Actually, I may have more than seven reasons TV fans should be using Twitter, but I tried to put them into seven categories. I’m sure there are more.
First, you may be asking yourself, “What is Twitter?” Well, it is a cross between an instant messaging service and a micro-blog. It allows you to put forth 140 character messages, or “tweets” that anyone can follow respond to, unless you keep your account private. But, what fun would that be?
Twitter is actually kind of hard to explain, for something so easy to use, but this Twitter introduction video posted over at TwiTip does an excellent job of doing just that. TwiTip is a great resource for learning more about what Twitter is and how to use it. A good place to start there is with this setting up a Twitter account tutorial and then checking out these 10 steps for Twitter beginners.
Once you’ve got your Twitter account ready to go, or even if you’ve been using it for a while, you need to be following people to get the most out of it. People that you share a common interest with, which in this case is television. But, who should you follow and why? Well, here are my seven reasons you, as a television fan, should be on Twitter, along with a few suggestions of who you may want to start following.
7 Reasons TV Fans Should Be Using Twitter
- Follow Other TV Fans and Friends – One of the best things about Twitter is coming in contact with people you would have never met any other way, all because you share the same fascination with Lost or some other TV show. Twitter gives you the ability to chat with friends and find others that share a love of TV or anything else for that matter. For example, I exchange tweets periodically with pedrobeck, a “TV freak” that lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Where else, but on a service like Twitter, would a guy from Seattle (me) be able to talk Heroes with a guy from Brazil in the course of your normal daily life.
- Follow TV Actors From Your Favorite Shows – While chatting with family, friends and other TV fans is great, how cool would it be to ask a question directly of someone you watch on TV. Well, more and more TV actors are extending their presence online with blogs and social media services like Twitter. Are you a Heroes fan? Then you might want to follow breagrant, dividepictures (Milo Ventimiglia’s production company), or greggrunberg. Other familiar TV faces on Twitter are: DavidBlue, dhewlett (David Hewlett), feliciaday, jimmyfallon, levarburton, michaelurie, pennjillette, rainnwilson, and wilw (Wil Wheaton).
- Follow TV Bloggers and Podcasters – TV bloggers and podcasters like myself, theTVaholic, and my fellow TV times Three podcasters, mytakeontv and raelee, are what you might call extreme TV fans. We so love TV and watch so much of it that we started our own TV themed websites or podcasts to talk about the entertainment medium we enjoy spending so much time with. If you want to talk about your latest Lost theory or how great that last episode of Chuck was, then these are some of the people you will want to follow. Here are a few to start you off with besides the three mentioned above: allyourtv, daemonstv, deekayw, gmmr, hitfixdaniel, justjody, memles, seat42f, televisionary, tvmadman, tvpicks, and TVTalkRadio. There are a lot more, but these are the ones that I regularly follow and converse with about TV. Another reason to follow people in this group is because of interviews. Some will post about an upcoming interview and solicit questions from their followers. Others will post comments and quotes as they happen during an interview, or what one might call live-twittering. This type of thing also happens from events like the upcoming Paley TV Fest in April or Comic-Con in July or just while watching an awards show like the Emmys etc.
- Follow TV Critics, Journalists, and Publications – Even with all the talk of new media taking the place of newspapers and magazines, these venerable old media outlets still tend to get more access to stars, producers, writers etc. in the TV industry. So, if you like to keep up with the behind the scenes aspects, or what some might call scoop, on your favorite TV shows, then you might want to follow: EWAusielloFiles, EWPopWatch, kristinalert, LATimesent, LATshowtracker, popcandy (USA Today), and TVGuide. On the TV/media critic side of things you may want to follow: brianstelter (NY Times), Deggans (St. Petersburg Times), moryan (Chicago Tribune), and tvbarn (Kansas City Star).
- Follow Your Favorite TV Network or Cable Outlets – Many of the networks and cable outlets have started using Twitter to promote their wares. Why might you want to follow the likes of: FOXBroadcasting, tbsveryfunny, tntweknowdrama, or lifetimetv? Well, other than updates on what’s coming up on their respective channels, they also use their Twitter feeds to announce things like contests, giveaways, online chats you can join with the stars of their shows, interviews, video clips and more fun stuff for fans of their shows.
- Follow Your Favorite TV Shows – Many of the networks are also starting to use Twitter for individual shows like NBC with latenightjimmy and theofficenbc. Much like the network feeds mentioned above, you will find links to giveaways, fan chats, interviews, video clips and more about that specific show. But, there are other ways to follow your favorites shows like: OfficeTally (The Office Fansite), Privileged (Behind the Scenes), _S_A_R_A_H_ (Sheriff Carter’s Smart House on Eureka) or wendilynnmakeup (Makeup Artist on Heroes). There are a lot more to find and more getting on Twitter everyday.
- Follow TV Writers and Producers – More and more writers and producers are going straight to there audience with things like Twitter. Much like following actors, how cool is it to hear straight from the people that are putting your favorite shows together. You can ask them questions directly about their shows and many of them will answer you. Some you may consider following are: blue439 (Jeff Greenstein is working on his No Heroics pilot), charliecraig (Exec. Producer and Writer of Eureka), DiabloOnTara (Diablo Cody’s United States of Tara), Flashpoint_TV (Co-creator of Flashpoint), globalcouch (Jesse Alexander has worked on Alias, Heroes, and Lost. Now working on his pilot, Day One), and jrorci (Writer and Producer of Fringe).
Well, that is my seven reason TV fans should be using Twitter, but it really comes down to only one, communication. The ability to chat, communicate, converse, talk, etc. about TV or anything else. As I’ve mentioned before, where else but on a service like Twitter can the average TV fan get access to their favorite TV actors, bloggers, critics, networks, other fans, podcasters, producers, publications, shows, writers and so much more related to television.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and if you’re not on Twitter yet that you will be soon. If you’re a TV fan that is already using Twitter, then let us know in the comments what your favorite thing about it is. Also, do you have any favorite TV follows that I didn’t mention? Or, an eighth reason TV fans should be on Twitter? Then jump in the comments and let us know, so we can check them out too.