Find me online!

twittergoogle plusemail

January 17, 2010

Ricky Gervais drops Twitter - did he even give it a chance?

Yes, I know.  Some of you may be saying "Who?" in response to this.  And even more of you might be saying "Why should I care?"  Good questions, both of you.  After providing the answer, you may still have the same questions.

I was just reading Sheamus' blog, Twittercism (and if you're on Twitter and not reading this blog, why aren't you?  There will be a test later.), and I saw his post about Ricky Gervais quitting Twitter after only 29 days and 6 tweets.  This is actually pretty pathetic, and his parting statement is kind of a slam against Twitter and its users as well.  Gervais, just like many celebrities, just doesn't "get" Twitter.

Gervais' first tweet was:

"Just seeing how this works.  I'm hosting the Golden Globes on January 17 - they want me to do a running commentary on Twitter."

This was posted on December 14, and then he tweeted four more times between January 5 and 8, before finally giving up the ghost on the 9th.

Sheamus' post outlines the many clear reasons that Gervais failed at Twitter, so I'm not going to reiterate them.  Go read the post.  I will say, however, that Gervais' attitude toward Twitter is why I don't follow a lot of celebrities to begin with.  And those I do follow do actually understand what the service can be.  It can be a great way to keep in touch with your fan base and actually make yourself seem like a real person to those many fans.

I've mentioned him in Twitter posts before, but the celebrity ideal for me is Rob Thomas, from Matchbox 20.  This man gets Twitter, as you can see from his profile.  He interacts with people, actually getting into discussions with them.  He posts interesting stuff.  Even though I disagree with him politically, I still enjoy seeing his political/social tweets because that says to me "this guy isn't afraid to put it all out there."  When a celebrity that you follow responds to people who tweet @ him, then it makes it feel like even you could have a conversation with him.  Now obviously, celebrities can't respond to *everybody*, as there aren't enough hours in the day.  But the fact that they respond at all is a good sign, and gives you a bit of hope too.

I've been a big fan of Thomas since the beginning, but a more recent Twitter-love I have is for Milla Jovovich, for much the same reason.  She actually interacts with her fan base, probably even more so than Thomas does.  I have to say that I haven't really followed the Resident Evil films (which she's mainly known for), but I loved her in The Fifth Element and the fact that she's so engaged and approachable on Twitter does make me want to see her work a bit more than I would have otherwise.

Twitter can be a wonderful thing, if you use it right.  But it's also not for everybody.  Some people will never "get" it, and that's not a bad thing.  Just don't slam the thing for what it's not.  I will quote one of Sheamus' reasons that Gervais failed:

"He didn’t realise it isn’t about what you had for breakfast. By making this now clichéd and eternally nonsensical statement, Gervais completely exposed his naivety of Twitter (and, daresay, the internet, and even mass media). Almost exclusively, the only people who think Twitter is about updating what you last had to eat is people who don’t and never have used it. And with his six tweets, Gervais can very much include himself alongside them."

This is the thing that gripes me the most about people who don't use Twitter and then look down on those who do. Those who come on to Twitter and think that it's all about posting your daily activities and that's it, and then say "why should anybody be interested in where I went to dinner?" or something like that, just don't get it.

Seriously, go read Sheamus' post about this, as it is a perfect example, especially from the celebrity perspective.  I'll even link to it again so you don't have to scroll up.

I've done a few Twitter posts for those of you who don't really know much about it.  Maybe this will help convince you that you should try it?  Or at least convince you that, while it's not for you, we're not all knuckle-dragging idiots who just post a bunch of nonsense.

What is this Twitter thing?
What is this Twitter thing? Part 2
What is this Twitter thing? Part 3
Just Getting Started on Twitter?


  1. I'm a Twitter girl myself. And I follow a number of celebs on their. Ones like Nicolas Cage, Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner (from "Star Trek; TNG" days).

    I'm very choosy of those that I follow where the stars are concerned. I look at their pages and get an "overview", taking in to account their posts, how often, if the "speak" to their fans, ect.

  2. Frakes is on Twitter? Didn't know that. My wife follows Spiner, but it seems he's using Twitter for some "interesting" reasons. LOL She seems to enjoy it, though.

    And Cage actually engages his fans on there? That's cool.

  3. Ok, just looked at Frakes' page...either he's got a *huge* sense of humour about his weight, or it's a joke account. I notice it's not "verified" as being really him, so I have to wonder.

  4. I am thinking along the same lines...But I'm still getting a kick out of it. And Brent is following him.

  5. I looked to see if anybody famous was following him, but must have given up before I reached Spiner. :)

  6. I will admit that I was more on the, I guess you can say Ricky Gervais side of things. I didn't "get it" & I did make similar comments about updating what you're doing every moment of the day. Since I joined a few months ago, I have seen how useful it can be. I still find those who tweet what they're doing at every moment of the day rather annoying. I guess it's all in how you use it.

    I agree with you regarding celebrities & for them to use it to connect with their fans. I don't follow too many celebrities, but one of the few that I do follow who I've seen responding to fans is the singer P!nk.

  7. I've got to admit: I don't really "get" Twitter either. But I realize that it's important to other people, and for that reason it's worth trying to understand why it's good and how it use it.

  8. Anahid: It's great that you finally "get" it. You're right, those who post every moment what they're doing are annoying, though I do like those who *occasionally* tweet that. Gives us a bit of a window into their life. I'm not sure if I do that much or not. Maybe I should start just a touch more. :)

    Jenn: Excellent point! It's definitely good to understand it, even if you don't see the use for it in your own online life.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.