OLD Media Moves

Impersonating a business journalist on Twitter

August 21, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush


If imitation is a sincere form of flattery, then Atlanta Business Chronicle tech writer Urvaksh Karkaria must be extremely flattered.

Karkaria has a Twitter feed at @Urvaksh that has nearly 3,000 followers. And now, there’s someone posting at @TheRealUrvaksh poking fun of him. It has about 140 followers.

There are other business journalist who have Twitter feeds impersonating them, most notably Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer (his doppelganger has only posted once since July 12, however) and Reuters blogger Felix Salmon, whose impersonator has only posted twice since July 12.

However, @TheRealUrvaksh has drawn the attention of some of Karkaria’s top sources, who are now following the fake feed.

“In general, I am mostly amused, but occasionally wince at the things he says,” said Karkaria in an email to Talking Biz News. “Several top sources — in economic development and technology circles — follow the guy.”

We asked Karkaria what he thought about the impersonator. Here is a transcript of that email interview:

Have you tried to find out who he is?

I did dig, but not too hard. Don’t want to know the identity, because then it would be over. I’m often asked if it’s me. I have a big ego, but it ain’t that big. Also, he’s way funnier.

Do you think it helps or hurts your coverage?

I imagine it mostly helps. It’s a conversation starter at networking events and among sources. The fact that someone has gone to the trouble of creating this persona and maintaining it, is flattering. He definitely helps with the Chronicle’s brand building among the wider community.

Any other ways that it helps you?

In many ways he helps builds my personal and professional brand. I often tweet from the hip, as you know. Having him watching — and then riffing on whatever I might say — makes me a little trigger shy. The snark has to be taken in stride.

What do you think of the caricature?

In many ways, it’s spot on. He often says things I might want to, but won’t for obvious reasons. He clearly has a bead on me. He also tweets just the right amount and engages me publicly. I do enjoy tweeting with him.

Talking Biz News has also asked @TheRealUrvaksh to comment. And while he said he was “happy to chat,” he has yet to respond to our direct messages. We’ll update with his comments when — or if — he does.

UPDATE: @TheRealUrvaksh replied Wednesday morning. He said:

Why Urvaksh? “He’s a good reporter in Atlanta who covers the startup scene. He has an ego and thinks this is a sign he’s made it. He’s also a really nice guy at heart. I noticed the same conversations happening repeatedly: crowing about Apple, defending the subscription business model.”

“Why does anybody make fun of other people? To make a point. He retweets me all the time, especially when I’m more blunt than he is. So all of a sudden you have the business chronicle reporter covering Atlanta’s tech scene retweeting something mocking ABC’s business model. And it’s all for fun. I want it to be entertaining.”

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