Backstory: I created a Twitter account in 2010 but didn’t use it. Overall, I wasn’t much of a social media (SM) fan, although I designated 2011 as my year to get familiar with the phenomenon. I have Facebook and LinkdIn pages but rarely visit or update them. Therefore, I’m the last person who should be overheard saying this:
Twitter is amazing.
I transformed into an active Twit (Tweeter? Wait, I think it’s Tweep) early in 2011, when memoirist Mary Yuhas tweeted one of my poems. At about the same time, my “paying job” boss suggested our company should Tweet. So I fired up my languishing account to learn the ropes. That’s when I discovered Twitter.
The experience reminds me of those 1940’s movie scenes where hordes of switchboard operators are all speaking over one another and connecting thousands of callers at once. It’s like hanging out inside a schizophrenic’s head, listening to the cacophony of voices and attempting – in vain – to make sense of what’s going on.
Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
Twitter is a crack-up. It allows participants to act out many of the socially questionable behaviors Mom warned us to avoid when we were kids: eavesdropping on conversations, interrupting discussions, speaking with strangers. Basically, it’s too much fun. Really clever people stand out (I’m not one of them), and Twitter is a testament to those who have mastered the art of humor in 140 characters.
The truth is, I’ve learned more about what’s happening on the web in the past month than I have in years. I’m in awe of the plethora of unbelievable people, events, thoughts and information presented every millisecond. The first week I actually tried to read every single post (ha ha!) but soon abandoned any attempt to keep up. Following links can lead down rabbit holes one never knew existed and bring on oblivion to the real world for hours at a time. Indie author L.M. Stull (Memoirs of a Monkey) summed it up perfectly when she said, “Twitter gives you the ability to connect with people whose paths you otherwise would have never crossed.”
If you haven’t already, join the conversation and find out for yourself! Here are a few links that will shorten your learning curve:
- First, download Publishing Talk’s Twitter Cheat Sheet. It will teach you the basics, such as url shorteners that help “make” the 140 character max post.
- Read The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing
These suggestions are aimed at fellow authors:
1. Search these hashtags to find other writers: #amwriting #writing #reading #writetip #writer #wip (For more tags: http://bit.ly/HxTg)
2. In addition, know that #WW (#writerwednesday) is used in Tweets to recommend authors midweek. Use sparingly.
3. Tony Eldridge’s post, Can Twitter Really Help You Sell Books? addresses the question, how can you follow 5,000 people on Twitter?
Want to cull the list of folks who aren’t following you back? Go to Just Unfollow.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss my weekly posts! Just enter your email address in the upper right corner of this page. It’s easy, and I won’t share your contact information with anyone!