Margaret Atwood's Twitter Followers: 'Like Having 33,000 Precocious Grandchildren!' (New York Review)

Margaret Atwood has a guest blog post on the New York Review of Books website this week, and we love her description of her foray into the Twittersphere. Despite her initial complete unfamiliarity with the site, Atwood has become one of the best authors to follow on Twitter, building up over 35,000 followers. Read her description of her followers and why Twitter is great below, and read the rest of the blog on the New York Review website.

"Atwood in the Twittersphere"
Margaret Atwood
The New York Review of Books

They're sharp: make a typo and they're on it like a shot, and they tease without mercy. However, if you set them a verbal challenge, a frisson sweeps through them. They did very well with definitions for "dold socks"--one of my typos--and "Thnax," another one. And they really shone when, during the Olympics, I said that "Own the podium" was too brash to be Canadian, and suggested "A podium might be nice." Their own variations poured onto a feed tagged #cpodium: "A podium! For me?" "Rent the podium, see if we like it." "Mind if I squeeze by you to get onto that podium?" I was so proud of them! It was like having 33,000 precocious grandchildren!

They raise funds for charity via things like Twestival, they solicit donations for catastrophe victims, they send word of upcoming events, they exchange titles of books they like. Once in a while they're naughty: I did get word of a fellow who'd made a key safe by hollowing out one of my books. (Big yuks from his pals, one of whom ratted him out to me and even sent a pic.) But after I threatened to put the Purple Cross-eyed Zozzle Curse on him, he assured me that no disrespect was intended. (He was forgiven.)

So what's it all about, this Twitter? Is it signaling, like telegraphs? Is it Zen poetry? Is it jokes scribbled on the washroom wall? Is it John Hearts Mary carved on a tree? Let's just say it's communication, and communication is something human beings like to do. Read More