Thoughts on Twitter…

I’m on Twitter now but I confess (shhh … don’t tell anyone),  I don’t really like it. (This is, I know, a bit like the Ayatollah Khomeini criticizing western science on television, using a microphone.)

But I find that the conversations on it are out of sync, like a badly dubbed movie. And I keep seeing comments from people I’m not following and don’t know that I’m not all that interested in (no idea where those come from or how they end up in my feed).

This could be my adjustment to a new media, but I’m one of those people who think that technology should work easily, and if I’m struggling with it, it ain’t me, it’s them.

The idea of having ‘followers’ in itself, or following people who don’t know me is decidedly odd, and  I’m not sure how comfortable I am with it.

Apropos of its name, Twitter is busy and noisy. But I don’t doubt it’s addictive. And since I have a lot of other stuff I really need to do, I’m not sure how long I’ll be there. Just letting y’all know.

In good news, my earlier guest blogger, Alice Loweecey, has informed us (needless to say, and despite earlier kvetching, I found this out on Twitter) that her book, Force of Habit is already available at Barnes and Noble. How cool is that? This was the lady who exceeded my record of 150 rejections and found an agent and publisher after 185. Persistence does pay off!

And finally, I’m having some WordPress glitches. The content portion of my WordPress blog, ‘add new post,’ isn’t showing any characters when I type so I can’t actually see what I’m typing. How very Jonathan Franzen-like! (He apparently types blind-folded.)

Being significantly less talented than that, I think I’ll stop now and hope that the problem is corrected since switching between ‘save draft’ and ‘preview draft’ in order to see what I’ve written is about as frustrating as well … Twitter. 

Update. Problem fixed. Apparently I had to ‘clean out my caches’ and delete my browsing history, passwords, etc. which meant trying to remember afterwards all the different  passwords I have for Facebook, this blog, Twitter, etc.

Damn hackers — it would be so much easier to use my dog’s name than something like &^%*&F! — which was certainly how I felt by the end of it.

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6 Responses to Thoughts on Twitter…

  1. Anne Devereux says:

    THAT’S what’s wrong with Franzen’s work. (lol?)

    I understand your reticence vis a vis Twitter. Its usefulness for a writer is twofold: (1) to raise your profile; and (2) to keep your finger on the pulse of the publishing world. Publishers, agents and fellow authors do use Twitter (more, I think, than most industries) for business networking. It’s quick, they can do it from their Blackberry, and it doesn’t require them to update a long blog entry. I personally don’t tweet that often, but I do follow a multitude of publishing industry professionals & I do try to keep my name on the timeline as much as I can. I seem to have levelled off at around 180 followers, give or take, and I follow around 270. It’s proved extremely useful for me from time to time, but I do use it judiciously and not wantonly.

    Hope this is helpful.

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    • Peggy Blair says:

      I find it hard to follow what’s going on because there’s no logical thread. It’s just random stuff. I’ll stay with it for now, but I honestly doubt that ‘tweets’ sell books. The attention span is far too short for Twitter to sell much of anything (IMHO).

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  2. Anne Devereux says:

    I hear you, and it took me a while to get it. Its usefulness is different for each person, I think. For me, it gives an ear to the ground for publishing goings-on that I would not otherwise know about. Example: Angela James, editor at Carina Press, guesting on the Marilyn Denis show. It also enabled me (today) to follow a thread that led to a potential agent that I would never have heard of in the ordinary course.

    You have to find out how Twitter can serve you, or if it cannot, then dump it. As to it not selling books, it depends how you use it. Once your book is on shelves and you become @peggyblair, author of That New Crime Novel Everyone Is Talking About, you may find it very useful indeed.

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  3. I have many of the same reservations as you. I just spent a lunch hour with a student of mine who was showing me a few tricks and how Twitter could work for me. After I established my account and went back to look at it, I was thrown into a spin of nerves by the sheer amount and random nature of the posts. I was ready to blow it off. But my student gave me one trick that might result in selling books. At the end of your URL you can click # and then Thebeggar’sopera (all one word). Anyone looking for anything related to that — opera/beggars — will be directed to you. And that goes out to your followers and your followers followers, and their followers, etc. Much farther than a Facebook page, for instance, will go. You don’t have to post often, but effectively. In fact, you don’t have to post at all. You can link it to your Facebook page and it happens automatically. Then it can work for you, with very little work from you — except choosing who to follow. I chose Margaret Atwood, among others.

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    • Peggy Blair says:

      I think you have to add that hashmark to each twitter post that you want to draw attention, isn’t that right, pirateannie? Which would be a pain in the butt.

      I think that once The Beggar’s Opera is published, anyone Googling it is going to be able to find it pretty easily.

      That’s the thing with Twitter: the people on it are also on blogs, chatrooms and websites like AW. Which for me makes it a bit repetitive. I’m reading the same news in AW and then on Twitter links.

      But I can see the utility in posting blogs to it (not sure how do that automatically: at the moment, it still requires me to hit the Twitter button and be logged on. I suspect that soon people will complain about that the way they complain about losing the remote and having to turn on the TV, change channels etc., lazy bastards).

      We’ll see. I spend way too much time on this site and Facebook as it is! (As both of you know :-).)

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  4. There is that. The social network has definitely robbed me of writing time.

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