Twitter Tuesday #24–Touchy Tweeters

Welcome to the twenty-fourth 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 brand. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–The Touchy Tweeter

We all risk being a Touchy Tweeter. Why? Because Twitter is all about relationships with other people, and the laws of probability favor that we will get our feelings hurt. But, I am here to minimize the pain by giving a big picture perspective. It is easy to feel dejected when someone doesn’t retweet our posts. We feel we give so much and yet this person ignores us. Or maybe we sent them a message and they said nothing. There are all kinds of ways to get our noses bent out of shape if we aren’t careful.

What we are wise to appreciate is that some people might not be using the most efficient means of keeping up with others on Twitter. This is one of the reasons I STRONGLY advise that writers immediately download TweetDeck. We are here to build a platform, not chat with 20 of our closest friends. We must have a tool that can help us keep up with hundreds or even thousands of other people in our network. This said, not everyone is yet on board with using information management applications like TweetDeck or Hoot Suite. They may not have a computer and be tweeting from a phone or a PDA.  They could be following ME using traditional Twitter and I tweet a LOT. So my four tweets in three minutes could be pushing others out of view. The thing is…we don’t know. 99% of the time if we are being overlooked or slighted it probably was done unintentionally.

The Week’s Twitter Tip–Be a Gracious Tweeter

My advice is always assume the best. I know there are people I talk to all the time on #MyWANA. Since I talk to them all the time, it may not register in my multi-tasking brain that I am not following this person. Hey, I see them all the time, I must be following them, right? Um, maybe, maybe not. I have even #FFed people I wasn’t following. DOH! Let’s just say it is easy for tweets and tweeps to slip through the cracks. Let it go and don’t get your feelings hurt. Most of us do not sit up all night thinking of ways to make your life miserable. Often we are just trying to do too much at one time and we make oopses. Life will be far easier if we learn to be very slow to take offense, and that’s a habit that will help in life as well as Twitter.

Tweet ya later!

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  1. #1 by educlaytion on July 5, 2011 - 3:34 pm

    Bang on. I’ve seen this from both sides and have even been surprised a few times to discover I wasn’t following some peeps I chat with off and on. Good advice Obi-Lamb Kenobi.

  2. #2 by Becka (StickyNoteStories) on July 5, 2011 - 3:35 pm

    I know I’ve gotten bent out of shape before because someone didn’t answer a tweet, but then I just took a deep breath and asked again, and what do you know – they just didn’t get the first question😛

    It’s so easy to get your feelings hurt online. I think it takes a bit of patience and a “water under the bridge” approach to stay sane online🙂

  3. #3 by Julie Musil on July 5, 2011 - 3:36 pm

    Tweetdeck is AMAZING!! I can’t imagine following Twitter any other way. And your advice is spot on. I think of Twitter as a huge conversation, with each of us writers sharing information and helping each other. What’s not to love?

  4. #4 by Gene Lempp on July 5, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    Excellent advice Kristen. I would bet that all of us have been guilty of the first one. It is easy to lose perspective in the online world. The mind perceives things differently in cyber-space. How can any of us possibly speak personally to all 500, 1000, 5000 or more followers. Daily? Yeah, not even if you never sleep.

    Social activities like Twitter should be enjoyed, so relax and have a good time🙂

  5. #5 by K.B. Owen on July 5, 2011 - 3:41 pm

    Great advice, Kristen! It’s a sentiment that carries over into real life, too. Even with TweetDeck (I think mine needs an update, it doesn’t look like Pat Thunstrom’s tutorial) I lose track. Hope I haven’t offended anyone. I always wonder when my follow numbers dip a little…

    Hope all is going well with your WIP!

  6. #6 by munira on July 5, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Thanks! This is something I really needed to hear right now🙂

  7. #7 by Amber Keller on July 5, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    I am a phone Twitter user, admittedly. Running after 3 kids all day, computer time is hard to come by. I have been planning to get , now I see it’s a necessity. I’m enrolled in your course this month at Who Dares Wins. Thanks for your generosity! Your informative and wonderful tweets are an inspiration to authors everywhere!

  8. #8 by Catherine Johnson on July 5, 2011 - 3:49 pm

    Oh my goodness well said! I hope no one is ever offended by me trotting along the twitterverse. I do have tweetdeck but not yet on my android netbook so I’m missing a lot these last few days. It’s kind of nice not to be so involved but I do wonder what I’m missing. Now the holidays have hit, things are very different around here! Good luck with your WIP.

  9. #9 by Paul Anthony Shortt on July 5, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    Definitely well said. The last thing we should be doing is taking anything personally in this crazy online world. There’s just so much that can go wrong to make someone miss us, and that’s not a slight against us if it happens.

  10. #10 by leogodin217 on July 5, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    For those who don’t want to download Tweetdeck–which is a great application–Seesmic web is a fantastic alternative. It’s basically a web based Tweetdeck. I use it all the time and even use the Seesmic client for Android. It just seems a little cleaner than Tweetdeck.

