Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Under pressure?

When Twitter debuted I said that it was the vehicle of the narcissist. Who cared about meaningless blurps of "just had a great meal" or other randomassity that people bitched about with Facebook status updates? A month ago I U-turned and got a Twitter account. I use it primarily to get great reading recommendations from Roger Ebert and other great writers, sports nuggets from the likes of Bill Simmons, entertainment info some EW writers and music thoughts from Ann Powers and Robert Hilburn. At it's best, Twitter feels like the user-driven/chosen active web curation service that so many of us claim to want.

But I've also been seduced by some of the slightly more narcissistic indulgences. I have already Tweeted 191 times and given that I barely tweeted (F-U nytimes) while in Iceland, I am averaging about nine tweets per day. The NBA finals proved to be a big-time Tweet fest. I pass along great or provocative articles, occasionally funny observations and every once in a while communicate with my few friends who are on Twitter.

The other aspect of Twitter that feeds my self-centered appetite is counting my followers. Sadly (?) after a month I have 28 followers. I've done nothing to try to get followers; prior to this blog post I've only mentioned the account a few times and I haven't added it to my e-mail signature. And I don't follow someone just because they follow me, which has cost me some followers, based on how much my count fluctuates day-to-day. It's not that I am against following people who I discover are following me, but I read a person's Tweets first and evaluate whether they are worth following.

Today I gained my first "celebrity" follower, though I doubt L.A. Times pop music critic Ann Powers would call herself a celebrity. No reporter I've ever met would be comfortable referring to herself as a "celebrity." Doing so would violate one of the most fundamental tenets of being a reporter—you are not the story. But I digress, now that a writer who I deeply admire for her incredibly insightful ideas about music and her ability to express them in ways that have me saying, "that's what I was thinking but couldn't come up with," I feel pressured to Tweet more intelligently particularly about music. By the same token, I think that I should be blogging more about music. So hopefully I will be.

A someone whose writing is virtually only this blog, I think that feeling the self-applied pressure of trying to not suck in front of someone (even at just 140 characters), should be a good thing for me. And that's no disrespect intended to my writer friends who read this blog.

1 comment:

Fashionpolice said...

What's your Twitter account called?

I enjoyed reading your Iceland blogs and anyone with his portrait next to the Wienermobile is worth a follow!

I'm at www.twitter.com/fashpo