Here’s a perfect lesson in what can happen if you put social media off for too long: the man who won the Booker Prize for his political novel Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie, has had to settle for a verified account at @SalmanRushdie1.
The dry wit and intellectual heft you’d expect from Rushdie is all there on his sparkling new Twitter account, albeit in much shorter snippets than he, or his fans, are used to.
He began tweeting on September 15th, but had to spend most of his first few days proving to the masses that he was, in fact, himself.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, by September 20th, Twitter had given Rushdie the much-coveted blue “Verified” check mark, and fans could rest well knowing that it was really the author himself behind the account. He celebrated his newly verified status by updating his bio: “Today we move on from ontological questions. As Popeye the Sailor Man said, I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”
Rushdie’s tweets are entertaining, as you’d expect. One of his very first tweets was directed to a certain Jigar Gupta who just so happens to be squatting on the @SalmanRushdie username (and who hasn’t tweeted a single thing to his 54 followers), asking him who he is, calling him a phoney and asking him to release the username. Gupta has yet to respond.
Rushdie’s a little hesitant about Twitter in general, as he informed a follower that he’s “not sure how long he’ll stay”. But for as long as he’s here, I know I’ll be listening – picking the brain of an acclaimed author in 140 character bits is something you can only do on Twitter!