By Melissa Hunter
Janet Jackson hopped on the Twitter bandwagon last week in what we would hope to be another insider look at a celeb with publicist-free news flashes in real-time. She's already got over 45,000 followers, but from the looks of her Twitter page, if she wants to rival big Twit-wigs like Ashton and Oprah, she's got a long road ahead. So for you, dear Janet, here are a few words of advice in how to acheive Twitter-vana.
Rule #1: Veil your self-promotion.
Sure, Twitter is a key tool for promoting yourself, but A) you have millions of loyal fans already and B) we don't want to just READ you're plugging your movie, album, or Web site. Instead, make it a CALL TO ACTION, like @iamdiddy shows us when he tweets, "Follow the Future of Fashion!!!!!! @seanjohn LOCK IN!" Sure, he's promoting his fashion line, but all I know is I wouldn't want to be the only one who's not following the future of fashion. Also, another quick Diddy lesson, self-promoting or otherwise, exclamation points help you get noticed!!!!!!!!
Rule #2: Grammar and spelling -- all or nothing.
When you say, "Hey you guys, Welcome, explore, Thank you for all the love," this may make grammaticians cringe, but we're used to it online. However you seem to be waffling between good and bad grammer and this is your first tweet. Start off strong. Commas in place of periods is not appropriate. But you can also go the other route and completely reject the rules of the English language like some other celebs. Take note from @jessica simpson who wrote, "love it when the lyric of a song asks me a question" and then, "Is 'asks' even a word? If not, sorry 4 my layziness with grammar." So either embrace the e-sloppiness ... or hire a copy editor.
Rule #3: Follow at least one person.
Most celebs don't follow many people, but they do follow at least a couple. And they inevitably are other celebrities. I mean, Oprah just gave Mary J. Blige a shout out on Twitter. And that is nosy Twitter follower GOLD. Fights have ensued between celebs on Twitter. Dates arranged. It's one thing to see what your favorite celeb is up to, it's a whole 'nother ball of wax to see them e-interact. Equally important with the Follow rule, this gives the general population a belief that maybe, just *maybe* if they tweet at you enough, that they could be of the chosen few that you follow.
Rule #4: Embrace the mundane.
This is key. Paparazzi don't make thousands off of Lindsay Lohan eating a Pinkberry for nothing. Did you just get new acrylics? Did you have a totally weird dream about frogs? Is your salad at the Ivy completely overdressed? We want to know. Why do we want to know? Well, that's for us and our therapists to figure out.
Rule #5: Update regularly.
Two tweets in eight days simply will not do. I know you're a Twitter newbie, but give us a little something more than a self-promoting tweet every couple of days. Rule numbers 4 and 5 help with this. We all want a daily dose of Janet wisdom or insight... from a TwitPic to a video to an e-fight with Courtney Love, we'll take what we can get.
All right Janet, now that you've most certainly read all of these rules, I trust you'll dominate in the Twitterverse. And if all else fails, there's always *gasp!* real-life interactions.