Dr. Twuth–Overloaded in TX & Muddling in the Midwest

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday with Dr. Twuth. 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.

So who is Dr. Twuth? Heard of Dr. Ruth, Sex Therapist? Well, today I am introducing you to my alter ego Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist (Dr. Twuth is accredited by one of the best mail-order PhD universities in the Bahamas. She isn’t a real doctor, just plays one on the Internet).

Have a question about Twitter? A problem? A sticky wicket? Let Dr. Twuth help, because the Twuth will set you free.

Dr. Twuth–Putting the “smart” back in smart phones.

On to our tweeps in need…

Dr. Twuth,

My biggest issue is that as a serious introvert who has worked extensively to overcome my reserved nature, my head still spins with the sheer numbers of tweeps I have! I can’t keep everyone straight, although I think there are many wonderful people out there. (I’m not sure I’d remember my family’s names if they didn’t introduce themselves daily.) Got any tips for helping me feel more personally connected?

Overloaded in My Study, Texas

Dear Overloaded,

Twitter is a team effort. Yes, it will be hard for you to keep other people straight, but other tweeps can make this process easier by ditching the cutesy monikers and using an actual picture. Twitter is about making real friendships. We wouldn’t go to a party wearing a Hello Kitty mask introducing ourselves as Procrastinating Writer, so why do it on Twitter? (Okay, @ClayMorganPA would totally wear a Hello Kitty mask to a party and likely a Star Fleet uniform to be extra weird, but he can get away with it.)

If others will be more authentic this will help. We will see names connected to faces over and over and over each time they tweet. Using our name and our face on Twitter helps others get to know us. Name recognition is a vital component of creating a brand, so any writer serious about publication should be using the name she desires to be printed on the front of her books…or go do a legal name change to Procrastinating Writer. We’ll call you Crass for short😉.

As far as what you can do? Download TweetDeck. This application will keep you sane saner because it permits you to slot people into different columns easily. I have a column for Close Friends, Big Hitters (agents, publishers, NYTBSAs, etc), #MyWANA, #writegoal, and #pubtip.

I have other columns, but those are the ones I pay most attention to. Everyone else goes into the All Friends column unless they start tweeting stuff interesting enough to warrant a move. People who are active on Twitter (and interesting) are powerful allies to have when creating a platform. If you focus on getting to know them, the rest will fall into place.

Good luck!

Dr. Twuth

Dear Dr. Twuth,

How do I keep from being attacked by two fat babies while I tweet? Also, if I have oven mitts on my hands, to protect from the biting, how can I insert a hashtag?

Sincerely,

Muddling Through In the Midwest

Dear Muddling,

It might be a good idea to get a puppy, and then you can crate-train all three. Oh, sure some people feel you might be “caging” your babies, but that is negative thinking. The pessimist sees a cage, but the optimist sees a playpen with a lid and locking door. Once said babies are properly crate trained, you should no longer need the oven mitts…and the puppy can watch your babies. Everyone wins.

If a puppy and crate are outside of your price, range, there is always duct tape. Again, the pessimist sees super adhesive tape, but the optimist sees a babysitter for less than $5.

Best of luck!

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Dr. Twuth is all about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. Dr. Twuth is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like her advice, she will give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

So gripe away and leave your woes in the comments for the expert rank amateur with candy. Let Dr. Twuth help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!

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  1. #1 by Eileen Astels on August 16, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    Love the ducked tape baby pic!! I’m thinking Family and Children’s Services are on the way!

  2. #2 by Marcy Kennedy on August 16, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    Never thought of crate training children, but it works great for a Great Dane puppy who already weighs more than most children (and who can scale every barricade known to man). Hilarious tips🙂

    You also reminded me that I need to update my TweetDeck columns. They’ve grown a bit unruly of late, and I know I’ve been missing the tweets of some people that I usually enjoy hearing from.

  3. #3 by David Powell on August 16, 2011 - 1:59 pm

    My sister in law, a talent lady with ceramics, (see her website here:-http://www.craigbragdydesign.co.uk/) used to sit in the cage to work, leaving her toddlers play around her.

    Cute Huh?

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 16, 2011 - 2:09 pm

      NICE. I wish I would have thought of that.

  4. #5 by Rebecca Enzor on August 16, 2011 - 2:00 pm

    I’ve always been told that you can’t crate train children. Now that I know you can I’m gonna go get myself knocked up! Have a great day – I’m going to😉

  5. #6 by catwoods on August 16, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    I can only crate train the kids with the puppy if they don’t wear socks. Said pup eats them like crack. Maybe if I duct tape the socks to the kids…

    LOL, great post. I love the reminder of being human on twitter. Real connections are so important.

