Finding #happiness on Twitter

In Guest Contributors by Guest Contributor

Editorial by Sharon Glassman


Different social media have different theme songs. By this I mean: a combo of info-pacing and density that creates a kind of silent, yet powerful tune.

Linked In’s theme-song is coldly John Cage-esque.

Facebook’s theme song is jarringly jam-bandish.

Twitter’s theme song, by contrast is the Popcorn Song.

As a book-loving, book-writing-n-writing-about person, that kind of info-rich popitty-pop spells biblio-heaven to me.

Twitter has an amazing ability to help book-folks reach and Wow other book lovers in powerful and way cool ways. Washington Post reviewer @roncharles (the @ sign indicates a person’s Twitter address, in case you’d like to read a.k.a. “follow” their posts a.k.a. “Tweets”), non-fiction self-publishing consultant @jennifertribe, Random House sales rep/book blog-ess @annkingman, reviewer/interviewer @thebookmaven and author @colsonwhitehead all rock the medium.

Recently, @colsonwhitehead Tweeted about picking up a promotional tote bag at a book fair. @roncharles Tweeted that he’d look for the bag to find Colson at the fair. Which I forwarded a.k.a. “re-Tweeted” to the folks who read my posts a.k.a. my “Tweeps.” Because, hey. If there’s one thing I love more than a good book, it’s two top-flight book guys toting logo’d bags, @Meghandaum-style, in public.

But my love of Twitter is more right-brain: a digi-version of wandering into a little café to get out the rain and finding Mr. Right, reading a matching copy of Bob Dylan’s Chronicles (Vol. 1).

(Before we go any further down this book-girl’s Twittish, popcorn-strewn path of books-gone-right, here is a précis for Twitter newbies. Twitter is to social media what the iPod is to music. Just as you can pop your iPod into a Bose dock, you can stream messages from people you’re connected to a.k.a. your “Twitter feed” into columns, using a Twitter application called, “Tweetdeck,” downloadable at:

Tweetdeck is great for book-heads. You can create your own Dewey decimal system by hitting the little magnifying glass icon in the tool bar and inputting a word like: #writer or #book. The # symbol a.k.a. “hashtag” is computer code that finds messages from tons of folks you don’t follow who have #’d your keyword in their message.)

Back to love. It’s the end of a long day. I’m unwinding by searching for #book-ish Tweets. There’s a lot of not-for-me posts, which is pretty normal.

And there’s this: “Which font are you most afraid of?”

In a flash, I go from worn-out book-worker to giggling teenage girl. The question is so nerdy-funny. And the guy who sent it is…um,


It’s like bumping into Mr. Right reading Bob Dylan in a rainy-day café, only better.

I click on his name -– this is the Twitter version of Dorothy clicking her heels in Oz -– to make sure it’s, you know, that John Cleese. The Monty Python guy?

A profile pops up in a new Tweetdeck window. It’s him. That John Cleese. His web site in included in his Twitter profile — (this is a v. smart move for anyone who wants to people to say, “Hey, cool Tweet! What else are you up to?”)

I know that celebrities have social media teams that Tweet and blog and web-blurb-write for them (@theellenshow featured her team in a video.)

But book-love is blind-ish. I click. And see this headline: John Cleese: British Actor, Writer and Tall Person. We have so much in common! I mean: I am an American non-actor, writer, short person.

The site invites me (me!) to look at a list of John’s (John’s!)…favorite books. One click later, I’m looking at this on JC’s Amazon site:
“Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, With CD containing F. W. H. Myers’s hard-to-find classic 2-volume Human Personality (1903) and selected contemporary reviews. By Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, Bruce Greyson.”

It’s not the trendiest book in the world. But it is truly Popcorn-sent. And now at the top of my Must Read list. Color me nerdy (But please, use a pretty crayon.) Thanks to you, bookish John Cleese by way of Twitter, that happenstance spells #happiness to me.

FOLLOW: Sharon Glassman on Twitter.

VISIT: Sharon Glassman’s Web site for more about her work.

Sharon Glassman is a Gracie Award-winning essayist, Huffington Post “Living Now” blogger, author and copywriter who creates funny-smart tales for page, web/broadcast and radio.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributors to Publishing Perspectives have diverse backgrounds in publishing, media and technology. They live across the globe and bring unique, first-hand experience to their writing.