Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Twittering Twig Am I: My Two Cents on Twitter

I finally crawled out from under a rock and got myself a Twitter account a few weeks ago. I avoided it like the plague because blogging already takes up every free minute I have (And trust me, those minutes are NOT really free!). I just didn't see how I could fit microblogging in, on top of everything else I've been juggling.

But, with my awful nausea-laden pregnancy behind me and my newborn surprisingly a marathon sleeper at at two months (three naps a day and sleeping through the night until 5:30am!), my hierarchy of needs suddenly got bumped up.

No longer sleep deprived, my mind immediately went into panic mode with my writing. Yes, I could go on just whipping up blog posts, but what's fun about blogging if I'm not connecting with other like-minded writers and readers?

Hubby already got a Twitter account months ago and suggested I get atwittering to get the word out about my blog. When I found out the large number of followers he had listening to all his tweets, the competitive side of Bonnie went bonkers.

So far, I'm still a slow poke on putting out tweets. After all, doing actual writing is still my higher priority. And being in the moment with my Hubby, three year old TJ and newborn CJ are even higher priority. I can't tweet while bottlefeeding CJ and reading TJ a story, all the while keeping an eye on dinner on the stove.

So, what do I think about Twitter? Since you asked (ha!), here are my two cents (maybe even my one cent, since I am a newbie to Twitter). At least, here is a conservative beginner's take on Twitter:

1. Beware of getting addicted. Experiencing real life moments is more important than tweeting. I caught myself totally addicted when I'd be with my family and I'd be so tempted to eek a tweek out under the table. The way I get around this is to limit myself to tweeting at home, only when I'm not in front of friends or family members.

Twittering made me want to get an iPhone for Christmas (Jury's still out on this request. Santa's still not sure if I should have one). Hopefully by then, I tweet in moderation. There are a lot of expert tweeters that know the right tools and have established a rhythm to manage it. But, I'm a wussie and I know how addictive I can become.

2. Twittering is a good challenge for self-esteem. Sometimes I follow people and they don't follow me back. I know it's not personal, but when you're just starting out, it nice to know someone's out there catching your tweets. But, it's important to tweet what you mean and mean what you tweet!

The tables were also turned on me. I started following my Hubby right off the bat. But he actually made me unfollow him! He wanted to stay anonymous from my blogging escapades (Hubby didn't want his blog readers to hear about his personal family life from my blog). What does that say about my blogging? .. Ahem, another post for another day!

3. Twittering is fun because more people can know about your blog. I know this for a fact because since joining Twitter myself, I've found many new blogs that are awesome! Checking out who people follow is a great way to find great blogs. And whenever someone retweets an article, I'm introduced to interesting information I would've never known about.

4. Twittering is fun because I can get to know another side of friends. It's neat to hear the things that are capturing my online friends' attention. It's like walking up to some friends who are in conversation and enjoying the chat or just hanging back to just listen.

5. Twittering is fun because it's new. It's always a good opportunity to learn something new, especially when it's foreign. Because first it feels very daunting, and then I learn it, I feel good about being able to do it. It think that is the key to staying young. Just try something new. Even if I end up not liking it. At least I tried it! And if I suck at it, at least it's good material to write about, right?!

We'll see how it all goes. I'm not a nut case yet with Twitter, but who knows. Maybe you'll catch me out tweeting with my iPhone under the table on Christmas morning. If you do, tap me on the shoulder and hit me over the head with your iPhone. Just don't tweet about it, 'k?!

I've recently added a Follow Me on Twitter link on my blog. So, if you are looking for a tweet from Yours Truly, please follow me at: TheBonnieGray.


Silicon Valley Diva said...

haha! Yep, Twitter can be addicting. I too have tried to cut back. I try to limit my tweets. I strive to do a few updates throughout the day, on my mommy breaks lol.

I kinda did the blogging thing backward. I began Twittering FIRST and then blogging came after.

Bonnie Gray said...

@Silicon Valley Diva: Yeah, maybe Twitter can be called Mommy Breaks. Good to meet a kindred twitter! Although you sound like an original going from microblogging to regular blogging. No doubt 'bout it. You ARE a blogger!

Frank Marcopolos said...

I agree that Twitter can be addictive. I tend to follow lit folks who link to a lot of stuff, so it acts as a kind of info-feeder for me. Plus, it's fun!

Vered - MomGrind said...

"Beware of getting addicted" - absolutely. I now limit myself to ten minutes each morning and then I just STOP.

Except when I don't. ;)

Bonnie Gray said...

@Frank: I agree. It's like having a circle of lit friends (among my favorite kind ;)) I'm gonna go check out who you follow now!

@Vered: Your tweets are awesome. The consummate professional as well as just a cool chick with inspiring links.

Frank Marcopolos said...

Haha, steal away! I have a lotta Linkers on there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bonnie Gray .. great post - interesting comments .. yes I realised I need to learn what the experts do, which tools they use and most importantly get a rythym to tweeting et al in blogging takes time, but it's coming ..

Interesting points from the twittering twig .. I suspect you'll latch on quite quickly ..

I'll be back to follow when I'm up and running with twitter properly .. have a good weekend with your little ones and hubby ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Natural said...

when i first got my twitter account, i was on it a lot and not even sending tweets about my blog about about what i am doing. that was really my purpose, is to throw a random thought about me out there and stay in touch with other bloggers. i like reading the background noise of twitter, but i don't feel the need to update it. it doesn't feel like a job. i jump in and i jump out now. i do love facebook though. :)

Nicole said...

What is it about social sites being such sinkholes?

How come time doesn't move that fast when I'm researching, paying bills or doing countless other things online!?!