Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Don't Get Twitter

I like to think that I’m technically savvy. I’m usually the one people come to for help with their computer (Apple only) problems, I have the blog, the BookEnds Web site (although someone else manages those for me), and a Facebook account, but when someone asked me recently if I was thinking of opening a Twitter account, I just couldn’t see it. I don’t get it and I don’t get how it would work for me, in real life or work life. Frankly, it makes me feel a little old, because I just get confused.

The Web site exists for obvious reasons, but let’s state them anyway. The BookEnds Web site helps give clients, prospective clients, and writers as much information as possible about BookEnds. I would guess that our busiest page is probably submission guidelines, but by looking at our site you’ll also glean personal information about each of our agents, a peek into our client list, and answers to the many frequently asked questions we get regularly. And of course you’ll get a link to our blog.

The blog is, hopefully, useful as well. The intent of the blog is to teach. Publishing is a weird business and I think sometimes it’s easier to find (or used to be easier to find) misinformation than real information. My goal with the blog is to give out the information I usually present at conferences and make it more accessible to all writers. The problem with that is that it’s a lot easier to come up with a one-hour workshop than it is 300 or so posts a year. And sometimes, I just get it wrong. And sometimes the blog stresses me out and gives me headaches and makes me anxious and makes me angry and just makes me crazy. Most of the time, though, I love it. It’s a lot of work, but I love it.

The Facebook account is still a work in progress. Between the blog and the work I’m actually supposed to be doing I don’t have a lot of time for much else, so the Facebook account is really just for staying in touch with the many writers I’ve crossed paths with over the years. Of course I’m friends with many of my clients and I do frequently update my status. Other than that, though, I use it as another source of information. Whenever I read an interesting bit of publishing news it’s easy enough for me to hit “share” and spread that news to my Facebook friends. So far that’s all I’ve found it useful for.

But Twittering. I don’t think it’s for me. I tried MySpace once too, very briefly. It wasn’t for me.

What’s my point? you’re asking. My point is that when choosing your road to publicity and the many, many marketing and networking opportunities that are available to writers these days, you need to choose what’s best for you. Just because every published author you know is blogging these days doesn’t mean you need to jump on the bandwagon. Publicity and marketing doesn’t work unless the author’s heart is in it, and if you’re just Twittering because you’re “supposed to,” it’s not working for you and, in all likelihood, it’s just making you miserable.

Jessica

69 comments:

Tena Russ said...

I don't get Twitter either. I'm waiting for it to become obsolete so I don't have to learn how to do it ;-)

Inez Kelley said...
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Inez Kelley said...

Thank you!! I would rather eat ground glass with a spoon than Facebook, Myspace or Twitter.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I don't Twitter, Facebook or Myspace. I'm figuring with Google, people who want to find me will find my blogs, and that ought to be enough for anyone. ;o)

Erin Cabatingan said...
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Erin Cabatingan said...

I'm not even sure what Twitter is. I must be getting old (for still being in my twenties). I guess that's what having kids will do to you. I watch a lot of kids shows, play with transformers, go to the park (so maybe I'm just really young), but I don't really have time for a whole lot of other things--I have to pick and choose what I really want to do. I also don't know how to text, although I do know what that one is.

Erin
http://playingwithchildren.blogspot.com

Bradley Robb said...

I didn't get Twitter for the first few months I was on the service. It wasn't until primary season when I realized that Twitter was the fastest news source around.

From there the service has evolved into a digital, global take on Hemingway's concept of A Moveable Feast. It's a constant conversation in which parties can drop in and out at any time, no matter where you are. The trick is not to overthink it.

Keri Ford said...
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AC said...

You're absolutely right, Jessica. Everything is not for everybody. I personally don't blog because I don't know what I'd post about every day of the year that would remotely interest people. I tried MySpace which I don't frequent much because it's best feature is probably the blog. I keep the page up because I have alot of friends on there and every now and then I get tidbits of helpful info.

