The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Twitter Thoughts #atozchallenge #AZchat

Twitter
Twitter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        If you have not yet signed up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, today is a great day to do it.  I'll tell you why at the end of this post.  First though, if you're not already on it, click this A to Z sign-up list link and add your blog to the ever-growing roster of participants. You'll be glad you did and sad if you didn't.  We'll wait while you do it, but don't forget to come back to this post.   

 And Now A Word About Twitter

         Twitter is a strange place.  Have you been there yet?  It's the cacophony of silent speech.  A lingual assault on the eyes and brain.  Twitter is all at once funny, wise, stupid, enigmatic, shallow, callow, repetitious, and marketing-focused.   With millions on Twitter it's millions of intents from millions of different minds.  It is the crazy monster of social media.

          I'm still trying to figure out what to do with Twitter.   I experiment with it.  I play and have fun with it.  Sometimes I make discoveries on the Twitter feed, but mostly it's just a passing parade of quips, links, and peculiar observations.   It's like trying to hold conversation on a busy street with everyone who passes by you.  You might catch a thought that goes by but then it's gone.  Of course it's kind of frozen in time where you can go back to see what was said, but with so much happening it's difficult to revisit those moments that are lost in the endless thread of tweets.

         Sure, I guess you can mark certain tweets as favorites.  It's kind of like assembling a scrapbook when you're drunk.  You have a collection of stuff that you saved, but when you look back you might not remember why you saved it.  A mind under the influence of Twitter can be a befuddled mess.

        From what I'm saying, you might be thinking I dislike Twitter.  I do like Twitter.  Don't get me wrong.  Like I indicated earlier I'm still trying to figure Twitter out, understand it's effectiveness, and learn ways in which I can make it work better for me.

         Like having a goodly number of blog followers, a lot of Twitter followers might be a goal for some of us.  I feel like I have a pretty respectable number of followers.  Most of them probably see my tweets as much as I see theirs--not very much.  Who has time to sit and watch that passing progression of Twitter feed?   And read every tweet and follow every link?   It's a madhouse of  mostly non-communication disguised as a form of communication.

         It can be kind of fun in the same sense as talking to oneself is sometimes fun.  I've told myself some very funny jokes that I never tell anyone else because I usually can't remember jokes very well.   Likewise I think I've tweeted some rather clever stuff that I don't know if anyone sees or not.   When I get on a roll I feel very creative    I'll crank out the one liners and wonder if anyone is laughing.

          But when I see something I've tweeted get retweeted or favorited then I know at least someone in that vast population of twitterers has noticed me.   I feel validated and smile.   For a millisecond I'm a star--a passing thought in someone's mind until the next thought that enters the space that mine once occupied.

          Yes, Twitter can be a strange chaos.

Twitter Coherency

          Don't be discouraged about Twitter!   There is a place where you can find fun, friends, and community.  It's the A to Z Chats or in Twitspeak #AZchat.  For those of you already on Twitter, you can enter the hashtag #AZchat in the search box and see what's been happening already in the #AZchat community.

          A chat helps create a focus to your Twitter communication.  You might find it a bit dizzying if you're not used to it, but if you jump in the midst of the chat you're sure to pick up some useful information.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  The #AZchat is a great way to find out whatever you've been wondering about the #atozchallenge and maybe make a few new friends while you're at it.   You can discover other bloggers in the  A to Z to follow on Twitter while adding new followers to your own Twitter account.   No downside there!

         If you're looking for a stream of tweets with a common topic then #AZchat is a great place to visit.  Just remember when joining in the conversation to use the identifying hashtags #AZchat and #atozchallenge. Currently  chats are now every Thursday at 1 EST and 8 EST. Follow to join the fun!

Not on Twitter yet? Give it a try. Visit Twitter and open your own account. Once you have your account it's something that doesn't take up much of your time at all. If nothing else you can start by retweeting anything you see about the A to Z Challenge. And don't forget to tweet the links to your own blog posts.

These days Twitter is almost a must for every author or anyone with a marketing interest--in other words everybody. After you've become adept at the Twitter game please fill me in on what you've learned. There's always something new under the sun when you're tweeting.

And Don't Forget These Resources

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog is your go to site for help tips, interesting news, and other relevant information about the A to Z community. The site just passed 2000 followers. If you aren't following yet, please go to the site and click on the Join This Site button at the top right of the sidebar to show your support for A to Z.

         Your A to Z Team of Co-hosts and their teams of helpers have been hard at work promoting the Challenge and making sure everything goes smoothly now and through April.   Show them support by following their blogs and stopping long enough to say "hello".   You'll also find A to Z information on many of these blogs over the months leading up to April.    You'll find the A to Z Team links a short ways down the right-hand sidebar of the A to Z Blog.   Co-host helpers are listed on a page at the A to Z Blog.

          REMEMBER to join us Thursday on Twitter at 1 PM EST and 8 PM EST (or Daylight Time where applicable).    Use hashtag #AZchat and #atozchallenge.  

