Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's Not to Love?

I think I've been conned, or made a very poor decision. Possibly both.

I started a Twitter account and after less than 48 hours I think I regret it. I can't delete it just yet; that would make me look like a complete loser. 

Why did I do this if it's such a burden? you ask.  Well, as a writer, I'm supposed to have a platform. I think my platform is coming along nicely, what with all the expatty stuff I write and 'do'. Apparently however, I need thousands upon thousands of Twitter and Facebook followers to attract a publisher. They aren't content with a damn good book, a previously published author with oddles of presence and a solid platform these days. Oh no. They're ten a penny. What you have to bring now, is a ready made audience.

I can't be bothered with the FB thing. I'm quite familiar with all that and people don't just stumble upon your page. It's a lot of work for questionable reward.  I was, however, assured by at least a thousand people that Twitter was wonderful, I would soon get the hang of it, and it was positively essential for my writer cred.

Trouble is, I can't think of a single thing to say. In just a few words anyway. She who hasn't met a silence she coldn't fill, a comment box she could ignore, is struggling to Tweet.

People - I need reassurance.

Oh yes, and what's the # thing anyway?

(You can find me as @ToniHargis on Twitter, since the ExpatMum name was already taken.)



  1. Exactly true. I was told I simply MUST open a Twitter account, so I did. I followed a few of my friends and soon learned how to screen the commercial visitors and children who wanted to follow me.

    Then I stopped trying to make up tiny clever sentences and didn't go back for a very long time. I went back a couple days ago and I think I have it under control now.

    btw, some people still like to buy books simply because they are damn good books. :)

  2. Welcome to the world of Twitter. It may help if you install Tweetdeck (or something similar)so you can see what's going on a bit more easily.

    The # thing is used if you are joining in a certain topic. If you click on the hashtag in someone's tweet you can read all the other tweets on this topic!

    I must admit it was very confusing at first but I got the hang of it. It has been a good way to publicise a blog post and increase traffic but you do have to make the effort to chat to people on it too: just barge into conversations.

  3. I did it for a morning, and then gave up for two exquisitely-contradictory reasons.

    First, I thought it was very very much a poor relation to blogging, and I therefore felt a bit snooty about it and didn't really want to join in.

    Second, I could see that if I did join in, I could get addicted, and then I really never would leave the computer.

    Did you go to the session at Cyber Mummy by the publisher? He was talking in terms of a publishing house looking for THOUSANDS of followers, not just hundreds. So get tweeting, girl!

  4. I went through the "what's the point of Twitter"
    Thing but now I love it. Have met lots of
    People (online) and don't know what I did
    Without it. Am also hoping for that publishing
    Deal and believe these online forums are
    Very beneficial. But I do hope people still
    Read too.

    CJ xx

  5. I joined Twitter a couple of years ago and have to say I'm a bit bored of it now. I feel like it's turned into a chat room full of people trying to promote their stuff.

    I loved it when it was actually people saying what they were doing.

    I need to get back into it - will go and say hello to you!

  6. If thats the kind of pressure that you have to endure, then I would rather not be famous.
    Nothing would make me do things that I didn't want to or hadn't the time to do.
    I think you are fine as you are and I think the most important thing is *be true to yourself* :-)
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. Toni, on Twitter there is a thing called Follow Friday where we tweet the names of our favorite followers. I'll tweet your on Friday. That will help get you more followers. I can also post it on my FB fan page if you like but I'll wait for you to give me permission for that. Start off by following other people you like. They can be people you know, other writers, PowderRoom Graffiti, etc. Read what they tweet and then respond and have a conversation. That gets you started building Twitter relationships. Eventually you'll get the hang of it and will have something to tweet from time to time. Some people just tweet their book promotions.

    The main thing you should definitely do is have your blog posts sent to your Twitter feed using something called Twitter Feed. So anyone following you will see your new blog posts. If someone likes your post, they re-tweet it to their followers and so on and so on. If you need help, give me a shout.

  8. Gosh - thanks y'all for all the advice and help. I will definitely be putting it all into practice although it still feels like I've just had another child with the amount of work that seems to be involved. (If that makes sense.)
    Iota - too funny that you tried it for a whole morning!!!
    Melissa - yes, FB away. Thanks.

  9. I'm afraid of Twittering...Facebook scared the hell out of me, people I'd just as soon not hear from EVER AGAIN keep finding me...but hope that the Twitter thing does work out for you...I'd buy your book...but would you buy mine, lol?
    been away for a while but back now, and have a lot of catching up to do!

  10. Ah, there's a thing. I have a twitter account and tweeted daily for quite a while. I set up Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to test out which I was most comfortable with and have linked with FB and managed multiple accounts. In the end I found that without a data plan on my phone, I just couldn't keep up with it all. I ended up feeling tied to the computer dealing with social media instead of producing the product I wanted to promote. It's a fantastic marketing resource and it's a great way to keep in touch with what's happening in your field, but don't allow it to stop you from writing. Set limits!

  11. It takes a little while to get the hang of it ... but it is addictive and the feedback is instantaneous. Keep trying!

  12. OH just refers to me as a tweet-addict now. Ho hum.

    Fun, can be addictive, and you need to remember that what you post is in the public forum.

    Right, gotta go. Some 140 characters need addressing...

    LCM x

  13. Stick with it for a while. Follow the likes of Stephen Fry and Roger Ebert and once you've got a hang of what you can do with the form then decide whether you want to keep up with it or not.

  14. I'm hoping that something new will come along, and then everyone will leave Twitter and say "oh, it's so yesterday", and I can jump on the new bandwagon along with everyone else, and then it will never have mattered that I didn't Twitter.

    The weird thing is that although I only Twittered for one morning, months ago, I still get new followers. I assume they're the Twitter equivalent of spam.

  15. As a non-blogger, Tweeter or whatever else, I just can't see the point. Sounds like a way to waste hours when you could be doing something important or enjoyable!

    I think Twitter will run out of steam and become passe. Facebook is almost at that stage I think. I'm still on that as it's sort of nice to see what old schoolfriends (who I wouldn't otherwise keep in touch with) are doing, but otherwise it's pretty much a waste of time.

    As for Twitter, I can't see why anyone would be interested in what I've got to say, and I'm not really interested in other people's wafflings. I can't see what they'd say that isn't on their blog, if they have one.

    I like books! Far more interesting than stupid Twitter, and with far better quality writing.

  16. I have had an account for a good while now. I still can't see the point of it. I don't have much to say in 140 characters or less... and neither do most other people!

  17. I've not got the hang of it either - I think it's one of these things you need to do all.the.time or not at all. And I'm not doing it every day. I do want to keep a semblance of an offline life.
    But I'll happily follow you next time I'm on so you can convince your publishers. :-)


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