I have a yahoo group of my own and I'm a member of a few other groups. This can be time consuming and not necessarily informative, but I think it's a great way to have that personal touch with readers.

I've had a Facebook page for about two months now. I like it and I think it's useful for me. Just started Tweeting a couple of weeks ago. It's fun, it's quick and again, I've received some great industry news. So I'll stick with both of them for now.

All this is to say, yeah, go with with feels right for you. Between getting kids off to school, meeting deadlines, promoting and starting new projects I don't have alot of time for activities that aren't going to produce results.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

I agree, I just dont get twitter either and myspace is so full of spam that I cancelled my account. Now I keep hearing that facebook is having spam problems too. I have been blogging since Dec. 2008 and I love it, so much better than the others.

Kathleen MacIver said...

This is a good point, and you stated it well.

Me...myspace works for me in my personal life, to keep in touch with a few people who don't seem to ever check email, but DO check myspace...and in my author-life, it works really well for reaching readers. That "My favorite authors" field is an AWESOME tool for finding readers who might like your books! And Myspace doesn't care if you use it for promotional purposes. Am I on there a lot? No...not at all. My page is set up, and every time I post something on one of my REAL (non myspace) blogs, I hop on there to update people and provide a link. So I'm there for a few minutes, maybe three times a month.

Facebook...that's more geared toward professionals, and doesn't allow promotional networking...and I don't really know anyone in the "professional" field, outside of other authors and agents...none of whom network with aspiring authors on there. So it's not much good to me.

Twitter...I tried it in my personal life, with friends...and it was just a waste of time. I wrote it off.

But then I found a few agents who were twittering...and I GOT IT! ie: it wasn't until I happened across someone who was twittering information that interested me that I understood.

So twitter works great in my author life, for networking and staying in contact with others in the world of publishing. I follow about 20 agents, editors, and newly-sold authors, and the information and links that are shared are fantastic. And since the posts have to stay short, it doesn't take much time to keep up with...as long as you keep a tight reign on who you follow and exactly what information you're on the lookout for.

It seems that different "networks" sort-of evolve on Twitter. Bradley Robb mentioned the Twitter news during primary season. I'm sure others use twitter to keep up on sports seasons.

For me, it's the publishing world. The agents and editors I follow all follow each other, so I can "listen in" on their little snippets of conversation and hop on whenever I want. For example...the other day, one of them (can't remember which) said they were considering a website redesign, and what things did authors like/not like about agency websites? A bunch of us twittered our ideas, and another agent or two jumped in to say she wanted to hear all the feedback, too.

It's also a good way to let your own followers know when you post a new blog post (I blog 2x/week or so), etc. And then there's the fun stuff...like today, I expect the twitter world will know quite a few of the GH finalists almost immediately, so there'll be lots of congratulations flying around. :-)

I don't know that myspace and twitter will ALWAYS be something that I'll do...I just know that, right now, they "fit" where I'm at in my writing career.

And I hope that in-depth explanation helps those who don't "get" twitter figure out if it's something they might be able to use in networking...or not. (And if someone wants to see the sort of information that come and go through my own twitter, my feed is twitter.com/KathleenMaciver, and if you want to know who else in the publishing world to follow, just follow agent Colleen Lindsay. Every Friday she posts links of all the best agents and editors who are twittering. :-)

Anonymous said...

The thing I really don't get about Twitter is when people post their Tweets to their blog. I guess I'm missing something. I just don't see the point. Most of the Tweets I see posted on blogs say stuff like, "I wrote for five minutes, and then the doorbell rang," or, "I had Rice Krispies for breakfast," or, "JaneDoe, that is so funny!"

Now, I know some very nice people who post their Tweets on their blogs, so I'm not going to sign my name to this post because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But I think a person needs to consider what they hope to achieve before posting Tweets to their blog. Really, if your blog readers know you have a Twitter account and wish to see what you're saying over there, they'll go check it out. But if a person is using his blog to reach out to readers, I think it's more professional to leave the Tweets on Twitter and not clutter up a blog with them.

Mark Terry said...

