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to tweet, or not to ... screw it, tweet!
why i've come to love twitter.
by katherine l (aka clevertitania) (@CleverTitania)
6.25.09
tech


I originally avoided Twitter, quite diligently. Not as greatly as Facebook, but still, I tried to stay away. I probably knew something then, subconsciously, that's only coming to the front of my mind now; once I got in it, I wouldn't be likely to leave.

Twitter was designed for someone like me. Now, don't mistake me. I'm not suggesting I'm all that entertaining. At the risk of sounding like Augusta Elton, I have been known to make a few people laugh, on occasion. What I mean by, someone like me, is a person who feels this insane desire to share random wacky crap in their head. For a person like that, Twitter can definitely be perceived as addictive. I don't think I'm quite that far gone, but I look at it like other vices; as long as the major things in life are getting done, how I choose to spend the bulk of my free time is nobody's fricking business. So some weeks I just watch movie after movie. And some weeks, I'm writing constantly. And others it's getting wrapped up in some thing that's pissing me off in the world.

But the amazing thing about Twitter is, I can incorporate that into most of my other activities. And for me, that's actually a good thing. In many cases, it's hard for me to focus on just one thing at a time. It is, literally, trying. For instance, when I watch just about anything on the TV or computer, I am also playing something like Sudoku or an Escape The Room game (thanks to @feliciaday turning me on to these). In fact, it's probably also another reason I love commentaries, and I turn on the subtitles to read while listening. With Twitter I can just engage in a conversation, find insanely cool stuff online, hear about projects by some of my favorite artists, or just riff and play. And I don't have to focus on doing just that, as I would in a chat room. And then there's the other side of Twitter, the side that makes me feel a sense of connectivity to a world I covet.

For anyone unaware, Kevin Pollak has created an online weekly chat show. The show is, in a word, sublime. But I'll get back to that in a moment. On tonight's installment, Illeana Douglas said, "I am a student of film." I am so far beyond rapture, just hearing those words come out of her lips. The reason being, I now feel like 70% less pretentious for the fact I've said it 100's of times myself. Granted, Illeana being one of the indy-movie queens, a certain level of pretension is expected from her. But I've never found her to be remotely full of her own virtue. She's just far too cool. I've always had that opinion, but in her description of how she feels about the business, and how she is interacting with co-stars, plus using that phrase; I have a girl crush now (in a bromance way, not a Katie Perry way).

I don't just love film, I love the art of film making (and TV of course), and the environment that creates it. I've talked about that before, in regards to why I watch commentaries, behind-the-scenes, outtakes, etc. I absorb everything I can about the making of films and TV, and the people involved. Does it mean I troll for gossip rag stuff? Hardly. But I check the IMDB news board occasionally, to see what's is going on. I skip the Britney Spears/Lindsey Lohan/Paris Hilton drama of the week. I also love watching interviews, and things like Inside the Actors Studio and (now) Kevin Pollak's Chat Show. Through this form of conversational media, I get to learn a little bit about who they really are, and what their working lives are like. Sure, there's a little personal life in there, but even that is nice, because it's only as much as they'd likely tell in a long conversation at a dinner party. It's only as much as they want to put forward, and I respect that. But it still affords me a glimpse at their lives, which I greatly appreciate, and admire.

Now, with Twitter, I get another glimpse, and it's interactive! Sure, you could send a dozen tweets to any of the NKOTB guys, and odds are they'll never reply directly to you. That's fine, I have no big issue with that. Imagine the thousands of @'s they get? I still enjoy watching Donnie actually rouse a group of people in front of their computers, like they were looking up at a revolving stage. John's real attempt to talk actively with people, is very endearing. Joe also makes me smile regularly. But I have had a few actual replies from some interesting people; even people I would never have imagined having a chance to share such a brief interaction with. I mean, Nellie from Little House on the Prairie followed me! (Sorry Alison aka @Arngrim, just couldn't help myself). But beyond that, I get to learn about important things going on, things I might not have seen, because through her I'm expose to www.protect.org. And through Felicia Day, I've been exposed to things I would never have dreamed, inside and outside the Whedonverse (and yes I have caught Guild fever). Plus I wouldn't have known about John Cleese podcasts if not for his new Nigerian Scam Mailing List (The Scientist at Work is my favorite so far).

