Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ How Twitter is Like Speed Dating & Smelly Diapers...

It has been a few weeks since I posted about my Twitter adventures. I thought I would come back and let you know that I am still passively visiting. I never know what to Tweet - so like Thumper's Mom said in Bambi - "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Or, as adopted for the world of Twitter, if you can't tweet anything relevant, don't tweet anything at all.

I have followed a few more folks, but I have quickly decided that if you tweet non-stop throughout the day, and you are not a News outlet, you are clogging up my home page and wasting my time. I think there should be a daily limit on the amount of tweets you can send out. Seriously. It would make people more discerning with the information they share - just like they have to choose their words sparingly to get a point across. But anyway. That isn't what I intended to share about Twitter.

Through the Armchair BEA - a concept conceived on Twitter to organize an online version of the annual book conference in NYC - I participated in my first ever Twitter Party. Anyone involved in the Armchair BEA who had a Twitter account all gathered together online on Twitter at the appointed time and just chatted. The host threw out some interesting random questions about books, reading and writing to liven things up and tied it in to giveaways. So that was fun. But it also caused such a flurry of constant tweeting that technologically the Twitter system crashed and burned on my end. But before that happened, I met some new people who I have since interacted with more personally through their blogs.

The key with a Twitter Party is to grab hold of a person's comment here or there and just try to follow their name along with their conversation and respond back to get their attention. It is like any other live group chatting system - which I find to be hard to keep up with and overwhelming. But picking out one or two people to engage with and ignoring all the other postings helps to keep everything filtered and focused. There may even be a better way to participate - for example, I used the Tweet Deck system which did allow me to slow down the pace of the new tweets/comments being displayed.

Now, I may or may not have met some of these same new people anyway via their blog posts throughout the week during Armchair BEA - but having a quick conversation with them during the Twitter Party allowed me to know a bit about them first before visiting them on their blog. I am used to it working the other way around, where we interact for the first time via our blogs and then get to know each other better through direct e-mail conversations, etc. So Twitter is nice in a speed dating kind of way. I get lots of intros to new people, get a taste of their personalities, say hello and then decide who to spend more time with later.

This all tells me that I need to continue to find gatherings on Twitter by using the # hashtag search method for topics of interest. And then I can find lots more interesting people to get to know. But I'm telling you. If I start following them and they send out 50 tweets a day I'll drop them like a smelly diaper. Sometimes it is best to venture into their lives via the less frenzied world of blogging.

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


Michelle said...

Twitter is something that definitely takes some time to adjust. There are days I could spend all day on there, following discussions and participating in some of my own. Then there are days where I feel no one has anything redeeming to share, and I ignore Twitter like the plague. It is a lot like real life in that aspect - some days you just want to be left alone and others, you want to party.

I'm glad you had fun at the Armchair BEA Twitter party! It definitely was an experience to see that many people tweeting at the same time. Tweetdeck definitely helped me keep up with everyone!

(And I just followed you on Twitter, so you are not alone anymore!) ;D

Gwen said...

See, you already helped me out via twitter in finding Phoenix bloggers. Thank you! It really is a great networking tool, but can also be the ultimate time suck.

I use a stand alone client called Mixero and that allows me to keep track of the people and subjects that I really want/need to.

One twitter party that you might want to attend is the #savvyblogging one. They don't happen often and run even faster than our BEA one, but the info is gold. I will let you know when I see a new one coming up.

Matty said...

I opened a Twitter account and then never used it. I'm barely hanging on with blogging, let alone putting time into another social network site. I'm sure that I could find it useful if I would take the time to learn more about it, but time is the enemy right now for me.

Susan said...

I'm sure you've noticed that I never Tweet anything. I can't handle anything that's faster paced than blogging and I'm barely keeping up with that with being outside more and actually getting things done around the house.

The Twitter party sounds a lot like a chat room to me and I could never think or type fast enough for that.

The Book Chook said...

I tried a #chat the other day and lasted about ten minutes. It seemed such a cumbersome way to chat when we could Skype conference or something. I guess i am waiting for Apple to bring out the iPort so i can just teleport to chats.

I'm now one of your tweeps too!

Kathleen said...

And this is why I am so afraid of Twitter. I am afraid I will be sucked in by all the tweets and be driven crazy by yet another thing that is tugging on me, begging for my attention. I did sign up for Twitter but haven't published my name or anything and so far am doing nothing with it. One of these days I will step out into the brave new world of Twitter. I do think the whole Twitter party around the Armchair BEA sounds like a lot of fun!

Sun Singer said...

I hope some of the tweet deluge is coming from an automated program; otherwise, I wonder how anyone can sit there and send 2-3 free tweets per minute.


Candy Minx said...

Nice to hear your experience and perspective on twitter...thanks!

Ashley Ladd said...

I attended a writer's conference this past weekend. One of the classes was Twitter vs. Facebook. The instructors felt Facebook was better because it builds an online portfolio that sticks around instead of being buried after a few tweets or five minutes (whichever comes first).

When I got home I asked both my FB and Twitter friends which they thought better. All the answers on FB said they like FB much better. All the answers on Twitter said they like Twitter much better. :) That was a lot of help.

I think both FB and Twitter have merit. I've been ignoring FB in favor of Twitter, but I'm going to pay more attention to FB again.

HOWEVER, that said, there's a scam happening involving Facebook so you have to be very careful. My cousin got an email Monday from someone claiming to be our other cousin who was in London with his wife and just born baby asking for $2K to help with an emergency. Luckily my cousin recognized the email had really bad grammar plus she's savvy enough to call and check it out first. Plus she knew it would be absurd for them to be in London. Anyway, tonight one of my author loops was all abuzz about this scam. At least one of them had sent the $2K and lost it. Point of my long email - although Facebook may be a good way to promote, possibly better than Twitter, it also puts out a lot of personal info scammers are tapping into to trick us with.

Ashley Ladd said...

I find hash tags on Twitter to tune into conversations really helpful. Normally, it slows conversations down enough to make sense, even without Tweet Deck type apps.

Ashley Ladd said...

Hi again. To answer your email, I don't know much about Facebook. I have a personal FB for family, church, work, and high school friends. Then I have an Ashley Ladd FB which functions for me a lot like Twitter. Except for some writing friends, that FB account is all about writing and promotion - like Twitter. Only I can't get as up to the minute info on FB or listen into other industry conversations like I can on Twitter.

Before this weekend, I was a Twitter person hands down.

Per your other question, I don't know too much about Facebook, so I don't know the answer about networked blogs there. I missed the presentation at the conference but was trying to get the info from the presenters after the fact. I caught one who told me about FB what I mentioned in my prior comment, so I thought it worth checking back into it and using it more again. Plus, as far as the personal FB, my d-i-l tells me I have to go to FB to get pics of the kids every time I ask for their photos.

Beth F said...

It can be hard to get a handle on it, but once you use the right software (I love Tweet Deck), it can be addictive. One just jumps into a conversation -- sometimes you are immediately engulfed by it and other times not. Can't take it personally.

I think I'm already following you, but I'll double check.

jehara said...

I'm so glad you posted about the twitter party! The more I read about your twitter adventures, the less scary twitter seems. Perhaps one day I will start an account and put it to good use. We'll see. ;)

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are having fun on Twitter. I still can't get excited about it. It seems like those who LOVE it are on there all the time and I really don't want that.