A chorus of Twitter elite got really angry on Friday when an opportunistic user decided to register @GowanusDolphin, a horrible account that premised itself on a dolphin trapped in New York's murky Gowanus Canal. Update: The dolphin died.

The offender, who has since apologized for being a jerk, learned his lesson the hard way. Don't let the same fate befall you. Here, four helpful tips for creating a successful* Twitter parody account should the opportunity ever arise again:

1. Don't use animals
Remember @BronxZooCobra fondly? Neither do we. Predicating your shiny new Twitter handle on a headline-grabbing animal is difficult for two reasons: (a) Animals don't talk. You're creating its voice from scratch; and (b) People tend to like animals more than they like other people, so as a rule of thumb, you should probably be making fun of actual human beings.

2. Don't base it on news
When a mild 5.9-magnitude earthquake rattled New York in 2010, Twitter exploded with parody accounts. ("Boom!" and "Whoa!" and that sort of nonsense.) None of them were funny. None of them were sustainable. Take a lesson from Bloomberg social media director (and the web's leading voice in parody account hatred) Jared Keller:

3. Be funny
Ha ha, you have to actually be funny, which is easier said than done. And "humor," as we all know, is 100 percent subjective and varies from person to person, NOT TO MENTION it requires constant mental dexterity that 99.99 percent of the population simply isn't cut out for. So make it easy for yourself. Self-impose some parameters and employ a weird spin like @NYTOnIt or @__MICHAELJ0RDAN. Maybe you'll even get a book deal! (Probably not.)

4. You probably shouldn't make a parody account
Ignore everything I just said. Don't make one. Sorry.

*Just kidding.