I agree 100%. I just opened a Facebook account and the jury's still out on that. I have an inactive MySpace account, but eventually found it annoying. Blog, yes. Website, yes. RSS feeds, yes. I've thought about Twitter, but ultimately it looks like a series of constant interruptions that will really screw up my workday, which has more interruptions already than I can handle.

I'm wondering where we'll be in 10 years. My suspicion is a lot of these things will go the way of "chat rooms." They still "sort of" exist, but people use them for a while and then decided they were ultimately not making their life better or more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Ditto! Who cares that folks need to walk their dogs or go buy groceries? Seems like a big waste of time--and the next big toy or fad.

I almost gasped when I heard Charlie Gibson talk about "Twittering" after Obama's awesome speech. I'll just go online or watch CNN for my latest news.
Yawn--wake me when it's over...

Linda Banche said...

Wow, thanks, Kathleen. Lots of great info. I have a bunch of blogs, yahoo loops, facebook, myspace, and several social networks, and I wonder if any of this stuff works. Plus, I have to write another book. Where does the time go?

K. Andrew Smith said...

Don't worry, being technically savvy doesn't mean you automatically "get" Twitters. I'm a computer tech by day, writer by night, and I don't get it either. MySpace and Facebook I get, even if I don't use them, but Twitter just seems odd to me.

Bill Greer said...

I just looked at Colleen Lindsay's Twitter page and saw that Fritz Lanham at the Houston Chronicle was laid off. Wow. Newspapers are a dying breed.

Devon Matthews said...

I went to Twitter when I was trying to look at all the Queryfail brewhaha. Couldn't figure out how to navigate it, and don't wish to waste the time trying to figure it out. So, it's not for me either.

lynnrush said...

Twitter isn't for everyone, that's for sure.

I enjoy it, but I've linked it to FaceBook, so I update my twitter status then jump right to facebook and there it is.

It's been a great way to meet people, writers and non-writers alike.

jimnduncan said...

Twitter seems to be all about the gratification of instant communication. Personally, I'm happy to wait for whatever important things the agents/editors I follow in the blogosphere have to say on their blogs. I don't have the time for these things. Four kids and going to school hardly leaves me time to do writing, much less trying to network on twitter/facebook/myspace. The hour a day I spend perusing my blogs is more than enough. I'm happy to get the info filtered down to me hours or days later in the comfort of the blog. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I won't ever twitter.

Madeline said...

Jessica, I loved the last paragraph of your post. I feel much better now about the things I am doing, and the things I'm not. :)

sara said...

Even though it might be hard for you to come up with the 300 blog posts a year, I sure love reading them! You do a great job going over information for us readers.

I agree about Twitter. Don't use it now, don't plan to. I mean, who really wants to post constant updates of what they're doing? And who wants to read that? I don't understand why it's suddenly so popular!

L.C. Gant said...

I guess I'm of the minority opinion here, but I absolutely LOVE Twitter, so much so that I don't really keep up with my Facebook page as much anymore. If you know how to use it, it's pretty fantastic.

As one commenter mentioned earlier, Twitter is kind of like a mini news feed. It shows you exactly what's going on in the world RIGHT NOW. It's the closest thing I've got to seeing news as it actually happens.

I knew more about the Hudson plane crash than some news channels did, because I saw the Tweets from people who lived in the area and SAW it happen. Same with the publishing industry. I can get links to events and see job postings the moment they go up, rather than hours or days later.

I've also met many writers, editors and agents that I might never have met through the blog or on Facebook. Since you can see everyone's Twitter feed, it's easy to find out who other people are talking/Twittering with and contact them if you have things in common. Naturally, they can choose whether they want to talk to/Tweet with you or not.

It's easy to get addicted of course, but over time I learned to prevent that sort of thing. I only Tweet about 3 times a day, which isn't often compared to others, who might Tweet dozens of times.

I didn't get Twitter at first either, but now I don't know how I functioned without it. I really recommend that everyone at least try it before you knock it. It's much more useful than you might think.

Gina Black said...

