October 30, 2009

I tweet, you tweet, we all tweet for..

Conceit? Well, it rhymes anyway.

As fun as some of the social networking sites can be, I’m getting a little disillusioned with the whole process. I’m trying to get myself out there, to link up with other writers and professionals in the publishing industry. It’s just…how do I, with the limited time at my disposal, succeed at this networking game (stand out from the crowd), and how do I even measure my success?

I love that sites like Twitter exist, but I can’t keep up. I’m a parrot posing as a small brown bird—one among a flock of billions flying in perfect synchronization, turning on the wing this way and that—all chirping madly for attention. We mellow, brightly colored squawkers just can’t summon the same energy level as those hyper little brown birds who somehow come up with interesting things to tweet and re-tweet all day long. And how on earth do they keep up with what anyone else is saying? My follow flock is modest at less than 70, but even so, with everyone tweeting at once, the rare epiphany is often drowned out in the cacophony.

Those of us putting ourselves out there suffer from varying levels of narcissism, that’s just the way it is, but some (and yes, I realize I’m beating the bird analogy to a pulp with the following) fly where the air is a little too thin. I was under the impression that in order to be successful at self-promotion, a person needed to sort of *hide* the fact that self-promotion was their goal. So we tweet about this, that and the other thing, and toss in a few “hey, come read my blog’s” now and then, hoping someone will accidently click on the link we provide and maybe even read a sentence or two. An actual comment on my blog has been known to put me in a good mood for several warm, fuzzy minutes and a re-tweet puts me over the moon.

So anyway, I’ve noted several social networking personalities. There’s the Blatant Bird, who posts the same series of tweets over and over again as if the pressure of coming up with those interesting comments made him/her snap and go over to the Spam Side. There’s the Re-tweet-a-holic, who can’t seem to come up with his/her own amusing musing, so they forward the best of the best and take credit for it. There’s the Daily Doings folks, who let you know every time they have a satisfying cuppa joe or someone ticked them off at the supermarket. There’s the Social Networking is my Life group—these folks seriously must spend the majority of their days online, dedicated to being in their followers’ faces. There’s the Official Spammers, who don’t even try to hide that’s what they’re all about.

And there’s people like me, I guess I’d call myself a Professional Novice who freezes up half the time, deciding that no tweet is better than a lame-o tweet, so I only buckle under and update every three days or so. But I’m out there, in the thick of it, flapping my wings, leaving a trail of stressed-out feathers wherever I go. ;op

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