Monday, March 26, 2012

Twitter Peeves

Some of you don't Twitter. I happen to be a fan, because I've learned you can venture across geographical miles and social obstacles and actually talk to people ordinarily deemed beyond reach. I've found obscure contests, magazines opportunities, and agent requests on Twitter. I think the best part of Twitter, at least for me, is that when I have this blinding flash of brilliance, I can post it ASAP, before I lose it to the universe, forgotten and gone.

But in case you DO Twitter, and just in case you want to follow me, here are a few issues I have with the medium. My pet peeves about Twitter are:

1. "Please Retweet"

Hey, let me decide whether or not to RT. Instead, spend the space (Please Retweet is a lot of space on Twitter) to convince me I need to RT.

2. Links with no explanation.

There's little reason to leave unused space on Twitter. Take the time to fill it up with a catchy explanation why I should dare open that link. Coax me, entice me, educate me, but don't think I'll trust you with just a link.

3. People following zillions of people.

It's great to be followed by thousands of fans. However, when you re-follow each and every one of them, it's very obvious you are on Twitter to be seen and not to participate. Very one-sided. Be selective in who you follow, and I'll love you more. A guy with 24,563 followers, who is following 23,687, is no more reading his Tweets than I am training to be an astronaut.

4. Tweeting in code.

@hopeclark RT @extraght. Check out amzn.to/OIBxwwe ; bit.ly/OWHmmj; amzn.to/WHO833s. Please retweet.

What the heck? Like I'm going to click on that? Again, take the time to communicate with me.

Twitter is a great social media platform. But like any social media tool, use it wisely, respecting the reader.

1. Tweet legibly.
2. Tweet smart.
3. Tweet with respect.
4. Tweet as if the reader is new to Twitter.

Examples of good Tweets:

Looking forward to seeing @hopeclark and Joyce Allen at @FlyleafBook this weekend.

10 reasons why you can't make a living writing - bit.ly/GDImvD

"success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back" PG Wodehouse via @hopeclark

RT @hopeclark: Your brain on fiction - nyti.ms/xo0piT - how it responds to stimuli as written

The more difficult this tiny message, the less likely someone will read it. Seriously. I use Twitter (and I think I speak for many more like me) as a time saver. But when reading the piece is more trouble than it's worth, you might fight yourself Unfollowed.

Tweet with fun, but Tweet responsibly.

5 comments:

Arlee Bird said...

I'm a recent Twitter Bird. I've had some fun posting some tweets and have even discovered a few useful links, but overall it hasn't seemed very useful for me. I feel like there's mostly a lot of chatter going on that few people are really listening to.

Also I think there must be a lot of people who have some kind of auto-tweet program set up. Certain users seem to be on there 24 hours a day with tweets coming at 5 or 10 minute intervals. Seems to be a lot of junk tweeting going on.


Lee
The Dog Lived (and So Did I)
Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Hope Clark said...

Like any media tool, it takes a while to master it. You need a niche, a unique voice and style, just like you ought to have on a blog or FB, even Pinterest. The people who Tweet junk? Don't follow them. It's easier to manage with HootSuite or Twitterdeck.

Patricia Singleton said...

I like your list and feel the same way about most of them. If someone just sends me a link with nothing telling me what it is, I block them because their link is usually an advertisement of something that I don't want or it is a porn site which I am definitely not interested in as a woman who is an incest survivor.

I always check out a person's profile and their Tweets before I decide whether or not to follow. I have many more followers than I follow back. I Tweet and Retweet a lot since I use Twitter, my blog, and my Facebook page to spread hope and support for other incest survivors, female and male.

I have been following your blog and newsletter for awhile now but this is my first comment. I read both of them because I am in a writers' group and I am considering writing a memoir of my experiences with growing up and healing from incest.

Thank you for the information that you provide about writing and publishing. I haven't entered any of the contests yet, but if I ever have the time I know about them.

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

I am really enjoying reading your blog. I love the look of it, too. Thank you for sharing!

Jodi Schwen: aka, Jacqueline Pine Savage said...

Good thoughts on Twitter! I began a couple of years ago, then ran out of steam and quit posting. I started again for the reason you mentioned: to have a quick place to pop in quick insights or commentary. The short form is great for my editor-side!
Thanks for your helpful tutorial!