  11. #11 by Shéa MacLeod on July 5, 2011 - 4:16 pm

    People keep saying I need Tweet Deck. I even downloaded it. Except it makes zero sense. There is no way that I can see to schedule tweets or create lists or any such thing. So I just do it the old fashioned way for now. And hopefully no one gets too offended!

  12. #14 by Anara Bella on July 5, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    Great post, Kristen. Assuming the best is always the smart way to go, in twitterville, or any other online medium for that matter, where there’s no face-to-face feedback.

    The truth is, most of us are so busy it makes it very difficult to keep up with everything. Inevitably things fall through the cracks despite our best intentions to keep up. Bottom line, we appreciate it if others give us the benefit of the doubt, so doing the same for others is a good way to go. If we do, we’ll be a lot happier overall. =)

  13. #15 by M.E. Anders on July 5, 2011 - 4:23 pm

    So true, Kristen. I sometimes find that my fave Tweeters have been following me for months…and I had not added them. Keep it fun and light on Twitter – it’s a party!🙂

  14. #16 by Nina Badzin on July 5, 2011 - 5:40 pm

    Great points here! I’m a BIG pusher of encouraging people to allow Twitter to be less tit for tat. I don’t think we need to send out tweets acknowledging every singe follow, RT, #FF, etc.(one of my post popular twitter posts begs people to stop this already!) I think people feel the need to do this for exactly the points you raised—they’re afraid to offend because maybe they’ve felt slighted in the past. If we could ALL accept that nobody’s out to hurt feelings, maybe we could all relax on the constant thanking too. I know I come off like a big party-pooper with all my pushing for people to stop thanking so much, but I truly feel it clutters up the stream with nothingness all in the name of making sure nobody is mad. We can’t please everyone every second!

  15. #17 by Sonia G Medeiros on July 5, 2011 - 5:54 pm

    I ran into a Twitter following limit not too long ago. Once I reached 2001 people I was following and had 1500 folks following me, I had to wait until the number of folks following me caught up to the number I was following. Hopefully no one was offended when I couldn’t follow back for awhile. I’m strating to get caught up now. Jami Gold had great advice on using lists to keep up with folks you can’t follow.

  16. #18 by Lynn Kelley on July 5, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    Great advice, especially for writers since we tend to be extra-sensitive anyway!

    I love Educlayton’s Obi-Lamb Kenobi! Haha! Too cute.

  17. #19 by Tamara LeBlanc on July 5, 2011 - 9:15 pm

    Hey Kristen!
    I have Tweetdeck on my IPad and really like its set up and usefulness there. I still haven’t gotten around to using it on my laptop though (note to self, get that done after commenting here:)
    I try my best to be a good Tweep. Everytime I log on I check to see if anyone mentioned me. If they did I thank them. And I always try and recognize or retweet my buds.
    But you’re right, Twitter is a way to build my platform, and sometimes, often times, I forget that. I need to be a gracious Tweeter, but I also need to extend my author’s reach. Get my name out there and my books read. Thanks for reminding me of that.
    And I agree with Lynn Kelley…I too luv Educlayton’s Obi-Lamb Kenobi reference! Perfect!!
    Have a great evening:) And as always, thanks for your wisdom.
    Tamara

  18. #20 by David N. Walker on July 5, 2011 - 9:52 pm

    Good advice for life in general about most slights being unintentional. That’s why 1 Corinthians 13 says love expects only the best.

  19. #21 by Lani on July 5, 2011 - 10:07 pm

    I hope lots of people read this and take note. I know I am! Im very new to Twitter. So new that I dont have Tweet Deck…I just found out what #FF means ( no Lani its not a double F bomb word) …and a lot of the abbreviations that regulars are using are completely flying over my tweetnut head. So if i dont get your message or tweet – please dont be mad at me and launch a ‘Tweet-Kill-Lani’ campaign. I am learning very slowly and hope very much that Im not offending too many people along the way. I do think people need to NOT be so sensitive or phobic abt the whole thing. Yes I thank people for following me but I dont always auto follow back and hope that doesnt put me on people’s hit lists. I always appreciate posts on better use of twitter thank you. And Im always studying super tweeters (like yourself) so i can get more clues abt what the heck everything means!

  20. #22 by Piper Bayard on July 6, 2011 - 12:13 am

    Great advice. I know that, with TweetDeck and a laptop, it took me a long time to wrap my head around the fact that some people are doing this on a Blackberry. Also, once you get a few thousand tweeps, it’s just impossible to see every message. And if that’s not enough, lately, Twitter has been dumping DM’s so that they may go to email, but they aren’t showing in the message column of TweetDeck. Thanks for the post!

