Before you carry on, please be aware that this is a rant. You are warned.
Everywhere I read it says that I should be embracing Twitter as a new writer. I must build a platform and the best way to do that in the modern age is to use social media, and the best social media tool to put yourself out there and meet others like you is Twitter. Ok, I get it, and I really really want it to work for me but – shit – I must be doing it wrong.
To give you a bit of context, I have about 1,100 followers and I follow about 1,400. I’ve given it a good go with the current strategy for about 3 months but I’ve now had enough. I want to use twitter to engage with interesting people, build new relationships and genuinely join in with topical discussions online. I thought this was what it was about.
However, all I get is drivel, endless streams of marketing, noise and people that seem hell-bent on telling me that they follow Christ. I obviously follow the wrong people but how on earth do you find the right people?
There are some people that literally share 50 links a day, what is wrong with these people. I have never followed a link from someone on twitter because they’ve said ‘hey want to know more about life?’ As a writer I know the marketing potential that Twitter could hold but I follow a lot of writers and all they seem to do is tweet about their book and forward other people’s books. It’s like some massive book fair, in the biggest stadium known to man, and after you’ve walked past the first 10 tables the next three billion just seem to become irrelevant. There is just too much noise.
I know what the idea of follow Friday is, and to those that don’t, it’s a way for people to recommend good people to follow from their own list to their followers. Perfect networking. But it has now become an excuse for these sad people that dress in their mother’s clothes to post every bloody follower they have just to prove that they have friends. Guess what? These people are not your friends, and if they only knew you then you’d be unfollowed in a heartbeat.
I want to get to know people on Twitter. I want to build relationships. I want to meet people eventually one day that I’ve spoken with on twitter for years. I want to give some of myself and more importantly listen to other people’s lives and share with them. But at the moment it’s like finding a friend in a gigantic mental asylum. People running in your face shouting about inane nonsense as you stumble around the corridors desperately trying to find someone else that’s normal.
The Party Idea
I’ve read the advice from various sites telling you to use Twitter like its a real life party. You don’t walk into a party and start shouting about yourself. Me, me, me, me, me, me… Because the chances are you’ll be either left in a corner peeling a label off your bottle, or you’ll be punched in the face and not invited again. If you’re a mess up in real life the chances are that you won’t be too much different in the virtual world. Please become self-aware and notice the way that people respond to you. If you always feel it’s just you then it probably is.
I absolutely don’t have a problem with religion. I want everyone in the world to feel free to be able to believe what they want. That is the only way that we can evolve, I’m sure of that. But… If you are a born again Christian then please do not feel as though in 140 character profiles you think that telling others what you believe is the most compelling thing about you. It’s the opposite. If that’s all you can think of then it just shows how little else you have in your life. I believe many weird and wonderful things but I don’t tell people all about them when I first meet them. Scary.
I know this has been a rant today and if it helps, it has made me feel a lot better. But I’m going to change my Twitter strategy and have a mass cull. My timeline is going to look like the killing fields over the weekend. I want to follow the beautiful, interesting people that follow and read this blog for example but at the moment I can’t see your comments for this other toss.
Tell me if you feel my pain and please give me any advice you may have on how to remedy it.