Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bookmarks: Follow Me

One of my "commute" shots, at Cahuenga Blvd. and Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles

When I started using Twitter, I immediately followed writers because writers are known to be witty and entertaining. Thus my Twitter stream would be a cocktail party of constant twit-wit. But at least half the writers I've followed tweet nothing but advertisements for their books. My stream becomes more difficult to read (not to mention more dull) with each new link-laden pitch.

Will #Harry meet #Sally? find out at www.afghk;l
My friends love #an'orhw39i3 !
Nominated for two #SelfNom awards!...? http://nr[0hW
Click here! www. 1t09483t7
#FFpqt49ei Buy www.apgohw4g http://=50 this!

I unfollow these people. I'm sure they unfollow me, too, because they're on Twitter to collect followers, not to make contacts. They might think they're on Twitter to make sales, though I doubt that's going to happen. It's like they're hitting people over the head repeatedly with bus stop benches.

I'm on Twitter mostly so people can find me if that's where they happen to look. Do you use Twitter? What do you use it for? What does it take for you to buy a product from someone you meet on Twitter? I would imagine you would at least have to like them first, but I'm guessing.

I like Twitter, or at least my Utopian idea of it, but I rarely think of anything witty to say in 140 characters. (Ha! And I expected other writers to be witty.)

It's okay to advertise, just not every minute of every day. By the way, Camelot & Vine is nominated for five SelfNom awards! Wish me luck.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Twitter, FB are two that I am not on.. I've heard too many cons to even bother, tho I can agree it does make others aware of you.. That sign makes me laugh.. hmm. so they will buy, sell, loan money? :-)

BaysideLife said...

I'm not a twitterer, but i am on FB and I'm trying to find a polite way to unfriend some friends who obviously go through some sort of transformation when they log on. I really dislike all the prostylitizing (sp) that gets posted.

Petrea Burchard said...

There are pluses if you're a self-employed entrepreneur, KBF.

Bayside, you can opt not to view these people in your stream. Hover your mouse at the upper right of their post and click on the little arrow. You'll be given choices, like whether to block the person, hide the post, or hide all posts from them. For people like that, rather than unfriend them I hide all their posts so I don't have to read their unwelcome messages.

BaysideLife said...

Thanks Petrea. Hiding it is.

Desiree said...

I still haven't figured out twitter. I used to follow the brilliant Alain de Bottin until I somehow stopped following him, and now can't figure out how to link up again. I will occasionally stalk a former colleague, to mock the inane, smug and self-satisfied tweets.

Katie said...

That's one bright pawn shop! If I ever need a jewelry loan I'll know where to go. I joined Twitter in about 2008 to follow the original Mars rover, which was fun (and now I follow the new rover). I set my account up as private, which I gather is atypical (as is the fact that I've never used a hashtag, and have nothing to sell). I mainly only tweet as a micro-blog when I'm traveling, for the few people who want to know what I'm doing. I follow a few interesting people (some I know, others not), but I don't hesitate to unfollow people who overtweet or stop being interesting to me. If it starts getting overrun by unwanted ads I'll probably be less inclined to use it.

Petrea Burchard said...

We're seeing some interesting uses here...spying/stalking, blogging. I see the possibilities.

When someone retweets someone else's sales pitch, I unfollow the retweeter, too.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I use it to post articles I see on FB that I'm interested in reading - but haven't gotten around too. It keeps the desktop less cluttered. I also occasionally visit Laurie to keep up with her - plus she's funny.

Petrea Burchard said...

I do that, too--visit Laurie, I mean. It's good for keeping up with those who tweet a lot.

Susan Campisi said...

I have a twitter account but I rarely tweet and I can't keep up with the people I follow. The app on my phone doesn't work well; it takes forever to load the tweets so... Perhaps I'll get more into twitter when I get an iphone.

The sales pitches would get old very quickly. Definitely grounds for unfollowing. (I think I just made up a word.)

Bellis said...

Phew, what a relief to know others have the same problems with Twitter that I do. I follow a few tweeters that I know, whenever I remember to check in on them. Stephen Fry and Eric Idle can be funny. But I don't tweet myself as I'm not sure what to say. My son has a very good Twitter page for his lab, where he posts all the articles and info relevant to his subject. And when I want an instant update on something that's happening, he seems to know how to search for it in the Tweetosphere. In England, for example, he can tell me where the snow sweeping toward London from the north has got to by following a Mexican wave of "It's snowing in...." tweets.

