Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why You Might Fear Twitter and Facebook

Twitter and Facebook--two social networking giants. If you're a writer, you've probably heard countless times how you need to get out there and promote yourself on these sites. If you aren't on either, what has held you back?

I don't have time to waste on Twitter or Facebook.

Nope. That's not the reason, although you tell yourself it is.

I don't know how to use those sites.

Let's face it, kids and grandparents tweet. The sites are EASY to use.

Facebook for Dummies, anyone?
Photo by daveynin

So what's the real reason you aren't on Twitter or Facebook?

Simple. Writers obsess over every word we write.

Trying to fit something interesting and creative into 140 characters or on a status update is intimidating.

I've been on both networks for over a year and I still stare at the screen and wonder what I can possibly say that won't sound lame. Facebook can feel like a repeat of high school when you first start out. You have three "friends" while the cousin who took pity on you has 654 "friends." Talk about unpopular! And there the sad number sits, staring at you, accusing you, taunting you.

Twitter is a whole different animal. People you've never met, never heard of, suddenly are "following" you. Their tweets have weird pound signs in them. Is there a secret code? Do you need a decoder ring to tweet? And how do you find your real friends? You type in their name and no one shows up, yet you overheard them say they have an account. I wish I could help you on this one, but unless you type in your friend's name exactly as she's set her account up, you'll have a tough time finding her.

We all feel intimidated when we try something new. It takes time and effort to get used to new technology. If you spend a few minutes each day, you'll soon feel comfortable on Twitter and Facebook. You may even get 655 "friends," just to show up that cousin!

As always, I'd love to "follow" you on Twitter and be your "friend" on Facebook. Click below if you'd like to add me to your networks. Jill's Facebook account. Jill's Twitter account.

Join me on Friday to set one goal!

25 comments:

  1. Twitter has slowly become my favorite networking option. I love all the chit chat and it's fast. Like texting. :)

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  2. I love being connected with you through both means. You are wonderful at interacting!
    ~ Wendy

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  3. Good Morning!

    Jennifer: I agree. I still love Facebook, but Twitter edges it out for the chit-chat factor. Plus, it's easier to connect with other random writers.

    Wendy: Same here! It's fun finding out *someone's* child jammed a Lego up her nose. Won't mention names or anything. ;) Ha!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. Um... I'm not usually the argumentative sort, but this time I'm gonna be.

    I don't have enough time to weed my garden or keep my house as clean as it should be. I blog and go on Facebook before I clock in at work in the morning, and on lunch breaks. I answer emails and go on Facebook while talking on the phone, so I don't waste any moments. I'm not afraid of saying stupid things--I do it often! I simply don't want to take the time to add another item to my already bulging planner. There. I said it. I don't want to. Perhaps someday I'll change my mind, but for today, I remain Twitterless not from fear, but choice.

    Love you,
    Jen

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  5. I joined Twitter a short time ago, and I have to confess that I still don't quite "get" it! Love FB though!

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  6. Jen: Ha! I know, I know. I'm pressed for time too. But I will say that I spend about 15 minutes total on both sites on weekday mornings. Occasionally, I'll spend another 15 minutes in the afternoon. But it is easy to get sucked into any Internet related enterprise!

    Linda: Great! I'll have to check you out! I didn't "get" Twitter for about six months. Then I made lists to follow my blogger friends and now it's like dropping in on a coffee date at any time. Fun!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. I only blog, and don't fb or tweet because I simply don't want to give more time to the internet. I'm not really sure of the benefits to both, either, from all I've seen. So for now, I just do the best I can with the blog ...

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  8. I started a Twitter account the same time I started my blog, and I did find blogs to follow through twitter. Then I got Tweet Deck, and wow, lots of popping tweets! Now I rarely go on Twitter, but heard recently of an agent who held a hashtag conversations, and it was really informative. A friend of mine who is marketing her book follows the rule of one FB update and two tweets a day. If I wrote full-time, and had a smart phone, I think I would be a twitter regular. Right now, just making sure I get writing and photography in between my job and family, is more important. Happy tweeting!

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  9. Jill, this is too funny! It's shocking how many times one can rewrite 140 characters in an attempt not to sound "lame."
    Twitter still intimidates me. It's like where the popular kids hang out, and they have their own little language and secret handshakes.
    Even more intimidating: Leaving comments on blog posts. *sigh*

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  10. My brother has these really long status updates on facebook... the equivalent of about 6 facebook status updates just to say one thing. *sigh* Yesterday a friend was having so much trouble finding me on facebook. Entered my name, nothing. Entered email address, nothing. I finally remembered my facebook URL and found myself for her.

