Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and host of the PBS children’s television show Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton, has carved out a nice niche for himself on Twitter the last few years but he used the clout of his verified status, and 1.7 million followers, recently to commandeer another Twitter account for a very specific cause. @ReadingRainbow, previously held by another user, is now Burton’s to promote a Reading Rainbow app for the iPad.
Poor Ana Gasteyer can’t get verified, yet thanks to his following, Burton was able to secure ownership of the Reading Rainbow twitter account. According to TechCrunch, “Over 700 users ended up retweeting Burton’s call for help, which apparently prompted the folks at Twitter to leap into action. The @readingrainbow account ended up in Burton’s control within just over two hours of his initial plea.”
Burton has been planning “Reading Rainbow 2.0,” or as he likes to call it, RRKidz, as a multimedia company for some time now. The original PBS television series, airing from June 6, 1983 until November 10, 2006, is the network’s third longest running show after Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street.
The app is RRKidz latest endeavor and, the internet being what it is, he knew Twitter would be a great promotional outlet. A wrench was thrown in his plans as he realized someone was already using the @ReadingRainbow handle. After trying to connect with the user, to no avail, Burton finally tweeted, “Dear @twitter I’m trying to contact the individual who’s sitting on @ReadingRainbow but he hasn’t Tweeted in #3YEARS Can you help? Thanks!”
And the rest is history. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can check out the newly launched Reading Rainbow Twitter account now. There’s not much information up at the moment but Burton asks us to stay tuned for the latest updates.
And just for nostalgia’s sake…