08 February 2013

Twitter: the good and the trollish

I've been on Twitter for a while now and finally beginning to really understand how it works.

Facebook is my friend, but I hadn't bonded with Twitter.

Last Friday, I spent some extra time there and it made me so angry that I burst out of my nice theatre-lady guise and became a screaming femmo leftie troll.

It started with a link to a  Sydney Morning Herald  piece titled: "Female enemy number one – other women?".  I'm not linking it because the outburst it created made it the top story on all of the online Fairfax papers by Saturday.

The day ended with Bernard Gaynor telling mamamia.com.au's Mia Freedman about being a good parent. Here, but it's vile and ignorant. This discussion started with a tweet from Gaynor saying that he "wouldn't let a gay person teach my children".  He calls people evil. Evil. He uses the word "evil". He hides behind his faith and values to call people who are not like him evil. I'd like to say that it left me unable to speak. Nup, it made me tweet.

On Saturday, I decided that Twitter made me angry and wasted too much of my time*, which isn't worth the new followers.

The result was restricting my Tweeting to theatre, leaving me free to see things like this:

The reviews are tweets, some not even using the full 140 characters. (OK, so I blogged as well, but it was the tweeting and re-tweeting that got the attention.) And @katiemelb is not the only one.

My decision maker to see The Rape of Lucrece was @alisoncroggon's tweet.

There was a gorgeous glut of love and support for the show generated by these tweets and to see proof that it results in more ticket sales makes me smile.

Random "it was cool" tweets won't get bums into empty seats, but if the tweeps have earned the trust or respect of their followers – by using more than a handful of words in other mediums – Twitter's WOM (word of mouth) is fast.

Theatre companies and festivals still don't use Twitter very well, but as WOT becomes more important this will change very quickly and I'm going to stay in the twitterverse.

Whether I can keep my femmo leftie troll under control is still to be seen.

Who am I kidding? She rocks and will continue to follow, reply to and re-tweet the glorious likes of @HelenRazer and @vanbadham.

And theatre lovers, please start with @Jadedhackeroo, @MelbourneArts, @richardthewatts, @alisoncroggon and @johnbonbailey.

* Then I watched QANDA on Monday night, smart-arse phone in hand ...

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