The surprisingly convoluted journey of getting ‘helpmeet’ in a tweet!

by Matt Weilert

We were supposed to switch back to marketing for this 3rd week of Scripting Saturdays, but this was my week & this was just way too cool to keep to myself. Sharing is caring, even after we are out of 4th grade, right?

So in the just launched business fable Scaling Time, (see in DE, ESFR, UK, US), our hero Basil is software contractor, who is financially-independent from a series of wildly successful patents. None of the money matters when his wife died tragically young, leaving him as a widower in his thirties with five adorable children. Years before the children were born, his brilliantly savvy wife Fennel engaged a governess, Mrs. Monika Pritchard, to manage the funny farm they call home.

Mona, as those who have earned the right call her, is a polyglot finance wizard, fluent in five spoken languages as well as the language of international trust administration. It is she who manages the multi-layered trusts protecting the children’s financial futures, as well as the families international investments and the budget of a bustling household! In her spare time…(which Mom is not ready to bludgeon me about now?…), she manages the household staff, while she mentors five active young people, allowing Basil to focus on work, so that his off-work time is truly free to be a father.

As the story progresses, Saffron and Basil meet, court and fall in love. Here’s where the cool code as well as some of the marketing planning in this week’s episode of Scripting Saturday’s come together!

The two shall be as one

Ezer kenegdo is one of the great phrases in marriage workshops and has been a staple of discussion for years. Our purpose in this Scripting Saturday is to build on BonnieRobin’s pre-coded tweets example twitter-blue-bird-icon to learn how to include a Hebrew quote into our tweet! Wow, if that is not the coolest, you can just go home. Or spend your Sunday watching 22 men chase a stuffed pig bladder up & down a mis-marked soccer pitch.

Basically the short version of the journey is three steps:

  • Copy a source for the quote. (Unless of course, you are fluent in Hebrew, then you know what to do. 🙂 )
  • Paste the source into a conversion tool.
  • Apply the Percent-encoded string into the pre-coded tweet structure BonnieRobin demonstrated last week.

So Mark Francois might have the best example for us, using the very text in the web address!


Look closely at the address bar when you pull up his 22 July 2013 blog post in a separate tab. Leaving the cursor in the link, now right-click (or control-click for MacOS) and use ‘inspect element’ to look at the actual link you clicked above: the long-string of seems-to-be-gibberish that took us smartly to our destination. Ideal example that appearances can be deceiving, yes?

screen capture showing 'inspect element' feature of developer tools. The percent-encoded Hebrew is shown in the URL.

By the way, if you are mouseless, or just one of those elephantine people who has murophobia you may turn to Saint Gertrude of Nivelles.

So on with crafting our marketing tweet!

Step 1: copy the Hebrew,

Step 2: convert it to the form usable in our tweets, the best conversion tool I’ve found so far is a github app.

Paste the Hebrew you copied into the 2nd text area, titled Characters. Then simply hit convert. In a blink of an eye your text is converted to the long string we will use to embed the proper right-to-left Hebrew in our left-to-right tweets!

What are page encodings?

Hebrew and English used different page encodings in the Unicode schema, yet many languages work in harmony with the UTF-8 browser encoding, which is what our tech team at @rockeeldigital recommends you use for the vast majority of your literary writing work. If we want to be truly inclusive, which has nothing to do with gender (54:1 #epic #fail) and everything to do with how we communicate, then learning a wee bit about Unicode Transformation Format, 8-bit is in order:

Unicode Transformation Format 8-bit is a variable-width encoding that can represent every character in the Unicode character set. It was designed for backward compatibility with ASCII.

Joel Spolsky’s bare minimum article is also referenced at the UTF-8 site.

Percent Encoding is how we make our Hebrew ready to be embedded in a tweet. The 5th heading down from where we pasted the Hebrew text will be a *very* long string indeed. This is our proverbial pot of gold! We will copy this very long string:


into the embedding template BonnieRobin taught last week. For the actual embedding, I’m going to use a tweet I sent earlier today,

The long right squiggle is a single character standing for the “Long & Winding Road” which all marriages traverse. Effective spousalship is a schooling in self-mastery (§2339). The up-paired arrows, side-by-side represent the most diligent biblical scholarship, which identify that the grammar and etymology of one-who-undergirds is not only more than just equal but a mentor, trusted companion and guide to the best version of ourselves. To encode this is the same process, yet I will show a way that takes 2-steps, because the encoding task is trivially short.

The mondo cool site, html arrows gives us the unicode for both

Use the great tool and save a step, just directly input into the address bar from hex value to utf-8 conversion:\u[hex value here]

So simply adding the ‘percent sign’ (%) is all that is involved in the scary-sounding percent-encoding! Be Not Afraid!

  • tweet-ready long right squiggle: %e2%9f%bf
  • tweet-ready up paired arrows: %e2%87%88

Why do we work this hard?

Might you just as well as why the bluebird sings? If we want attention in a good way, we must invest in creatively distinguishing our messaging in a world deafened and defined by noise. Like a cat after catnip, entice your readers with a layered sense of discovery, rather than bashing them over the head like most in-your-face marketing campaigns. Yes or Yes? It really is that simple. And for those who love their work, the journey is never long. It is an adventure…

So we’ve reached Grandma’s house! It’s time to give our present!

Assemble the pieces of this tweet:

  1. The preamble:
  2. The long right squiggle: %e2%9f%bf
  3. Conventional text: road2 success. %23Talent must b ‘undergird’ (Remember the chart BonnieRobin gave for hashtag %23 & colon %3A)
  4. Hebrew text: %D7%A2%D6%B5%D7%96%D6%B6%D7%A8%20%D7%9B%D6%B0%D6%BC%D7%A0%D6%B6%D7%92%D6%B0%D7%93%D6%BC%D7%95%D6%B9
  5. Conventional text: w/%23mentors
  6. The up pair arrows (with colon): %e2%87%88%3A
  7. Closing Verses: 1Cor12: 4731

And put it all together to get it ready to stuff the bluebird so your readers can gobble it up!

Click on the link to test it! road2 success. %23Talent must b ‘undergird’ %D7%A2%D6%B5%D7%96%D6%B6%D7%A8%20%D7%9B%D6%B0%D6%BC%D7%A0%D6%B6%D7%92%D6%B0%D7%93%D6%BC%D7%95%D6%B9 w/%23mentors %e2%87%88%3A 1Cor12:4,7,31

Open this long link in a new tab, to test that you are less than 140 characters, as well as to verify every thing looks like it should. If all is well, you should have 51 characters left!

showing positioning within the URL of the embedded tweet components

Notice on the far left, the troubling empty box in the URL does resolve into the squiggle arrow in the tweet text area. To the right, the Hebrew does resolve in the address bar, as well as the up-paired arrows to the far right.

Plenty of room for a new book launch reference (like this one), or hashtags, etc. Your campaign strategy obviously guides what you will put in this valuable mental real estate of your reader, client, customer or prospect’s mind(s).

So you have the capacity for amazing creativity when you tell them, then tell them a surprise is in store, then make the surprise worth waiting for! May your long & winding road lead to customer success:  twitter-blue-bird-icon

Until next time: Keep writing, keep creating, keep having fun!

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