And then there's the kinds of interactions that just blow your mind out the back of your head. Tonight, anyone who was watching Kevin Pollack's Chat Show got to hear Kevin almost correctly pronounce my handle. Hell, my brand name, one could argue. I certainly have turned CleverTitania into it's own little multi-tiered entity. I guess the time my former nome de binary (Yliandra) was actually turned into an ARG game character, kind of went to my head. Oh, and then there's the whole MotherMagi/Browncoat/Wikipedia thing. Wow, ok, let me let some air out of my head. Mustn't let it get too full. Ahh, remembering the time I auditioned for a school play and forgot to breath, nearly passing out. That's better.

Where was I? Oh right, tonight on the #kpcs (<--if you're on Twitter, you'll recognize the hash), Kevin asked Illeana Douglas a Tweet 5 of my creation. The Tweet 5 is just 5 quick questions (usually of the either/or variety) submitted to the show via Twitter. It's just one of the great ways that Kevin has chosen to get really interactive with the show's audience, and it really does enhance the experience. I've enjoyed hearing how other Tweet 5's will surprise a guest (and occasionally Pollak), I enjoy the Larry King Game entries (Nia Vardalos is now the champ) from Twitter, which Kevin sometimes reads aloud. I like that he truly views the show as not about him, or about stroking egos of his guests and taking a 10 minute sit-down to promote their newest project. He is actually having a real conversation with people. He encourages them to say anything and everything. He's their peer, but one who manages to stay a big dopey fan too. And like me, he yearns to know more about their lives and careers, and he chooses to share those stories with us, and give us a chance to interact with them a bit too. How could I not love this show?

It's another of the wonderful things I have found with joining Twitter, and another reason why I will not bother with the haters. I never got into MySpace. For me it was just like a blog, on steroids, that existed in the Saved By The Bell universe. It just never felt very interactive, and went way past self-aggrandizing and Jr. High-esque. Twitter actually feels more basic. It's like a giant chat room where we don't all feel that we have to talk constantly, just when a thought pops in our head, or if someone else says something interesting, we might throw our thoughts onto the pile. It's remarkably low maintenance, actually, when compared to the original chat room craze (this from a veteran of Yahoo user created rooms w/CheetahChat and IRC). And beyond that, we share things with each other, and create a real location to learn about the amazing evolutionary jumps taking places on the new WWW.

Is Twitter going to be for everyone? Of course not. I also don't fault those celebs (and 'normal' people) who avoid it altogether, or setup accounts they barely ever use. You have to want to share these things, and if you don't, it's a chore. Honestly, we don't want you there out of obligation. But if you're game to play with us, in the giant adult bounce-around; Melissa and Sara Gilbert are the ones jumping like mad with their kids, Kevin Smith is watching the hockey game by the entrance, Ashton and Demi are hanging out in the doll museum (creeping us out with the pics), Amber Benson is producing a movie, writing a book and promoting 65 things at once (slow down girl!) and Russell Brand is peacocking by the pool slide (ok, yes, your one sexy bitch darling). Much like my little corner of the intervision (as Kevin Pollak likes to call it), it's never a dull moment.


ABOUT KATHERINE L (AKA CLEVERTITANIA)

When I grow up, I want to be; whoever Joss Whedon wants to be, when he grows up. I am a writer because it's the first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning; aside from eating and using the lavatory of course. My work includes screenplays, short stories, film/TV/music reviews and socio-political commentary. The last one is a fancy way of saying I like to shoot my mouth off on many topics. I excel at using $1.50 words. They gone up, thanks to inflation. Isn't our economy awesome?

more about katherine l (aka clevertitania)




COMMENTS

jael mchenry
6.9.09 @ 6:47p

I haven't gotten into Twitter yet, but it seems like a lot of it is this oddly casual interaction with celebs? Especially the ones like Illeana Douglas who most people don't know but some people (discerning pop culture consumers like us of course) just go batty for. A blogging friend of mine got into a conversation with Josh Malina on Twitter and he stopped by to comment on her blog. We all died.

My guess is that celebs get on it because it's really nonthreatening, and of course a great way to get real info out to their fanbase after folks are hooked on the feeling of "knowing" them. But hey. If it works for everyone involved, it's a success. Enjoy the tweets!

katherine (aka clevertitania)
4.30.10 @ 1:09p

(how did I not see this comment earlier?)

I agree on your discerning comment, both in regards to Illeana and Josh. :) Josh is definitely someone who has embraced this medium in a big way. Plus, his avatar for months has been him in his underwear and a wolf skin w/the Psych guys. Priceless.

I also think you're spot on to why some celebs are really getting into it. I'm even surprised at some have embraced it. John Cusack seems to be having far more fun with it than I would've expected.



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