Social networking and microblogging are the latest buzz words around the internet these days. Twitter is a social networking site that has become home to many celebrities, news organizations, and companies that want to join the conversation. Lately, there has been an surge of Star Trek alums, and even TrekMovie has joined in on the fun. Now, we take a more in depth look at life on Twitter, from a Trekkie’s perspective.
What is Twitter anyways?
It seems like we’ve been hearing all about the new social networking and microblogging buzz around the internet lately. But, what does it all mean, and where does Twitter fit in? Well, simply put, Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you doing?” You can send ‘tweets’ and follow others tweets on the web, via a number of applications, and via mobile devices.
Now, many celebrities, websites, news organizations, and companies are joining the conversation. There has been a recent emergence of many Star Trek alums on the scene lately, and TrekMovie has joined in as well. To get started and join the Twitterverse, head over to Twitter.com to set up your free account.
A few big Trek celebrities are tweeting. The King of all Trek Twitter is @wilw (Wil Wheaton) who with around 90,000 is ranked 15th in total followers. Other Trek Twitterers in the top 200 are @LeVarburton (LeVar Burton) and @BrentSpiner (Brent Spiner). Rounding out the Trek celeb list are @georgetakei (George Takei), @WilliamShatner (William Shatner), and @jj_abrams (JJ Abrams).
All the Trek Tweeters have different styles. Both Wil and LeVar are truly classic tweeters in that they embrace the microblogging style of communication. Wil updates followers on new posts to his blog, new projects he is working on, and interesting little things that go on during his day. LeVar updates followers about little goings on in his day-to-day life. Both seem to enjoy the ability to directly interact with so many people. For example, LeVar has just quit smoking, and has sent out thanks to those who are sending encouraging tweets. Check out what LeVar has to say about his first couple of weeks on Twitter at CES last month:
George Takei’s tweets are of a similar flavor; he tweets about his thoughts on current events in his life, but not so often as Wil and LeVar. While you tend to know where Wil is or what he is doing or thinking about at just about any given time of day, George is not so forthcoming. He is a more reserved tweeter, and saves his communications for only the very important updates. Brent Spiner seems to tweet rather sporadically, and his tweets do not always seem to, well, make sense. Often times it seems like we only see one side of a conversation Brent is having with several people at once. Other times, he just makes crazy comments about random things, like a proposal to make his and LeVar’s birthdays a national holiday. While often confusing, they are definitely entertaining! William Shatner’s tweets are not so much on a personal level, but more of self promotion for his website and video blogging. They are informative, but do not make his followers feel like we have become friends as with the rest of the Trek Tweeters. Lastly, JJ Abrams seems to have signed up back in 2007, but has only made one tweet since that first day, maybe he lost the password.
One of my favorite aspects of Twitter stems from the function to send messages directly from user to user. Many of the Trek Tweeters have used this function to have public conversations with one another. Wil, LeVar, and Brent generally share the most banter, and play off each other very well. It is nice to see our favorite actors from the Star Trek of so many years ago in active friendships. They invite each other to lunch, exchange birthday wishes, and send each other links to funny YouTube videos. You know, the same kind of stuff you do with your friends.
More Trek Twitter
There are Twitters for Trekkies to follow. There are a couple of Star Trek novelists who are fairly regular tweeters @kevindilmore (Kevin Dilmore) and @daytonward (Dayton Ward). Novelist @bobgreenberger (Robert Greenberger) is also on Twitter, but doesn’t update as often
You can also follow some of the companies behind Trek: @paramountpics (Paramount Pictures), @idwpublishing (IDW – Trek Comics), @crypticstudios (Cryptic – Publisher of Star Trek Online) [also worth following @crypticZinc – Craig Zinkievich, Executive Producer on STO].
Lastly, you can actually follow a number of Star Trek characters, or people who have decided to adopt the personalities of a number of characters from Capt. Kirk to Spot the cat. Check out Capt. Picard’s followers page if you want to fill your twitter screen up with ‘trek chatter’
Tweet-a-Thon with Wil Wheaton
In order to demonstrate the power of this new venue, New York Times best-selling author and Internet television Producer Joel Comm has pulled together the world’s largest collection of Twitter celebrities for the very first LIVE broadcast Tweet-a-thon. Teamed up with WaterIsLife.com, a non-profit committed to helping battle waterborne disease, the Tweet-a-thon will be a way to raise money to bring clean water solutions to developing nations. Among the ranks of celebrity tweeters is Star Trek’s own Wil Wheaton. The Twitter Power Tweet-a-Thon is a 12 HOUR charity event that will be played out concurrently in two social media venues; a live video broadcast on Ustream.tv and on Twitter.com itself. The action will unfold this Thursday, February 19th. Check out http://www.tweetathon2009.com for more info.
Join Wil Wheaton in Tweet-a-thon 2009
TrekMovie on Twitter
Now you know what Twitter is all about, and how much fun it can be! Following @TrekMovie is a great way to keep up to date with the latest in Star Trek news and goings on in the trekverse. All the articles get updated automatically, plus the editors also send out Tweets on various things such as advance previews of articles, TV tune-in reminders, mini reviews, and some random thoughts. Anthony also sends out requests for suggested questions for interviews he is doing (some of the questions in the recent Frakes and Burton interviews came from our Twitter followers).
Although we are a fairly new addition to Twitter, TrekMovie already has over 1,500 followers which puts it in the same range as other nerdy and media sites like AICN, GeeksofDoom, Screenrant and even Variety.
Follow @TrekMovie on Twitter!