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What a Cat Thinks of Twitter

15 May
Marble tracking a Tweeter!

Marble tracking a Tweeter!

It’s been a couple of months now since I created my Twitter account. So, I thought I would give you a status check and let you know my current view of this social media platform. We have all heard that to be successful writers, we need to create our own marketing network because no one will market for us. In conjunction with this advice is a list of potential recommended social media platforms. Tops among this list is something called Twitter.

To be honest, when I first heard of Twitter, two things came to mind, songbirds singing to attract a mate and little old ladies playing pinochle and sipping hard lemonade. After two months using this social media platform, I am pleased to report that my initial views were spot on! Let me explain.

Twitter is a communication tool. A good example would be the old-fashioned “party” telephone line, but on steroids. Instead of ten or fifteen people hearing what you say, it’s more like ten or fifteen million. Okay, maybe only Justin B. reaches 15 Million. Anyway, let’s just say you can reach a lot of people…IF…they follow you. We will not get to why someone would follow you, there are volumes of material on the mechanics of using Twitter. Let’s talk instead, about how writers are currently using Twitter.

I currently follow a wide variety of individuals. Actresses, famous authors, a comedian, a bunch or writer types I don’t know and even some of you are on my list of following. I read skim through several hundred tweets a day. This takes on average 30 minutes. Thank God for train rides. If we throw out the comedian, (sorry Bill!) and the actresses, (Okay let’s set them a side gently. They are nice ladies) what I am left with is primarily writers and a few readers. Wow, that cut down the number of tweets by around 25! That leaves, let’s say 250 tweets. 99% of these remaining tweets fall into one of four categories.

The first category is the personal odd thought tweet. For example: ‘I need more caffeine this AM.’ Or maybe, ‘Just saw a great movie with one of my peeps.’ Or, a quote that you find interesting. These are just little gems to let the world know you are still alive and may prompt a RT (retweet) if it is particularly interesting.

The second, and by far the most prevalent type of tweet. Like a songbird singing sweetly in the tree, Twitter, for the most part, is about self-promotion. These are the ‘Hey I’ve got a great book/blog, come see/buy it!’ Book reviews also fall into this category. These tweets take up roughly 150 of the remaining 250 tweets

Third comes the conversation tweets. This is where two or more people carry on a conversation, 140 characters at a time. Keep in mind it is not a private conversation. People who follow any of the conversationalist can see the whole thing and even join in. Sometimes, it approaches the old women playing pinochle image. Although the language may be a bit too harsh for granny.

Lastly are the normal blog post links. I keep them separate because they are usually commentary in nature and are not trying to ‘sell’ you on something.

There is one other thing I’d like to point out. There are individuals out there who retweet EVERYTHING they see. Are they trying to help others out by giving the original tweet more exposure? Or, are they just interested in seeing their own name 150 times and hour?

If I seem a little cynical  please forgive me. As I stated, I am still new to this and trying to learn how best to use the monster called Twitter.

I like the conversation feature and the blog links provide access to posts I might otherwise miss. Also, Bill M. just makes me laugh when I desperately need it. I keep asking myself, ‘What do I want from this?’ For me the jury is still out and I will continue to try new things in the Twitterverse. As far as my cat Marble, when he sees a Tweeter, He thinks, “LUNCH”.

You’ll find me at @langledd. Come, let’s play some pinochle and drink some hard lemonade.

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11 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Musings and Odd Thoughts

 

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11 responses to “What a Cat Thinks of Twitter

  1. char

    May 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Enjoyed your feedback, Dennis. You lost gaining me as a fellow Twiterpater at 30 minutes though. I don’t want to add another venue that takes up my time since I don’t ride the train (but I know that means I’m missing out on what everyone is eating for breakfast and lunch and promoting…and that makes me sad…kind of. Okay, I lied. It doesn’t make me sad at all…unless they’re eating chocolate).

     
    • Dennis Langley

      May 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      I am getting quicker. It’s down to about 10 minutes and when I unfollow one individual, it should be a just a few minutes here and there. Trying to decide what you want to see is the hard part and that takes time by trial and error. There have been a few good posts recently on the subject. One by Kristen Lamb is especially useful. Twitter is flexible.

       
      • char

        May 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        I do like Kristen Lamb’s posts.

         
  2. Matthew Wright

    May 16, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Twitter’s a funny place in some ways – kind of cross between a giant classifieds column (which, I suspect, is precisely the purpose…) and a kind of public online text messaging. I use it for direct messaging my relatives in the Netherlands on occasion too – it’s handy.

    What blows me away is the way it’s also a leveller. Your Twitter account, my Twitter account and, Justin Bieber’s Twitter account are functionally identical. “They” have the same tools “we” do – something unheard of, I think, even a decade ago.

     
    • Dennis Langley

      May 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

      You are correct about it be a level functional playing field. Although, I believe Justin’s publicist is better than mine which gives him a slight edge in followers. 😉

      I have heard of some Twitter add-ons that can help manage the account, set up tweets in advance and so on. I haven’t had a chance to look into them as yet. Maybe for a later post?

       
  3. byjhmae

    May 20, 2013 at 6:26 am

    This post made me laugh. I’ve been on maybe 3 months & I have I think 40 followers. I truly get annoyed by the “buy my book” tweets, & if that’s all a tweeter offers I usually unfollow. I always thought of twitter as a place not to directly promote, but – like all social media – to get people to like you as a person. And if they like you as a person, maybe they’ll buy your book…

     
    • Dennis Langley

      May 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

      I think you are right on with your original thought about Twitter. The communication side of things is where I intend to spend my energy. Look for me at @langledd. That will add one more “real” follower to our list. 🙂

       
      • byjhmae

        May 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Already followed you 🙂

         
      • Dennis Langley

        May 21, 2013 at 6:59 am

        Sorry, My bad for not checking first.

         
  4. 4amWriter

    May 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I am having such a difficult time making Twitter a habit. I do well for a couple of days, and then I let it go. It just doesn’t hold my interest the way blogging does, and I’m sure it’s that level of connection that makes the difference.

    I think your observations are dead-on accurate. I feel the same way about the tweets I see, and they’re boring, to put it bluntly. I have yet to figure out what good Twitter is. I’m sure if I had 30 minutes to spare a day just randomly tweeting, I’d find a way to make it useful.

    Cute kitty.

     
  5. Dennis Langley

    May 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’ve started to un-follow some of the individuals I spoke of which, greatly reduces the amount of trash to wade through. Also, I have started to use hash tags more. In particular I follow #WANA (We are Not Alone). I try not to spend very much time on it each day. But, I do try to tweet/retweet at least every other day. I may revisit this post in a few more months as I get more comfortable with how I want to use it.

    Marble, say thank you to the nice lady.

    Meow!

     

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