Friday, July 13, 2012

Twitter. What's It To Ya?

Art by Pictofigo
So Twitter. I'm on it. Here: Janiel's Twitter Account. And now I want to know: are you a Tweep? What do you think of the Twitter phenom?

When I started writing and blogging, experts told me that I must, MUST, obtain a Twitter account and become a Tweetie-bird. So I did. And I posted my blog url every time I wrote something new. Because They said I MUST. It would drive people to my blog and I would become rich and famous.

What I became was the proud owner of a swirling vortex of who cares? I garnered 56 followers over the course of a year and a half of url posts. My impact on the Tweet-o-sphere was limpity limp. 

So I asked more experts and They said I must tweet cleverly and often. Fast and furious. I must find a spin. I must spin it. I must put myself in peoples' face several times a day. And above all, if I wanted followers, I must become Queen of the Hashtag. You know, that little # symbol. You put it in front of key words in or after your tweet so your brilliance will come up in searches for that word and you'll get more tweepy-exposure, which will translate into riches and fame.

And it works. Using the revered Hashtag I have now popped, with relative speed, up to about 180 followers. I am waiting for Amazon to deliver the riches and fame.


In the process, I discovered that I had to follow a lot of people to get followers. And I am beginning to suspect that many of them have followed me solely so I will follow them back. *gasp* And now I'm not really convinced people are actually reading what I'm Chirping.  Although I think if I were already famous, or semi-famous, they would. In hopes that I'd notice them and follow them and we'd be BFF's for everANDever.


What do you think of Twitter? Does it do anything? Is the publishing industry right in relying on it as a means of determining what kind of market there is for your not-yet-published book? Does it mean anything other than that you are the reciprocal rung on the ladder to beoming America's Next Top Tweeter? And Maybe Tom Hanks Will Notice You And Hire You For His Next Film Because You're So Stinkin' Clever? Maybe? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

(I will say this. There is a kiddo with the Tweet handle TweenHobo who is killing it on Twitter right now. She's 12 years old and is hilarious. She has a hobo-rides-the-rails persona and spoof-tweets popular media. She'll get discovered from her tweets alone, I'd wager. What about the rest of us mortals? Worth it?)


Robin said...

I'm all over the facebook thing but I have no faith in twitter. I, too, got a fb account, then a twitter account to publicize my blog. I have tons of success with fb, where I can post a pic and a comment.

Twitter is something I got nothing from and didn't enjoy posting to. I'm not clever, I'm informative. I abandoned twitter and didn't look back. Neither of us missed the other.

Shazi said...

Hi Janiel,

I found you through twitter - not because of hashtags but because I was browsing the followers of @wordwhispers and somehow reached your twitter account and the title of one of your blog posts caught my eye. I instantly loved your writing style but more than that the kind of person I sensed you are through what you wrote.

Serendipity played it role in my case. Let hope others find you in the same way too.

Much love,

J. M. Dow said...

I found this blog through the Back to Barsoom movement. I had a post on my blog that they tweeted about, and I got a few new followers, so I wandered here, liked what I saw, and decided to follow you guys on twitter.

One thing that I do not like is the "follow me and I'll follow you back" game. I have a twitter, but I don't follow people hoping they'll follow me back, and I don't follow everyone that follows me. I guess that's why I have so few followers?

I'm not worried about using twitter to gain notoriety or fame. I just like it. It's sort of like being back in high school when everyone sat around the cafeteria tables and made nerdy references and tried to make each other laugh.

I post things I think are interesting or funny--sometimes my own stuff, sometimes others--and I don't worry. Because I don't want my twitter stream clogged with people whom I don't care about. Much like Facebook, I don't friend everybody that sends me a friend request. I friend my actual friends, and that's it.

I like conversations and communication. I like how I can tweet to people that I look up to and follow, and occasionally they'll reply. They don't have to follow me. And I like that some people follow me because they find me interesting enough to listen to. I'm not going to stress over fame or anything. I don't think I really have much to be famous for yet. I'll just keep honing my writing and eventually the audience will find me...when I'm ready and when they're ready.

Sorry for the long comment. I've heard lots of "social media experts" talk about honing your brand and stuff and I just shake my head.

Shelly said...

I use twitter to promote others' blogs, my blog, and new books. Facebook I use to keep in touch with friends and promote mine and others' blogs, and books.


Janiel Miller said...

Thanks for sharing, guys. I think I'm starting to like Twitter and Facebook more as a way of connecting with people I'd never meet otherwise. That's cool. If it eventually works to promote what I write, that's cool too. :)

Robin - You're one of the cleverest people I know. If you decided to become a Twitter-phile, I think you'd be great.

Shazi - I appreciate your kindness and encouragement. Thanks for letting me know how you found me. That's what I do like about Twitter--meeting people.

JM - I think your view of Twitter/Writing is very healthy. I like it. I'm going to try to adopt more of that. Thanks!

Shelly - Sounds like you're using those things exactly the way we're advised to. I'm assuming it works well for you then. Cool!

Maegan Langer said...

I agree with all of the above. I've only been in the Tweet-o-Sphere for a few weeks, but I look at it as one more outlet for me to gush over the things I care about (you know what I mean) and to save my friends on Facebook from being constantly blitzed by all my geekiness. I don't really feel any obligations about it. I often follow people who follow me first, but if I find that someone's tweet stream isn't particularly interesting or informative for me, I have no problem unfollowing them. And it goes both ways. If someone doesn't like what I have to say, they're welcome to unfollow me. No biggie. And it is a great way to connect with people who I never would have known about otherwise.

William Kendall said...

I'm just using it mostly as a tool right now. Beyond that, not much.

I did recently fire off a tweet to a Canadian senator's twitter account after he went and made an ass of himself. I wondered if it might come back to bite me, but apparently not...

Janiel Miller said...

I've said this before, Maegs, you are particularly healthy when it comes to this social media gig. Good on you. Great way to approach it.

William - I'd love to have read that senatorial tweet! FABulous. I'd also like to learn more about using Twitter as a tool. Mostly promotional, as Shelly uses it? Or do you pull info too?

Thanks guys!

William Kendall said...

I'll use it for my own blog links, or other blogs I find interesting or funny. I'll also use it for the website I'm on staff at, sending off whatever links I see fit to send.

The Senator happened to do this play on words involving a reporter who was asking about his poor attendance record. Her last name happens to be Ditchburn... he made the suggestion that she should switch the D to a B.

I tweeted along the lines that obviously he had never learned his bloody manners.

Janiel Miller said...

Wow. Pretty far beneath the position of Senator to make a comment like that. Glad you rode to the rescue.

Cappy said...

What's Twitter? Just kidding...I can't keep up with the media I've accidentally blundered into already. Guess I'll just live without the glorious tweetiness of Twitterland.

Russo said...

I need to figure out this Twitter thing. I'm hland we have our gnomies twitter account. After chatting with you and Maegan I realize this may be something I need to get into-thank you for inspiring me.