Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Tweet is the Question

Blogger is still messed up. It duplicates drafts, I can only access my account from the laptop (not the desktop), and I still can't leave comments on certain blogs, such as Ron Scheer, Women of Mystery, Chris Rhatigan, David Barber, TFFO, and a half dozen others.

So, it leads me to wonder, should I Twitter? And if I do, should I go with my name or pick something hip, like BladeMaster or PulpDaddy? And what is Twitter etiquette? Is it ok to wait to tweet back once a day to everyone who tweets my way? Or can I squawk just once a week?

I'm not really interested in having so many social platforms that I can't keep track of where I am. I would prefer to stick with Blogger (once they solve these issues) as my main avenue and then use Twitter to spy on friends like Keith Rawson, Chris Holm, and Frank Bill, and leave sporadic random tweets, like, "I'm eating fried green tomatoes" or "Maple Blondie rules."

Does it work that way? Are you happy with Twitter?

27 comments:

Cullen Gallagher said...

I joined Twitter a month or so ago but can't make heads or tails of it. It seems ideal for people with smart phones, or that are online most of the day for work, so the can check in constantly. It feels more like a loud party where so many people are shouting, so I prefer the more focused discussions on blogs.

Whenever I check into twitter, it seems like there have been a new tweet every minute. So, if I haven't been on in 12 hours, that is 60x12. So...yeah, that's a lot of stuff I can't keep up with.

People seem to be on it a lot, using it, having fun, and making contacts, but how to use it properly still eludes me. Apparently someone tagged me in a Tweet and I didn't even know. So, the whole "conversation" thing isn't happening with me.

David Cranmer said...

Good lord, Cullen! That sounds positively awful to me. Ha. I'm interested to see what others say but your experience is exactly what I'm worried about.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Bill Crider sent me this strange advice re: blogger from a friend. It worked for me. Open it using Internet Explorer. Copy the URL and then paste it in Mozilla. After a while when I open it in Mozilla it worked. Don't know why or how.
Not going near Twitter.
Phil finished KSM and ended up liking it more than expected.

David Cranmer said...

Thanks Patti (and Bill) I will try that and hope for the best. Glad Phil liked KSM.

Thomas Pluck said...

Twitter has a big online crime community and is a good way to reach and find more readers, but it can be a huge time sink if you don't have good self control.

David Cranmer said...

Yeah I'm afraid of the drain, Thomas. I like to check other blogs and leave comments and to have a couple hundred tweets a day would be daunting. Do folks on Twitter expect you to reply to every tweet or just what interests you?

Cloudia said...

Blogger will straighten out...

have you tried a diff browser?




Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>


><}}(°>

<°)}}><

David Cranmer said...

Cloudia, I'm going to try what Patti suggested above and hopefully that will do the trick. Right now, I have a baby that doesn't want to go to bed. But after that I will give some of these ideas a try. Thank you.

AC said...

I just don't like the sound of it...

Twitter.

Tweet.

Isn't that dialogue from a Sylvester and Tweety cartoon?

Chris said...

You can see what tweets are directed specifically to you. Those are the only ones I concern myself with that much. I find it to be hit and miss. Get a few people using it as IM-like communication and it quickly buries anything else you may be interested in. I used to get a lot of links to useful info, but not so much anymore. I still prefer blog feeds for that. I get really tired of the waves and waves of self promotion going on. Yeah, writers need to do that. But follow 50-100 writers, and get the rest of them retweeting each others promotional stuff, and I quickly get overwhelmed. I use it a lot less than I used to.

David Cranmer said...

AC, Sufferin' succotash you're right. Beyond silly sounding.

Chris, A hundred writers pushing their product would be quite annoying. If I did get an account I would probably be more of an observer than anything else. And like you said answer tweets directed specifically to me. But I don't walk around with a phone glued to my ear so I'm wondering if this route is best for me. Most folks that use Twitter seem to be constantly on their cell phones.

David Cranmer said...

