Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I Twitter

A couple of manga bloggers have recently posted on why they Twitter. I didn't join Twitter to set the comics world ablaze. In fact, I joined for the goofiest of fangirl reasons.

I joined Twitter because of a house.

Her name is SARAH, the Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat, if you must. She was posting fun and sometimes cryptic little updates about upcoming episodes of Eureka. She’d reply to your questions. She was even interviewed on Twitter.

I had heard about Twitter before that of course. You couldn’t be in Stargate: Atlantis fandom without hearing about David Hewlett’s posts.

I resisted the urge to join immediately. Twitter sounded like a lark, more geared for people who sent text messages to each other than someone used to Livejournal and blogging. Who can communicate in 140 characters or less? Who would enjoy having real conversations that way?

But I was obsessed with Eureka and SARAH was so friendly and welcoming.

So what David Hewlett couldn’t do, a smart house accomplished. There’s some irony working there.


I admit it – I didn’t expect to like using Twitter.

Initially I was content to just read along. I didn’t feel comfortable replying to people out of the blue yet. I posted occasionally, but nothing earth-shattering. I think my first Twitter was some random comment on gymnastics leotards in the summer Olympics.

Gradually I added friends from other places. And I started to talk. And talk.

I Twittered the November election returns curled up with my laptop.
That was when I saw the value of Twitter. It’s been described as the world’s largest rolling cocktail party. You can literally add your pithy two cents into any conversation. You can argue with some fan halfway across the world and get a reaffirming “Me too” from someone else. You can get a response from a favorite celebrity. Replies and retweets are still odd. I’m always blown away that people want to hear what I have to say, much less forward it to someone else.

When I started having the same sort of rolling discussions about comics and manga, I finally got it. Whether chattering about comic book news or important elections, the conversations and interactions are the real heart and joy of Twitter. I enjoy interacting with other comics fans and hearing what they’re reading and enjoying. I sit back and take in all the manga discussion. I’m still more of a reader than a critic, but I envy the bloggers and reviewers.

To a degree, my experiences on Twitter made me realize I did have something to say as a blogger. Up until then I thought I couldn’t add anything new. I’m not so sure about that now.

Nearly five thousand updates later, I think I’ve figured out this Twitter thing. You wouldn’t think it would take that long to figure out how to talk, would you?

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