books

Reading in a Time of Twitter

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Though the book blogger community is filled with wordy people, a lot of its communication is restricted to 140 characters. That’s because of a lot of it happens on Twitter. There, people share reading ideas, have discussions about books, chat with authors, and dozens of more things besides. And I haven’t been participating in any of it.

I’m a decade or so late to the party – Twitter was created back in 2006 – but I’ve finally bitten the bullet and signed up for an account. As some of you probably noticed, I’ve been trying to track down as many of my blogging friends as possible there. It is slow going, but don’t be surprised if in the next few days, you have me as a new follower. If you are looking for my account, you can find me @KristenTwardow. I plan to tweet and retweet primarily book and publishing related items, but who knows what else will appear? (Tweets by Magic Realism Bot will inevitably sneak in. I’m a sucker for the absurd.)

Still, I’m left with a ton of questions. Twitter is a whole new world full of hashtags and systems that I only partially understand. Should I flick through #AmReading or #BookAddict? Is #WhatToRead more helpful than #GreatReads? What authors should I follow? I should probably not follow every living author that I love…right?

If you have any advice for this neophyte, please share! I need all of the help I can get. (And I was serious about the author question. If you know of any particularly grand Twitter accounts, I’d love to hear about them.)

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35 thoughts on “Reading in a Time of Twitter

  1. I’ve just followed you on Twitter, Kristen:). I’m something of a fan, though I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of it and I’m aware I don’t use hashtags as effectively as I might. However, plugging into the bookfeeds, it gives a great insight into what is going on. And I think it works particularly well with blogging. Have fun with it:).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been on twitter mid 2013. Use mostly for link for my blog posts and promote books for authors. I rarely tweet anything personal. I really need to sit down and really learn Twitter and see what it has to offer. I followed you – mine is @SOMDReigel

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I followed you! (My name is very similar to my blog so I should be easy to find!)
    I love twitter now but I am disappointed in the book witch hunts. Lately there are people who are trashing novels and authors and it’s becoming a bully site where the only opinions that matter are someone else’s. I stay quiet bc I don’t want to be attacked. 85% of the time it’s a nice place with book giveaways/convos/fangirling…but watch out for that other 15% of the time. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. I try to steer clear or mute the people that cause too much strife. I have only had to unfollow one person as she took screenshots of what people said and used it against them. Creepy.
        I hope you like our little blogger community there. I have some great friends on there now! Only been on six months and I’m super thrilled with all the great convos I’ve had and books I have received for the classroom library.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t quite understand Twitter either, but I follow who I want and communicate when I want. It can be a lot of work and people do Twitter full time. So, it’s really a matter of deciding what you want Twitter for. I don’t fully understand social media in general, but it can be good for meeting new friends and keeping in touch with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, one of my biggest problems is that there are just so many platforms out there. Choosing which ones to focus on is hard. I used to have dreams of doing more with youtube, but I very quickly figured out that for some reason, I am terrible at interacting with folks there. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Huh. I kind of hate Twitter because it updates so fast, but it’s still necessary. Instagram is one I just got into and has a huge networking possibility, but I’m still not 100% I want to stay there. It’s a lot of work to always take new pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kristen! After returning from Asheville Christian Writers Conf, I dove into my Twitter acct. Gained 140 followers in 1 month by interacting w/ppl. I’ll follow you. I’m at @KateLeachWriter. I’ve read great social media articles from @Ginaschreck & connected w/other writers. I check out ppl’s websites b4 following (if shown), RT (retweet great content) & limit my time there. Have fun new chickie!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Kristen,
    I can relate to you easily as I am also a toddler when it comes to twitter. I have just learned how to post links to my blog and like or retweet things. But somehow carrying conversations and projecting opinions is something I am still struggling with.
    And as you rightly said – the hashtags… It is something which I also really need guidance for…
    Though a little confusing at the start, I believe it is a good platform to meet like-minded people and make new friends.
    So, let us swim the twitter ocean together.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kristen, I’ve just followed you! I’ve been on for a little while now and still fumbling along – I retweet others and occassionaly write personal tweets. I’m struggling in trying to put some order in who I follow etc…how to keep up with everyone. It seems overwhelming so I dip in now and then and that seems to work! There must be a more construcitve​ way to use it, I imagine. Good luck and have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I also only use Twitter for book reviews and promotions rather than personal stuff. I started out searching for some favorite authors, publishers, and other bloggers and it grew from there! I have met some incredible people and received some fantastic books! Have fun! Just followed you, I’m @jenthomason1109

