I've been on Twitter for two and a half days. I have survived.
Did I cave to the pressure? Not really. I'm a logical thinker, and the Twitter pundits challenged with this: How can you really judge something you haven't tried? So I'm trying it.
Well, I don't go into anything halfway. First I had to set up my Twitter page. Thanks to the folks at HeBlogsSheBlogs for their helpful post on F&F. They gave dimensions for a graphic that can go on the side of your Twitter page as a way to get in more info about you. I created a graphic with my book covers and Seatbelt Suspense/Don't forget to b r e a t h e ... logos.
Second, on Facebook I chose the application for Twitter and selected to have all my tweets sent automatically to my Facebook page. This is a great feature. Keeps my Facebook page updated, thereby cutting down my time there. I only need to go on Facebook now once a day to confirm new friends and check mail. I can do that in five minutes. And once in awhile I send a message to the Fans of Brandilyn Collins group. (By the way, I'm about to give away some books through that group, so if you're not a member yet--go sign up.)
Third I went to some Twitterers' pages to see who they were following and chose to follow some folks I didn't know at all but who looked interesting to me. Many people will follow you in return, and I was happy to see that be the case with the majority of these folks.
Many people advised downloading TweetLater to help deal with Twitter. It has a great feature that allows for auto direct messages to new followers. Only one problem--Twitter first has to fulfill its promise to send you emails of said new followers. I have my account set to receive such emails, but I ain't gettin' 'em. I am receiving notices of direct tweets, however. If anyone out there knows how to fix this problem with Twitter, please do speak up. In the meantime I've been manually responding with direct messages to new followers.
Mainly I have tried to go slow and not make a public spectacle of myself. (My craziness in setting up Facebook wasn't all that long ago.) Reading all the incoming tweets is a little weird at first. Everyone's putting in their own two cents, and people responses are minimal. So it sounds like a lot of very self-centered people constantly wanting to tell you about their day without really listening to news about yours. I realize that's not really true, or they wouldn't be signed up to follow anyone else. That's the whole point of Twitter--putting out those tidbits about what YOU are doing. But this goes completely against my traditional social training, which is to show interest in the OTHER person, asking questions about his/her life. Emily Post would be shocked.
Do you think Twitter's creating a new social etiquette that will spill over into our regular lives? Interesting thought. Maybe not for us babyboomers, whose mamas taught us how to act, but for kids raised on Twitter ...
At any rate, I'm trying to get used to talking about myself throughout the day and not feeling like I have to respond to every tweet out of politeness. Actually on Twitter that wouldn't be polite, since all my followers would be barraged by my individual responses. It's quite the backwards etiquette.
After two and a half days I've got 110 followers. I haven't done much to drive up this number, other than simply announcing I'm on Twitter. I've kept down the number of people I'm following for the moment as I try to get used to all this chatter. (If you're following me and I haven't reciprocated yet, please be patient.) I have to wonder about folks who follow hundreds, even over 1000, people. You can't possibly read all those tweets. Are they following simply to be followed--and not reading their tweets at all? Are they the ultimate Emily Post shockers?
Clearly, this Twewbie has much to learn.