I love Twitter. I enjoy the on-and-off conversation with other authors and folks.

Kate Douglas said...

I have to admit that I love MySpace and Facebook, and really enjoy the connections I've made with readers, but in a way, they're the only social life I've got most of the time. With four books a year, I really don't get out much. This past week, though, I was at a conference in NY and met two of my readers I'd gotten to know through the social networking sites and email, and those visits just made the whole trip more special for me. I'm getting ready for a trip through the Southwest and will be meeting readers along the way--again, most of them originally connected with through social networking sites, but I have no intention of using Twitter. I'm afraid it would become a terrible "time suck" for me, so I'm avoiding it like the plague. I use Facebook and MySpace to connect with people I might otherwise never get to know, but I've really enjoyed following up on a lot of those connections with real life meetings.

Jean said...

It's all got a use, but you are right--if it doesn't float your boat, people are going to notice.

Right now, I'm having a blast using Twitter. Not for myself though--for one of my story's characters. I've been posting short bits of backstory--sort of a day in the life--so anyone interested can get to know her. As a writer, it is a good exercise in building a character using 152 characters or less. http://twitter.com/alliealexander

Enjoy!
Jean

Kristan said...

I think that's great advice. I joined a bunch of stuff (Twitter, MySpace, etc.) just to reserve my name, but I try not to do too much with them. I just want those options when the time comes and I need to market.

Jean said...

Oops. My mistake. It's 140 characters granted for each post. :) Either way, it's a fun way to write a story.

ryan field said...

I was unsure about both facebook and twitter at first, but when I started to use them both as tools I was amazed at how much I liked them. Especially twitter.

Twitter helps me keep in touch, on a daily basis, with my agent. She knows what I'm doing, if I'm promoting something, and general things that don't require an e-mail. It's a time saver. And I know what she's doing, in a general sense.

It also helps you keep in touch with other writers, editors, and publishers. We help promote each other if we really like something, and the word does get around.

Sooki Scott said...

I don't get Twitter either, but not for want of trying. Good to know we don't have to hop on every bandwagon.

So that makes the Jessica Faust listed on Twitter not you---I had my doubts when I saw no posts. I understand Keith Olbermann has an impersonator there.

Confucius says; our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.

Christine said...

It's the shorter length of the posts that turns me off about it - I want details!

Wes said...

Thank goodness that you posted this. I thought I was the only one who didn't get it.

Karen Duvall said...

I don't do Facebook or MySpace, but I absolutely LOVE Twitter! For me, it's not as much social as it is professional. There's an amazing amount of information that gets posted throughout the day, so it's really a tool. The brevity is amazing and to the point, so no time is wasted getting the news you can use, especially when it comes to the publishing industry.

QueryFail was great, and there will be QueryFail 2 on April 1, I think. It was also just announced on Twitter that The Knight Agency is having a hook contest. Tor editor Heather Osborn tweeted she had an open slot for paranormal romance and received 35 manuscripts over the weekend couple of weeks ago. Editor moves are announced, agent changes are announced, all of it up to the minute info on Twitter.

It's true some people post stuff like "My bird has the flu" and "I had an amazing pizza for lunch", but the posts are so short you just skim over the fluff. And you don't have to follow those kinds of people if you don't want.

I'm a fairly active tweeter, I suppose. I've posted lines from my manuscript, I've asked editors and agents direct questions and they answer back right away, I announce my new blog posts to increase my blog traffic.

Twitter isn't for everyone, and it can be a time waster if abused. Used as a tool, it's an excellent resource for writers.

Anonymous said...

To me, Twitter is a bit like spam--you have to go through so much junk to get a few juicy tidbits.
If the news is THAT important, it'll show up elsewhere.

Besides, I don't want to share my private time with strangers.
Wase of time and energy!

Deborah said...

