Does Your Favorite Rock Star ‘Tweet?’

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I’ll admit right off the bat that I was slow to hop on the bandwagon where Twitter is concerned. When I first heard about it I thought it was a silly idea. I’ve heard many other people that reacted the same way, and I still run into some who haven’t quite gotten their head around the whole Twitter thing.

I first saw it described as a “micro blogging” service that focused on what participants happened to be doing at any given moment. Hence the “who cares” reaction and my reluctance to even create an account on Twitter. The damn thing just wouldn’t go away though. I kept hearing about it again and again from various sources so I finally threw in the towel and created an account.

For me the whole “What are you doing?” thing was a turn-off. I envisioned millions of people tweeting about the turkey sandwich they just ate or how happy they were about successfully house-training their new puppy. That’s all well and good, but what the hell do I care?

The secret to Twitter is how you use it. It can be as agonizingly boring as I have just described if you follow the wrong people. The wrong people as far as I am concerned anyway. Maybe some people really do care about that turkey sandwich.

To my surprise, I have found that Twitter is actually quite useful. The downside is that it can be a powerful distraction as well. The people I follow on Twitter are tweeting about stuff that interests me. Not just what they’re doing, but links to useful content on the net, useful tips and even breaking news stories. I’ve picked up some real gems from some of the people I follow on Twitter. Sure, even they tend to tweet about a “turkey sandwich” from time to time, but I don’t think there are many people on Twitter whose content is meaningful and informative 100% of the time.

A lot of celebrities have joined the Twitter revolution and some of them are quite active. This list reveals what the author considers “Rock’s Best Twitterers.” I don’t follow any of the artists on that list myself, but I have started following some notable rockers – some of whom tweet very rarely and others who push out quite a bit of content.

Twitter can easily overwhelm you if you let it. I’m constantly walking a fine line between benefitting from useful tweets and being deluged by a flood of information that I am not able to keep up with. If you’ve got work to do (and especially if you work at home), this can lead to a lot of time spend on non-productive activities.

Getting back to celebrities on Twitter, I follow a few classic rock artists and have gleaned some useful information that way. On the other hand, there’s one very well-known rocker in that category who just tweeted too damn much and I had to unfollow the guy. Way too much “turkey sandwich” stuff, believe it or not.

Someone who strikes a nice balance is Grace Potter of Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, or GPN as they are known to their fans. She’s young, so she’s quite comfortable with the whole technology thing, and I get the impression that using Twitter is just something she considers a normal part of her day.

Potter tweets mostly about her life on the road. Where they are headed for their next gig; the band they played with the previous night; her thoughts on a recent show and things of that nature. She also likes to have a little fun by doing things like movie trivia quizzes – presumably when she’s on a long, boring tour bus ride. She even shares “interesting” things she encounters on the road like this “disgusting, unidentified THING” the group stumbled onto outside a venue in Colorado. No, I have no idea what that is.

Seeing Potter’s tweets sort of gives you the feeling that you’re along for the ride. The group is currently touring and popping up in various locations around the country. Sharing her thoughts and observations as she travels the country is a great way for her to stay connected with fans.

Grace Potter’s got the Twitter thing down. She shares good, useful content with fans and has a little fun with it here and there as well. There are times when she’ll put out four or five tweets in a row, but then she might not tweet again until the following day. If rock stars want to know how to do Twitter right, I’d advise them to follow Grace Potter for a while.

Unfortunately some celebs will use Twitter as a platform to further their political agenda or other causes. I don’t mind if someone pushes their favorite (legitimate) charity here and there, but once the politics start getting into the mix, I’m quite likely to be seeking out the “Unfollow” button without delay.

There are a million (probably more) places on the web to engage in political discussions and from what I have seen, minds are seldom changed, so seeing celebs tweeting about their political views is a big turn-off for me. I don’t think the majority of fans follow their favorite stars to hear their political views. Maybe I’m wrong, but at least consider setting up a blog or something that’s actually devoted to your cause if you want to share it with the universe.

My top Twitter tip for new users is this: Don’t follow someone just because they followed you. At one time that seemed to be Twitter etiquette and I was guilty of it myself for a while, but it’s just about the worst thing you can do. You’ll find yourself bombarded with non-stop crap you care nothing about.

Always check someone’s profile and if it looks like they actually produce useful content, go ahead and follow them. Like everywhere else on the internet, Twitter has attracted its share of spammers and some of those “WickedHotChickieBabe is following you on Twitter” e-mail messages you’ll receive are from spammers trying to get you signed up for some dating service or something so they can pocket the commission and quickly disappear into the dark recesses of the world-wide web.

Follow people because they tweet stuff you care about. Period. You just might find that it’s a much more useful resource than you thought, but again, be aware that it’s something you can get sucked into quite easily if you try to absorb too much of it. Reserve that “Follow” button for the people who will actually share things you care about.

Here are some classic rockers on Twitter. I don’t follow them all, so I can’t vouch for the usefulness of their tweets:

AC/DC
Alice Cooper
Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
Grace Potter
R.E.M.
Rush
Gene Simmons (Who would have guessed?)
Slash
Eddie Van Halen

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