I have had mixed feelings about Twitter. While there is no denying its popularity which seems to be ever widening, you have to wonder why this site is so much more popular right now than Facebook or MySpace. Actually, with MySpace, that’s very understandable considering what a ghost town it has become. With Twitter, you are privy to brief thoughts of other people, be it celebrities or ordinary average people like you and me. There are no special applications like Mafia Wars or FarmVille, so what’s the big deal? Certainly not everything a person “tweets” can define who they are as a person, can they? I really only use Twitter these days to promote my work, mostly of movie reviews, on Associated Content among other websites, but I was never sure of how much of an audience I would draw from this particular site which seems to be one of the most popular for the moment. With the AC Twitter Challenge, I was given a good opportunity to find out or at least have a good idea of what kind of audience I could get.
I actually joined Twitter several months before this challenge took place, and posting articles and reviews on the website was very easy. This was especially the case when compared to posting stuff on MySpace where I had to re-link the web address to what I wrote and add the category of where what I wrote belonged. This is not to mention picking out what I am currently listening to or watching, which is kind of a “tweet” in itself when you think about it. I kept getting messages that Playstation 3 and some makeup company were following me which had me wondering if they actually knew who I was. Should I really expect either of these followers to truly follow what I was writing? I think not.
But once this AC Twitter Challenge commenced, I ended up getting more followers that actually seemed legitimately human for once. With content producers (not “sources” which seems rather trivial) on AC, it serves to create a strong community between us all, and it gives us more of a reason to follow each others work, and that is important in terms of reaching a broader audience. Most of my movie reviews end up with the same number of page views, and they are much smaller than I want them to be. With Twitter however, I do feel that it has affected the number of page views I get overall for certain articles. This especially seems to be the case with my recent review of Rob Zombie’s “Halloween 2” which has gotten more page views than any other movie review that I have written so far this year.
Actually, one of the big discoveries I found out about Twitter through this whole challenge was hashtags. I figured that the only the people who followed you were the ones who click on the links you posted, but with hashtags you can broaden your audience to people who share some of the same interests and who are not currently following you. I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with this one by now: #bestofac. Having used this on my articles of “Alien 3,” “They Live,” and Wes Craven’s live commentary of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” I have seen a sizable upsurge of page views on each of these articles. This has since inspired me to plug some other reviews that have gotten a minimal number of page views like the ones I wrote for “Firewall” or “Black Book” to name a few. Truth be told, I think doing this has succeeded in getting me more of an audience than when I post the same reviews at IMDB.
In terms of those that I follow on Twitter, I have met a number of people who I believe are more than worth following:
Jeremy The Critic– Another movie reviewer on the web, and one of my favorite online movie critics to read. Jeremy’s reviews get very in depth in regards to the movies he is talking about, and his voice comes through in everything he writes. Some reviewers sound like everyone else, but that is not the case with Jeremy.
Jerry Dennis– Here’s another great movie reviewer who gives each review he writes a great background in regards to how it relates to the events happening upon its initial release. Jerry is also one of the co-hosts of the Blog Talk Radio show, “Movie Geeks United.”
Frangela – The fantastic comedy duo of Frances Callier and Angela Shelton was a welcome one to find on Twitter. Having worked with these two at Second City, I can honestly say that their talents are not in doubt. They also have a show on Blog Talk Radio as well.
Fred The Wolf– Here’s another movie reviewer from the New York area. Fred reviews all kinds of movies, but he focuses especially on horror movies. He also provides his readers with the various lessons he has learned from each movie he has watched.
Funny or Die– Thanks to Twitter, I got to discover one of the funniest websites on the web which counts Will Ferrell as one of its creators. It features one hilarious sketch after another, and you got to watch the “Hostage” one with Zachary Quinto. That one had me laughing harder than I have in AGES!
JohnnyNaked – A performance artist in Los Angeles, and I know for a fact that this is not his real name. His website includes the projects he has worked on like “Naked Slave 4 Art.” Trust me; you need to check him out when you have a chance.
3KO Broadway– This is a grass roots theater company in the Los Angeles area that is currently in its 10th season. Granted, Los Angeles is not always the best place for theater, but this group shows a lot of promise, and they have a show opening up on October 30th called “Interwoven.”
These are just a few of the people and groups I have found on Twitter, and I invite you all to check them out when you have a chance.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you like or hate Twitter. It is a valuable resource to use in promoting your work and in meeting other people who share the same interests. I’m not sure if the AC Twitter Challenge has changed the way I look at it, but it has helped to show me what an effective promotional tool it can be.
So don’t hesitate to tweet your head off!
Click here to check out my Twitter profile.