I love love love Twitter. I can update my Facebook from it, send pictures and updates from my phone. I follow a lot of agents and authors in real time. I've learned tons of things I didn't know before Twitter and have used since. I have found dozens of blogs I read now because Twitter people post their own blogs and others that they like. It's the fastest source of information. It takes a couple of minutes to check everything. Where Facebook is faster than Myspace, Twitter is faster than Facebook. As a writer, I find that I'm learning how to write more concisely. 140 spaces turns out to be enough to say just about everything.

Karen Duvall said...

LOL, Anon! That's a misconception about Twitter. You see only the posts of people you follow. If you choose to follow people who post spam, that's your choice. If you don't, you won't see spam. Simple as that. If you choose only to follow 5 people, those are the only tweets you'll see. You can choose not to be followed by anyone, or block certain people you don't want following you. The only people to see your tweets will be those you choose to seem them. Very simple. Very private.

Clarity J said...

it is helpful if one looks at Twitter as a user driven newswire. By choosing to follow people who understand how to use the service, I have been exposed though links or keywords to a lot of really good information in a very timely fashion. When I choose people to follow I look for not just like minds but people who are pointing me to information online or concepts that add to my offline life. But like all forms of media one must look at it with a critical mind and be choosy in what one gives his or her attention.

One thing I will say for as a writer, I really enjoy finding and delivering a concept or story in a 140 characters or less. It's my daily sudoko puzzle. Id love to see writers or poets post some of their juiciest sentences that day or see if a few twitterers together could devise a fictional story through 140 character posts. Those could be some other fun and creative uses. Of course, as a freelancer, I also like to follow people who tweet immediate job postings.

There are probably as many uses out there as there are people, and we are just discovering them. The members of the general public are in their infancy of becoming quality content providers.

Deborah K. White said...

I love Twitter, but it only really works if you know what you want out of it. For me, it's a way to meet and network with other authors or people in the publishing industry and to learn what's going on in publishing. For an agent, I could see using it as a way to let people know when a new blog post was put up or for keeping in contact with your authors.

The thing is, you have to be careful who you follow and how much time you spend on it. I won't follow people who twitter excessively every day or who twitter mostly on what they just ate or that they just opened a window. Despite the prompt on twitter, you rarely actually say what you're doing. It's more about passing on relevant information and for communication.

Karen Duvall said...

Clarity, I follow chef140, who posts entire recipes in only 140 characters. Pretty amazing.

Kathleen MacIver said...

Thanks, Karen Duvall for posting that. You're right...the "I ate this" posts are pointless. At least, to some of us. Granted...if you and your elderly mom keep in touch that way, then that makes it very relevant to you. But in the publishing world, that's not helpful. I've quit following a few people whose posts were that type.

And I agree that syndicating your twitter feed to your blog is pretty useless, too. I've got a twitter gadget on the side of my blog, so if someone comes by and wants to see what I tweet or follow me, they can... but it doesn't get in the way of the Scotland images and story installments.

As for the commenter who said they can wait for news...so you can. BUT... News is a one-way street. Twittering is a two-way street. Where else can you ask an agent or editor a question off the top of your head, in the middle of the day, and have a decent chance of getting a reply? (Sometimes tweets get lost in the shuffle.)

Anyway...I'm not saying it's for everyone. It's not. I'm just trying to illustrate that it's not necessarily what it appears to be at first glance.

Kathleen MacIver said...

And then there was the twitter pitch contest. How fantastic of a pitch can you write in 140 characters or less? That was a FANTASTIC exercise!

Genre Reviewer said...

I also enjoy using twitter. I primarily use it as a way to keep in contact with industry professionals. It also helps me to know when new books are coming out or are getting a marketing push. I also enjoy being able to keep up on industry news and people's thoughts on that news.

As people have said, be selective in who you follow so that you're getting the information or relationships you want out of it. Also, you don't have to constantly have the tweets interrupting you. You can read them when you want to or get a tool that organizes tweets for you and/or sends them in bunches every ten minutes or whatever instead of constantly interrupting you as they happen.

There's a learning curve, but it's useful once you have it figured out.

Wes said...

Hmmmmmm........Interesting posts. Maybe I'll give Twitter another try. Thanks for the info.