  6. #7 by Gene Lempp on August 16, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    Perhaps the oven mitt person could get a keyboard with real big buttons, large print. Or teach the puppy to type, they are real naturals.

    Great advice Dr. Twuth. You Rock the Twitter!

  7. #8 by Ashley Prince on August 16, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    I am still fuzzy as to what this Tweet Deck is. It looks a wee bit overwhelming.

    The duct tape baby picture is wonderful.🙂

    • #9 by alicamckennajohnson on August 16, 2011 - 2:57 pm

      I felt the same way- but tweetdeck is free- just google it- and makes life so much easier- I did spend time sorting my tweeps into lists (you do this on twitter) but once that was done it makes things so much easier and now I can actually find my sisters posts amongst all the tweets from writers.

    • #10 by leogodin217 (@Leo_Godin) on August 16, 2011 - 3:18 pm

      Tweetdeck completely changes your Twitter experience. Instead of having one giant feed, you can setup columns for specific lists or searches. For instance, I have the main feed with everything, replies, friends (people I know and might want to eat lunch with), #amwriting, and sometimes other interests in their own columns.

      The one drawback is you have to install it. I use Seesmic web which does the same thing, but in your browser. Both are excellent applications. BTW, you can install Tweetdeck and Seesmic on Android and Iphone.

      • #11 by Amy Kennedy on August 16, 2011 - 6:06 pm

        I like tweetdeck, but sometimes I think my brain will explode when I use it, or I’ll have some kind of seizure. The colors are too intense and the *bings* drive me insane — I keep thinking I’m going to miss something…too much to look at.

        I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. What is my problem?

        • #12 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 16, 2011 - 6:25 pm

          You can turn the tweeting sound off in your settings. And my background is simple dark gray/black. WANA has a Tweet Deck walk-thru, but hunt down @PatrickThunstrom on #MyWANA and he’ll hook you up😉.

          • #13 by Amy Kennedy on August 16, 2011 - 9:58 pm

            Thank you. gray/black background is exactly what I need. I’ll also hunt @PatrickThunstrom down.

  8. #14 by scribbla on August 16, 2011 - 2:29 pm

    I’m so getting duct tape.

  9. #15 by alicamckennajohnson on August 16, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    If only I had known about duct tape when they were smaller lol! You suggested tweetdeck a few posts back and I love it! It has made tweeting so much easier.

  10. #16 by coleen patrick on August 16, 2011 - 2:56 pm

    I tried Tweet Deck for all of a minute– I felt like someone put me in cockpit and asked me to fly a plane (I am not a pilot and I tend to cry on planes in general–duct tape would come in handy for those around me). But I admit I am starting to enjoy Twitter, so I will probably have to take another look at TD.

    • #17 by David N. Walker on August 16, 2011 - 8:20 pm

      I can’t imagine using Twitter without it. It never made sense to me until I downloaded Tweetdeck.

  11. #18 by Anne-Mhairi Simpson on August 16, 2011 - 3:02 pm

    I have various columns but I forget to check them. I have about eight, but only four of them are always in front of me. I wish I could make them narrower, but even that would probably only fit one more on one screen. I know the answer is to keep scanning, but I really do forget😥

  12. #19 by Michelle @ Graceful on August 16, 2011 - 3:13 pm

    Using TweetDeck has been the best move I’ve made so far in this social media journey. Now I have to learn how to maximize it to its fullest potential. I have a couple of columns, but I think I could create a couple more to organize my Twitter life even better. Thanks for the push.

  13. #20 by shawn on August 16, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    Dr Twuth, heeeelp! I’m having an issue with my dangling participles and misplaced modifiers. Is there a cure, or is my WIP gonna kill me when I get home! Lol

