Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ An A-ha Moment...

I've just finished another week in my Twitter virginity path. I'm not sure how long it takes to go from virgin to madame but I'm nowhere near that line yet. But I am learning more about Twitterville. Let me share.

Thanks to Twitter lover, romance author and Bumbles buddy, Ashley Ladd, we learned some very helpful tips from her comments in Bumble Town's Twitter topic. I think I may have sounded a bit lost and down in the dumps about my Twitter experience lately so she did what all nice bloggers do, she shared helpful information. Things that led me to my first Twitter "a-ha moment." How to organize those tweets.

For those of you familiar with an RSS Reader, such as Google Reader, you know that looking at all those blog posts in one mass can be overwhelming. By setting up folders to categorize the blogs, sorting through the information to suit your mood makes things much less daunting and takes up less of your time. On Twitter, instead of folders they call them Lists. So you create Lists to categorize the people you follow, and then everytime you add a new follower, you check off which of your lists you want them to be sorted into. Ta-da! Now when I go to my Twitter home page, instead of scrolling through all those tweets, I just click on my various lists to parse through the tweets from groupings I need or want to know about at that moment. HUGE time saver. I am no longer just staring blankly at that list of tweets mashed together giving me ADD and making me want to run and hide from Twitter.

The second thing I learned was also thanks to Ashley. She mentioned that if there was a certain topic that I wanted to read all the tweets about, I need to search for it, putting the hash tag in front of it. Which made me instantly wonder if I typed in #hash what kind of fun musings might be out there on getting high. (not many entertaining ones sadly, mostly people bitching about misuse of the hash tag - or hash browns - a few hash brownies though) But I did test out the hash tag search technique and actually discovered a new person to follow in my key words of interest. Which is my goal - to figure out how to connect with new people out there on Twitter. Step one of that is finding them. Now I need to learn how to better interact with them.

The last thing I did this past week was to send a Direct Message on Twitter. I sent a few to some people I already knew just to test it out. For communicating with people I already know, I don't find it that useful. But for quickly converting a public tweet conversation into something private and brief with someone new would be useful and a nice bridge between introductions in the public world and e-mail or private chats to build relationships and community on the blogosphere and beyond.

My tweet of the week last time was responded to by a few people - not many. But one of those to interact is someone who found me through a common blogger so I thought it was nice of her to reach out. This week's little Bumble Blast is a question for all the book bloggers out there. So if you want to know and provide input, head on over to Twitter and check it out. It's something I'm starting to think about for a potential series of posts right back here at The Bumbles Blog. Maybe Twitter will help to enhance them. A-ha!

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.

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Sandy Nawrot said...

You are certainly more proactive than I in the Twitter category. I pop in every day or so, butt into a conversation that has nothing to do with me, then go away. I am not sure I can give a whole lot more time than that. Although now I do have a Twitter-friendly phone which is nice!

Malcolm R. Campbell said...

I'm still not convinced, from a novelist's point of view, that Twitter is worth the time. If I try to mention my books, "they" say it's spam. This means having to talk about everything but my books, and that's a lot of work that I'm not sure pays off in people managing to find and buy my books in spite of my silence about them.


Beth F said...

So I'm a little behind in blog reading at the moment. Didn't know you drank the Twitter Kool-Aid! Yay! I'm @BethFishReads.

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

I think the main challenge of Twitter is how to make it useful without allowing it to become a time suck, and all of the organization tricks like lists and Twitter applications (I lurve me some tweetdeck) make that easier.

And Sun---it is absolutely worth it for authors to tweet. It's a difficult balance to strike, having conversations w/ folks that aren't just advertisements for your book, but when it's done well, authors see huge benefits.