Sheila Deeth said...

I think I'm going for the try-everything approach, and dreaming maybe something will click.

Aimless Writer said...

I think I visited Twitter once. It looked like too much work. I have enough on my plate now. I have stories to polish and send out, some that need to be finished and others brewing in the background. I have a facebook I check in on like once a month, I think I still have the myspace somewhere and my blog. I like my blog best but still it can be work. So why do I need to jump into twitter?
When I get published these things might come in handy to publicize the book...maybe? I'll think about it then.
Note: The Bookends blog is the best. Please don't ever stop blogging. Writers all over the net would cry.

E. J. Tonks said...

Are you an Apple fan, too? I swear, I must've been the last author on the planet to cross over to the Mac, and even then they had to drag me--kicking and screaming--away from the PC!

So now I *know* why Macs are preferred by authors, but what's the appeal for industry folk?

Karen Duvall said...

Looking for industry pros to follow on Twitter? Here's a list that might be helpful:

http://tinyurl.com/d9ovjm

Dara said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't seem to get caught up in the Twitter frenzy. I have an account but I rarely update. I spend most of my time on Facebook and my Wordpress blog. That seems like enough for me.

I also tried MySpace and it was too much...especially when people have weird little graphics all over the page and music playing.

Melinda Leigh said...

I haven't tried Twitter yet. By the time I got the hang of MySpace, everyone had moved on to Facebook. I jumped on that one a little faster, but the last thing I need is one more social networking site.

Emily Cross said...

Thank YOU!! its nice to know i'm not alone when it comes to twittering! i just don't get it, whats the point of commenting on every moment of your day to anyone and everyone on the internet? i'll stick to forums and blogger

Ulysses said...

Thank-you for saying this. I'm sure that Twitter is a useful and entertaining tool for many people, however, I don't think I would get much value out of it.

I realize that, when publicizing one's book one should use all the tools at one's disposal, but I've been feeling a little stressed because I didn't see the point of Twitter. It helps to know I'm not the only one, and that the Twitter void in my marketing plan will not be a deal breaker.

Karen Duvall said...

What you're missing on Twitter:

ElaineSpencer of the Knight Agency said: I'm thinking about doing a "Pitching" wrkshp via twitter tomorrow, what to and what not to do during pitch appts w/eds & agents, good idea?

Rick Chesler said...

Timesaver: You can synch your Twitter and Facebook so that when you send a message to one, it also goes to the other.

Tweet me:
@RickChesler

BookEnds, LLC said...

Well...some of you might have convinced me to give it a try. I just don't know if I have any additional time in my day, but I might have to at least consider it.

AstonWest said...

It's all in what you expect to get out of it...just like any other social networking site.

It's a terrific way to find new friends and keep in touch with what's going on with them.

I thoroughly enjoy it, and would never have found many people in and around my area to meet up with in person if it wasn't for Twitter.

Karen Duvall said...

Jessica, I think you'll enjoy it, and you'd be a natural. There are several agents who only tweet once or twice a day. It wouldn't take you long to post 140 characters. I think this is especially good for agents who do interact with each other and share a lot on Twitter, and they can announce book deals if they want, post what they're looking for, promote clients' books to their followers.

Think of it as a networking tool, not a social time-waster. You make it what you want it to be to work for you. Enjoy!

Lady Glamis said...

What great thoughts! SO true that we must have our heart in what we're doing. Blogging works great for me. I don't think Twittering would. :)

Anonymous said...

OK, all you Twitter twirps, what happened to just picking up the phone? LOL

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I blogged about the same subject on Saturday. I have my blog, my website, Facebook, my critique forum, my Absolute Write forum, at least five Yahoo groups, a couple of 'bookshelf' forums and even a hockey forum!

So many beaks to feed. If I add Twitter, I think I'll snap.

I'm enjoying Facebook. I can root for fellow authors, get my books out there and reconnect with my old high school buddies.

Kim Kasch said...

It's hyperactive blogging . . . but then maybe it suits me.

