you choose the handle @Alphabet in the first place, back in 2007?

ANDRIKANICH: It was pretty easy. When I went to college at Ohio University, I was joining a fraternity and one of the guys said, who is this Chris Andri-alphabet kid?

BLOCK: (Laughter).

ANDRIKANICH: And from there it just kind of stuck as a nickname. So when I would sign up for things or needed a username for a service, I would always start with Alphabet to see it was available. And with Twitter, it was. So I did.

BLOCK: Wow. And you figure you're going to keep your handle? Has there been any outreach from the Google folks or the Alphabet folks to say, maybe you want to surrender that now, we'd like it?

ANDRIKANICH: Nobody's contacted me. Lots of advice on Twitter as to what I should do.

BLOCK: I'm sure.

ANDRIKANICH: (Laughter). I have not heard from anybody regarding the handle.

BLOCK: You mentioned that you've been getting all kinds of advice. What kind of advice have you been getting?

ANDRIKANICH: It's mostly just, you know, hold out for big money because it's Google.

BLOCK: Well, it does raise a question - can you sell your Twitter handle?

ANDRIKANICH: Something I need to look into, I guess.

BLOCK: And you're taking that advice with a grain of salt?

ANDRIKANICH: Well, right now I think I just want to let this die down and go back to just tweeting gibberish.

BLOCK: You know, I've been checking your Twitter feed in the course of our conversation - while paying attention to you, of course - and you have gained a whole bunch of followers just in the few minutes that we've been talking.

ANDRIKANICH: Yeah, I think it was under 900 as of, like, 4 o'clock yesterday, and then as of lunchtime it was, like, 3,500.

BLOCK: Well, it's up to 36 - 3,697. So there you go.

ANDRIKANICH: (Laughter). I don't know why. I just - you know, maybe I should start throwing out some gobbledygook. (Laughter).

BLOCK: Well, Chris Andrikanich, enjoy these 15 minutes at least of fame. Thanks for talking with us.

ANDRIKANICH: Thank you.

BLOCK: That's Chris Andrikanich of Cleveland, Ohio. He tweets @Alphabet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.