The mystery of, and bounty on, @steamclock

Allen Pike • Jun 25th, 2014

For four years, Steamclock has humbly used @steamclocksw on Twitter to keep in touch with our customers and fans. We would be @steamclock, but the year before we founded the company, somebody else registered it. Now, we’re running an unusual experiment find out who.

The @steamclock account only ever made one tweet: “It’s raining on me and I don’t like it”. We’ve followed and tweeted at the account, and made a few attempts to get the attention of its keeper, to no avail. It’s been abandoned, and nobody is paying attention to it. Poor @steamclock. :(

The @steamclock Twitter profile, showing a profile picture of an egg and the name 'TheGastownSteamClock'

With a heavy heart, we resorted to Twitter’s Trademark resolution, via our trademark on “Steamclock” to free the account, put it to use, and make sure our customers can successfully get in touch. After jumping through a couple hoops, the fine folks at Twitter support got back to us:

We’ve researched the reported account and determined that it is not in violation of Twitter’s Trademark Policy.

Hm, okay. We must find whomever holds the account, but are running out of options. At this point, we’re going to try a crazy experiment: crowdsourcing the problem.

The Bounty

We need your help. If your tip gets us in touch with the holder of @steamclock and we get the account, we’ll give both you AND that person $500 each. If you yourself hold the account, we’d still like to offer the other $500 to whomever called your attention to this page, whether by Twitter, email, or otherwise. The bounty is redeemable in the form of cash, design services, or a large quantity of beer.

It may sound crazy to offer $1000 just for a Twitter username, but we’re sick of customers and clients trying to get in touch with us by tweeting @steamclock. We do periodic searches to find these and often do see them, but we’re four years old now - it’s time to get this sorted out.

The Clues

So, what do we know about this mystery account holder? A few things.

When they created the account in August 2009, they followed 21 other accounts. They followed 20 big accounts that were recommended by the Twitter new account system, plus @Hootsuite. Hootsuite also followed them back. Nobody else followed the account except spam accounts until we came along, and nobody else has followed since.

Today following Hootsuite might not seem like a clue, but at the time Hootsuite was only a few months old. Coupled with the fact that the Gastown steam clock is a Vancouver landmark, we can guess a few things about the person who created this account:

  1. They were in the Vancouver tech or media scene in 2009.
  2. They probably had some affiliation with Hootsuite.
  3. They’re probably in the Vancouver tech or media scene today, since who would want to leave this gorgeous city?
  4. It’s their type of humour to make an account for an outdoor clock and tweet “It’s raining on me and I don’t like it”
  5. They don’t yet have the $500 we’d like to give them.

So, start your sleuthing and spread the word. If you tweet or otherwise link to this bounty and the account holder gets in touch, we’ll do our best to find out how they discovered this page and get you your bounty. If you find any clues or determine who is holding @steamclock, or hold the account yourself, send an email to or tweet @steamclocksw.

Wish us luck!

Allen Pike • CEO