To Tweet, or Not to Tweet?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ah, Twitter. It can seem rather pointless when it's treated as a glorified Facebook status page where you can tell all your "followers" every little detail about your day - limited in the words in each Tweet, but not limited to the number of Tweets you can share. Not that it's bad to celebrate the small things and let your friends know what's up with you. But if that's all that's Twitter is about... Yeah, we just really don't need another social network site.

Or do we? Well, I really think it depends on the person. Nobody needs Twitter - but if you're a writer and blogger, here are some reasons why it might be a beneficial tool:
  • Sharing Links. It's quick and easy - not to build up a following, necessarily, but once you have your network, it's a snap to share the links to your blog posts and giveaways (hosted by you or your author/blogging friends). A lot of blog posts have several buttons at the bottom that let you share the post - including a button to quickly post a link on Twitter. When you press the "t" button you can edit the wording included with the link to draw readers' attention. (Don't have the sharing buttons at the bottom of your posts? If you're using Blogger, just go to the "Layout" page, then click "Edit" at the bottom of the big "Blog Posts" box, and then check the box next to the "Show Share Buttons" option.)
  • Writing Time. Need some encouragement to just sit down and write? Try getting some of your fellow writers on Twitter to join you in a #wordwar or #1K1HR (1,000 words in 1 hour). Setting a time limit can really help you pound some words out - and it's nice to have the companionship of others who need to get some writing done, as well. (I've recently been introduced to TweetChat.com, and it's a great tool for you and your group to just view tweets that have to do with the hashtag (i.e.: #wordwar) that you're using.)
  • Quick Communication. Everybody on Twitter has to keep it short and sweet. You can browse through the tweets your friends have written, easily respond directly to a person's witty or more serious remarks, and even send a direct message to someone you need to get in touch with to ask about doing interviews on your blog (etc.). 
These are just a few reasons why I think Twitter has merit. I deactivated my Facebook account a couple of years ago after having it for a few months because it was just too distracting and created too much drama. (If I ever do start up an account again, I think I'd try to just create a professional page for my writing career or something.) But because I use my Twitter account in conjunction with my blog, I've found it to be fun and useful.

What about you? What social network sites do you prefer to use and why?

2 comments:

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

I battle with this, Amber, mostly because I have to guard every minute of my writing time so carefully. When I get on FB, I find myself frittering away an hour or more, and in my tight schedule, an hour wasted is a big deal.

Then Pinterest came along and...OY. Anybody else hooked on this particular medium?

Amber S. said...

Yes, guarding your time is super important! Prioritizing is key - and something that can be super hard to remember (or at least follow through on) sometimes...

I think when it comes to social media, maybe picking and choosing can be helpful. Right now, I'm on blogger and twitter - along with Goodreads and Shelfari for keeping track of my reading and seeing what others are reading, etc. Then there's e-mails to go through, of course! And LinkedIn. But really, I guess you have to not only prioritize your day, but also micro-prioritize your social-media usage...

I'm sorry I'm rambling! I do have to say I'm kind of wary of Pinterest... It sounds like a neat idea, despite the fact that it's one more time-consuming site. But I'm timid about the potential copyright issues and such... What do you think about it?

Anyway, thanks for commenting, Lisa! :)

~Amber

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