Twitter Tuesday #13

Welcome to the thirteenth installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brandwill help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–The Twitter Tyrant

All of us have passions, and that is wonderful. Being passionate makes us feel alive and gives our lives purpose. But, when we are building a platform, especially in the beginning stages, we must be mindful to always express our passions in a positive way. Ranting on Twitter is never acceptable. I have had people I had to unfollow simply because every time they tweeted, I needed an antacid. Life is stressful enough without volunteering for an ulcer.

Ranting is unproductive and it creates a negative experience, even for people who might agree with us. Ranting is just that…ranting. It offers nothing but negative energy, whether at a party or on Twitter. It depresses others and makes them feel helpless.

Do I suggest that writers give up their passions and beliefs and become luke warm, melba-toast humans? Of course not. But we must be mindful that we are creating a positive experience for those who keep company with us. If our contribution to the Twitterverse just makes people want to crawl back in bed, then our efforts are doing more harm than good.

I would say that if you need to rant, do so with your close friends. But, then again? We should be nice to our friends. Ranting isn’t healthy for either party. We all have times that we get so frustrated we feel as if we are going to explode. What to do? Scream in a pillow, vacuum, mow the lawn, do yoga. Do something to burn off that anger. After that? Refocus that negative energy in a positive and constructive way. Our blood pressure and our friends will appreciate it.

Be a Twitter Activist

So say you are just fed up with people who abuse animals or you want to support the troops or even save the whales. It is okay to have beliefs, but as authors we need to be watchful that we are always being positive. That’s the biggest consideration. If you are tired of animals being abused, then feel free to tweet a link to support a local shelter. If you love the troops, then send a link to support the Wounded Warrior Foundation. If you love eating a vegetarian diet, then tweet great articles that inspire others to maybe embrace this lifestyle you love.

This is a far more positive use of our time. It doesn’t alienate or upset others and it does one critical thing ranting will never accomplish. This approach empowers people. We have given them a link to actively DO something. This is the responsible way to champion a cause or a belief.

My only concern beyond this is that we need to make sure that championing our cause doesn’t become our entire platform. We are trying to build an author platform, not run for office.

At the end of the day all this tweeting and retweeting and socializing is to forge relationships that, hopefully, will drive book sales. It is okay to be an author with a social passion, but it is easy to have the social passion take over and then people don’t realize we are writers with a novel to sell. As long as we remain positive and balanced, then people will enjoy our company and will eagerly support our career and our passions.

Tweet ya later!

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  1. #1 by Albert Berg on April 12, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    It’s not just ranting. I think you have to think long and hard before you say anything negative. There have been many times when I was tempted to tweet about how much I hated my life right at that moment, but then I thought to myself, “Is that what my followers really want to hear?”
    Sometimes I let the negative slip out, but I’d like to think I keep a pretty positive attitude overall. My life may feel like it’s going down the tubes sometimes but that doesn’t mean I have to TELL everyone about it.

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 12, 2011 - 2:57 pm

      I TOTALLY agree! Always positive :D.

  2. #3 by lauradroege on April 12, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    I worry more about being negative on my blog rather than Twitter. (I’m still figuring out what to put on Twitter.) For my blog, I tend to focus on the topics addressed in my first novel, which deals with mental illness, suicide and serious issues in marriage/other personal relationships. (I delve into social issues, too, though hopefully I don’t rant about them.)

    I just worry that my writing may be too “down” for people to want to read. But there’s really no way to be upbeat and positive about certain topics, though I try to be hopeful and helpful for those dealing with these issues.

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 12, 2011 - 3:07 pm

      I think as long as you are offering solutions then you should be fine. You also might want to add an additional light-hearted day of blogging on topics less serious.

      • #5 by lauradroege on April 12, 2011 - 3:13 pm

        Thanks, Kristen! I appreciate the advice.

  3. #6 by Christine Ashworth on April 12, 2011 - 3:26 pm

    Thank you! I have an acquaintance who rants all the time on twitter and I cringe when I see it. But then she calls out people who “unfollow” her, too…it’s a bad experience all around and I’m not sure what to do.

