Write. Edit. Share. Repeat.

About writing, editing, publishing & getting it out there

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Avoiding Twitter chaos

lists-on-twitter-300x214It’s not hard to gain followers on Twitter or other social media platforms. If you’re active and keep having conversations with people, if you retweet or repost interesting items, if you make an effort to tweet or post every day or at least a few times a week (and not just promotional tweets), you will gain followers. A year or so back I started working on building my base on Twitter. I gained followers, and of course I liked having more followers … but then I had to figure out how to manage them. I can’t interact with 2,000 people, which my personal Twitter account has. My professional Twitter account (screenshot upper left) is still growing, but I figured there was no reason to skip this step and then waste time later figuring out who is who.

Lists keep Twitter manageable.

I use Twitter’s list system and organize as many people as I can into lists. My business account has 5 lists at the moment, which I may or may not expand as time goes by. Because I’m a writer and editor, I mainly focus on other writers and creative types. My current categories are Writers, Editors, Publishing, Social Media, and News+Politics. Since I use social media for business, I’m always reading up on the best ways to use it, which for me basically means finding a balance between efficiency and obnoxiousness, or between friendly and pushy. The beauty of lists is that you can make them private or public, and even the ones that are public are not going to bother anyone. If someone puts me on their list, I’ll only get a notice if my account is set up to get emails about that. Otherwise, I won’t know unless I look at. If you click the “me” menu on the top bar, then on the left side click on “lists,” you’ll see this: lists on twitter 2 You click on “Member of” and often you’ll see lists other people have added you to. For instance, on my personal Twitter account I was placed into a group called “Writer/Editor/Publisher” by someone I follow, which could be a useful group to subscribe to (subscribing to others’ groups is another way to keep up on what people who are into what you’re into are doing). The other groups, as you can see, are a bit more generic. lists on twitter 3

How do you use lists?

The way I usually use it is to respond to others’ tweets, or to retweet something relevant, in a timely manner. When I click on my “Editors” list, for example, and then click on “tweets” on the left (vs “list members” or “list subscribers”), you’ll see all the most recent tweets sent by list members, and exactly how long ago they were sent. lists on twitter 4Then I simply decide whether to respond to some of them. In some cases the tweet may be too old to respond to, but you might want to retweet it. Twitter can suck a lot of time away from your life if you are not careful. I try to limit the number of times I am tweeting each day and I pre-schedule tweets using HootSuite or TweetDeck. I love social media, I love being able to chat instantaneously with people. But I can’t do Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Tumbler and Pinterest and Instagram … at least not on a consistent basis. I think I actually have accounts to all of these, but I mainly focus on Twitter, Facebook and my blog, checking LinkedIn regularly for career-related information. .

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Srsly?

In an online forum about grammar, one person complained about bad grammar in texting:

What makes people think it’s all right to drop all usage and grammar rules when texting or messaging? If I see one more “u” I’ll scream. Ugh. Don’t write how you talk. It makes you look like an idiot. I don’t have a qwerty keyboard; I have a flip phone & I text using T9. I care about the language enough not to butcher it no matter what I’m doing.

(Note: I didn’t know what T9 was, so if she was complaining that abbreviations and slang make texts hard to understand, she lost me.) Read More

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Shameless, self-serving “altruism”?

Jan Arzooman

Tweet, Tweet & Retweet were on a boat. Tweet & Tweet jumped off …

A few months ago, I was on the bus to work, bored and looking for something fun to read. I tweeted on my Android, “Does anyone have an interesting blog today? Share it with me; I’ll tweet about the one I find most interesting.” I wasn’t looking for anything specific—in the mood I was in, I probably would have preferred non-fiction—but I only got one response, from an erotic fiction writer whose blog was the second chapter of her book. Her style wasn’t what I was looking for, but I’d sort of promised to consider anyone who responded, so I read the first part and then the chapter she’d linked me to.

No one else answered my tweet, so she “won” my “call for submissions.” I tweeted a congratulatory note that my heart was not completely in, but I’d promised, so I delivered. Read More