Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Brian Dugger

Lady Gaga has Twitter competition

My wife, Victoria, stared at me with disappointment.

I had just come into the kitchen and announced that I had tweeted.

"What?" she cried out.

The plan was to join Twitter nation with an official "launch" today - shortly after my column appeared in the paper.

Earlier this week, that plan was put in place. I set my account up on Twitter, picking out the handle of DuggerCountry, and filled out my profile, which basically said I'm the country music columnist for The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, and have been for almost 10 years. The idea was that I would tweet breaking country music news, thoughts on new albums, reports from concert sites. I even sent out a teasing tweet that said how excited I was about launching DuggerCountry updates Saturday.

But an official tweet? Nope, wasn't going to happen until the appointed time.

But then a "follower" left me, and I panicked.

For those of you new to Twitter - which was me until about a week ago - a follower is someone who searches for you, then clicks the "follow" button on your account to begin receiving your "tweets."

Earlier this week, Lady Gaga surpassed Britney Spears to become the most-followed person on Twitter. She has 5.7 million followers. She names them her "Little Monsters" and calls herself "Mama Monster."

By the end of the first day after filling out my profile, I already had five followers - and I hadn't even tweeted a thing. I greedily watched the counter in the days ahead as that total grew. It quickly jumped to seven, then eight. Country singers Kellie Pickler and Joe Nichols signed up to follow me, pushing my total to 11. Growing in confidence and self-importance, I named my army of followers the "DuggerCountry Posse."

But Thursday the unthinkable happened. After signing on to my account to see who my newest followers might be, my heart sank when I saw that The Posse had fallen to 10. I'm not exactly sure who abandoned me, but there was no doubt that somebody had deserted.

Dejected, I checked my e-mail and opened a news release from the Country Music Association. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were going to return as the hosts of the CMA Awards telecast on ABC in November.

I had a decision to make. I could stick to the plan or I could try to win back my follower by releasing this bit of breaking news.

Heck with the plan. I had Lady Gaga to catch, and I quickly sent my news out into the Twitter universe.

And it worked. Country singer Josh Gracin was impressed and agreed to join The Posse, pushing the group back to 11.

Now it's up to you. Beginning Saturday, I'll be sending out regular tweets, keeping followers informed about the latest news in country music and having fun at the same time. Are you ready to join the DuggerCountry Posse?

Brian Dugger's column on country music appears in The Blade the last Saturday of every month. He can be found on Twitter @DuggerCountry.

Contact him at bdugger@theblade.com.

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