Thursday, August 13, 2009

Twitter Review

I've been a member of the Twitter community for a little over a week (or has it been two weeks? Time stands still here) and so far I'm kind of meh about the whole thing.

The first couple days I zipped through all my friends' lists of people to find people to follow, and I gathered a couple dozen followers of my own. I loaded an app on facebook that allows your Twitter status to automatically become your facebook status, but it only works about half the time.

I've discovered quite a few interesting people to follow and I do enjoy the back and forth between some people, especially the literary agents, but personally, it's not really doing anything for me.

Am I doing something wrong?

37 comments:

LurkerMonkey said...

I doubt it ... you sound like you're doing something right :)

I'm sorry -- I know this makes me a hopeless crank -- but I have less than no desire to participate in Twitter nation. It sounds like a collective case of Turrets syndrome to me. If I need life in bursts of 140 characters or less, I can start hanging out with trained parrots.

Melanie Avila said...

ROFL. Half of what I see is just links to other stuff and I don't have any interest in clicking through. If it were just people's observations I might be interested in that. Tourett's interests me. :P

EriCan said...

No you're not. I guess you have to decide what you want out of it.

I think the reason I like it, is it keeps me out there in the writing community, and sometimes I get random comments on things I didn't even think of.

Some of the fun stuff I like are the conversations with the # in front of it. There's a #firstlinemonday, that I recently participated in, and got a response about how much they liked my first line. That felt good, and is something that wouldn't have happened anywhere else. Have you tried anything like that?

I don't check it all the time though. It's something I check back to a few times a day. I dunno, it's a cool thing, but then again, I wasn't expecting much out of it anyway.

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, it's those types of things that I don't know about. I've wondered how they work and how people find them.

Janna Qualman said...

Me too. It's been sort of a ho-hum experience. In fact, I almost deleted my account, but then both an agent and successful novelist followed me. I can't bring myself to now. I don't tweet very often, but I guess it's nice to have the choice of doing so.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I was wondering what you thought of it since you joined the same day. I think it's something that I may not use much now, but it's good to have in place, and as long as I update every now and then I won't lose followers.

LurkerMonkey said...

Tourette Syndrome would no doubt interest me more if I could spell it correctly. Sheesh.

Melanie Avila said...

lol, I thought there was an E at the end but didn't feel like looking it up.

EriCan said...

Mel- in order to see the # stuff. In case you want to. Just put what you are looking for into the search engine located above the trending topics (on the web version anyway)

Like if I put #firstlinemonday in there, I can see everyone who participated in this discussion, and I get to read all the first lines. That's a part I really like. There are quite a few #amwriting ones going on right now. Let me know if you have any more questions :) Hope this helps.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Erica! I guess my problem is even knowing what to search for. I have seen the amwriting one -- maybe I should play along...

JLC said...

I think Twitter can be a useful tool for promoting your books, or perhaps talking about writing with other writers, publishers, and agents; but it is a bit frustrating as a 'social' networking device.

Mr. C uses his for business research and to communicate with other businesses who follow him. However, last night he was complaining about all the useless Tweets that his friends and colleagues are always posting.

I haven't signed up for it yet. There isn't much this housewife can Tweet about. :D

Natasha Fondren said...

The #subjects are interesting. And it goes SO fast, it's like a million people shouting at each other over a dinner table. It's fun, but, in general, I prefer the slower pace of Facebook. Plus I like the way the comment stays on Facebook, rather than sort of disappearing into the ether and buried under a pile of new tweets in seconds.

I pop on now and then, and mainly use Twitter so that it will post my status on my website. If a conversation catches me, I'll join in for fun, but I go on so rarely, that it's even more rare I catch one, LOL.

Melanie Avila said...

JLC, I keep hearing it's great for networking in your professional field, and I'm following a couple designers, but nothing's piquing my interest just yet.

I feel the same way you do about what to post, except everything is about the puppy these days...

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, I don't like how things get buried either. A couple times I've kept scrolling down to see what's going on, but I'm bombarded with all these tiny url links that you can't tell what they're about and I lose interest.

I've been doing the same thing with the status updates, but they don't always post to facebook and then I have to do it again and that gets annoying.

Travis Erwin said...

It took me a while but I really like twitter now. I still go in waves but I like it better that faceboook or any other networking site.

Melanie Avila said...

Travis, I can see it being an every now and then type thing for me.

Adam said...

I made a couple of friends through it. Other than that though, meh. :)


Adam

Pam said...

Great comment, LurkerMonkey! I couldn't agree with you more.

WendyCinNYC said...

