I'll admit that I wasn't swayed by the allure of Twitter at first. As someone who tried Facebook for three weeks a couple of years ago and then quickly canceled the account, I didn't want to get on a social networking site that was like Facebook but only had status updates. Why would I want to do that? But then I started using Twitter and then I got it. I got why it's so great (note: I'm on Facebook again, but only because Facebook is the new phone book - even if you don't use it that much, it's good to be listed).
Twitter haters always say the same thing when they explain why they're not on it: "Why would I care when someone's eating a sandwich?" It's so much more than that. I even think it has evolved into something the creators of Twitter could never have imagined. Sure, it's social networking, but not social networking in the sense that Facebook is. It's a whole different thing. It's like getting a stream of e-mails or IMs or breaking news posts throughout the day from people you're actually interested in hearing from.
And that list of people just might include TV personalities.
Now, there are Twitter accounts that aren't too special: the network accounts that are just plugs for shows that are coming up, links to video, links to contests, that sort of thing. There's nothing wrong with them (and they're well worth following), it's just that they're the same thing you can get from the network's web site or a mailing list. And then there are the celebrity accounts obviously run by a publicist or a network.
But then you have the celebrities that actually update the Twitter accounts themselves. A lot of people not familiar with Twitter or Facebook might wonder why celebrities would want to update what's going on in their lives. I think it's because a lot of them find it to be a creative outlet (the best Twitterers are the funny, clever ones) and this allows them to interact with fans without directly interacting with fans on a daily basis (unless they actually want to, and I'm always surprised at how many celebrities are open to it).
Could Twitter just be one of these web trends that will be replaced by something else in two years? Could celebrities get tired of the novelty? Well ... maybe. But I think the way that Twitter is structured makes it a platform that is here to stay.
Here's a list to get you started. I chose these people because one, they update often. Two, their tweets are interesting. And three, I follow them.
Neil Patrick Harris
Stephen J. Cannell
for the links to these stars
Note: I've confirmed (and in most cases Twitter has also confirmed - you can see a "Verified Account" check mark on those accounts) that the above accounts are actually run by those celebrities. But please note that there are several Twitter accounts that actually aren't the celebrities they claim to be. For example, there are a few fake Stephen Colberts out there (I won't link to them, of course - that would just cause confusion and give them free publicity). The above link to Colbert's account (StephenAtHome) is real. There was a fake Tina Fey for a while, but Fey actually got the name from them and now owns the account (though she hasn't updated it at all).