Twitter Gone Wild!

by Cate Masters
I recently signed up for Twitter, but admit I’m still not tweeting as I should. I haven’t quite figured out what will annoy people, and what’s useful. Unlike Facebook, another “quick-ping media” social application. I love other people’s tweets with great links to articles and other info, but who has time to devote to looking for such links? There must be a trick to it; I just haven’t found it yet.
In the meantime, I’m finding all sorts of cool stuff about Twitter. The New York Times just had an interesting article about the Broadway play, Next to Normal, which sent tweets (shown at left) from characters during portions of play with no dialogue, giving followers teasers to whet their appetite. Pretty ingenious marketing, and it turned viral, going from 30,000 followers in May to more than 550,000 in a recent tally. Using Twitter, the play’s characters marketed themselves unobtrusively, piquing interest without blatantly advertising.
Like the iPhone, developers have gone crazy creating new applications, some tailored specifically for their own use, but the majority for the general population (me excluded, until I can come up to speed). Apparently Twitter connects to Google apps pretty easily, such as Twittercal, which synchs with Google’s calendar to keep track of important dates.
Robert Downey Jr. might like Tweetbeep, which alerts users whenever others send tweets about them. Robert reportedly Googles himself to see who’s been writing about him. We’d love to hear from you, Robert! Leave a comment! And in case you missed the post on my blog, I wrote my recent release, Picture This, with you very vividly in mind. In case you're looking for a new project... You look very elegant in your tux, btw.
For the tech-heads out there, Popular Science has some cool info on how you can use Twitter to track your home’s power consumption or chart your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, turn on lights or open the curtains.
The romantically inclined have also tweeted their proposals. Not quite the same as an in-person, down-on-one-knee romantic, but hey, apparently it works for some people. And others have coordinated GoogleMaps like a proposal treasure hunt or hacked their future spouse’s video games to propose (just an interesting aside).
If you’re one of those who can’t live without a daily dose and the site is down (which happens fairly frequently), then Twiddict is for you. Outages are understandable, given that between 5,000 and 10,000 people open new Twitter accounts every day. Amazing that so many people can fit their thoughts into 140 characters.
Eventually, I’ll get the hang of it. First, maybe I should read the 8 Useful Tips to Become Successful with Twitter. And studying up on the lingo wouldn’t hurt, though Twenglish will translate for tweeters. And then I’ll check out other authors on Twitter who are probably doing a great job of tweeting.
So do you tweet? If so, you can follow me at and I’ll follow you back! Remember, though, if my tweets begin sounding a bit off, remember that no one—not even President Obama (or Britney Spears)—is immune to hacking.

Images from Popular Science, Twitter, IMDB, Ringoblog, The New York Times

Cate Masters’ novels, novellas, short stories and flash fiction appear at epublishers The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Wild Child Publishing/ Freya’s Bower and Shadowfire Press. Her flash and short stories appear at such web zines as Cezanne’s Carrot, The Battered Suitcase, A Long Story Short, Dark Sky Magazine, and The Harrow. Visit her online at, or follow her on Facebook or on Twitter.


  1. A tweeted proposal. That's pretty funny.

    I joined Twitter as part of the 2009 Blog Improvement Project social media carnival. I enjoy tweeting occasionally, but I'm not on it very much. I have discovered other bloggers through Twitter, which is why I joined, really.

    Just a shout-out to any Richard Armitage admirers out there - I've got a retrospective of his work over at my place.

  2. I think I may need my family to stage a Twitter intervention. It is so addictive and fun!

    Anyway, I love visiting this blog for the fun pop culture posts and the info about everyone's new books. As such, I have selected Pop Culture Divas as one of seven blogs to receive the Kreativ Blogger Award.

    Thanks for keeping me in the loop on all things pop culture!


  3. Thanks Julia! I forgot to add the Time story about the pastor who allows his congregation to tweet during services, and it displays on a screen. Interesting stuff.
    Ooh, Richard Armitage - I'm coming over to your place!

  4. Wow Jen, thanks for the honor! I humbly curtsy and bow my tiara'd head on behalf of all the divas.

  5. Cate - love your blog! and I LOVE twitter - as you know. ;D Recently we had a 24 hr twitter chat (Aug 5) for romance writers/aspiring writers/fans etc... to connect and share info - it was a blast! And let me tell you those 140 character comments were zinging out there fast and furious - so yes - 140 characters is very doable! You do get the hang of it after a while - I get my news online so when I come across an interesting news story I like to post the link on twitter. I also tweet our blog posts ;D I also scroll through what other people are saying and RT (or retweet) links or comments or just respond to something witty or meaningful. And I tweet my thoughts about current events that are really bugging me - basically it's like practice for being an old lady. You know those "professional" seniors who are really good at writing complaint letters to their government officials - well I hope to be one of those "raging grannies" one day. Twitter offers a good training ground for that. **g**

  6. Hey Cate

    I haven't plunged into twitter yet, mainly wondering whether it'll make a terrible addict out of me (not hard to do where tech is concerned!). I'm really, really tempted to do it though...

    And lol to Joanna - I can see you as a raging granny. A rocking, tells-it-like-she-sees-it granny yeah!



  7. Joanna, the romance chat was definitely a blast! I hope we can do it again sometime. I'm having a time management problem in general, too many email loops and trying to write and actually have a life too. :)
    Z, I'm still virtually dipping my toes, but it's definitely a useful tool.

  8. I enjoy it. It lets me be in contact with a couple old friends & keep up to date on some commercial lines. Ooh, latest blog update....or whatever.
    *whisper* btw, it's considered polite to have a photo or picture. At least, that's what I was told.

  9. Oops, thanks for the tip, Sewicked! I know I'm derelict in that dept, but will fix it!

  10. Fantastic post Cate!!

    I follow Dev Patel from 'Slumdog Millionaire' on Twitter and recently he was tweeting about some diet plan. Then I noticed a few of my other follows had the same tweet, almost cut and paste. I now know what you mean by hacking...

    Anyway, I am still off on it, not quite twitter PC- as I can't figure out half the things I'm supposed to do with it... But it'll come to me with time. It's fun to wake up to useless news from around the world in the morning.

    Ciao and I believe I follow you already. If not, done!

  11. Thanks Nina! Yes, I'm following you, at least, so if you're following me, I hope that doesn't mean we're going in circles! tee hee.

  12. Fabulous post!

    I became quite a fan of Twitter until the day I realized my writing had been shelved but I had twenty new followers! *laughs* I'll probably pick it up again after I finish my revisions. *laughs*

    Good luck with Robert Downey Jr.! Can't wait to see him in your film. *wink*

    Frankly, some of these actors seeking material would do well to grab up some of the juicy reads and translate them to film. There are some really wonderful stories available!

    --Chiron O'Keefe
    The Write Soul:


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