Thanks to Ashton Kutcher, people have lately been questioning one of my favorite things.
No, not “Two and a Half Men.” Heck no. I’m talking about Twitter, the 140-character social media site where you can follow anyone you want without getting a restraining order.
Kutcher tweeted without doing a quick Google search, prompting him to post on his blog that Twitter has changed from a “fun tool to communicate with people” to “a mass publishing platform, where one’s tweets quickly become news that is broadcast around the world.”
(Essentially his apology comes across as a giant excuse to blame the public for reacting to his tweets rather than blame himself for not reading more than a headline, but that’s just what I think.)
I don’t see why the social media site can’t be both. In fact, I think Twitter is still a fun way of communicating with people, especially those who star on my favorite TV shows.
(Again, “Two and a Half Men” and Kutcher do not make that list.)
You know who wished me a happy birthday last Thursday? Besides the 48 people on Facebook and those in the newsroom singalong, I also received birthday wishes from two of the stars of NBC’s “Community.”
Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown wished me a happy birthday (and I basically freaked out). They use Twitter as a fun way to communicate with their fans, answering questions and posting their favorite fan works such as cupcakes, drawings and songs.
A few hours later I watched their show. The episode featured the study group helping Annie move into Troy and Abed’s apartment. The boys treated it like an event, live-tweeting the experience with the hashtag #AnniesMove.
The character Twitter accounts for the show had been updating earlier in the day with pictures from the episode, promoting the episode and using the hashtag as well. Fans embraced the hashtag as it aired.
The episode was a brilliant way of using social media to get fans excited about something without seeming like a product placement. The show had done previous “Twittersodes” and this felt natural.
(I also received a birthday wish from the Abed character account, which I must say was pretty darn cool. Cool, cool, cool.)
Earlier this week, actor Fred Stoller, who is great with interacting with fans on Twitter, held a contest through his account. The winner received his invitation from the “Wizards of Waverly Place” wrap party that happened in May when the series ended. Stoller used his account to promote his web series, “The Gate Show,” and to give fans a piece of WOWP memorabilia.
(Not to brag or anything, but I happened to win that contest. I had a great Twitter week.)
More of my favorite actors and musicians are embracing fan interactions now because of Twitter. It used to be you had to wait for a new interview – now you can just sign online.
Celebrities don’t have to reveal everything – or even use Twitter at all – but it’s quite a stretch to accuse it of being less fun. Personally, I’m having a blast.