Meet the Man Chronicling Macedonia's Twitter Community

Igor Bojadziev - @I999y. Courtesy photo.

Igor Bojadziev, known on Twitter as @I999y. Photo provided by Igor.

Igor Bojadziev, widely known by his Twitter handle @i999y, serves as the unofficial chronicler of the Macedonian Twitter community.

He regularly publishes interviews with prominent Twitter users and curates a selection of funny tweets. So far, he has published 249 interviews and 197 selections on his Macedonian-language blog.

With over 14K followers on Twitter, I999y is an influential social media user in his own right. He often offers witty comments on trending issues. Igor's tweet about the controversial Skopje 2014 project's “ship-shaped buildings,” constructed within a river bed, got over 625 re-tweets:

Citizens of Skopje! The ship can easily sail away! All you need to do is flush water in your toilets at the same time.

For his interviews Bojadziev uses a basic and standard format that enables his readers to see a snapshot of the person he is interviewing through a mix of general and specific questions. We decided to use Igor's format to start the interview with him here on Global Voices.

Global Voices: What's the story behind your Twitter name?

Игор Бојаџиев: Нешто морав да турам шо би рекол Штулич: „Док сам као мали дошао у град, морао сам себи дати надимак.“
И као требаше од Игор нешто да биде па испадна Иги Иџи Игац тој со деветките …

Igor Bojadziev: I had to put something, or as Štulić said “When as a young kid I came to town, I had to give myself a nickname.” I used as a base my name Igor, which then came out as Iggy, Igee, Igac and then used 9-s instead of the g-s.

GV: Describe yourself (in 140 characters)?

ИБ: Тежок човек (на карактер). али испод е душа(памук) шо да ви кажуам. Знам да биам и врло забавен (чак што више на граница до Глупи Август).

IB: A heavy man (not a heavy character), who is all soft beneath (like a cotton ball). I can also be quite entertaining (even borderline clown).

GV: Why are you on Twitter?

ИБ: Па… терапија, Здраво јас сум Игор и јас сум ….количар.
Не стварно, прекрасно е тука, со некои твитерџии и се запознав, се дружиме,најдов роднини тука,супер е,ептен
А терапија даааа, твитер ќе те насмее така добро (некои шо викат,упс мочнав)

IB: It’s a sort of therapy. Hi, I am Igor and I am an …holic. No, really it’s wonderful here, I met some tweeps, we hang out, I even found some relatives here, it’s really great. And as for therapy, Twitter can make you laugh (some people even wet their pants).

GV: What does your avatar represent?

ИБ: Дирекно сликање у фаца од страна на ќерка ми (со мобилен к750 далечната 2009).

IB: A close-up photo of my face by my daughter. She took it with a k750 mobile phone back in the day, in 2009.

GV: Who brought you to Twitter and did that mess you up?

ИБ: Балдската, паааа поприлично. Прво бев скептик, гледајќи ја како со телефон у рака се смее, сеа ја бетер сум.

IB: It was my wife’s sister, and it did. I was skeptical at first, seeing her laughing with the phone in her hand. Now I am even worse.

GV: If you can tweet your first tweet now, what would it be?

ИБ: Здраво угнетени, обесправени, очајни, немажени, неженети, гладни…

IB: Hello all you oppressed, disenfranchised, desperate, unmarried, hungry…

GV: What’s your birth place?

ИБ: Неготино, и ваљда тука ќе си останам доколку не емигрирам.

IB: Negotino, and I suppose I’ll stay here unless I emigrate.

GV: Where would you like to go for a month? And where for a honeymoon? (This is a pun. In Macedonian, month is “mesec”, and honeymoon is “meden mesec”.)

ИБ: На еден што подалеку, медениот помина.

IB: As far as possible. And my honeymoon has been over a while ago.

GV: Marriage?

ИБ: Прекрасен, еве веќе 15 години. Резултат? Син и ќерка.

IB: It’s wonderful, 15 years in the making. Result: A son and a daughter.

GV: If you reincarnate into an animal, what would you like to become?

ИБ: Тасманиски ѓавол.

IB: A Tasmanian devil.

Igor near the Ilinden/Macedonium monument in Krushevo.

Igor near the Ilinden/Macedonium monument in Krushevo.

Now we are breaking from Igor's format to ask a few in-depth questions.

GV: What motivates you to interview Twitter users? What do you get out of it?

ИБ: Јас немам ништо од сево ова, инаку се роди како идеја со @necovski и е обид за отворање на некои твитерџии. Прашалникот е начин да дознаеме повеќе за твитерџиите кои секој дневно ги сретнуваме на ТЛ. Низ низа на прашања ,обид да дознаеме што повеќе за нив.

IB: I get nothing in particular; I developed the idea with @necovski as an attempt to help some tweeps open up. The questionnaire is a way to get to know more about the people we meet daily on our timeline. It’s just an attempt to get to know more about them through a series of questions.

GV: Three tweets from other Twitter users that impressed you most?

IB: Here's five:

Women who brag “I don’t cook” are not modern, they are incompetent.

People who don’t use Twitter think that we only write stuff like “I lay down. I have a bath. I sing. I scratch etc.” They have no clue that we’re running the state.

The fly is the most Macedonian insect. While forced to eat crap, they rub their hands as if saying “It’s OK, it’s OK!”

I’ve got you on Twitter.
I’ve got you on Facebook.
I’ve got you on Skype.
I’ve got you on Viber.
But I don’t have you.

– Pensioners.
– Free sclerosis medicine!
– What was that? Who wants what? Who’s shouting?

GV: How can Twitter users contribute to positive social change in Macedonia?

ИБ: Досега имаше неколку примери каде од твитер тргнале некои акции кои резултирале со конкретни резултати. Твитер како каписла за социјалните мреќи во Македонија, Евровизија, поплави Србија, Мартин, На точок и други (а можеби и за овие грешам).

IB: We had several examples of actions that started on Twitter, with concrete results. Twitter served as initial charge for social network uproar in Macedonia in the cases of Eurosong, the floods in Serbia, the revelation of the cover up of Martin Neshkovski’s murder, Macedonian version of critical mass (#НаТочак) and others. Or I might be wrong about these ones…

GV: Does the Macedonian Twitter community interact with people outside Macedonia? Is there some sharing of content?

ИБ: Многу малку или воопшто,и доколку има тоа се со луѓе кој на некој начин се поврзани со Македонија. Прелевање на информации има во вид на шерување, но и „преведување„ на твитови од странски автори се со цел поголем рејтинг

IB: There’s very little communication, and if any, it’s with people who had ties with Macedonia from before. There’s some information seeping through sharing, and there’s also “translating” of tweets by [unattributed] foreign authors in order to increase one’s rating.

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