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What do Lady Gaga and author Margaret Atwood have in common? Twitter, of course!

Being new to Twitter, I'm inordinately fascinated by it -- its pace, its power, its (sometime) silliness, its (sometime) nastiness, its (frequent) usefulness.  Like its older cousin, Facebook, it truly is a world unto itself.

And, with my grand total of 195 Twitter followers, I'm astonished by Lady Gaga's 21 million followers --more than anyone in the world, according to this piece from the website Pop Crush.  (Here's a list of the Top 100 tweeters worldwide; Justin Bieber comes in second.)

That kind of following gives Gaga one heck of a bully pulpit and she is not at all hesitant to use it, as the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof noted in his recent blog about Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.

Numbers are one thing.  But the most entertaining piece I've read on or about Twitter in recent days is this one, titled "Deeper into the Twungle," from the New York Review of Books by acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who wrote "The Handmaid's Tale," among many other novels, stories and essays.   Atwood has serious literary cred -- nominated five times for the prestigious Booker Prize, and winning it once. 

Atwood, too, is fascinated with Twitter and the essay details her amusing Twitter conversation with a rotating skull, but also takes on the deeper and more serious questions of regulating online privacy.  It's well worth a read because it will make you laugh, and think, and laugh again.

And then you can get back to reading what Lady Gaga has to say -- in 140 characters or less.

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