I’m all a Twitter

January 27, 2009

twitter_logo I’m a strange creature, I’ll be the first to admit it. For example, I love the internet and technology – I use it to publish books, after all. And yet I can be strangely resistant to new things. Now I know that Twitter isn’t really new, but I’ve avoided it as if it were a previously unrecorded viral strain of ambulating cheese. I don’t know why. I think it’s partly through a self-preservation instinct where my subconscious tries to stop me spending even more time at the computer and partly through a sense of incompetence.

The incompetence thing is by far the over-riding issue. I don’t understand it, therefore I fear it. But I’ve given in. (I think the name itself has a lot to do with my aversion to it. It reminds me of being 5 years old and my dad saying, “Will you stop twittering on and eat your tea!” But that’s my own childhood trauma and best left largely buried in that box in the corner of my mind. You know, the box that, when opened, might lead to horrors unimaginable.)

However, people I greatly admire and respect seem to be regular Twitterers – is that the correct term for one who Twitters? People like Neil Gaiman, John Cleese, even Barack Obama, poster child and saviour of the world (at the moment). So I thought I’d better see what all the fuss was about.

Then I read this very interesting article on the subject by fellow indie publisher Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn blog. You should have a read of that post as it gives a nice little rundown on the basics of what Twitter is and what it does. It was enough to get me started and so far I’m enjoying the experience.

So, now I Twitter. If you Twitter too, follow me – http://twitter.com/AlanBaxter. Do you Twitter? Leave a comment if you do.


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9 Responses to I’m all a Twitter

  1. Joanna Penn on January 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks Alan, Twitter is indeed a revolution once you actually get into it! I was reticent as well, but now I love it! I find valuable information out, network with other authors like yourself and can promote (within reason!)
    Twitter is the frontline of social networking and over the Obama inauguration the traffic was bigger than Digg. Times are changing, and Twitter is a tool that will soon be mainstream. Great to have you on board as well!

    Thanks, Joanna

  2. alan on January 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks Joanna. Good to be on board!

  3. Michael on January 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    **Runs and jumps in front of bullet maniacally screaming “no-o-o-o-!”**

    Don’t do it! (Especially if the internet’s already taking too much time away from writing and more important stuff)

  4. Dianne on January 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I just added you on twitter, Alan, under the alias, Keikomushi. You can look forward to my adventures in our shed, where I am in direct contact with wildlife and all-round stupidity. 😀

  5. alan on January 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Michael – it’s that fine line between networking online and finding enough time to actually write. But yeah, I hear ya.

    Dianne – sounds positively intriguing!

  6. Cavan on January 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve always found Twitter kind of interesting…the only reasons I’ve avoided it thus far is because a) I think it might start to be a time-suck and b) I’m pretty sure I’d end up twittering unbelievably boring things. (ie. 8:00 – Cavan is eating burrito. 8:15 – Cavan is eating another burrito.)

  7. alan on January 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Cavan – that’s kinda the point really. :)

    It actually makes you think of succinct interesting things to say as you only get 140 characters per twitter. It’s one of those things that is a bit of a time suck and is a bit boring, but is also fascinating and kinda cool.

  8. Karen Lee Field on January 31, 2009 at 1:05 am

    I twittered for a while, but I thought “what IS the point?”

    Honestly, I didn’t find it interesting at all, but that’s my problem (and besides, people probably found me boring too). Anyway, I never did work out what the point was, so I closed the account. Haven’t regretted it for a second.

    Happy twittering to all who do it.

  9. alan on February 3, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Karen – I hear you. If you just kinda crap on about yourself and only read other people talking about themselves, making tea and watching Dexter, then it is pretty pointless. But for networking, sharing links with likeminded people, watching news tweets and so on it’s actually pretty cool. Same with all this stuff – it’s how you use it that counts. If you don’t have a use for it, absolutely save yourself the time!

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