Petrea Burchard said...

The Twitter app for the iPhone works well, Susan.

Your son's expertise with Twitter demonstrates one of its best uses, Bellis. So many of us no longer trust news outlets, and Twitter has become that for many people.

John Sandel said...

I'm surprised at the efficacy of Facebook & Twitter for connecting with people I'd otherwise never, ever know about in the long stretch of my natural life. Such unprecedented outreach is not something that we're wired for, evolutionarily, nor prepared culturally. The advent of newspapers must have had a similar insinuating feel, to rural villagers accustomed to considering the horizon the extent of their social world. Likewise, the telephone and television. Thus, culture changes. Memes evolve.

There's a distinct downside, I think, to such immediate, shallow & "costless" contact as the web allows. Our expectations of social reciprocity must adapt—sometimes tortuously—when our "person" is spread so far & wide. We're primates; we still have to meet in person to form profound interpersonal bonds & should not confuse Wide with Deep. Think of the tumult caused in American families during Reconstruction: farmboys flung by enlistment to the strangest counties of the nation had to decide, at armistice, whether it was worth the journey to go home. The letters they traded with their families sometimes show the strain—accustomed ties felt outmoded.

I use FB & Twitter—& a handful of other "social" web services—they way I use the national news: I pay attention to the tops of the waves. I don't read everything, which it not possible or even necessary. We're already sophisticated social animals; these sites just stretch existing skills. I judge whether or not to dive into an online issue—a news story, or a new social contact—on the basis of its superficial appeal. It needs careful time-management, but you pick it up, like a sense of smell. The upside is that the work offers something which millennia of human society have not otherwise produced: global reach to like-minded folk. That has real promise for doing business.

John Sandel said...

Plus Twitter is just the best platform ever for cracking wise.

Laura Monteros said...

Desiree, I like your style!

OK, I confess to using Twitter to post links to my articles. I read some interesting stuff there, too, when I have time, but most of the time, I don't have time. My retweets are usually something interesting going on in Pasadena or with the Rose Parade.

I don't keep up with friends via Twitter at all. I don't even know any friends who are on Twitter, only internet acquaintances.

I am utterly convinced that no one really gives a hoot what I am doing or eating, where I am, who I am with, or what hobbies I have. But hey, if they are interested in reading an interview with the president of the Tournament of Roses, well, they can find it on my Twitter feed.

I just don't understand the amount of time folks spend online just to socialize with people they don't know. My kids worry about that. They think I am going to feel lonely and neglected simply because I am perfectly capable of entertaining myself.

Oh, don't I sound like a misanthrope! =D

Petrea Burchard said...

John is really, really good on Twitter. He's fun and funny and he thinks of interesting things to say in 140 characters. He entertains his followers.

I think it's fine to link to your articles, Laura! That's something you're sharing freely. "Here's information on the Tournament of Roses, Here's my interview with the chief White-Suiter," etc. All good. And you are correct, I like you very much but I don't care what you're having for lunch unless you're eating at Tour d-Argent (they're known for their duck).

Ms M said...

Fascinating photo; a whole lot of "story starters" there.

I currently don't use Twitter, although I would if it would be useful to me. As you know, I've been blogging for several years and I use FB. I don't feel like I have time to add Twitter.

I've met some great folks through "Blogville" and FB; I've also reconnected to old friends through FB. I continue to learn a lot through both.

TheChieftess said...

I joined FB to connect with people before a high school reunion...which was ok...but I stayed on FB because I can keep up with what's going on with kids and grand kids!!! Twitter is just plain weird...I check in on Laurie every now and then....and have to go back too far to figure out what the topic of conversation is to care!!!

John Sandel said...

Facebook is about the past—it's amber.
Twitter's about the present—it's quicksilver.

Petrea Burchard said...

A few of us have mentioned Laurie. In case you don't know her, she used to blog here:
She stopped when she started having trouble seeing. Twitter is a great platform for her communication--she doesn't have to take photos and her messages can be shorter.

Susan Campisi said...

Oh no! I had no idea Laurie had vision problems and had stopped blogging. I just read through all the comments from her last post and got all choked up. I hope she's okay. I'll check her Twitter feed to find out. Thanks for the update, P. Maybe this will be a catalyst to turn me into a Twitter person.

Petrea Burchard said...

Even if it doesn't, Susan, it shows a good use for Twitter.