The Intimate Twitter Story Of Lee & Me by Rick London

My wife Lee (@LeeHillerLondon) and I (@RickLondon), started on Twitter about the same time; she in January 2009 and I started February 2009.  I didn’t have a clue how it worked.  While elementary students were running circles around me conquering facebook, I was busy studying articles about Twitter and was determined to tackle this mysterious social media site.

Click To Enlarge This Is Me

I bet I read 200-300 or more (mostly self-serving articles designed to get the readers to follow the author), but I started getting the idea of how it worked and as William Wordsworth once said, “To begin, begin”.  He always put a guilt-trip on my system of procrastination.

On the first day I think I managed to round up eight followers and I may have even doubled that my second.  People were posting messages to me, and I felt like I knew them; or at least the icons they portrayed to be them next to their name. I was told later most persons icons were ten to twenty years old and a lot of senior citizens were still tweeting away with their college sophomore yearbook pics.  That turned out to be true.

I also discovered that though many of Twitterers were interesting, and I still believe that, I was not only out of my league, I was out of my category, and a lot of that was my fault.  Though I had been posting for several months as an offbeat cartoonist who loved animals, that was about as much as I had in my profile.

When someone presents oneself in such an unfocused way, they are bound to attract a lot of unfocused people with unfocused agendas.  And agendas flew left and right and it would not be unusual to wake up one day and be “hated” by someone who “loved” you the day before, simply because you were friendly with someone who “done them wrong”.

My then friend Lee Hiller, now my wife Lee Hiller-London was quite a bit more savvy, more than slightly ahead of the learning curve than me.  She suggested I change my background which she happened to know how to do. I still have the same one up she installed, a wall of Londons Times Cartoons. She suggested I focus my short bio (Twitter allows about once sentence) and I did.

Click To Enlarge (Please Meet My Dear Wife Lee)

A month or so later three Twitterers opened accounts with my name claiming to be the founder of Londons Times Cartoons. That is my website and has a high visibility on the Internet. It has been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoon since 2005 and MSN #1 since 2008 and remains so on both engines. It has had 7.8+ million visits.  At this time, Twitter was offering nothing aggressive to correct that, but did finally come up with a “verification system” that they provided for (mostly film, tv, and business celebrities) but also those with high-profile websites that could easily being cloned.

I filed my complaint and within three weeks, I woke up with a little blue Twitter verification next to my name.  This did not prevent “the clones”, but it did help my friends and fans to know who “the real me was and is”.

Then Lee, at that time my fiance, was building her own brand and a well-known Twitterer, not verified, used her good name to enable him to use it in his own complicated scheme.

Her brand was then at its very early vulnerable stage; not yet a few months old, but we could not provide the kind of proof (he had deleted it after we wrote him a scathing tweet), so she has continued without verification, but fortunately has such a huge following; nearly 25,000, people know they are really dealing with her, plus, she is a professional nature photographer and shares during her daily hikes the wildlife and flora that she encounters. So now, if someone tried to do a copycat scheme, they would have to re-create links to photos and merchandise she creates at her Lee Hiller Designs Shop that is distinctively part of the Hot Springs National Forest. Unless they live or move here, most would know they were “the wrong Lee Hiller-London”.

Below are some recent photos Lee took while hiking in Hot Springs National Forest for her Hike Our Planet Nature Blog. She is also a very talented gift and clothing/shoe designer where her nature pictures and original graphics appear on countless Lee Hiller Brand Products.






Meantime we Tweet along.  Our agent and syndication Great Southern Writers Syndicate @GSWSyndicate,  tweets famous quotes, and the occasional plug of one of Lee’s or my shops or Lee’s nature blog I have somehow accumulated 12,000+ followers (Lee and I call them my friends because actually they are).

Below are a few Lee Hiller Brand Products which she designed. Please click To Enlarge:

Today we are more focused.  We let our work and our products speak for us for the main part. We do work hard. We don’t just sit and tweet. It is very different than when we started on Twitter. We use a pre-scheduled Twitter client to get out information of our promotions and specific products and shops. It works, and leaves us time to create products and personally tweet with those with whom we prefer.

If someone is inappropriate, creepy, or both, (or shows signs of hate or bigotry),  we simply block them (we usually talk about it first and there has to be a very good reason). We try to give everyone a second and sometimes third chance if they “done wrong”.  Please don’t get me wrong. Most who tweet are normal people trying to get by in life, make a living and/or friends, and make a contribution.

Below are a few of my Londons Times Cartoons. You can see these and about 5000+ other full color cartoon at our main offbeat webcomics site.

Since joining Twitter I have branched out to open various types of online shops. My funny gifts shops also remain Google & MSN’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoon gift shops and have been since 2005.

All in all, Twitter is very fun. But it can be very hard work.  One has to create their own strategy for whatever reason they are there; whether it is to make friends, money, or find spouses.  Actually Lee and I were not there to find spouses. We were both promoting our Internet businesses.  We ended up spouses and glad we did.

We both have strengths where the other has a weakness (and vice versa).  Two heads, truly can work better than one, and get a lot more done, on or off Twitter.


Rick London is an Arkansas-based writer, cartoonist and designer living in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains where he regularly hikes with his wife Lee and is an avid wildlife and nature lover and active in those causes (including environment).  London founded the #1 offbeat cartoon on the Internet in 1997 titled Londons Times Cartoons.  He later founded the world’s only famous love quotes shoes, Shoes That Amuse, featured on APWire and in USA Today.  He has created four funny gift shops featuring his licensed cartoon images on gifts with an inventory of over 1/4 million sold by Google Shopping, Sears Marketplace, Amazon, and many other shopping channels.  London recently founded his own line of Sushi Shoes ( and has now expanded to sushi fine art gifts and clothing as well which he calls To see Rick’s sushi gifts click here.

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