Friday, May 20, 2011

Peter's a Twit?

Well, as much as I am loathe to admit it, I have become one of those tweetin’ people.  Yes, (eye roll), I’m using Twitter.

I “reserved my name” back in October of last year and poked around a little bit.  But to be honest I couldn’t get past the “What on earth do I need this for?” factor.  I mean, seriously... do I really have to be updated on how delicious a person’s blueberry muffin tasted or hear some random thought that occurred to someone?  It’s ‘hard enough’ keeping track of what people say on Facebook.  [Yes, I’m one of those people who goes back to the last read point and reads through all the Status Updates.  I mean, hey, I don’t want to miss a cool video  someone posted or something...]  Anyway, seriously.  Who has TIME to read Tweets?

A little later on I went back to it and putzed around
- I still didn’t “get it."

Then down the road, Banky & Clara mentioned that I should try Twitter to help get the word out about Peter Pan’s NeverWorld and such.  For the record, both of them thought it as inane as I did, but both had heard from their own clients that Twitter is an invaluable tool, yada yada... So I poked around yet again.  But still, I didn’t see how this stream of “useless info” could be beneficial.  Same issues came up... time, silliness, just: Why?  And at the time I didn’t think I needed to be one someone who “stalks” celebrities - and no offense to anyone, why should I care?

And then, just last week, I’d been watching Steve Martin on Ellen.  He’s on Twitter and explained how he got on it and how he didn’t “get it” either - but continued with it and eventually decided to use it to tweet out comedic quips.  I perked up.  Free funny from Steve Martin?  Yes, please!  Factor this also into the mix - Bart and I just recently upgraded our phones to one of those that has “Apps” and such, a grand ol’ smartphone experience.  (We’d had something that pretended to be a smartphone prior to this acquisition.)  Well, couple the new phone with the prospect of Martin’s tweets and I picked up the phone and I thought I’d give it another shot.

Let me tell you... it makes much more sense on a phone.  Not just the “convenience” of having it in the palm of your hand “at the ready,” but the entire interface.   A small degree might be chalked up to the ‘fun’ of using the new phone, but this time the fussing around actually yielded desirable results.   I also learned that it is indeed fun to hear from celebrities.  Pick those who sincerely interest you and voila - interesting or funny stuff to read.  And when does one have time for it?  Easy - waiting for (or even riding on) the train for instance.  And the feed [at least mine, for at the time I’m writing this I only follow 58 (only 58?!?) people] isn’t as horrifically constant and insurmountable as it first appeared.  So it's not monopolizing your time but rarther filling in the gaps, with plenty of time left in them for other tasks like reading or such.

Forgetting the “adoring fan” concept for a moment, there are other reasons to be a Twit.  How cool is it that giants of the publishing industry tweet as well?  Simon & Schuster, Random House & Penguin Group... it’s great to have a direct insight into the latest publications, contests, trends, etc. with each of them.  There’s also other resources like Writer’s Digest.  Or even ‘following’ other authors like the amazing Neil Gaiman.

A third marvelous ‘thing’ on Twitter is the fact that it can be used as “edutainment.”  There are tweets from Samuel Pepys.  Yep, Pepys as in that  17th Century English naval administrator and Member of Parliament.  Someone takes his famous journal and sends it out in tweet-sized chunks... so it appears as if you’re privy to the day-to-day life (like that tasty blueberry muffin) of this famous historical man.  It’s hilarious, in its own way.  I also enjoy "Tweets of Old" - featuring clips from 1800's and 1900's newspapers.

Who knew Twitter could be this fun?  Most people, except me and anyone like me who had a narrow view of its potential scope.  I had once thought the same of Facebook.  Glad to have been wrong on both accounts.

Also, I’d been wondering how one obtains followers.  (Outside of posting on here and even having read the explanation.)  Somehow, from the little I tweeted out and then a tweet to Steve Martin (thanking him for his comedy and letting him know he prompted my usage) and Seth MacFarlane (Had to tell him that his latest Family Guy time travel adventure had been one of the best in the genre...didn’t I?)  I somehow already gained about 7 followers in as little as 2 days.  And I don’t know who any of them are.  It’s possible that they’re friends and/or followers of the handful of actual friends I’m connected to... I’m not really sure.  But it’s fascinating and delightfully frightening.  But now that I have a better handle on how this all works, I can see how it did happen.   Thanks to all of you out there who picked me up... I hope I’m entertaining or something.
One of but MANY looks of Melissa

Also interesting to note is that I noticed Fran Drescher is following a friend of mine who is a wildly talented singer/supercool lounge act type of performer.  Much more to her art than just that but anyway I asked her if she knew this... and she didn’t.  She’s thrilled.  See... tweeting does get super-connectivity going.  [Check her out!  Melissa Young]

Of course, this all brings up the very subject of this post - but it seems as if the fun of this “birdie” doohickey outweighs the “privacy invasion.”  Besides, I’m in control of what I tweet out about me... and any fans can decide whether or not to follow.   It’s also nice that deleting tweets is now an option (when it hadn’t been before.)

If you want to follow me, I’m @PeterVonBrown, but of course.

For right now, I am still wading in the experience and not tweeting all that much.   But whenever I deem something appropriate, you can be sure it will go out.

Perhaps one day I’ll have a blueberry muffin that I must rave about...

So, yeah, okay, there you have it.  I tweet.  May the gods help me.

* This post did not go up right away, so #'s went up.  Jeepers!

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