Saturday, May 01, 2010

Meet My Twitter Self ...

If my blog were a houseplant, it'd be dead by now.

I don't tend this space like I used to, don't write with any regularity anymore.

I want to, really I do. I want to be charming and engaging and toss off bon mots.

I do, I think. I just don't do it here. I do it on Twitter.

Mind you, not everything I tweet is comedic gold. Banalities creep in. But I feel like I'm being clever, anyway.

And Twitter allows me to play off of others in real time, which helps me foster my intermittent zinginess.

Twitterpal Angelo provides lots of opportunities for Tweeting fun, though Burns and Allen we're not. (What is with me and the bizarre comedy references lately? The other day, I cited Rowan and Martin. What am I, 90?)

And I love that Twitter affords me the chance to interact with others with whom I would never have the chance to speak. Not that most of the folks I follow follow me, but I like at least having a conduit to them.

I like that when Keith Olbermann poses a question, I can answer it. Of course, so can the other 53,597 people who follow him, and I am very likely lost in the mix, but it's still fun to have the Twitter gateway.

And thanks to Twitter, I can send fan tweets, as it were, to Rachel Maddow in real time, during her show, when she's doing a spectacular job of taking down a smug executive or other guest who must not watch her show, because otherwise they would know that it's really quite futile to go toe to toe with the woman, who is always armed to the teeth with facts and wields them with surgical precision. Oh, and folks, her last name rhymes with "shadow." As someone who has her last name butchered on a regular basis, I empathize with her. She's always very nice and doesn't correct people, but please, stop saying it as though it rhymes with "mad cow."

While I'm on the subject of Twitterers I love, John Larroquette is particularly lyrical in 140 characters. Some famous folks use Twitter solely to promote their work, but some, like John, sometimes write beautiful little thoughts.

My feed consists of friends I've never met, and news sources, and food writers, and designers. Publications, and musicians, and good-deed doers. Comedians and late-night talk show hosts (though you might expect those two to be the same thing, and sometimes they are, but everyone who is a comedian does not have a late-night talk show, and I don't follow late-night talk show hosts who aren't funny; you know who I mean).

And I can't not mention Roger Ebert, who is an elder statesman of the form, who tweets about films, sure, but who displays his keen social commentary in these Twitter-sized bites.

Actually, I'm always a bit surprised to search for someone on Twitter and not find them. Perhaps they don't find it useful or interesting. Perhaps they think they don't have time. I can understand that. When I first heard of Twitter, I thought, "Why the hell would I sign up for that?" But that was back in its earliest days, when it arrived on the scene as another online distraction, before we all realized that it was really quite useful. Stories break on Twitter. Headlines, at least. Marketers use it to read real-time feedback about, well, everything.

I watch big events with my laptop on my lap, tweeting live along with my friends, as part of what becomes an instant-message conversation in which the whole world has a say.

Let me know if you sign up (or if you already have an account). I'm looking for my 100th person to follow, an auspicious occasion.

There might be cake.

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