Here’s a great non-scientific observation –I think Twitter just may be saving The Soaps, and I’ll tell you why.
For the first time in memory, the entire soap community seems to be collectively communicating in real-time. When the net first started, there were about three sites that focused on soaps. No one really knew where it would lead–and now look, thousand of sites dedicated to shows, fanbases…actors, fan fiction and message boards. (not to mention blogs). How has Twitter changed the canvas? It used to be the only way we’d be able to talk to each other was by email or message boards or comments on sites. You might meet a few people here and there, but that was about it. Even with a site my size, there was no way to effectively meet/greet all the great people that passed through. Twitter has changed all that. Actors, writers, producers, television stations, magazines, websites and of course, the fans themselves all have a common voice.
I’ve seen amazing things since I started tweeting this year. Besides meeting people I never would have in the conventional way on the net, I’ve been able to link to sites and ideas I never would have before. Every website re-tweets each other’s links/comments as courtesy. We share information. I can hop on an ask a question about GH trivia or an actor’s contract and it’s usually answered within minutes. The actors themselves have started to tweet about upcoming events (like landing a a soap event), going into the studio for an early call or even posting backstage photos. I can only hope TPTB doing put the breaks on stars doing this–they are really creating buzz that no commercial or magazine promo can do. Fans are becoming interested again, almost from the inside out.
Soap fans have always craved two things, great stories and a feeling of “being there” with the actors they love. Now it’s happening all on a social networking site. (Which when you think about it, is exactly what they are for…to bring like minds together!) Hearing Brandon Barash say he’s had a fantastic time in my neighboring Syracuse as he was at the airport was way cool. NLG tweeted from Scotland this week to tell us about her trip. Even the magazines are having their employees tweet, which is just really a great marketing thing for them. WE love it. Recently, the Daytime Emmys have been twittering not only about the show but about the Daytime Gives Back program. We could get twitpics and videos instantly while the stars were visiting Kenya.
I totally remember my mother tuning into the soaps (some were only 15 min back then!) and dishing with her friends over coffee about the stories. Sometimes, they’d watch together as well (while we kids got put outside with fluffanutter sandwiches!!). Somewhere along the line we lost that. Many of us work now or DVR our shows. Twitter gives us a way to all connect again. It’s fabulous!
How can this save Daytime in an age where ratings are about as low as they’ve ever been? Word of mouth and rallying the troops. When the new promo for GH’s “carnival” aired, it was tweeted all over the place and links appeared for YouTube. Bloggers started talking about it and the fans seemed really excited. BUZZ was created people!! YOU can’t BUY BUZZ–but now, it seems, you can tweet it. Heh. It will also become evident August 30th during the Daytime Emmy show on The CW–many twitter parties planned!
As the WubsNet approaches 5,000 followers, I can honestly say I’m enjoying every addictive minute of it. I’ve met a lot of you that read the site that I’ve never been able to chat with before. Most of you know as much or more than I do about soaps! I’d also say one of the other HUGE benefits of the tweets are the “tweeting live” portions for soaps. Fans can tweet updates as they happen on screen. People dish about fashion, gaffs and great scenes. West coasters can be spoiled if they’d like. Others can check it out and see if the show is worth tuning into for that day. Fanbases can rally and fight with each other. Sites/actors can get out the word about upcoming projects and charity events. It’s endless.
I’m telling you–keep an eye on that birdie because I really do think it’s going to help the Soap-Life. (that and better writing, please). And just think…all at 140 characters at a time!! No more clicking on endless websites, it’s all there–all at once and you can pick and choose the links you want to hit.
PS. if you haven’t tried it yet, for god sakes get on there ! Just try it. You might like it. But I warn you, once you’ve seen tweets from the GH stars, you’ll be hooked (not to mention MY gems that pop up all the time!!) Look for a new page with complete twitter listings for writers, mags, actors, producers, fun fans and websites coming soon.
And early reactions on twitter to this blog? No, I am NOT INSANE enough to think this is all we need. I am hoping for new writers, fresh ideas and a little magic too.