  14. #21 by Tamara LeBlanc on August 16, 2011 - 4:28 pm

    Wish I would have thought about duct tape when my kids were small enough to affix them to walls…oh well, in my next life.
    I, for one, do not like seeing geometric images in place of people’s smiling faces on their avatars (so sorry Shawn with the yellow diamonds) I enjoy seeing a happy grin like the one Michelle @ Graceful is sporting. Or the lovely image you have on your Twitter account and blog. Those images make me feel like I’m talking to a real human being and not a Tweet, blog or Facebook bot.
    So I use a picture in order to let people know I’m real too:)
    But I have a question. When I had my avatar image taken my hair was long (oh how I miss my hair) A while back I had it all cut off ( I do this every 3 yrs or so.Don’t have a clue why) and now my hair is very short. I had new pics taken a few weeks ago, but I’m not crazy about how I look with short hair and have put off changing my avatar since I am, as we speak, wishing upon stars, fallen eyelashes, pennies found on heads and any other crazy suspicion known to man that might help my locks grow overnight.
    True my question is based on vanity…I’m sure there are loads of truly important questions in this comment segment that you would rather answer, but Dear Dr. Twuth, should I leave my long haired and preferred avatar alone or should I replace it with my updated image?
    Signed, Crazy for the Coif in Georgia.🙂

    • #22 by Lynne on August 16, 2011 - 5:30 pm

      Good question. How often should we change our pictures? Once a year, every few months?

    • #23 by Amy Kennedy on August 16, 2011 - 6:11 pm

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with vanity — you want people to know what you look like…on your best day. Your hair will grow. But this did raise a good question about how often we should do new pics.

      My pic is from 3 years ago, but the planets were aligned and I {{{really}}} like the pic — hair is still sort of the same. I’d like to hear what everyone else has to say.

    • #24 by David N. Walker on August 16, 2011 - 8:25 pm

      My pic is 15 years old. Although it doesn’t make me look like a movie star, it’s the last decent one I’ve had made. Current ones make me look like I’m almost 70 years old. Oh, yeah . . .

  15. #25 by Caroline Clemmons on August 16, 2011 - 4:48 pm

    You are such fun! Keep it up, please.

  16. #26 by SandySays1 on August 16, 2011 - 5:37 pm

    I passed your post on to my human. He’s just starting out in Twitter. And believe me he needs all the help he can get. He says feels like he’s been tossed in the swamp with the alligators in my last post. The social media thing is a challenge for him, but he’s determined to learn.

  17. #27 by lanceschaubert on August 16, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    “…wearing a Hello Kitty mask introducing ourselves as Procrastinating Writer”

    Bahaha. yeah, I have a friend who draws vague pictures of himself riding dragons (for instance) for his profile. Nice.

  18. #28 by Elise Stokes on August 16, 2011 - 6:08 pm

    Excellent! I glean so much from your blog.

  19. #29 by Piper Bayard on August 16, 2011 - 6:13 pm

    What a hoot! Ok. Confession time. We actually tried to duct tape my nephew to the wall. It didn’t work. It kept getting in his hair, and he kept falling off the wall. Maybe it’s because he was 13 at the time. There might be a weight limit on the label, but we didn’t check. Great advice, Kristen.

  20. #31 by Barbara McDowell on August 16, 2011 - 6:22 pm

    Great post with just in time information! I started using TweetDeck after an earlier recommendation from you. I’m a Twitter newbie and it made it so much easier to adapt to and keep up with groups. Now I will take your advice and set up columns to better sort tweets from specific individuals.

  21. #32 by Leanne Shirtliffe on August 16, 2011 - 6:47 pm

    I love Tweetdeck. And private lists are the best. Sorry, but I don’t really want people to know who’s on My Faves list. For those who are reluctant, find an IRL person who uses it and sit down for 5 minutes with them.

    As for the duck tape. Here is my favorite Awkward Family Photo. (And no, it’s not my family…): http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2010/06/03/window-display/

  22. #33 by educlaytion on August 16, 2011 - 7:34 pm

    I used to be ashamed of my Hello Kitty mask. You’re a frickin weirdo, society seemed to say. But now I have embraced this side of me as evidenced by yesterday’s post complete with my new tattoos of Minnie Mouse and Rapunzel. Pink is the new tribal.

    And don’t get me started on my Star Fleet uniforms. Semper Exploro🙂

  23. #34 by David N. Walker on August 16, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    Keep pounding the message about using real names, Kristen.

  24. #35 by Julie Glover on August 16, 2011 - 9:22 pm

    Just for Tamara, I logged on to FB so my profile pic will show up on WordPress. Thanks for answering my introvert question, Kristen. I had never thought to make my own columns for circles of Twitter friends. I have used hashtags well with TweetDeck, though several author friends are trying to woo me over to HootSuite. I don’t know whether you (Kristen) or others have a preference and how good each program is for sorting sort all those terrific people on Twitter and Facebook. I totally agree that it helps a LOT when I see someone’s face over and over again.

