Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lost in the Twittersphere

I thought Facebook was addictive but it pales in comparison with Twitter. Twitter isn't new, but I'm always behind the times. The only cutting edge I am a familiar with is my MiracleBlade knife, (it slices beautifully without undue force.) I am a newly hatched chick discovering the Twittersphere, hopping around, tweeting, and learning what I can about how to use this terrific communication tool: social media. What a modern wonder.

As a writer, I am told by those who know, that if I am not tweeting then I am barking mad. What do I say and how often should I say it, and to whom? And who should I follow? How do I make Twitter work for me instead of enslaving me with promises of popularity? There are lots of people offering advice on how to get the most out of Twitter. How do I decide which pieces of advice to heed and which to reject? If I encounter conflicting nuggets of wisdom, how do I choose between them? How many people need to say the same thing before I can accept it as gospel? Fumble, bumble, somebody turn on the light please. Credibility is an issue. Authority is an issue. I need to consider what I want to achieve - that's a piece of cake but how do  I get there? Which ferry will take me to the other side? Or do they all travel to the same place but use different routes? I just don't know. It could be me. My lack of technical nous and my paucity of social media experience has me floundering in the Twittersphere. How am I going to break through the noise and be heard?

I know one thing for sure: popularity is not necessarily a refection on quality. Whether my writing is popular has very little to do with how good it is. It is very good actually, in case you were wondering. An average singer came second on X Factor and won a recording contract while better singers were eliminated from the show because they didn't receive enough votes. People get more likes on Facebook for pictures of their bellybuttons than they do for saying something intelligent or thought provoking. Sometimes Facebook makes me despair for humanity. There's a YouTube video featuring ducks crossing a road which has been seen by millions of people. Popularity is a weird beast, and in the Twittersphere, excellence does not seem to count for more than a hill of baked beans which give you gas. I may be lost but I'll keep trying to find my way through the maze. I am a work in progress. Tweet! Tweet!

A final thought, a question: Who Tweets more? People who care about what others think, or people who don't?