For a long time, Twitter was something that barely registered on my radar… yet another annoying medium churning out a lot of noise, crowding the information landscape with meaningless “jibbety-jabber,” as my friend Karl Denson would say. I think I was turned off long ago to the micro-blogging mecca, when I saw the predictably vapid (imho, at least) Ashton Kutcher flapping his gums on some national TV talk show, boasting about how he had just topped a million followers. The whole thing seemed rather dumb and pointless.
I stuck to this conviction for several years… that is, until last week. I recently braved the world of self-publishing–currently in the process of releasing and attempting to market my first book–and became convinced that since I wasn’t going to a) be spending money on advertising or b)have the help of Penguin or Random House hawking my wares, I’d better start taking advantage of free social networking outlets.
Well, here I am a week later. I’ve got over 400 followers on Twitter, I’ve “tweeted” almost 500 times, and I’m engaging in chats with fellow writers, political pundits, entertainers and famous filmmakers. I have to say, I vastly underestimated the power of Twitter. Now, I am quickly coming to believe that it has greater potential as both a networking/community and marketing tool than Facebook, which I have been using regularly for the last couple years. While Facebook offers one the constant opportunity to stay connected to friends and acquaintances, Twitter opens up a whole new world. You have the potential to attract the interest of others in your field, through effective “tweeting” (140-character-or-less messages) and persistence. I also find that Twitter plays to my personal strengths, such as basic writing ability, wit, and a broad range of interests.
Of course, this is just my initial take. I’m still on my Twitter honeymoon, and the bubble very well might burst in the near future. Just as it is in our society itself, the world of Twitter is filled with lots of noise–millions competing for attention, everyone selling something, much of the content intrinsically worthless blabber about mundane, inane topics. I’m already seeing that the whole thing can be a bit overwhelming and, if you’re not careful, a monumental time-suck. Nonetheless, I’m going to trudge forward and attempt to methodically build myself a Twitter “platform”… whatever that means.
I’ll check back in soon for a Twitter update, perhaps when I hit the 1000-follower mark, or I finally get Ricky Gervais to respond to something I’ve tweeted (I’ve sent the guy several tweets I thought were fairly clever, but so far not a peep! I thought for sure he would retweet my suggestion that he is a cross between Robin Williams and Christopher Hitchens… oh well)
Time to get some tweep… I mean sleep