I'm kind of meh about it, too. I know some writers use it for stalking agents and editors, but I can't do that. I'm anxious enough as it is! I don't need to think OMG, she's had a bad day--don't read my MS! Or worse, when they tweet about enjoying a MS that isn't yours.

Crazymaking.

Robin said...

I like Twitter because it sort of spoon feeds me little snippets of friend's days. Plus, I might have something amusing I want to say, and no one to bug about it, so I'll tweet it. (Or people around me are shouting, "Shut up and keep your stupid thought to yourself!" That happens more than I'd like.)

I think the trick is to follow mostly friends, although I go against that theory sometimes. I did follow one agent, and her tweets cracked me up. They were like, "I ate an apple. I've got a lunch meeting today." I think I eventually got bored, but it was fun while it lasted.

Erica, I'm going to add you! We can be Twittermates! Oy.

Melanie Avila said...

Adam, I haven't made any friends yet, but I have chatted with some writing friends that I don't know well.

Melanie Avila said...

Pam, he's a funny one.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, only three agents that I follow actually post anything, and they tend to talk to each other so that's entertaining. Since no one has my MS I can't stress about that, lol, but I can totally see how that would drive me nuts!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, see... that's what I use facebook for. It lets me keep up to date with my friends and I can share silly things that occur to me.

I was trying to post the randomness that pops into my head on Twitter, but when I don't get any kind of response it makes me feel rather silly.

Robin said...

I really like hearing about you and Owen! It makes me smile during the day. I can check Twitter during the day on my phone.

Most Tweets don't get responses. (At least mine don't.) I'll respond if that will make you keep Tweeting! I'll respond like crazy!

Benjamin Solah said...

I'm so in love with Twitter.

I think the thing that I love is the sharing of links and such with other writers.

I guess the kind of people I've connected with are different to you. I've met all of these real writers, who are already part of a circle, within Melbourne.

And also my blog traffic has gone up because of Twitter. It's one of the biggest sources of traffic for me now besides Google.

Nadine said...

I haven't crossed over to the Twitter side yet and I'm trying not to. I know my tweets wouldn't be interesting - about to have lunch, taking a nap, etc - lol.

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, well I'm glad you appreciate them. I'll try to keep it up then. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Ben, I think if had something to actively promote it'd be different. I'm feeling pretty blah about everything these days, but maybe I'll try to promote my blog more after my vacation.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, that's how I feel. There hasn't even been anything interesting in the neighborhood to report on.

Laura Martone said...

I'm with Natasha - I like Facebook so much more. The Twitter conversations happen too insanely fast... so I've just used it to post links to my blogs - which has actually worked to drive traffic to them. Guess someone's clicking the links!

I'm not the biggest fan of Twitter, but I don't have plans to drop the account anytime soon. While I initially found the 140-character limit annoying, I slowly realized that it forced me to be brief - a skill that I need to master while editing my novel for the last time. I even blogged about this little bonus.

Dominique said...

I initially resisted Twitter...and once I signed on, I still spent a couple of months wondering how to best use it.
I started out like many people did, building a list very slowly. I started primarily with travel bloggers I knew and Midwest tourism organizations I found at Twitter.
The opportunity to connect with tourism organizations--first by RTing (re-tweeting) their messages, then by asking questions as I planned trips or blog posts and then by seeing them read my blog and RT my messages--has been invaluable for me. I've made connections to cover and/or snag passes for local events, gotten advice about safe walking routes in a city as I prepared for an evening of sightseeing from my downtown hotel--and I've even had a couple of people follow my messages, find my blog that way and offer me paying gigs. All this in about 8 months time!
It does take some time to build the best community for your needs by choosing who to (or not to) follow and build relationships with your community.

@midwestguest on Twitter

Stacey said...

Phew. I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn't "get" Twitter. I've given it several tries, followed some interesting people who don't seem to Twitter often and feel silly to post essentially the same update that I do on facebook.

The oddest thing to me are how people follow me when I haven't posted a thing in months. Who are these people? *looks nervously over shoulder* What do they waaaaaaaaaaaaaant?

Melanie Avila said...

Laura, I won't drop the account, but yeah, it doesn't really serve my needs right now. Especially because half my friends' posts are the same thing as on facebook.

Melanie Avila said...

Dominique, that's great you've been able to make it work for you! I'll keep your story in mind when I'm actually ready to start promoting things.

Melanie Avila said...

Stacey, I'm kind of relieved that it's not interesting me. I was afraid I'd spend HOURS there, but I get bored by it pretty quickly.

I recently followed you... so whaddaya sayin'?

Christopher Goodwine said...

I think to really get anything out of Twitter, is has to become a lifestyle. I tried it out, didn't see much value in it, and don't want to commit to being its slave!