Thursday, November 5, 2009


By Wayne McWorter, Vice President, Marketing

I’m on the downhill slope of 40 – well, actually I’m closer to the 5-0 mile marker, but nevertheless … I’ve always thought of myself as progressive. I’ve plugged in to the electronic culture as a means of accomplishing more and more, in less and less time. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, I know, but it’s the reality of a modern, multi-tasking life. I actually caught myself recently using my iPhone to check my bank balance because I was running too many programs simultaneously on my desktop computer. I’ve recently added a second monitor to allow me more space in which to multi-task.

My multi-tasking skills have recently been taken to task, however, with a commitment I made to my new mate. Companion, thy name is Twitter. As I wrote in our very first “Postcard From Pantages,” we’ve made a commitment to the distribution of information in forms that are relevant to different types of info-consumers. Personally, I can’t stand Facebook; sorry, I’ve tried, but the virtual community of that world, with all its intertwining tentacles, is more than my multi-tasking brain (and fingers) can manage.

So when I met my friend Twitter, I thought I had found my perfect match. I reasoned that it is basically the “status update” portion of Facebook, without all the other do-dads to update and maintain. Plus, you can’t use more than 140 characters, so that would keep me brief. (If anyone out there is reading this, I fear that you’re suffering the overflow not allowed me on Twitter…)

I was determined to make Twitter interesting for any poor soles that might decide to follow “Pantages.” Do our Twitter followers really care for me to tell them every time we have a performance? I doubt it. So I’ve tried to find a mix of things that are interesting to me: breaking Broadway news items, notification about special unadvertised price specials, info on touring shows making their way to L.A., etc. And then I discovered the art of Re-Tweeting. Using the abbreviation “RT” followed by the account name that originally sent the message, I enjoy sharing things that strike my fancy.

But actually doing all this has turned out to be much more difficult than I had originally imagined. In my attempt to stay current, I now have my TweetDeck interface running all day on my computer. Tweet-tweet comes in a new set of updates. I follow a little over 100 different accounts as “@Pantages,” and another 60 or so from my personal account. Most of these provide me with a steady stream of information about the world of the theatre or related entertainment. But in order to keep up with the bouncing ball, I find myself jumping back and forth more than ever before between Outlook, TweetDeck, Excel, Word, TweetDeck, Google, our website, TweetDeck… I’m afraid that I’m going to miss some cool piece of news, or some spark of an idea that will inspire my next Tweet.

Sure, it can be fun. At least, I reason, I’m not trying to come up with 140 characters to describe a relief for bunion pain. Wait – that’s my next Tweet!

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