Are you thinking of jumping into the fray of live-tweeting an event, but not sure what to do, how it all works, or where to begin? Take note: An epic evening of live-tweeting is just days away.
Some have been training for it all season, honing their skills like Olympians on the Golden Globes, the Grammys, or perhaps even the CMAs (not for the faint-hearted, those). Others may simply open their laptops on Sunday night at 7 p.m. Eastern time, or maybe even during the Red Carpet preview, and start typing their 140-character missives as if they'd been born for the trade. And while more encouraging people might say, sure, go ahead and try your hand at it, you'll do great, we are here to warn you: This is probably not the case. If you don't know what live-tweeting is, if you don't yet use Twitter or any of its related app-friends, you should power down your IBM Selectric and take a load off in front of the boob tube with some pals and your favorite processed carbohydrates for the night. Seriously, stop reading now: You don't need this ridiculous business.
For the rest of you: Katherine Rosman writes in The Wall Street Journal that, as "more and more viewers are supplementing the experience of merely watching their favorite TV shows by joining in simultaneous running commentaries on Twitter and Facebook," corporate entities and their ilk have caught on and are amassing their best Tweeters and flooding the field with all manner of social media expertise. This year's Academy Awards broadcast is "poised for a shot at another title: It could be the biggest night yet for social media." Eek! For instance,
- ABC, which will broadcast the awards Sunday, will have at least two people tweeting about what is happening backstage, including Shira Lazar, a Web-broadcast personality. The preshow red-carpet hosts will be asking celebrities questions that viewers have posted to Twitter. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the awards, has a new feature available on Facebook that lets users choose which films and actors they expect to win, and share their picks with friends.
- During the broadcast, viewer tweets using the hashtags "#oscars," "#redcarpetqa" and "#bestdressed" will appear on Oscar.com and the Oscars app. Karin Gilford, ABC's senior vice president of digital media, says an outside company has been hired to monitor the tweets that will appear on the Oscar site to weed out spam and offensive content.
- Even snarky comments [even them!] from viewers can be used to the network's benefit. "If everyone is going crazy about one event or moment of the telecast, we know what video clips to post to the site," Ms. Gilford says.
This has all the makings of a tweetnanza. But how do you, just an individual with 140-character length thoughts and feelings about movies and actors yourself (and also a reliable Internet connection), use this potential to win friends, or followers, and curry favor for yourself? A few tips.