;D

Kathleen MacIver said...

Anon who asked why we don't pick up the phone...

Uh...are you an agent who happens to have the phone numbers of 50 different unpublished authors so you can give them a ring and ask what aspiring authors find helpful on agent websites? Or are you an author who has the phone numbers of six different agents to ask a quick question of them?

I'm not. But I can twitter them, as long as I keep my twitter reputation in mind and don't ruin it by annoying them and making them block me!

And BTW... if anyone wants to follow Elaine's pitch workshop, there are two ways. One...if you want to just see what Elaine posts, follow her tweet's on http://twitter.com/ElaineSpencer.

Or you can just go to http://search.twitter.com and enter the hashtag #pitch and it'll automatically filter out all the posts she (and everyone) makes with that hashtag. WARNING... as of right now, she's trying to come up with a new hashtag that's more unique so it'll be easier to follow...so you'll want to check her posts to see what she finds and search for that instead.

But anyway...as you search, the page will let you know when you need to refresh the page, so you can do that at your own leisure.

Karen Duvall said...

Eileen Spencer has changed the hashtag of her pitch workshop to #ptchtip for those who want to check it out.

Deborah K. White said...

Jessica, here's just a few thoughts. If you don't feel you have time for twitter, then don't feel like you have to. We're just telling you why we like it so much. :)

Second, perhaps ask the agents who are twittering why they like it and how they handle it. They can probably give you tips on how to keep twitter useful and under control.

Third, perhaps you might initially be more interested in setting up a twitter account with Settings-> Account-> check "Protect my updates" so that only, say, other agents or your own authors can contact you through twitter. As I understand it, it's a sort of private twitter network.

Just some ideas.

Also, here are a few links that you might find useful:

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/d4z8xy

How to Use Twitter Without Twitter Owning You: http://tinyurl.com/dx2l7h

10 Twitter Tools that Help You Work Smarter: http://tinyurl.com/dffplp

Fawn Neun said...

Blogging isn't for me. If I have time to write that much non-personal text, I should be working on one of my writing projects.

Twitter does, however, give me a chance to feel out the personalities and working styles of various publishing professionals, so that I have an idea of who might be suited to further contact from me.

Some across harsh and judgmental and I'd rather not work with them, because I already know there will be a personality clash.

I also get an idea of what they already like, because they do post books, music, shows, etc. that they enjoy.

For me, Twitter allows me to do a bit more research into a person's preferences than I would get by simply going to their static webpage, and it's a continuing view of their likes and dislikes and style.

As for time, unless you get completely sucked up and addicted to it, it's there when you have the time and easily ignored when you don't.

-Ann said...

I'm sure you know by now, but you're not alone in not getting Twitter. I don't get it either. (And MySpace also didn't work for me, but Facebook and blogging do.)

Although I'm sick at the Twitter-ization of Facebook. It might be the end of it for me.

Belynda Cianci said...

Hiya! I have heard the same from a lot of people about Twitter, and at first I must admit I was lukewarm on the idea, but as I see it, it's got two things going for it (and now I'm an addict so of course I have to defend it!)

First, you can connect with a lot of people without large time investment (some time for following others, some for posting tweets or responding to replies from your followers). Second, it's great for getting an occasional tidbit of news that you might have missed, or something just downright amusing whether it's industry-related or not.

Facebook also has a clever little interface by which you can update your FB status from your tweets. Makes it one less stop if you decide to use both.

Give it a try! If it's not for you, you can always ditch it :)

Rebecca Mazin said...

Twitter is perfect for my 23 year old nephew who is hiking the Appalachian Trail and keeping family and friends up to date. Although I do think there is something a bit odd about a vegan living the simple life with cell phone, but I may just be showing my age.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kathleen, I get that...my point is there's also a lot of CRAP on Twitter and it's like going through SPAM to get to a few good tidbits...I just don't have the time or patience to sift through personal trivia.

Who can be interesting 24/7?
If you find anyone worth following, PLMK--thanks!

Heidi said...
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