    Send me the bill, Dr. Twuth! (And my kids think I’m a little wicked for laughing at the duct tape photo.)

  25. #36 by JM Randolph on August 16, 2011 - 10:16 pm

    I have two TweetDeck issues. I can’t find how to NOT have the updates always pop up over what I am doing unless the program is closed, and when I start typing someone’s Twitter name into the update box, it doesn’t give me the automatic drop down selections like it does on Twitter. Does anyone have fixes for these?

    • #37 by Leanne Shirtliffe on August 17, 2011 - 2:33 am

      On your Tweetdeck page, go to settings (click the mini wrench icon in the upper right hand corner). Under the “General” tab that comes up, click “Turn on Autocomplete”. Under the Notifications tab, you’ll have options to make the bubble go off. If you have sounds too you want turned off, those are also under the Notifications tab, but are under the Advanced settings. Email me if you need a walk through!

      • #38 by JM Randolph on August 17, 2011 - 1:17 pm

        Woo-hoo! I am pretty sure you just changed my life- it’s working! Thanks

  26. #39 by Christine Grote on August 16, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    Great post, as usual. I’m plodding along. Haven’t discovered the advantages of hoot suite over just using my lists on Twitter. Need a little more experience there.

    Unrelated question. You award chances to win prizes when people comment. Why? How important is it to have people comment if they are reading?

    • #40 by Author Kristen Lamb on August 16, 2011 - 11:53 pm

      It’s just an incentive to get people leaving comments. Comments spark discussion. Discussion generates community and friendships. Of course I love that people read, but I REALLY love when you guys comment and talk to each other and then I see you become friends, too. I feel like a matchmaker of sorts😀.

  27. #42 by Prudence MacLeod on August 16, 2011 - 10:59 pm

    And still one more use for duct tape. I am endlessly amazed (and amused.) Thanks for the smiles.

    Prudence
    http://prudencemacleod.com/

  28. #43 by kerrymeacham on August 17, 2011 - 12:09 am

    Damn, why didn’t I think of duct tape when my kid was little. Another thing to add to my list of “Things I Would Do Differently If I Could Do It All Again.”

  29. #44 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on August 17, 2011 - 4:46 am

    Dear Dr. Twuth,

    I spend way too much time on Twitter but it’s so much fun. Ah, social media – so much to do, so little time🙂 Maybe I should just duct-tape my laptop shut? Dr. Twuth?

  30. #45 by Lynn Kelley on August 17, 2011 - 6:17 am

    Haha! Love this Dr. Twuth forum. Funny stuff. Thanks for the laugh. I’m not telling on myself about the Tweetdeck columns and how long it took to notice there were columns beyond what showed up on the screen, until I accidentally found them one day. Those columns just started all by themselves. I’m reading the Twitter section of WANA right now, so maybe it will cover how to start a new column? If not, I’ll find out by trial and error.

  31. #46 by Taylor Napolsky on August 17, 2011 - 1:53 pm

    yeah I’ve been thinking about getting Tweetdeck. But I still have so few followers and I’m following so few people, I don’t think there is much need for it yet.

  32. #47 by Paige Kellerman on August 17, 2011 - 3:12 pm

    Haha..thanks for the advice! Now in search of duct tape!

  33. #48 by Renee Schuls-Jacobson on August 17, 2011 - 7:00 pm

    TweetDeck saved me and @KeenieBeanie gave me an awesome tutorial. Starting with turning off the tweet! Oy, who thought of that as a default setting? You can even have Facebook on there so everything is in one place.

    You are so smart, Dr. Twuth.

    Ps: You are so right about @ClayMorganPA. But don’t forget his Disney princess tattoo.😉

  34. #49 by Ken Morselander on August 18, 2011 - 4:25 pm

    Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets (so when you’re compelled to write at 3:00 A.M. you can tweet at will and set times for them to show up in tweeterville). I use Tweetdeck to manage all social media on one screen…and yes…there are things beyond the borders. Great post Dr Twuth…big smiles on my face, the dog’s face and I think beneath the duct tape, the baby is smiling too?!?! Just kidding.

  35. #50 by Diana Stevan on August 20, 2011 - 5:31 pm

    I’m trying it now. It’s an awesome tool. Thanks also to one of the comments telling me how to shut off the pop-ups and cut out the sound

  36. #51 by Marilag Lubag on August 21, 2011 - 7:13 am

    Dr. Twuth, how do you plan social media with time management? It seems that we have a lot into our plates without adding the social media? How do you balance having a family, working, writing, and tweeting?

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