What if Twitter limited all posts to only 14 characters? Even worse, what if every post had to be exactly 14 characters, no more and no less?
That's the premise behind Squeaker, yet another Twitter parody site launched by the same zany people who brought us Woofer, the Twitter knockoff that requires all posts to contain at least 1,400 characters.
Squeaker poses the question "What RU doing?," which happens to be 14 characters long, and won't accept your post unless you type exactly 14 characters. Spaces count against you, or for you if you're a glass-half-full type. At least haikus allow 17 syllables.
Just like Woofer, the Squeaker site automatically lifts profile pictures from Twitter if you type in a real Twitter username. No password is required, though, so you can "squeak" as yourself, or just impersonate a friend or foe.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 1,100 users had penned more than 2,800 squeaks. Popular entries include "squeak > tweet," "1sml step 4man," and "mmmmmm, donuts," the latter posted by a user nicknamed HomerJSimpson.
Woofer and Squeaker were both designed by a quirky little outfit called Join the Company. Both feature user interfaces quite similar to Twitter's, with Woofer using a dog as its logo and Squeaker a mouse. While the Web site's makers dubbed Woofer a "macroblogging" site, they came up with the word "nanoblogging" to describe Squeaker.
"We are in no way associated with Twitter. This is simply a parody," a little FAQ on the site says. "After building Woofer, we thought it would be even funnier to require an exact number of characters. What can you accomplish in 14 characters? … u cn use abbrs … no room 4links … b creative."
As Squeaker itself notes, "14=all u need!"
Join the Company hints that more parody Web sites are on the way, and is even asking users for suggestions.