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I too followed you. I am a novice and ignorant using Twitter. I need to learn how to use it. I know how to use Facebook and Google Plus. I’m sure it is not that hard to learn. If the clown in the Whitehouse can use it, it can’t be that hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Noticed earlier this evening that you’re already following me, but I don’t remember getting a notice of such a momentous occasion! I rather would have liked receiving that unexpected notification. Ah, well, I am following you now as well. I’m not on there nearly as much as I was, say, five years ago when my group of geeks and I all used to flock there daily (we migrated to Facebook three years ago, if only because 140 characters per post was too restrictive for our lengthly debates LOL). I imagine you’ll find a similar frustration with it in due time 😉

    I recently discovered something that is better than both Twitter and Facebook, that I think you would also dig called MEDIUM. It seems perfect for writers. They’ve even just recently introduced a feature called SERIES that mimics a feature on both Snapchat and Instagram but improves on it as well. Check out Medium when you get a chance. Actually, now that we’re connected on Twitter I can start sharing interesting links to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know me, always appearing when I’m least expected! Limiting myself to 140 characters will certainly be an interesting challenge, but I tell myself it will build character.

      I’ve read a few things on Medium before, but I haven’t done too much with it. It sounds like I’ll have to investigate further. (And I’ll never say no to someone sharing a good link with me!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like Twitter for its brevity, it’s just that brevity is not the only mode I need for conveying info and messages. I’m a wordsmith, dammit! LOL. As for Medium, aside from the novelty of it being a new thing to me there’s just something very attractive about it as writer and a reader. I just need to figure out how I want to use it. I’d have to build yet another audience. But it’s tied to Twitter and you can attach Facebook to it, so there’s a head start there. Like everything else, fostering the connections is the key. That necessary social diversion from what we’d rather be doing and what we do best 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I do like Twitter for its brevity, it’s just that brevity is not the only mode I need for conveying info and messages. I’m a wordsmith, dammit! LOL. As for Medium, aside from the novelty of it being a new thing to me there’s just something very attractive about it as writer and a reader. I just need to figure out how I want to use it. I’d have to build yet another audience. But it’s tied to Twitter and you can attach Facebook to it, so there’s a head start there. Like everything else, fostering the connections is the key. That necessary social diversion from what we’d rather be doing and what we do best 😉

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  12. I used to have several Twitter accounts for personal, professional, and poetry/flash fiction. It can be fun and a great promotional tool as well as a quick way to interact and converse with others. However, I found that it was a big time sink for me personally and took away from my reading and reviewing. There also seem to be a lot more scammers and spam than I’ve found on other platforms like WordPress or YouTube. I felt pressured to keep up whereas only having to blog once a week ironically causes me to blog a lot more.

    My recommendation would be to start small, try a few different things. Hashtags work the same way that they do on WordPress (you can make your own, people can search by them) but tend to change more quickly because of the fast-paced nature of Twitter. You can search a hashtag to see if it’s a good fit for your post before you tweet. And you can always mute people if you want to follow them but not actually read their posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is some great advice. Thank you. Twitter really is just so much bigger than WordPress and other venues. More conversations. More people. Just…more. Starting small like you suggest really does seem like a good way to go about using it.

      Liked by 1 person

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