Just such an occasion occurred in the shape of Caroline Smailes' Like Bees to Honey launch. Now then, plenty of people will tell you what a beautiful writer Caroline is, and write spine-tinglingly delightful reviews of the book, but I haven't finished mine yet, and that would need more careful and considered crafting than a few thoughts dashed out during my lunch hour. What I'm here to talk about is, WHEN TWITTER WORKS. Twitter-deniers can't get their closed, little minds around the idea of us all tweeting about what we've had for breakfast, and I myself can't help but roll my eyes at the way pretty much every Guardian article has to reference Twitter somewhere, but at least once a week I have occasion to proclaim "You see, this is why I LOVE Twitter.
Oh Twitter, how I love thee, let me count the ways.
Aside from the PR benefits of Twitter enhancing my role as a publicist, the fact of the matter is, I have met some truly fantastic people and probably solidified a few friendships, all thanks to Twitter. And, for the most part, these people were all at Caroline's Like Bees to Honey launch at The Big Green Bookshop.
The lady herself, @Caroline_S, I met her on Twitter. I believe she was RTd (re-tweeted) by her publisher, Scott Pack (@meandmybigmouth) and I thought she seemed rather nice. Turns out we have MANY interests in common: Glee, Singstar, dancing, books, vodka, toasters, to name but a few. So imagine my delight to find she is even more fabulous in real life.
Look, look how fabulous, with all her Twitter friends.
The idea for the venue, @biggreenbooks, was largely down to the fact that Caroline is a follower of co-owner @simontkey, on Twitter. Job done.
The guests, at least most of the ones I chatted to, were all Twitter friends. Some I already know rather well, such as my beloved colleague, @silvareader, and fellow publicist extraordinaire, @ninadouglas. Others I met via Twitter, but have now socialised with in real life a few times: my partner in ginny crime, @MissCellany; the man, the legend, @benjohncock. And so, to those I was really excited about meeting, favourite, lovely Tweeters who turned out to be just as lovely in real life, such as: @FlossieTeacake (fellow Patrick Ness/festival lover); @LaraWilliamson (very lovely and helpful tap-dancing author - multi-talented!); @ya_books (I'm SURE I know her face); @beecee (soon to be fellow Salonista); @tamsyntweetie (fab kids' author who gets Twitter just right). I could go on, really, for a while, but I should stop now . . .
But look how hot the twitter gals are!
So, in conclusion, Twitter is what you make it. If you just want to tell people what you had for breakfast, you probably won't get many followers*. Unless you're @ladygaga, over four million people want to know if she opts for Weetabix or Coco Pops. But, if you are friendly, chatty, interesting, interested, quirky, passionate, funny, fun, the world really is your oyster! So much of our lives is online now, it's hardly surprising that its opened up a whole new social network, but it is bringing this into real life which is the most exciting part!
*For the record, I really quite like hearing about what people are eating, I like food. When I was at uni, four of us once locked ourselves in a disabled toilet for about five hours (it was to facilitate our work, I did a drama degree) and we found we kept coming back to talking about food, perhaps because we didn't have any.