  21. #23 by EllieAnn on July 6, 2011 - 3:07 am

    I CAN’T believe you just said that. OMG, I’m so offended that you would say I’m touchy for sending three emails an hour to you, asking when you’re finally going to Follow me?! lol.😉
    Love it, thanks so much for your good advice. I’m still trying to work out TweetDeck and whatnot.

  22. #24 by Wayne Borean on July 6, 2011 - 3:07 am

    TweetDeck and HootSuite are both limited. They don’t handle Status.Net (a Free Software Twitter Alternative), and they don’t work all that well on anything other than Windows (I don’t use Windows).

    I still haven’t found anything that works well on a Mac, or on my Linux box, and that is a real nuisance. And no, I’m not going back to Windows. Unfortunately I know too much about Microsoft’s a href=”http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2007021720190018″>business practices to ever feel morally comfortable ever buying anything from the company ever again.

    It’s hell sometimes having a sense of morals. It really is.

    Wayne

  23. #26 by iwrite l 2writewithpassion on July 6, 2011 - 6:02 am

    Well, Kristen, it is such a relief that it’s your multitasking brain that hasn’t registered that you are not following me, one of your highly devoted fans.

    And if you still choose not to follow me after this, I know I will still be able to live with myself without hurt feelings because I will take consolation in my other Twitter friends because WANA. 🙂

    Excellent post as always.

  24. #27 by Irene Vernardis on July 6, 2011 - 9:30 am

    Great points Kristen🙂

    Well, Twitter is like any other online platform.
    Simple rule, behave nicely and politely, and if one doesn’t like something or another person, there are always the buttons “unfollow”, “mute”, “ignore”, or whatever similar there is on each platform. In 16 years over the internet, I’ve seen a lot and many many thousands of behavior traits and even anomalies. It’s the largest community and like every society, there are good and bad elements in it. IMO, it’s a waste of time to be “touchy” over issues on the internet. Keep the good things and toss the bad things.

    Thank you for the interesting post🙂

  25. #28 by Jody Moller on July 6, 2011 - 11:44 am

    I downloaded TweetDeck a few days ago and I have to say I am still finding it a bit overwhelming. I do like the fact that I can have #myWana and #amwriting columns there at all times though.

  26. #29 by Jill Kemerer on July 6, 2011 - 12:37 pm

    Oh, Kristen, this has happened to me–I’ve thought I was following someone and realized I wasn’t. I felt terrible! I am much better about checking new followers and even #FF friends occasionally just to make sure.

  27. #30 by Brenda Wallace on July 6, 2011 - 6:39 pm

    Great post, Kristen. That’s one of the reasons I try to tell people about We Are Not Alone, because I tend to agree with most of your thoughts on this. I do admit a lot of your ideas hadn’t crossed my mind before, but many of your thoughts feel very confirming, and I like that, too. And it’s good to be reminded how busy people are so we don’t suspect someone is slighting us just because we’re in a vulnerable mood. I’m also RT’ing this (so you won’t be mad at me😉

  28. #31 by Kellye Crocker (@kelcrocker) on July 7, 2011 - 4:13 am

    Great advice, as usual, and it applies to so much more than Twitter! I love TweetDeck and haven’t had a problem using it on my Mac.

    On a somewhat related topic, sometime I’d love to hear you elaborate about this: If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands…

    As an aspiring author, I enjoy connecting with other writers and readers, especially those who love YA. But since Twitter is all about connection and relationships, I hesitate to follow too many, and, frankly, I’m skeptical about those who do, even with TweetDeck. I’m curious about your thoughts on this.

    Obviously, I haven’t read your book, but have it it on my TBR list. Keep up the great work!

  29. #32 by Kellye Crocker (@kelcrocker) on July 7, 2011 - 4:14 am

    PS One of my friends was following me and one day I tried to DM her and found she wasn’t. She swears she didn’t stop following! I think these kinds of weird things can happen.

    • #33 by Author Kristen Lamb on July 11, 2011 - 2:28 pm

      It has to do with ratios. The numbers need to be fairly even. I get annoyed at certain social media experts who have 10,000 followers, but they are only following the bare minimum. Oh, so you’re THAT special? I also won’t follow people who are following 1000 people, but no one is following them. If the numbers show a person who is balanced, then I don’t see a problem.

  30. #34 by Marilag Lubag on July 8, 2011 - 11:06 pm

    You’re right about that. If you have thousands of followers (or following thousands of people), other people’s tweets could easily get lost in the twitterverse. Our tweets would be as recognizable as a grain of sand.

  31. #35 by Thea Atkinson on July 11, 2011 - 5:54 pm

    LOL. this is indeed a problem of mine. I’ve found folks I talk to all the time not on my following list. I’m always slightly ashamed.

    feel free, anyone, to follow me (@theaatkinson) but if I don’t follow back right away, also don’t be afraid to msg me to let me know I’ve missed you.

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