Twitter Malaise

So, I’ve been underwhelmed by Twitter. Short snippets of info aren’t really my thing (for giving or getting). I will admit I’ve found some interesting articles via the people I follow, but I get interesting articles from following people’s posts on Facebook, too. (Although Facebook now has the annoying habit of not sharing every post by fan pages, so you might not be seeing all that’s offered.)

Worse, I haven’t been able to find anything to tweet, other than an automatic post notifying people of a new blog post (which they could get via e-mail if they subscribe). This is probably why I have, on average, all of 6 followers. I will gain one or two every now and again, but then lose them after a day or two. (Apparently it’s common for people to follow you, just so you’ll follow them back, then they dump you.)

People who are not celebrities manage to tweet and keep people interested. So what are they doing? I’m not sure, but surely it’s not because they’re tweeting what they had for lunch. I think the majority of tweets need to be educational or witty. They have to enrich the readers’ lives in some way. (Unless you’re famous, at which point gossip is an acceptable category of tweets.)

I was on Smashwords today, laughing at some of the truly God-awful book descriptions. I started to share one on Facebook, then it dawned on me that I might do it on Twitter instead. So I’m trying out what I call “bad book descriptions” (#BBD). Sometimes it doesn’t work too well–namely when a long, unwieldy sentence is the main problem–but I think it has potential. Cliches abound. Spelling and grammar errors are rife. (Sorry, but if you can’t write a typo-free, grammatically-correct book description in 1,000 characters or less, then you need to stop writing. You’re giving the rest of the self-published authors a bad reputation.) And topics of the absurd will shock and titillate. (I shit-you-not, I’ve already covered a book on bestiality.)

So go to Twitter and see if you get a laugh like I did.

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One comment on “Twitter Malaise

  1. Wallace says:

    I didn’t know you were on Twitter, so I followed you. You can follow me back, or not as you prefer, and I won’t drop you if you don’t. I’ve been on Twitter a while and have come to the conclusion that it’s only good for famous people to either promote their next project, talk about their project when it comes out, or have Q&A sessions with their followers so the followers will, you guessed it, look into the famous person’s new project.

    I’m sure the famous people actually do use Twitter for keeping up with their friends, but they either use a different, private Twitter ID that only their friends know and have access to, or they use their public ID with their real friends’ public IDs so that they can get free PR for their activities and, of course, promote their next project.

    Regular people use Twitter too, but that’s only so they can keep up with the goings on of famous people they follow, or the few dozen actual friends and relatives they have who follow them.

    Twitter is a great PR tool for famous people to get their message straight to their followers, which is useful to you and me if we are interested in the goings on of our favorite famous people, but only marginally useful if all you want to do is keep up with and communicate to your own real friends. If you only follow your real friends and relatives on Twitter, then it’s easy to keep up with them. The real problem, tho, is that most people not only follow their real friends and relatives, but dozens, or even hundreds, of famous people. And since the famous people are constantly sending out messages to promote their next project, the messages from your friends and family could easily be buried and lost in the constant flow of messages if you have a hundred or more famous people you are also following.

    If you get excited thinking you are sort of eavesdropping on the conversations of the famous, then following a hundred or more famous people is good entertainment. The truth, tho, is that all you are really seeing is the staged conversations among the famous meant to draw you in so you can get familiar with what they want you to see, which is to say, their next project. Any actual private conversations they might be having on Twitter is done by way of private second Twitter IDs that only their real friends know about and can see.

    I think Twitter might be an excellent way for you to keep your followers informed and send them news about your books and stories. The little bad book descriptions you’ve been writing will give them a reason to read your tweets even when you’re not talking about your books and stories. And if you become a famous person yourself, then you can keep a steady feed of tweets going out to your followers about your next project.

    Oh, and by the way, what did you think about my suggestions to make your vampire serial more saleable to the tween audience so you too can cash in on some of the six figure Twilight fan fiction money.

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