Monday, August 03, 2009

Sonata Twitterata

It’s no secret that I love social media, like most writers. I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
(Feel free to contact to me on any of these social platforms!) I gave MySpace a pass – I test drove it, and didn’t like the spam I got.

Twitter is the latest Hot Thing – until something else comes around. It seems that everyone is tweeting to some extend: individuals like you and me, celebrities, and companies.
The tricky part with Twitter is that your “mini-blog posting” must be limited to 140 characters. This poses a huge challenge to the best of us. Tweeting about simple things is easy “going on vacation”, “still stuck in traffic”. If needed, a link or a shortened link (TinyURL) can be added in case you read a great article you want to share (or, as in my case, entice Twitterati to go to my recently published short story "Revenge will come....."– hint, hint!)

In case you wonder, yes, you can follow anyone you want to your heart’s content without being a stalker….hurray for cyberspace!

But I would never have thought that Twitterati could be such a source of amusement! (The word Twitterati is my invention; sounds a heck of a lot better than “twits” – ask any Brit for that connotation! The singular form is Twitterarus (m) or Twitterata (f) – Julius Caesar would have been proud of this. Come to think of it, he probably would have tweeted about his good-for-nothing relatives and of course about De Bello Gallico from the Forum Romanum, during senate meetings, and from the battle fields).

US politicians (already an ongoing source of media fodder for global comic relief) have embraced Twitter as well. It should come as no surprise that the two most prominent political Twitterati are…..Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Let’s start with our “I’ve gone fishing” Alaskan huntress. She twittered: “& mamma bear doesn’t look 2 anyone else 2 hand her anything; biologist say she works harder than males, is provide/protector for the future”.

In response, Durer’s rhino promptly quipped: “We have learned today that: bears are Real Americans that don't ask for or take handouts; and male bears are deadbeats and just sit around the forest in their boxers eating salmon and drinking berry juice.”

OK, her tweet might be a bit simple, but at least she is clever enough not the address major issues – or is she? Think again: our favorite pit bull with lipstick decided to respond to a new report on ethics charges against her on Twitter. She happily tweeted: “Re inaccurate story floating re:ethics violation/Legal Defense Fund;matter is still pending;new info was just requested even;no final report.”
My dear Saraleh, please listen to your legal team and don’t tweet about such sensitive topics! You should have stuck to your original statement calling any allegation that the defense fund accepted any inappropriate donations "misguided and factually in error." (That’s my advice as a lawyer – free of charge!)

She is not alone in her twitter blundering – our Ahnold is not far behind. Under his watch, the California deficit is a staggering $26 billion (try to figure out how you would spend that kind of dough to enhance your lifestyle!)
After negotiating a deal that will (hopefully) close the gap, Schwarzenegger posted a puzzling video message on his Twitter page. In it, the governor is wielding a huge knife, talking about selling state cars signed by the "celebrity governor." Even Aaron McLear, the governor's press secretary, couldn't explain the knife: "I don't know why he is holding a knife. The message is in what he is saying, not what he is holding in his hand."

L.A. residents were heavily underwhelmed by both A.S. and his prop, as illustrated by the comment of local Giovanni Matallane: "he should be focusing on other things besides signing cars and holding a knife ... and being on Twitter."

Matt Littman , a political speech writer and blogger, was even more explicit: “7.3 billion in education cuts ... Kindergarten through college teachers are getting laid off and he wants to talk about signing cars at an auction ... Why doesn't he sign their pink slips?" and ended with the suggestion that the best way for our Arnoldus Twitteratus to proceed, would be to quit – Sarah Palin-style.

Wiser politicians stick to distributing press releases and friendly editorials on their Twitter account. Clever and proper, but hey, what would be the fun of that?! Don't we all love a mishap that could "launch a thousand" tweets?

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