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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


Stephenfry  @stephenfry

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

SFX @sfxmagazine

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

Heavenly @heavenlyrecs

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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