Professional Twitter Tips for Artists & Writers at Tweetcamp 2009

Presentation: Professional Twitter Tips for Artists/Writers

It was an honor to speak at Tweetcamp Chicago on Twitter for artists and writers. Thank you to organizers Maura Hernandez and Keidra Chaney for thinking of me. In my discussion, which included live tweeting, I discussed the uses of Twitter for arts writers, artists, curators and online community managers. Here’s an outline of my talk, including key points for different groups of arts people:

The Twitter Mode of Conversation

At a recent talk at Columbia College, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that Twitter began as just a fun project, and built upon peoples’ love of texting and Gchat. So, Twitter is a combination of both. Text messages usually cannot exceed 140 characters, yet texting back and forth feels like an Gchat conversation—just one that is happening on your phone. Similarly, Tweeting on a computer might feel like an Gchat conversation. If you enjoy texting or gchatting, you are familiar with the language of this rapid back-and-forth mode of conversation.

How can Twitter help arts writers?

Enter the email dilemna. Press releases flood in, and there’s not enough time to sift through this much information. Solution: Use Twitter.

Art museums and galleries are updating and sending out links on their Twitter accounts, and also answering questions there. Using Twitter is faster and more efficient than going through many emails. Plus, arts writers can ask questions directly using Twitter, and get faster responses. Here are a few museums that effectively use Twitter:

Unlike a standard press release, museums will make announcements about their shows and then actually talk with people on Twitter—more interactive, fun, friendly. Get to know a museum’s attitude toward their audience via Twitter. This is not your stiff PR person trying to get something out of the critic.

Creating Twitter Lists

Use Twitter Lists to create a list, then just click on it to view the publications that you are following. Here’s a list of arts writers that I follow:

Artists on Twitter

Artists can give visitors to their Twitter streams a “behind the scenes” look at their process. What are they thinking about? Talking about? What images are they sharing with one another? Many artists that make work about technology are naturally drawn to Twitter, but it can be useful for any visual artists.

Visual artists on Twitter

Art Shows about Internet Culture

Twitter Experimentation, More Ideas for Using Twitter