          Are you on Twitter yet?   How do you use it?   Have you found Twitter to be useful for your needs?    Have you ever joined in a Twitter chat?



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33 comments:

  1. As you know Lee I haven't got a twitter....used to but find keeping a blog going hard lol.
    I have enjoyed being an Ambassador of yours for the past two years and the standard of blogs are high and so interesting.
    Yvonne.

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  2. Thanks Lee, this is a comprehensive post, and should be linked out to the AZ chat :)

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  3. Hi Arlee though i had a glance at this post but could not read fully and today Damayanthi's note at G+ brought me back here to read more.
    Its really a fantastic idea to interact with each other about the upcoming great event. i will be there with my thoughts suggestions and of course questions LOL
    posted at G+ today
    Keep informed
    best
    Phil

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  4. Creating a scrapbook while drunk - that made me chuckle.
    Sometimes it's just an endless sea of links and difficult to find a real conversation.
    I think Thursday Twitter chats are off to a great start!

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  5. I don't care much for twitter. I follow one of my fave celebrities on there, and i actually did track down a penpal I'd had in the 80s and 90s. I've only used twitter recently to pester a Facebook game developer to fix the game. Other than that, I have no interest in it.

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  6. I use Twitter but not as consistently as I should. But I'm making it a gal to share science and astronomy links as well as Retweet friends posts.

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  7. Yvonne -- Twitter doesn't always work well for everybody and sometimes it's just a matter of adapting or figuring out how to make it work best for the one using it. Right now I probably spend not much more than 10 minutes a day with Twitter which is a pretty minor investment of time.

    Damyanti -- Hopefully we'll have a nice turnout for the next chats.

    PV -- Spreading the word about the #AZchat should bring more participants on board.

    Alex -- When a focus develops in the Twitter thread then things can make more sense. Narrowing your search down to only hashtag Tweets hones in on the conversation.

    JoJo -- Pestering someone like you mention can be a good use for Twitter if you have a legitimate cause. I don't like to spend time culling through the Twitter feed, but an occasional glance now and then can sometimes lead me to an interesting place. Twitter takes some creativity and time to figure out how to use it to best advantage. I don't think I've figured it out for the most part, but I like to try new things now and then.

    Stephen -- The retweeting is important for sake of community and helping others. Like in blogging, there is an element of reciprocity that plays in.

    Lee

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  8. I keep reading blogs about Twitter. About the importance of Twitter. About Twitter Dos and Dont's. Reasonable expectations of Twitter. And if you decide to Tweet, don't allow that social outlet suck your time.

    For better or worse, everyone seems to be talking about Twitter.

    I don't Tweet. I've never opened an account. I can't believe how much time I devote to this social platform. Throw in Facebook and it is way too much time. I can't imagine adding Twitter. And I also think I probably will if/when I actually close in on publication. The name of this game is time management and most effective use of time.

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  9. I thought you were going to have a twitter division on the A to Z challenge. Now that I could probably do.

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  10. I have no interest in Twitter or FB, they would cut into my time for writing. Thanks but no thanks.

    I plan to hire my daughter when I need PR. I wasn't a fan of chat rooms either. If it feels muddled, it probably is.

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  11. Hello Arlee... I've joined your blog on the strength of this one post! Having just started to Twitter it echoed so much of what I'm feeling right now, and answered some of my many queries. So far Twitter feels like a vast marketplace full of vendors but with no customers, and tweeting feels like throwing messages in bottles out to sea! Thanks for the helpful info :-) JJ

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  12. I'm also trying to figure out how best to use Twitter. Right now I use it about as well as throwing darts at a dartboard. I've learned about some writing contests and agents looking for particular manuscripts when it's worked well, and a bizarre amalgamation of info about people I barely know when it doesn't. LOL

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  13. Robin -- I resisted Twitter for a long time for the reasons you mentioned. What I've found though that it's actually the least time consuming of any social platform. It is a bit like putting flyers under windshields in the mall parking lot, but you never know who might read and what response you might get. No cost to basic Twitter and very little time investment--it really is easy. If you think you'll be using it sometime in the future for promotional purposes, now is a good time to get on, build up some following, and learn some of the ropes. I'm glad I took the Twitter leap.

    CW --Well, A to Z does have a nice presence on Twitter. Join in on one of the #AZchat's tomorrow and check it out.

    DG -- It doesn't hurt to have the Twitter account for when you need it. You sound like I did 15 years ago about owning a computer at home. Now I'm glad I have one.

    Jane -- Thank you for following and most of all for expressing your thoughts. The message in a bottle analogy is a good one. The usefulness of Twitter involves screening out the stuff you don't care about. I mostly like the ease of putting stuff "out there" even if a lot doesn't get noticed.

    Kim-- I think what you and I have discovered about Twitter so far is mostly the way it is. I don't know if anyone has absolutely found the answering to mastering Twitter. Another analogy I can think of is Craigslist. Twitter is like those listings that just keep popping up and ever changing. If you have the time to look you might find stuff you need or want. Time is the main factor. We look and post tweets when we can and Twitter just keeps on rolling. Except when it crashes like it did yesterday.

