The dynamic between artist and fan has changed in recent years. It used to be if you were an artist you wanted to seem out of reach, high on a pedestal from your followers. However, today fans want a personal relationship with you. It’s not good enough to give them a monthly or even weekly update. They want to know what your doing right now! One of the best tools to give a window into your life is Twitter.
So what is Twitter? To start head to Twitter.com and sign up for an account (it’s free). Click on Profile and give yourself an avatar. Next under where it says “What are you doing?” type up to 140 text characters. In a way it’s like a mini-blog letting the world know what’s going on with you at that moment. These moments you enter are called Tweets.
If you have friends on Twitter you can follow them and vice-versa. Besides the archive of all your own Tweets you can also see a master timeline which shows your Tweet and your friends Tweets.
Now comes what I think it the best part. Click to www.twitter.com/badges and create a widget that displays your Twitter updates on any web page you place it. This is great because you only have to put your Tweets in one place but instantly wherever you have badges your updates will show.
I have Things to Come Records studio Twitter badges on my MySpace page (www.myspace.com/oliverchesler), Facebook page and artist website (thehorrorist.thingstocome.com). If you notice they all look different because you can customize the badges to fit any site. If you notice on my artist web site’s studio page my Tweets are not even in a widget but customized into the look of the page itself using CSS. You can also have your Tweets injected into a WordPress blog as posts using Alex King’s Twitter Tools.
If you find going to a web page to input your Tweets cumbersome and your on a Mac try Icon Factory’s very nice program Twitterific. There is also a nifty Dashboard Widget called Twidget. I am sure there are Windows Twitter applications too. There are also methods of sending Tweets by email and Instant Messenger clients.
Lastly, I’d like to point out that Twitter has some competition. Google has a similar service called Jaiku and Kevin Rose and the Digg crew run Pownce. Unfortunately they are all incompatible. Come and follow my record label on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thingstocome