I am continuing to work on my goal of getting fully onboard with social networking on the Web 2.0 this year. Thus far I have started this blog, joined Facebook, signed up for a Squidoo lens (I have yet to develop it), and now I am on Twitter.
Many people I know rave about Twitter. They talk about the contacts they have made, the resources they have found, and the increased awareness of their services and products on the whole as a result of using Twitter. So, I joined.
I decided to start in stealth mode to get a feel for how Twitter works. Using my name as my ID, I choose 6 people in the publishing industry to initially follow. Within hours of joining, I had four emails alerting me that four people had started to follow me. None of these four were people I choose to follow. Of these four people, I only recognized the name of one. The other three were complete strangers. How did they know I had joined Twitter? Why had they chosen to follow me? My husband suggested that these individuals probably had some sort of alert system that notified them when someone new signed up on Twitter and used words like “author” or “marketing.”
Here is what I wonder. Did they take the time to read my profile, or are they just about increasing the number of their followers? I have heard that good Twitter manners dictate that one should follow those that follow them.
After signing up with Twitter, I went online the following day to check my Twitter inbox where all the tweets from the people I am following are posted. I was only following 6 people. There were well over 30 tweets in the inbox. Thirty! All posted within the last few hours. Some of these people are tweeting every couple hours.
Talk about information overload. I already have more information coming at me in a single day than I can manage. How does one sort through all that information? I am only following a handful of people. There are people on Twitter that follow well over 1,000 people. How can one sort through over 1,000 tweet messages a day? It’s humanly impossible, unless that is all you are doing.
Then there are the posts. They range from “I’m going to the grocery store” to “I just posted an article on 8 things every author should know.” Do I really care that someone I hardly know is going to the grocery store or that they just ate at Olive Garden? Do 1,000 people need to know that I am going to the dentist?
I will continue to twitter around (or is that fritter around) on Twitter. I have yet to start tweeting. I’m still trying to understand the best way to use this micro blogging, information overloading, social networking tool.
If you are on Twitter, feel free to start following me. I will start going someplace on Twitter soon. I promise.
Advice on how best to manage Twitter is welcome.