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  11. Great discussion Jill! I'm still undecided. My time is so thin I need to choose those things I feel line up with God's direction for my life. Right now that is writing, and blogging helps stimulate that. Twitter and Facebook may be more beneficial to me down the road~ after publication.

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  12. I admit that Twitter scares me and that I already feel guilty for the time blogging and facebook keep me away from my family and writing. But hey, I might change my mind one of these days. We'll see! :o)

    And fortunately for me, we're already friends on FB. :o)

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  13. Joanne: True. It's easier to get sucked into anything online than it is to focus on writing. Hello, procrastination!

    Lynn: I don't have a smart phone or tweet deck, but Twitter works for me. I spend a few minutes at both FB and Twitter each morning, and sometimes check in the afternoon. Your friend's policy sounds very much like mine!

    Niki: Every morning I have to sit and think of something to write. It's sad! But for me, it's a good habit--to push myself out of the comfort zone a bit!

    Abby: I have the same problem finding people. I can't tell you how many times I've typed in a friend's name but can't find them. Uggh!

    Tamika: You are one busy woman! And yeah, it's good to pick the activities best for us at this time. It's way too easy to spread myself thin.

    Jackee: I used to feel guilty too. Now, I set limits to the time I spend. Social networking is fun, it's important, but it should be a small fraction of my day.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  14. Jill, I love you, but we will have to agree to disagree about Twitter. At least today!

    When you're 55, you can change your mind, no questions asked.

    LOL.
    Patti

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  15. I'm on Facebook. But Twitter is another story. I need to quit stalling and get with the program. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  16. Patti: Ha! I knew this topic would be hot! We can agree to disagree on Twitter. Let's just not disagree on chocolate, okay? That's REALLY important! :)

    Kathi: I like both. I started out liking Facebook much more, but then I spent more time on Twitter and like it too. If you try it out, look me up, because I'd love to add you to my network!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  17. Still working on getting my stuff up and running on both sites. Thanks for the little kind nudge. I'll look you up when I get there. :)

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  18. Hi Jill -

    A good friend practically dragged me onto Facebook. I'm so glad she did. The connections with other writers, family, friends, and potential friends makes this social butterfly happy.

    Twitter - it will take a lot more than said friend or anyone else urging me. I already spend too much time on this computer. Like my late husband would say, "My plate is full, and the gravy is dripping over the edge."

    I'm glad it's working for you, but it's not for me. :)

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  19. Twitter had quite the learning curve for me. I'm still not sure I've gotten it all down, but I am loving the #1k1hr games that we're playing in the afternoons. It's sure racking up my word count. In the past few days since we started playing, I've written over 14K words.

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  20. You'll be my fb friend and tweet with me...(smiles)

    I'm not very active on Twitter...I mostly lurk around listening to agents and editors tweets. :)

    Have a great week, Jill!

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  21. Susan M: Oh, yes! Definitely look me up when you join!

    Susan JR: Gravy dripping over--that's funny! Well, there's no law that says we have to do everything, is there? You've got a good balance--stay with it!

    Erica: I know! I'm amazed at how many words you and Katie write during the challenges. Another cool thing about Twitter!

    Sharon: Yay! And lurking is good! :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  22. I am on Facebook, have been for some time. I got off Twitter because I had many followers associated with unseemly websites, and I didn't know what the solution was. Eventually, when I figure that out, I may get back on. I do have my moments too, like Jeanette L. said, when I just don't have time for one more thing. My husband appreciates a sane wife, and when I've got too many things going I get too stressed.
    Blessings,
    Karen :)

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  23. hmm, i think both are VERY key to public exposure -esp for writers..and for me (photographer more so than writing) both are free and both can be managed rather efficiently. It takes a bit to get use to..BUT in regards to a class a friend of mine is taking in managing today's media market...both are key to getting your name into the hands of the "now" generations. There are fantastic articles online to guide you through how to manage both...just google it ;) I LOVE LOVE facebook, I only twitter once in awhile..but you can sync them and do both at once. :) nice post jill!

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  24. Karen: Hey, I'm all for happy husbands! They definitely take precedence over buttons and programs!

    Amber: We are blessed to have technology to get our names out in front of thousands of people--and all for free! Good points!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  25. I'm on both FB and Twitter (BTW, your FB link is broken, says page doesn't exist). I actually prefer Facebook because it's easier to catch up and keep up with everyone, where with Twitter it's like your in this big chat room, tweets scrolling down faster than you can read them. Half the time you miss a reply to your own Tweet, but I love both and try and keep up with both, although not as often as I'd like to. As you said, it CAN be pretty intimidating for a writer to write something fancy into such a limited space!

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