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The Swine Guide To Twitter
By Kirsty Walker
The Sunday supplements were full of Twitter a few weeks back but now the dust has settled and you can safely investigate the phenomenon without looking like some pathetic middle-aged hipster grabbing onto the last vestiges of youth and embarrassing themselves in the process.
What is twitter? It sounds like you’d have to be a knobhead to use it.
That was what I thought at first but turns out it can be quite useful. It’s called ‘microblogging’, which on one hand sounds like getting facebook status updates on a constant stream (nightmarish) but on the other means that people can’t ramble for more than 140 characters. And if someone is tweeting something innocuous like an emo minah bird you can have the extreme satisfaction on ‘unfollowing’ them, which such a person would find highly distressing.
I need some practical real world examples which re-assure my masculinity.
You can ‘follow’ the updates of anyone you like, so whatever your interests you can get that fed to you. For example I follow a beer merchants, SFX magazine, The Onion, a variety of bands and TV people I like, as well as people I actually know. You can exist on Twitter by only using it as a news feed, meaning you don’t have to sit looking at BBC News all day or whatever. If any major news breaks you can get it instantly in a couple of lines from hundreds of different news agencies.
So can I pimp all my crap on it then?
Yes, that’s another function of Twitter. You can set up “Alan’s Extreme Views” as a Twitter feed and basically send bite size bits of your idiocy with a link to where people can find more. Even if you think a minority of people who are into what you’re offering a news service, interested party or related Twitter account might repeat (or Re-Twit) your message to other people. It might get picked up on the Twitter search engines, so one minute you’re ranting about obscure Northern Soul tracks and the next some bloke in Arkansas has searched for ‘obscure Northern Soul’ tracks, providing you with another reader for your previously desolate blog.
Can’t I just get all this stuff on people’s respective websites?
Technically, but Twitter, used as it is by humans, gives you a different level of interaction with those who are actually making the updates. For example a few weeks ago I was watching a TV show and wondered something about one of the props, so I tweeted the props guy on the show and asked him about it. And then he told me.
But surely it’s just full of wannabe Nathan Barleys who think they’re ‘media commentators just because they can use a spellcheck?
That’s the other nice thing, rather than expose you to a lot of PR and media nonsense that you might find on websites and releases, Twitter does the opposite. Generally the person who is tweeting on behalf of the company is some workie or low-level whizzkid who’s the only one who knows how the thing works and will jam in a few personal issues or rants along the way. There are quite a few discounts on offer only to Tweeters too.
Who’s on Twitter already?
Twitter profiles are either www.twitter.com/yourname or @yourname when you’re within twitter
Entertainment and Arts
Wil Wheaton @wilw
George Takei @georgetakei
Matt Berry @porksmith
Warren Ellis @ warrenellis
Charlie Brooker @charliebrooker
Neil Gaiman @neilhimself
John Cleese @johncleese
Graham Linehan @glinner
Greg Grunberg @greggrunberg
Seth MacFarlane @seth_macfarlane
David Letterman @davidletterman
Stephen Colbert @stephencolbert
Fox Movies @foxmovies
Universal Pictures @universalpics
British Film Institute @bfi
National Geographic Channel @natgeochannel
Empire Magazine @empiremagazine
James May @realjamesmay
Fact Liverpool @fact_liverpool
The Cribs @the_cribs
Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) @colinmeloy
Wichita Records @wichitarecs
John Mayer @johncmayer
Dave Grohl @dave_grohl
The Maccabees @themaccabees
Sarah Bareilles @sarahbareilles
Damien Rice @damienrice
Pitchfork Media @pitchforkmedia
Liverpool Sound City @soundcity
Shaquille O’Neal @the_real_shaq
Liverpool FC @lfctv
End Of Show @endofshow (Television)
CNN Breaking News @cnnbrk (General)
BBC Breaking News @bbcbreaking (General)
BBC Entertainment @bbcentertain (Entertainment)
New York Times @nytimes (General)
Google News @google (General)
The Onion @theonion (Spoof)
Fox News @foxnews
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