Happy New Year everyone!

So, after resisting the urge to join Twitter, I just read this piece in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review written  by Anne Trubek, and I decided it was absolutely time for me to get on board.

Quite frankly, I haven’t been certain that being a part of this community would be useful and, considering that all we have is time, I am very aware of how I use mine.  But Trubek’s piece makes some very good points about being isolated from those we really should be communicating with and so I am learning.  It is going to take a while, but I actually think this could be even more fun than Facebook.

I would love to hear what benefits you get from being on Twitter. Any and all opinions are welcome as I am at the beginning of my learning curve and as with everything I do, I would really like to get it right.

15 Responses to @jdystel

  1. Stephanie says:

    Twitter is the best. I’ve met so many other writers, readers, and interesting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Plus, it forces me to write clean and snappy in 140 characters. It’s a good exercise. It does get addicting, though! Glad to see you on, Jane.

  2. M.E. Anders says:

    Good luck with twitter, Jane. I felt overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of it when I first started. It’s taken me about a year to get into my groove for using twitter. There are many ways to implement twitter into your own social media strategy.

    I think that Jane Friedman covers it best here: http://www.wajam.com/shorturl.php?se=google&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjanefriedman.com%2F2011%2F11%2F18%2Ftwitter-one-size-does-not-fit-all%2F%23.TscRR8PWriU.twitter&id_user=2245337

    I just followed you (@AuthorMEAnders). Let us know how your experiment goes with twitter. I asked a lot of questions of users at first. Cheers!

  3. Jenny says:

    I’m a newbie twitterer too. (@StolenJenny) Getting onto Twitter reminded me of going to New York City for the first time from Smallville, USA – there’s a ton of stuff, a ton of people, and it takes a little bit to figure out where the happening stuff is. But once you acclimate, it’s awesome!

    Plus I’ve found that, as a writer, I can’t subscribe to *every* literary magazine (wouldn’t that be great?), but I can help support them and draw attention to them by following and retweeting and whatnot. Twitter is also a fast way to get information from agents, editors, authors, and the publishing community too. Twitter is an amazing tool.

    (Probably the only downside for you and your collegues: The agents and editors get twitter bombed by aspiring authors a lot. Everyday it seems like there’s a cautionary tale from one agent or another warning that the surest way to get blacklisted is to pitch on Twitter.)

  4. Joelle says:

    Michael Bourret got me on Twitter and I really like it. I’ve met tons of writers, editors, and even made some real life friends through. People came to my signing who saw it on there. Okay, only two, but still!

    I cannot stand FB. It always changes and it’s just an overload. Twitter is perfect BECAUSE of its simplicity and limitations. Someone else at DGLM joined in 2011 and I posted my most useful tips there, so I won’t leave you any here. You can probably find them if you’re interested.

    I take regular hiatuses from Twitter. I often take a week or two off and then tweet for a couple of days and then take more time off. The beauty of it is it’s pretty much real time, so if you miss it, you miss it, but you don’t feel like you have to go back and try to catch up. You can just be on it when you want to be and when you’re not there, it’s sort of like when you’re not in the office…it carries on without you, and anything important will be directed to you later (check your @s to see if anyone talked about or to you!).

    Just remember…Michael Bourret is ALWAYS there, so if you’re slacking off and you don’t want him to know, don’t ever tweet about it. Even in the middle of the night.

  5. Alyssa Day says:

    Twitter is fabulous watercooler conversation for those of us who write full time and miss the watercooler! It’s research help – at 3 in the morning, there is always someone awake who can remind me who starred in XX movie or wrote XX book. It’s international, so I can get questions answered from all over the world when I need to know how long it takes to get from Big Ben in London to Yorkshire, for example. It’s timely; I hear publishing news far faster from Twitter from any other source. It’s also subject to immediate confirmation so rumors or lies are easily squashed. Welcome! When I talked to Jim today he confessed he finally gave in, too. :)

  6. Twitter was an easy sell for me because I love social media. I like using it with a program like TweetDeck or something similar because I can easily stay on top of trends or news related to people I’m interested in. The nice thing about Twitter versus “official” news outlets is the unfiltered immediacy of it all and the silly tags.

  7. I was right there with you– totally resisted and chalked it up to ego-driven self-promotion… BUT! Like others have said, the information you gain is invaluable. You link up with writers in similar positions as you, you get encouragement from those who have been successful, and insights from agents and other professionals in the publishing world.

    If you go through the blogs you follow, most of them have a link to their twitter. Do it, do it!


  8. Rachael says:

    I think the key is to use Twitter differently than Facebook. If it’s used as just another “here’s what I ate today” social networking site, it can feel repetitive and pointless. I use Facebook socially to connect with friends and family. I use Twitter almost exclusively professionally. It’s where I follow news about books and writers, information about technology in education (which relates to my day job), and where I get the latest updates on my interests (i.e. professional cycling). I like the networking aspects and it has produced some great connections for me.

  9. I’m right there with you on the learning curve. It can be a bit hard to figure out the ins and outs, I’m finding, but it gets easier with every tweet.

  10. Kathi Taylor says:

    I spend far too much of my time not writing as it is (Blast you, Facebook!). I don’t dare join Twitter.

  11. Andrea says:

    Happy new year to you too!
    I joined Twitter only two months ago, and I´m still getting used to it. I´m not overly impressed, because so far I find it all a bit superficial and I´ve already had to block the retweets of a well-known writer because he was flooding my Twitter feed with useless bits of information.
    The only advantage I can see so far, is that it is really easy to connect with anyone. But that could easily be its danger as well.
    Anyway, I´m keeping my account for now; who knows what might happen :-)

  12. Welcome to Tweet-ville, Jane! I was hesitant to join, too. Then I learned that we don’t actually have to post all the details of our lives. 😉

    I’ve found Twitter extremely useful for promoting my work, discovering others’ books and blogs and connecting with writers. To read industry-related discussions, I find hash tags helpful. (Simply enter a hashtag, such as #ThrillerThursday, #FridayReads, #amreading or #amwriting, into the search window…)

    Best of luck! I look forward to your Tweets.

  13. ryan field says:

    Hashtags work well when you are building a following. But I would imagine an agent would build a following fast. I use twitter daily for a few minutes and find the majority of my web site hits are generated through twitter. You should not have to spend too much time there to make it work for you.

  14. V. Lynn Burgess says:

    I used Twitter (and Facebook) to inform others of an author challenge on MeeGenius.com. Two children stories were submitted: Scarecrow Finds a Family, and a story for toddlers: You Are!

    Twitter provides many opportunities to connect, to inform without being pushy, and up to the minute news.

    While learning, just view how you friend does it! :)

  15. Antonia Lewandowski says:

    I read the same article and felt similarly nudged in that direction. I step into the stream of Twitter only occasionally since I don’t own a smartphone. I guess with the laptop as my portal, linking up seems less convenient, but just as addictive when it begins to draw me in.

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