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Lifestyles of the Nerdy and Famous: Or, Why I Love Twitter

January 26, 2012

Haven’t had much time for blogging lately, between learning the ropes at the new job and moving apartments. Fortunately, though, said new job is one where I occasionally have to check on the Twitterverse (yay, author Twitter chats!)–so I stumbled across an absolute gem this week, and I just wanted to call it to the attention of all folks SF&F-geeky and wonderful.

As some of you know (and I wish I’d found out sooner this year!), Epic Confusion was this weekend.  Tons of my favorite SF&F writers were on hand for scads of interesting-sounding panel discussions and a great deal of absolute madness.

But mostly, I enjoyed armchair (desk-chair?) spectating on the live tweets coming out of a truly epic 10-author Dungeons & Dragons game at the con–courtesy of the fantastic Brent Weeks, whose books I discovered quite recently and promptly fell in love with (but more on that later). Like so:

Um, how much do I want to have been in that room, laughing like a total madwoman? You get one guess.

You can read Brent Weeks’ full account of the game here, where more hilarity ensues.  The whole thing reminds spectacularly of the writers’ comments about tabletop RPGs on Darths and Droids, in which hilarity is also ensuing, or whatever.

On a slightly more serious note, though, this kind of thing reminds me why I love Twitter. Once upon a time–specifically, upon the time before I had learned anything about book publicity or marketing, let alone worked in either–I was one of those people who thought Twitter was the dumbest idea ever. Why would I want to read constant, text-message-style 140-character updates from my friends? Did I really need real-time updates about their TV-watching habits and lunch sandwiches?

Well, no. But I had completely missed the point. Twitter is one of the most fascinating public spheres on the Web. And it is–although some public figures tend to forget this from time to time and start up some trouble–resoundingly public. There’s less moderation than on an online magazine, blog, or even ye olde haven of privacy (*cough*), Facebook. If I want to tweet directly at John Scalzi (@scalzi), I can. He’s under zero obligation to read what I’ve said or reply to it, but on the other hand, writers (and other public figures) often do just that with their fans. Which is great.

What’s even greater, at least for me–and what doesn’t, to my knowledge, also happen on authors’ personal blogs–is watching said writers and other public figures interact with each other. My Twitter feed is full of SF&F genre folk, obviously, and it’s not uncommon for me to be reading comments that go back and forth between, say, Felicia Day (@feliciaday) and Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself). Often it’s far more hilarious and awesome to watch these witty writerly types chat than my own comments/questions would probably be to them. That, and until I started this blog, I was a chronic Internet lurker.

OK, in a lot of forums, I still am a chronic Internet lurker. But if I’m going to be one, Twitter is one of the best places to do it. I mean, how else would I know that Neil Gaiman has an owl living in his duck box?

Obviously, there are far more serious reasons to appreciate Twitter/social media. (Witness its role in the “Arab Spring” demonstrations last year.) But on a day to day basis, this is mine. What’s yours?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2012 12:06 AM

    I too am more of a lurker than a talker; I’ve been following some blogs for more than two years, but my commenting has been minimal to the extreme. That being said, I do love stalking people (both those I know and those I don’t) on both twitter and tumblr. They’re good ways of getting to know people, even if it’s one-sided.

    • January 28, 2012 11:45 AM

      True! Especially when it’s a person of a rather more famous persuasion. I feel like hearing “AHHHH YOU’RE WONDERFUL” from me all the time would get old. :)

  2. January 30, 2012 3:30 PM

    Before I got on twitter, I thought the same way you did – why should I do this?

    But when it comes to publicizing books, blogs, authors, events, anything, Twitter is the way to go. I wish I’d gotten on board earlier!

    and nothing is cooler than when you tag an author in your tweet, and they respond!! :D

    • January 30, 2012 6:46 PM

      Also true! It’s especially handy for events. I have various RSS pages/platforms like WordPress to keep track of blogs, but I rarely remember to check calendars. So many nick-of-time event tweets!

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