Thursday, August 6, 2009

Biting the hand that feeds

***This post is written by Kelly Stonebock, new publicist at P&P.

Author’s social media success turns to silence

Curious indeed. While perusing Twitter, I stumbled upon this Texas Monthly article with native Austinite author Julie Powell. The film adaptation of Powell’s book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, starring Meryl Streep, releases tomorrow. While reading, I was stopped dead in my tracks at the following Q & A:

TM: I noticed you stopped posting on Twitter. Why did you stop tweeting?

When someone asks me about Twitter, I feel like I’m 82 years old. I stopped tweeting—I was actually given a gag order on the tweeting—because Sony Pictures wanted to handle the whole advertising tweet campaign, and, you know, Twitter is such a promotional tool which is exactly what I don’t like about it. I mean, I love Facebook. I’ll Facebook all day, but Twitter to me feels much more corporate, and I’m not that interested, so when they told me I couldn’t twitter, I was like, happy to not do it.

My jaw remained agape for a moment.

To a certain extent, I understand. Sony wants an aggressive Twitter campaign. Ok. I can handle that. But for an author to relinquish ownership of her own personal brand— herself as an author, a cook, a normal person —astounds me. My mind flashed to a childhood memory of twisting plastic, rigid Barbie doll arms to position them as I wanted. It seems manipulative. It seems deceiving.

It seems common.

Yes, this Pollyanna realizes that there are celebrity Twitter accounts where corporate puppeteers feed us our required 140 characters hourly. I get that. But what those suits (who undoubtedly smile maniacally in their swivel chairs at misleading the public) don’t realize is that they’re not using Twitter as effectively as they could for their clients.

Twitter allows for a conversation. It humanizes what could very well just be a name on a book cover to a dynamic, engaging person to which other people can relate and connect.

It’s microblogging. It does most things that a blog can do.

I’m shocked that Julie is apathetic. She paid attention when blogging became relevant. And good thing she did,

it got her a book deal and a major motion picture.


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