    • #7 by Patti Mallett on April 12, 2011 - 3:31 pm

      Me, too, Christine. People don’t realize the image they are building of themselves. I actually wanted to tell this young woman but didn’t want to suffer her wrath. (Do you think I was I being a coward?)

      • #8 by Patti Mallett on April 12, 2011 - 3:33 pm

        I would definitely not do it publicly.

      • #9 by Patti Mallett on April 12, 2011 - 3:34 pm

        Kristen, would weigh in here?

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 12, 2011 - 3:40 pm

      Send her to this blog? Maybe a DM telling her that you really like her and want to follow her but that her ranting keeps you in a state of distress. If she gets hostile? Then unfollow her. We don’t have to put up with poor behavior. But, I am always one to give the benefit of the doubt. So tell her that you admire her for being passionate, but that it needs to be expressed in a more positive way. In the end this is more effective anyway.

  4. #11 by Patti Mallett on April 12, 2011 - 3:28 pm

    You are always so helpful, Kristen. Albert, you put it really well, too. We don’t have to Tell All. Kristen, your advice about ranting to our friends is stirring up a memory of a time I’d have been better off vacuuming. (Such a two birds with one stone situation.) I’m not a big ranter but get me started….

    On Twitter and FB I try to stay positive. You’ve helped me see the importance of that.
    Thanks!!!

  5. #12 by Alannah Murphy on April 12, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    I find some of the ranting amusing. It all depends on how they do it. Some of it, is hilarious when done in a witty type of way. Then again, I’m English and we are known for being miserable b*stards…

    Personally, I cannot deal with those SUPER positive people who are constantly going on about saving the whales or how I should be a vegetarian…if I wanted preaching, I’d go to church, and I don’t…

    However, if it’s just angry annoying ranting, for the hell of it, then I know what you mean.

  6. #13 by David N. Walker on April 12, 2011 - 5:00 pm

    Rant at slow drivers ahead of you. As long as your windows are rolled up, they can’t hear you and aren’t offended, and you get to vent some steam.

  7. #14 by Jess Witkins on April 12, 2011 - 5:04 pm

    Ok, melba-toast humans made me laugh! Thanks for that. Great suggestion on being a twitter activist to use your passion in a proactive spin!

  8. #15 by Kati Bartkowski's storysketches on April 12, 2011 - 5:08 pm

    I try to keep my blog as positive as possible since I don’t have a twitter account. Thank you for all the great advice you continue to share!

  9. #16 by Joss on April 12, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    great advice, as usual.

  10. #17 by kerrymeacham on April 12, 2011 - 5:34 pm

    Great advice Kristen. I’ve followed a few people that just seem to always be down and grumbling about something. It got to the point where I just skip over their tweets. Depressing. It’s good to have you back.

  11. #18 by educlaytion on April 12, 2011 - 6:34 pm

    I agree. I also know a couple of folks with blogs about life and family that tend to dump and talk about how miserable life is. That turns me off in a hurry.

    As for tweeting, I think it’s okay for some people to occasionally be vulnerable or express their views, but keep the anger dump on your side of pity city.

  12. #19 by tahliaN on April 13, 2011 - 12:14 am

    Being positive is definitely the main point and it always amazes me that some people don’t understand that. No one wants to spend time with someone who whines and gumbles all the time, not only that though, making an effort to be positive about things makes our lives better too. I guess I’m lucky in that I’m naturally positive.

    You point about giving people links so they can do something to help, rather than grumbling about what is wrong, is really good.

  13. #20 by Marilag Lubag on April 13, 2011 - 7:36 am

    Agreed. It’s better to offer solution than to add to the problem. The way I see it, it’s like some overzealous members of PETA harming people for wearing fur. I mean, people might actually start wearing fur just to raise PETA’s hackles up.

    Besides, action speaks louder than words. If we look for articles of where to save animals and the like, it shows that we actually care about the animals without alienating those that don’t.

  14. #21 by Patricia DeWit on April 14, 2011 - 12:56 am

    Another great reminder. True, some ranting can be humorous, but I’m sure you’ve seen somse arguments on Twitter. When it turns into arguments on twitter it’s just offensive. Thanks for all your insight.

  1. Mind Sieve 4/18/11 « Gloria Oliver

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