How Do Celebrities Use Twitter? Interview With @JoannaStern

Celebrities and stars in the tech world use Twitter for a lot of reasons – promoting a new venture, to praise or complain about something, to share information, to spread news about a good cause.  So I thought it would be fun to hear from the stars themselves about how they use it.

@JoannaStern is a technology journalist who tends to like gadgets more than people. She is currently building The Verge, a brand new consumer technology website that will launch in the early fall. In the meantime, you can read her work at This is my next. Joanna was previously the Reviews Editor at Engadget and has written for The New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Gizmodo, and other popular technology outlets.

When you joined: July 26th 2007 (So, I guess we just celebrated four years together!)

Why you signed up: I thought it was going to be the next big thing in social networking, and as a tech reporter I thought I should check it out.

Number of followers: Nearing 11,500

Number following: 734 (as of right now)

Your favourite part of twitter: The 140 character limit. There’s never too much info!

Least favourite: I still don’t like the web application. I much prefer a desktop app like TweetDeck or Tweetie.

Do you have any rules? I try to be as professional as possible. For me that means rarely cursing or telling off others. Sometimes I break my own rules, but it’s usually for a good reason!

What do you use twitter for mostly – promotion, conversation, etc.? I’d say a combination of getting the news, making conversation, and self-promotion. My Twitter feed has replaced an RSS reader for the most part — I check it a number of times an hour to make sure I am up on the latest tech news. A lot of tech journalists use it this way, so of course, I am always first to tweet a new story that hits our blog.

What have been some of the best tweets you’ve done? Hmm. That’s a tough question. I’d say some of my most well received tweets are ones that follow some breaking tech news — the introduction of iMessage or a new Samsung phone. I also think I have become known for my “complaining tweets.” I complain about almost everything!

Any great stories you want to share? I met my significant other on Twitter, but that’s a story for another time 🙂

Whose tweets do you enjoy getting? @Laura_June, @mattbuchanan, @SarahKSilverman and @karaswisher.

How often do you tweet? From where ? Multiple times a day from my laptop (a MacBook Pro) or my phone (a Droid 2 Global). At night I am usually on my iPad or some other tablet I may be testing.

What platform or social media dashboard do you use? I use TweetDeck on my MacBook Pro and Droid 2 Global. I use the regular Twitter client on my iPad. The latter is one of the best apps on the iPad — it is a truly immersive experience. One of my biggest issues with Android 3.0 tablets is still the lack of a really good Twitter app.

Do you try to tweet at only specific times or is it more like, “whenever”? I Tweet when I’ve got something to Tweet! I sort of want a t-shirt with that on it now.

Do you ever use Twitter as a procrastination tool? YES! Especially when I have to write a review or longer form piece. I constantly will look at Twitter and see if there’s any news or interesting conversation going on. It gets to the point where I have to remove TweetDeck from my dock for a few hours.

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