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How Do Celebrities Use Twitter? Interview With @susanorlean

Celebrities use Twitter for a lot of reasons – promoting a new venture, to praise or complain about something, to share information, to spread news about a good cause.  So I thought it would be fun to hear from the celebs themselves about how they use Twitter, to find out what works – and what doesn’t.

Award-winning author, staff writer for The New Yorker and all-around hard-worker bee (she does so many things!), @SusanOrlean tweets about everything from raising chickens to her writing anxieties. No wonder she’s got so many followers/fans!

When you joined: Not sure! Two years ago? 12,000 tweets ago? [It's actually been since Dec 23, 2007!]

Why you signed up: My assistant encouraged me to sign up. At first, I found the whole idea baffling.

Number of followers: 136,000

Number following: 998

Your favourite part of Twitter: Interacting with a huge array of people and, in fact, making friends with quite a few of them.

Least favourite:Feeling guilty if I haven’t tweeted in a while.

Do you have any rules? A few, but I’m not strict. One rule: I usually don’t tweet on weekends because I’m not at my computer the same way I am during the week and I like feeling that I’m not “on duty”, at least for a day or two. Otherwise, I can’t really think of firm boundaries that I keep, except to never forget that this is a very public forum, and to treat it accordingly.

What do you use twitter for mostly – promotion, conversation, etc.? Conversation, and secondarily, to talk to – and keep engaged with – readers.

What have been some of the best tweets you’ve done? Someone else would have to be the judge of that!

Any great stories you want to share? I’ve had several interactions with people on Twitter, and discovered much later that they lived very close by. In one case, one person I was tweeting back and forth with turned out to live literally around the corner from me. It was almost more shocking than if he had lived across the universe.

Whose tweets do you enjoy getting? I don’t follow that many people, and I enjoy all of them,  but especially @roseannecash, @ebertchicago, @carr2n and @finslippy.

How often do you tweet? From where ? What platform or social media dashboard  do you use? I tweet several times a day, on average. Usually it’s from my computer but often from my phone as well. I use Echofon on my phone and Seesmic on my computer.

Do you try to tweet at only specific times or is it more like, “whenever”? Whenever inspiration strikes…

Do you ever use Twitter as a procrastination tool? Yes, but it is only one of many, many procrastination tools I use.

Will you be retweeting this interview? Hmmm. I might tweet the link. Seems like people on Twitter like reading about Twitter, so this might be quite popular.

(Photo Credit: Kelly Davidson)

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