Monday, April 04, 2011

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

Hey, gang. For the longest time, I've been dead-set against using Twitter. At first, it was quasi-ideological: I always saw the extremely short limit of characters helping to degrade our already rapidly-degrading attention spans, and I'm still not wild about how the hashtags, retweetings, shitty punctuation & spelling, various acronyms and other codings make tweets borderline impossible to follow.

Also, the arguments I've heard about Twitter being a strong and effective marketing tool have been dubious at best. Yes, a playwright or director can have several thousand followers. But in reality, how many of those followers equates to actually physically present audience members? It's easy to "follow" someone online: it's free and can be done from the convenience of, well, wherever you damn well please. It's another thing entirely to actually go out and pay money to see a play created by whomever you're following.

(It's also not like I have a great deal of information to "tweet" about on a regular basis. How many times can I post, "Having some Cheerios. Cats keep interfering. #cattens# #breakfast#?")

But let's be honest: this site hasn't been the source for long-form essays for a long while. My feelings toward blogging have become much, much more ambivalent of late (well, duh). Maybe updates on what's going on in my creative life is better in the short-form/news stream format.

Plus, although the jury's still open as to how much Twitter can help with self-promotion, it certainly can't hurt. So although I still haven't yet reversed my position on Twitter, I'm at least much more open to it than before.

This is my long roundabout way of saying I'm thinking about setting up my own Twitter account, but am still very much on the fence and still have more than a few reservations.

So, fuck it. I'll ask you. For those of you still out there reading this, what are your thoughts? Do you have a Twitter account? Do you recommend it or no? For theatre-makers, have you noticed it helping with drawing in audience members or not? What are the advantages? Any disadvantages? What do you think?

Lemme know.

Updating folks on the dull
minutae of my dull life,

James "Online Luddite" Comtois

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Blogger Mariah MacCarthy said...

I'm getting a play of mine produced in Florida because of twitter. And I found this blog post via twitter. And have made multiple actual, real-life, non-online friends via twitter. So I say, go for it.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous DJK said...

I really like twitter- I met one of my favorite new friends through it. And then went to her wedding. I like it though more for the discussion than marketing aspect. I haven't found that so many people come to my things more because of it (which may be more how I use it than anything), but I have found more things that I might have missed that I can figure out how to see because of it. And that's good. Also, twitter has great potential for communally told stupid jokes, which is a big plus.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Leigh Hile said...

Well, you know my Twitter experience because I told you about it last night. (Great meeting you, by the way.) It's been a great tool for me, and a lot of good stuff has come out of it. Although I think of it less as a way to market myself and more as a way to broaden my community - I honestly don't know what the numbers would say about how Twitter translates to getting your shows seen or produced, but I say do it! You've got nothing to lose. And hey, I found this post on Twitter too.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would never know about anything on twitter. But, I enjoy keeping up with your doings through Jamespeak.
But I am a very old man and therefore slow to grasp new technology.
--S. Kelsey

7:30 PM  
Blogger Jamespeak said...

Well, okay. That didn't take long. So, yes. I've opened my own Twitter account. @JamesComtois. Same Jimmy, in bite-sized form!

10:46 PM  
Blogger Freeman said...

I think it was a good call. Can't kill ya. I don't love Twitter personally, but I do maintain the presence.ex

11:56 AM  

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