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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'll Admit It: I Tweet

But only occasionally. I'm not a die-hard Twitter enthusiast, at least not yet.

In preparation for this blog post, however, I've spent the last couple weeks increasing my Twitter footprint. If that is even a phrase. If it's not, it should be.

Twitter, for the newbie, is an application used in social networking, where users can send out "tweets," or short messages of 140 characters or fewer. These tweets are seen by people who "follow" you. And you can see the tweets of those whom you choose to follow. You don't have to follow anyone you don't want to, and you don't have to allow other people to follow you. You can make your tweets private (not recommended if you want to actually network with people), and you can block certain users.

You can also follow the twitter feeds of celebrities, notable people, businesses, news agencies, colleagues, and friends--whoever is on twitter that you would like to hear from. The time required to use twitter really varies based on how many people you follow, how often you tweet, and how closely you want to follow the tweets.

When I first started, I would access twitter occasionally though facebook. It was interesting, but I really wasn't sure what to do with it. I treated it more like an email account that I had to check every so often. I missed a lot of tweets. I used it a little more when I figured out how to get twitter to update my facebook status. (I'll cover that in the next post about interconnectivity.) And for a while, that was all I used it for.

And then, the epiphany... Tweetdeck. While I can't say that Tweetdeck changed my world, it did rapidly increase my twitter usage. Now I leave Tweetdeck open on my laptop. I've started following a few writers, agents, and others who tweet about writing. The effect is having a ticker of quotes and links about writing update regularly on my computer. It's giving me a feeling of being at a writers' conference--all the time.

Of course, the downside of this is that, yes, it has cut into my writing time a little. But it has also made the activity a little less solitary, and I have been sometimes educated and other time amused by the content coming across.

Do you tweet? Follow me here.

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