I will say I like the Twitter Breaking News Feed.

http://twitter.com/#!/BREAKINGNEWS

That will keep you updated.

Art Crenshaw said...

First it was MySpace and then Facebook and now Twitter. I get tired of following the kids to the latest hot spot. I still use my hotmail and Yahoo group accounts and friends look at me like I'm Grandpa Jones.

Cullen Gallagher said...

I'm hoping Keith Rawson will be doing a post on proper Twitter use, like he did with Facebook. That might help me figure out how to use Twitter more effectively and make it more fun.

Naomi Johnson said...

Twitter is great for breaking news, but most of the stuff re: crime fiction is just soundbites for books & blogs. I get most if not all of that info via Google reader and/or Facebook. There's some cameraderie on Twitter that's fun, but for the most part: time suck.

Chad said...

Blogger's been fine for me. I haven't had any problems with it since it came up.

Twitter? It has it's moments. But honestly, it leaves me a little cold.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've never got into it. I've found problems with blogger too, although I'm having much better luck with firefox than with internet explorer.

David Cranmer said...

Art, I skipped MySpace and I’m thinking I will with Twitter too. I still use my hotmail account as my main source of interacting with family and friends. I don’t see that changing.

Cullen, I remember that Rawson post quite well and it would help. Btw did you see the writers in the latest Crimefactory?! Geez, that’s an incredible issue!

Naomi, I really can’t afford anymore time drains. I set a certain time aside each day for networking and I don’t want that to become bloated. Writing and editing must remain the primary focus outside my family and day job. It looks like Twitter will add to my list of authors I socialize with, which is nice, but I’m not seeing any added benefits beyond.

Chad, I’m getting that with the public tweets I’ve followed. Cold, straightforward like look at this link, Palin sucks, and I’m going to the dentist.

Charles, I wasn’t able to do anything last night because the baby decided for us how we were spending our evening. But this morning I’m trying the Patti/Bill fix first and then if that doesn’t work I’ll switch browsers.

Chris said...

Here's what I dig about Twitter: everything on it is so ephemeral, I don't feel as though I'm missing anything if I ignore it for a day (or a week.)

Also, if you're judicious about who you follow, you'll get pithy comments, timely news updates, and up-to-date information, all without a lot of crap. You don't even have to ever comment -- you can treat it like a one-way news feed. That's what I tried to do at first, until I found myself dragged into the conversation.

I will say this, though, David: you're a highfalutin' editor, and as such, you'll be followed by all kinds of writer-types. If you follow everybody who chooses to follow you, God help you -- you'll be overwhelmed in no time. Keep your list of folks you follow short, and you'll be fine.

A confession: I'm only on Facebook because, as someone with work to promote, I'm supposed to be. I never look at it otherwise. Twitter I mostly enjoy. And were I not on Twitter, I wouldn't be friends with Steve Weddle, Hilary Davidson, and a whole host of other cool folks. I also never would have been invited to submit to Needle, which means no Anthony nom for me...

Richard Prosch said...

I may be a voice crying in the wilderness here, but for what I want to do online, Twitter is tops for a lot of reasons. But it can be arcane and sort of confusing at first. J. Steven York has a great essay on how to get started. Just Google his name with "Twitter 101" and you'll find it.

David Cranmer said...

I think I am going to give it a try, Chris. And I will take your advice of keeping my list of folks to follow short. But I will say it would be hard not to follow someone who is following me.

I could use some "Twitter 101." I will check it out. Thanks, Rich.

Chris said...

Fact is, it takes no time to sign up, and it's easily (I think) deleted. Can't hurt, right?

David Cranmer said...

Amen. I'm going to give it a twirl later this evening.

David Cranmer said...

I just read back over my comments laughing at my wishy-washy decision making process.

Ron Scheer said...

I wrote a response to this and then deleted it without posting. So this is what I'd say today in a nutshell: to market yourself you need to put your brand up where the traffic is.

Ron Scheer said...

@rdscheer

David Cranmer said...

Good point, Ron. And are you telling me you just signed up or have been tweeting.