What am I doing here?
No, this is not meant to be a prompt for a metaphysical discussion on life and why I’ve got one (though I’m up for that too, any time you’re ready). No, I meant, what I am doing on here, writing this blog, right this minute? And more particularly, what am I doing on other social media, like Twitter?
I am not a fan of Twitter. You know I like to chat. That’s obvious. I get on to the keyboard and begin to flick my fingers across all these letters and what comes out is, well, me. Remember WYSIWYG? That’s me. What you see is what you get, or what I write is who I am. I pour forth my blah and connect with those of you who
can be bothered to interpret understand my ramblings. I am a Writer. I Write. But what for?
I like to entertain, and I hope I do, with my stories and my chatter, and I love my blog. I love to come and camp out on your blogs, to find out what you are about, who you are, to have little chats with all you fascinating people. But the other ‘stuff’ connected with it, the ‘social media’, is intended as a sort of ad. I want us all to share in this new phenomenon of social media, Twitter being the biggest part. However, I don’t really have a clue about how it works. For example, I post a Tweet, five minutes later, where is it? Where am I? Sometimes lovely people with whom I have connected through interactions on my blog will re-Tweet and I try to return the favour, but in a few seconds those words fly into the ether. Gone forever. Does anyone else notice, even read them? Is it possible to have meaningful chatter with people who are not or may not be listening? How does Twitter properly connect me with other people, even if I Tweet all the hours of the day – which I have no intention of doing?
Apparently talking to people makes us happy. Even small talk. You know the kind of thing, you experience it every day, in the street, in shops, in your comments on your blog. Little snippets which make us smile, which endear us to the other person, which enable us to connect. Take a look at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/talk-deeply-be-happy/?smid=tw-share talking about, er, talking. Meaningful talk.
I think what I am trying to say is, all this attention to self promotion, promotion of work, via feeds like Twitter, feel false. And streams of ‘Tweet my book, Tweet my book’ ‘Please re-Tweet my book’ drive me absolutely mad. I’m sure it must drive others mad too. How does that help anyone?
So I read articles like http://www.redlemonclub.com/networking/25-ways-you-are-failing-at-promoting-yourself-your-products-and-your-work/ and the ‘getting noticed’ articles like http://www.blogworld.com/2012/09/12/58-ways-to-get-noticed-as-a-new-blogger/ and think they are great articles. I am interested, wanting to put into practice what I read. But I still wonder how it works. Is it a leap of faith? Do I put in all this work (when I’d rather be writing stories or my blog and living a real life), hang in there, and wake up one morning to realise that it was all true? The magic wand has been waved and I have lots of followers hanging on my every word, waiting for the arrival of my next book (should one ever be published!!!).
Or is Twitter one big non-conversation? Lots of hot air floating about on the web which few people look at and to which even fewer pay attention.
What do you think? What do you do about Twitter? What am I doing?