What if, at any time of day or night, we could open our windows and yell out to the world who we are and what we need? And then be recognized and responded to?
“I’m Robin Botie. I lost my daughter to leukemia 3 years ago. I wrote a book and want to get it published. Please follow www.robinbotie.com”
There’s something compelling about being heard and validated, and the image of people all over Earth hanging out howling. With this in mind, I brought home 2 books about Twitter for the weekend. In between morning hikes and Super Bowl commercials I would try to gain some understanding about this online site that promises community, connection, sharing, and conversations that flow around the world.
On www.twitter.com it feels like I’m in a crowded marketplace in another country where vendors scream in foreign languages from every direction to attract my attention. The books tell me I can find people with similar interests, and even agents and publishers on Twitter. But reading the opening chapters, I am horrified to learn that for months I have been tweeting all the wrong things. Twitter etiquette demands you give thanks or praise to others, or share useful news, or, if you must direct attention to yourself, you may tout some wonderful accomplishment. All in no more than 140 characters including punctuation and spaces.
Envious of friends’ networking successes, I am determined to make Twitter work for me. I will get subscribers to my blog and feel validated in my online community among more than half a billion active users. Maybe I will attract an agent to my site. Maybe someone from a big publishing house will tweet me back, “ Your writing is superb. I want to publish your book.”
My son’s friend sends out a tweet, “Take a look my friends moms website and blog, robinbotie.com and follow her.” Jon Bones Jones has 800,000 followers. Surely a few of these folks have lost someone or something and will want to see my photos and read my stories about climbing up and out of grief. With fists clenched under my nose, I watch the screen. A tweet comes back almost immediately.
“robin botie is a hottie!”
My social media mentor, Simply Franee, calls me.
“Robin, you had 600 new visitors to your site on Sunday.” That’s neat, I’m thinking, now totally obsessed with calculating my responses to stay under 140 characters. And I’ve grown inches taller, my head in the clouds, remembering that I’m “a hottie.”
What do you think of Twitter?