    Lee

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  14. As I've said, twitter is still a bit of a mystery to me.
    And I'll stay away from the chat for a while. No time to get caught up in something like that.

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  15. I'm in two minds about twitter - sometimes it seems useful, but most of the time I scroll through anything posted int he last 10 minutes (that takes long enough) and find little of interest)

    The only way I find it useful is if I put my name in the tweet and converse with specific people via the 'connect' panel.

    I'm really enjoying the #AZChats, though :)

    Jemima

    (One of thousands of wordpress users currently unable to access any *.wordpress.com blogs.)

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  16. I really cant think fast these days and twitter is something I have failed at in a grand way with bells on.

    I do go and look at it once in a while and even tried the first friday A2Z chat but after thinking WHAT? and attempting to join in I knew I was doomed. . . .

    I am still watching theA to Z list and will be joining soon.

    Rob Z Tobor

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  17. This is one of the best descriptions of Twitter I've seen. I'm with you. I don't hate it, but I'm still figuring it out.

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  18. Andrew -- Twitter chat might be either fast track learning or maddening confusion. The first two were interesting experiences for me.

    Jemima -- I don't spend much time looking on Twitter.

    Shelly -- Crazy is an apt description.

    Rob -- Yeah, the first chat had me spinning. I think I got in a few good words. Some of them got retweeted later so I guess that's a good thing.

    Liza -- Good luck! And when you figure it out let the rest of us in on what you learn. I don't know if there is any real figuring it out.

    Lee

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  19. Yeah, Twitter can be an awesome place to hang, but it can also be depressing and make you wonder why you are bothering. I flop back and forth between those two things.

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  20. I have no clue if Twitter does much but I go there a couple of times per day.

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  21. You said "months" leading up to April? less than one, last time I looked. And I tweet quotes regularly, and blog titles go to twitter automatically (hence the hashtags when they first go live) but it's been a while since I actually had time to look at twitter.

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  22. Arlee there are two things my blog cannot do without. Twitter and G+. I have approx 4600 followers which I got to increase drastically from 150 within a three month period and it was the best thing I could have done because after that I started my blog tour company. Every client I get feedback from sings praises for the amount of visibility their
    books get and half of them say they see bump on sales almost immediately.

    I don't know what the science is to it all and don't even care to find out all I need to know is that if I feed it with content, like putting gas in my car, it must work.

    I so enjoyed your post.

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  23. Interesting post Lee! Blogman is also social media man? Twitter is great for me because I use it to reach out to potential podcast guests. Nice way to break the ice as it is short, sweet, and if they are savvy in social media, they may respond to a tweet better than an email. As far as reading tweets, I'm like you, I see a blur of random information.

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  24. I'm still resisting joining Twitter. Until I learn to manage my blogging and Facebook time better, I don't dare add another distraction to my life.

    But it sounds like fun.

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  25. Patricia - Probably as is the case with all social media, it's best not to get overwhelmed with it and just enjoy the parts you can get into at the moment. Dabble and not obsess is my thought.

    Susan GK - It certainly can't hurt to maintain a presence and check in now and then.

    Homecoming -- It might have been better to have said "days". Of course if I'm thinking of 2015 already months is correct. I usually forget to use hashtags.

    Wendy -- If one gets results from doing something then I guess it's best to keep doing it.

    Buck -- I hadn't tried much of reaching out through Twitter. I'll have to try this more often.

    LD -- You may never master any of it. I essentially try not to think and just do. Maybe nobody knows how all this media works. Or maybe the more you have, the more effective you become. Twitter is a very minor distraction for me for the most part.

    Lee


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  26. I still haven't taken the leap, but now you've given me a lot to consider. I'm sure that the AZ Chat was a huge success! And that is something definitely worth tweeting about!

    Julie

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  27. Twitter can get super confusing sometimes. The issues you have are the same ones I have Arlee and while I do like twitter, Facebook is much more fun and easier for me. I love how they streamline and make it so easy for me to find out what my friends and fave FB celebs/authors/whoever else is saying. Twitter...it can be chaos and I'm still getting used to hashtags.

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  28. Julie -- You should check out an upcoming chat.

    Sheena-Kay -- For me Twitter is something best taken in small doses since it consists of so many small doses that it gets confusing. FB is a bit more leisurely, but it can get a bit much for me as well.

    Lee

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  29. I mostly use Twitter to keep up with book news on a daily basis. Now that Facebook rarely displays updates from pages I've liked, it's the only way to get quick updates.

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  30. Kelly --Twitter updates are indeed quick. If you blink you'll miss them.

    Lee

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  31. On Twitter, I mostly feel as though I am just talking to myself. That is until I joined in on an #AZchat. Things sure did move fast! It was the first time that I have experienced a lot of interaction with others on the site. I was all over the place but I had fun.

    Stefani @ Dreams of Nyssa

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  32. Stefani -- At least on the chats you're more likely to be "heard" then just in the regular infinite Twitter feed. Sometimes somebody catches what I've said, but mostly I have no idea.

    Lee

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Lee