Monday, April 19, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ How To Lose Your Twitter Virginity...

I recently appeared on a Community Building panel for the Book Blogger & Publishers online conference.  I was invited by the conference organizer, Terry Kate of Romance In The Backseat, because I am passionate about using blogging as a platform to build communities online.  My co-panelist, MaryMac of Pajamas & Coffee, was invited because she is an incredible blogger truly building the type of community I would love The Bumbles Blog to be.  I must say that it was quite ridiculous to have to reveal that I do not use Facebook or Twitter, while being held out there as a community builder.

I don't use Facebook because I don't want all those annoying people from high school tracking me down.  I also don't want to spend all day in a virtual farm.  So I leave Facebook to Andy because he doesn't become addicted to it like I would.

I don't Tweet because I feel that Twitter is either celebrities or everyday people telling each other boring minutiae I could care less about.  Micro-blogging is an impossible feat for me because I can't say hello in less than 500 characters.  I barely have time to write blog posts and visit the blogs in my Google Reader.  When on Earth would I find time to Tweet and follow more people, or perhaps even the same people, on Twitter?  How much information do I really need?

But MaryMac made a great case for Twitter and told me that her goal was to someday be able to follow The Bumbles there.  She meets all kinds of people there and it has helped her community thrive.  I read on book blogs all the time about how ideas and conversations are exchanged initially on Twitter.  All these creative ideas zapping back and forth willy nilly.  And then those concepts are implemented in the blogosphere.  Or face to face.  It is a place where you can quickly interact with powerful thoughts.  Or maybe it is a place that is a total time suck with mind numbing words.  I don't really know.

I decided to visit the Twitter website a few weeks ago.  I read through the testimonials about how businesses use it to connect with their consumers.  About how famous people connect with their fans.  About how people find jobs within their industries.  About people connecting with their families and friends (though they didn't mention silly tweets from boring twits).  I tried to absorb the various features and symbols - what the terminology means.  And then I shut down the website and walked away - my Twitter virginity intact.

But I started thinking that perhaps there are others out there like me.  Clinging to their blogs and rejecting other social media either out of fear, laziness or ignorance.  I don't want to be scared, unmotivated or stupid.  I want to go out on a limb, open my eyes and learn.  So as precious as that Twitter virginity has been, it was time to let it go.  In a very special, tender way of course.  So, by the sexy glow of my laptop, I returned to Twitter and set up an account.  Now that I've gone ahead and done it, I feel a bit out of sorts.  I don't know how to feel or what to do.  So I've headed back to my comfort zone here on the blog for a little kiss and tell.  And advice.  If you use Twitter - please help.  If you don't - stay tuned.  I'll give you periodic updates on my adventure.  Here's hoping I don't turn into a Twitter whore.

Our Twitter handle (is that what you call it?) is @thebumblesblog - or at least I think that's how it is expressed.  So for God's sake - go follow us there so we're not all alone.

Follow thebumblesblog on Twitter


Sandy Nawrot said...

For a long time, I was clutching my Twitter virginity, but I did let it go eventually when I signed up for the Game On Diet. Daily interaction was required on that program, and I didn't want to be left out or detrimental to my team. Honestly Molly, I didn't really know what to do either. I just jumped in and made dumb comments. I don't have a Twitter-friendly phone, so it was all done on my computer. I must admit, I never did get into it. I've gotten involved in a few nonsensical but fun conversations, but I just don't have enough time. I do have a Facebook, but check in once a day with my better long-distance friends. No farms for me.

Susan said...

Oh lordy, you make me laugh! I lost my Twitter virginity about a year ago, but I think it's crusted back over, because I never go there. I only had 2 followers, so it was kind of pointless, except for me to read my hilariously witty renderings in 140 characters or less.

I did bite the FB bullet, but the farm thing, and the zoo thing, and the city thing ain't my bag, baby. I, however, am hooked on Lexulous, which is a form of Scrabble. If you love playing Scrabble come over and play with me! It doesn't take long. I have 5 games going with one person and I can be done in 5 minutes. Three-fourths of the people that have friended me, or vice versa, I never talk to. A lot of them I went to high school with, but our political leanings are so opposite that mostly I just hide them. Strangely, I am friends with my husband's girlfriend before me, but then we were friends in school,'s kinda like NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH...I got him and YOU didn't (in a non-confrontational way)! Is that mean?

Kaye said...

Still not putting out to twitter! Blogging and keeping up is enough time spent on the computer. I feel like my eyesight is getting worse by the day. Facebook, I hardly ever go there especially since I get friend requests from people I don't even know who they are. Weird. Sorry I can't follow you there, Toots!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Twitter has its uses.

I'm sure the Twitter stereotype of people telling us the boring minutiae of their lives exists, but I don't bother following them.

It's a very useful way to interact with the readers of your blog and get a new audience for your posts.

It's a tool like any other and it's far from perfect: it's pretty basic and there's a lot of spam. But as far as it goes it's useful and you don't need to spend much time on it to reap the benefits (I probably spend less than 10 mins a day on Twitter).

marymac said...

Wha? I thought I was invited because I say 'douche' a lot...ommmmggg, this is a weird mix-up. I thought I was on the panel of the Jack Daniels and Slim Jims conference. GAH! ;)

Anyhoo, yeah, as you know, I am huge twitter fan- 75% of my blog traffic comes from FB and twitter so although I think of them as the 'water cooler' in the blogging 'office' I def depend on tweep traffic!

So put out! Twitter is a very reciprocal lover. Ha!

(ooooh and follow me! @marymac)


Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I'll follow you Molly. You can follow me but what you'll see is a daily announcement of the title to the daily blog post. Somehow I made that happen automatically. I don't go to Twitter to do it. I have a lot of people who follow me for some weird reason. I'm probably on some list because these are people who sell all sorts of things.

I don't spend much time on Twitter because I founde it very time consuming. Perhaps someone (MaryMac, the Brit, or you) can tell me a good way to use Twitter without spending hours on it. There's more to it that just signing up for an account.

Jess Collins said...

I use twitter, and I have to admit that it's where I get most of my news: political, entertainment, motorsport. I don't update it nearly as much as many of the people I follow, but it's taught me the fine art of concision in expression... which is something I could always use :)

I added you guys... I hope you keep updating!

kaye said...

I'm clinging to my blog!

Catherine @ The Blonde Diaries said...

I have been on Twitter for a few months and I go back and forth with how much I use it. The one thing that I do have set up is automatic tweets with links to any blog posts that I do so people can see what I'm posting and go read about it. I don't always use my google reader or feedburner so when people have that set up in Twitter it helps me read the interesting posts.

As far as Facebook goes, I have a page but I don't do much with it any more. I also have really started going through my friends list and I have been deleting the random people and people I just don't care about any more. That tends to cut back on the farmville crap and similar games.

Betty said...

LOL! Now I feel like such a slut because I went into Twitter some years ago, unthinkingly, without feelings, no strings attached, for a one night stand.

Left twitter for a long time, rediscovered it, and decided to rekindle the um... 'sexy'. *g*

Followed you on twitter, I'm starbytes there. =)

Dave and Tami said...

I admit, Twitter can become time-sucking and brain-numbing, but it can also be a lot of fun. I do use it for some honest work-related things, but mostly just for laughs. If you decide to join in, you'll find me following you as @mrschupa.

Anonymous said...

I'm on Twitter, but don't really get the appeal.
Am I really this behind on my Google Reader ?!