I used to hate twitter. I complained about twitter on this very blog as recently as a few months ago. I resisted twitter for too long and now I couldn’t really tell you why.
Actually, I could.
I resisted twitter because it seemed so anonymous. It was too focused on quantity, not quality. When I surfed my feed it seemed filled with an awful lot of blather and retweets of the same blather. All those hashtags of gobbledygook made no sense. #I'mtoogoodfortwitter
I would still maintain that is the case, but I’ve discovered how to make my own twitter experience more substantial. #buildabettertwitter
I’m going for a quality twitter that is full of relationships and real people who could be and might be- friends. #realtwitterfriends
It is taking some intentional efforts and not a little time (but I try to do it mostly while walking on my treadmill desk so I don’t feel too guilty).
Instead of following anyone and everyone willy-nilly, as seems to be the strategy of many. I’m being picky. I’m following people who seem like people I’d enjoy sitting down with for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. (Except the dogs that I’m following, I don’t like dogs who wine. Badabumpbump. There seem to be an inordinate number of dogs with their own twitter feeds). #bepickyandfollowdogs
This takes time. I have to read bios. If I like the bios, I have to visit the twitter page. And read it. And maybe click a link and read that. #Ifollowcoolbiosandthatrhymes
Some people are easy. I can simply read their bio and know I like them – they mention dogs or horses, writing, my politics (notice I’m not mentioning the color of those politics), wine, annoying children, or something bizarre, like one woman talked about her affinity for mashed potatoes. Those people, I automatically follow. #kindredspiritsandmashedpotatolovers
Others, might pique my interest, but have too many hashtags or braggy stuff in their bios. I don’t want to follow people who are all about numbers or contests or free stuff or only pushing their product. Still, I give them the chance and check out their feed. #nojudgmentuntilnecessary
My process is getting faster as I’m learning to assess a twitter page more quickly:
Naked people? Nope, won't follow that. #nonakedpeopleonmyfeedkidscouldbewatching
Too pushy or judgmental with the politics? I’ll pass. #noobnoxiouspeopleormeanpeople
No original content- only retweets? Not for me. #nolazytweetersbeoriginal
I love the people who post their own pictures and thoughts. I love funny people, but I love sincere people more. #lovesincerityandrealpeople
When anyone follows me or follows me back, I always message them. I look for a connection to mention or a post I liked. I try to find some way to put some substance to our connection. Sometimes this goes, unmentioned, but most people message me back. Sometimes we start chatting. Sometimes we become friends. #FRIENDS!
I’m going to be one of the guest hosts for a Facebook Book launch party next week for another author I met through twitter. #TEONJAN19 (that’s the actual hashtag for the event! But you can sign up HERE to join me on Monday and win free stuff)
Another new friend on twitter, who is a lawyer, agreed to read the court scenes in my YA manuscript to be sure I got it right. #newcontactsareawesomebenefit
I’ve chatted with friends all over the world. I’m even considering putting up a map in my office and placing pins in the spots spots where I’ve made twitter connections. It would fill up fast. I’m friends with a third grade class in Kansas, folks in countries I've never even heard of, a bunch of people in Oz, and several neighbors who live right down the road. Maybe someday I’ll take a twitter road trip and meet some of these people! #twitterroadtriptomeetmytwerps
I suppose twitter is a chameleon. It’s whatever you want it to be. If you just want to amass numbers and impress the world (or an agent/editor/publisher), you can do that. You can even outsource it. There’s a gazillion businesses out there who will do it for you. #buyyourownfollowingifyouwant
But if you want to learn something, meet interesting people, make friends, network with cool people, and explore the world, you can do that, too. I’m reformed. I love twitter. #Ihearttwitter