The Art of Threading

A Conversation with Visakan Veerasamy

Visakan Veerasamy, aka @visakanv, is a prolific thread author and an active blogger. His areas of interest are vast so he might write on any topic that gets his attention. Visakan is also an entrepreneur. He owns Statement, a successful T-shirt company, and is working on 1000wordvomits, a project to write 1 million words.

Interview published on July 4, 2019

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A. I’m 29, Singaporean, heavy twitter user, formerly in tech/SaaS marketing. I’m a curious nerd who’s interested in everything – movies, TV, video games, writing, music, art, science, culture, communities, fashion and all manner of people issues. If you wanna know more, I have an alt twitter account called @vvmemoirs.

Q. Who are the authors who inspired you and made you want to write?

A. I can’t really remember the earliest ones anymore, but here’s a list that holds up. I’ve always loved books and words and websites. I used to go to the library a lot as a kid and just borrow everything to learn about everything. I’ve always wanted to participate in that process. It took me quite a while to think of myself as an author; I started out by making my own website as a kid, and then moved to blogs, and then blogged fairly regularly.

Q. What’s your most embarrassing moment on social media?

A. Nothing is immediately coming to mind… sometimes I’ve retweeted things that were wrong, but then I just undo it and tweet a correction. I’m used to being very public, so I don’t embarrass easily. If anything, I’m a little embarrassed by how much time I’ve wasted over the years arguing with trolls, idiots and disagreeable assholes. So much time...

Q. I see you writing threads every day, what’s your opinion about this format?

A. Well I love it, obviously! I think threads are a great way to organize information. And by that I mean ALL information. I think Twitter has stumbled upon something here, probably almost by accident, that the rest of the world hasn’t entirely seemed to have caught on to yet.

Q. Last year you published this thread which became viral. Why do you think a visual-based thread got such an enthusiastic response?

A. Those pics were from the subreddit /r/boringdystopia – each of those posts were already highly upvoted, so they seemed pretty likely to get engagement anywhere. I think part of what appealed to people about that thread was the sheer volume of it – people would quote-tweet with things like “it just keeps going and going”. And yet, because it’s just pics, it doesn’t require a lot of reading effort. That said, ultimately all viral things kinda require some strange mix of luck and timing that you can never understand in advance.

Q. You’re also an entrepreneur and I see you’ve launched a shirt brand named Statement, which seems to connect words and visuals as well. What inspired this project?

A. I just always wanted t-shirts that I thought were clever, witty, funny, cool. Text-based t-shirts were the easiest to design since I had no design background to begin with. I just posted some t-shirt ideas on Facebook and it turns out people wanted to buy them. You can read the full story here: The Statement Story (So Far).

Q. I saw you were in Singapore lately. What’s your opinion about the digital nomad movement?

A. Yeah I live here! I don’t really have any strong opinions about it. If it works for people, good for them! If I were single, I would probably be into it myself. Seems fun. The Internet allows a lot of types of work to be done from wherever, and if people are happier and more productive working remotely, then they should definitely do that.

Q. How do you conceive Twitter’s future and other platforms of expression?

A. I’m really bullish on Twitter – I don’t know so much about the business side of things, but as a platform it has so much potential still. I do think the abuse problem is a frustrating one that needs to be dealt with better, but I don’t have any particular solutions to offer.

Q. Which people do you recommend to follow?

A. People to follow… it would really depend on what your interests are. I make it a point to only follow interesting people, so you could always just dive into my following list and look around for anybody interesting. If I had to pick specific people... @priya_ebooks, @SarahTaber_bww, @patio11, @sehurlburt.

Q. Last question: can you share one of your favorite quotes?

A. « Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between these two banks the river of my life flows. » – Nisargadatta Maharaj.

You can support Visakan on his Patreon and find his threads here.


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