Dear Blogger: Twitter
After a long semi-hiatus, I’m back! I’ve finally caught up with all the updates and cross-posting I’ve been procrastinating, and let me tell you this, it feels good to have everything spick and span again. I have an idea of why I lost interest in blogging for awhile, but that’s a topic for another day.
For today, I’ve decided to write a new topic for The Dear Series. In January last year, someone requested that I write a “Dear Author” post about the misuse of DMs in Twitter. I don’t plan to write a post based on that topic since I don’t have enough encounters or experiences with that issue, but I’m going to write about Twitter and its advantages and disadvantages. (NOTE: if you’re well-versed with social media, skip this post!)
As a beginning blogger, you were probably told many times that social networking is important in building your blog reach. That is true. After all, if you do not network with other bloggers, you can’t “get your name out there” and bloggers do not want to see zero hits in their blogs’ stats!
Twitter is a popular social networking tool. It’s probably somewhere on par with Facebook or even more, because Twitter is limitless. There is no “friend” system. Random strangers can and will follow you, unless you privatize your account. Most people have public accounts and if you have a public account, your tweets can be read by the millions of Twitter users out there. So here’s the advantages and disadvantages of this powerful tool.
1. Many authors and publishers have Twitter accounts. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow them and get their updates instantly. This also means that you can follow any of their announcements about books. What better place to discover about the latest book in your favorite series?
2. Twitter is a great place to find out about good new books! If you’re following book bloggers, chances are you’ll read their tweets about the latest interesting book they’d read. And being the book lover that you are, your interest will definitely be piqued.
3. An enjoyable advantage is that you can use Twitter as an extra giveaway/contest entry. You’ve probably seen giveaways that require you to follow or tweet for the “extra” entry. Of course, since every entry counts, and if you’re as desperate as I’ve been to win a book, Twitter would probably be your favorite social networking tool when you’re doing that “extra” entry.
4. Twitter is a great place to interact with authors! Sometimes, authors don’t have the time to reply to every fan email. Tweets have a maximum limit of 140 characters in length. It wouldn’t take long for an author to read and reply your message. And you don’t even have to fill in a “Contact” form or hunt for the author’s email address.
1. Like I said earlier, there’s basically no boundaries in your Twitter account. Unlike Facebook where you can privatize certain statuses and publicize others, in Twitter, all your tweets are either private or public. There is no in between. Of course, if you wish to have a wider reach, you would not privatize your account. After all, why make it harder for others to follow you? But the “danger” is that people could find certain of your tweets offensive. You are more susceptible to troll attacks. In short, it’s easier to get “in trouble” in Twitter than in Facebook.
2. Ever heard the quote “With greater power comes greater responsibility”? I’m going to tweak it a little here – with greater influence comes greater responsibility. Twitter has long been a base for fabricated news and bullying. It’s so easy to type something, hit the “tweet” button and publicize your tweet to everyone, whether they are using Twitter or not. It’s easier to “bash” someone for their opinions and name-calling isn’t an unusual sight. If you’re the type of person who is strongly protective and defensive of your comments/opinions/work, don’t create a Twitter.
There! That is my list of advantages and disadvantages of Twitter. Do you have anything to add to the list? Comment and let me know. If you don’t have a Twitter account, here’s my question for you: To tweet, or not to tweet?
In the meantime, I’m off to my Twitter feed!
The Dear Series is a series of posts addressed to either authors or bloggers. If you have any topics you’d like to see me address, please let me know in the comment section below. As always, I welcome your opinions. If you read something you like or do not like, let me know! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoy writing them.