Overwhelmed in 140 characters or less

OMG! @jlwallen wnts us to trend hz book #ABLADEAWAY asap. R U with me #indiewriters? How much does that sentence really say? Read between the lines, see what there is to see within the magic of the characters. Something that started out as a simply way for people to microblog every moment of their lives has become something far greater, far more overwhelming. Twitter is now more a marketing/networking tool as it is a social tool.

I have always seen Twitter and Facebook as ways for the general public to say “Pay attention to me!” They were both in stide with the natural evolution of communication. At one point human beings had to actually stand face to face in order talk. Then came the telephone and people could communicate, miles away, from the comfort of their own homes. Next comes email and the world grew even smaller and in shorter doses. Email was a godsend for most people who didn’t want to suffer through long, drawn-out conversations where they had to, gasp, pay attention. Now they can just toss out their thoughts and see what sticks.

But the evolution of communication wasn’t over just yet. We had younger generations longing for a means to communicate with even less required skills, less attention span, and greater focus on “me”. Texting was the next step. From their very fingertips, users could hold entire conversations without so much as opening their mouths. Only problem with texting, people could continue to say TOO MUCH! Natural selection would take care of that flaw and finally hand us Twitter. With this tool from the Gods, users are limited to 140 characters with which to speak from the most profound places in their hearts and minds.

Only, that’s really not where it went. instead it became a playground to be abused by hashtags, market strategists, and vultures. Yes, it’s still very possible to keep with a community of like minded people, which I do, and inform them of what is going on in your professional and personal life.

But Twitter also has a darker side. Twitter is a place for the famous, the used-to-be-famous, and the wanna-be-famous to make themselves known. Twitter is a marketing and PR wet dream. It’s free advertising! But it’s free advertising in 140 characters or less.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a writer is creating summary blurbs for my books. It’s so difficult to create that perfect paragraph to entice readers to want to read my books. Along that same line, let’s all come up with 140 character phrases that will make readers want to read our books. And, let’s do it in such a way that we aren’t hammering people over the head!

Read my book.

You want to buy my book.





I’m not saying Twitter is a bad thing. I actually use it daily now. But I try to use twitter to connect to people, let them get to know me. Hopefully, in the knowing of the person, will come the desire to read the work of the person. I don’t have a formula, I don’t even have a plan. I just have a need to connect to others and hope they will want to connect with me. And, of course, in the connection, I hope they will want to read my work. It is good work after all. But I don’t want to beat people over the head with my words. Salesmen are generally fairly slimy people. I don’t ever want to come off as a salesman, no matter how many characters I’m allowed to use.

So…yeah…the effective use of Twitter as a means to sell, and do so in a humane way, eludes most people. I don’t want to be looked upon as a salesman of any sort, yet I have products to sell. I want to be seen as an artist, not a brand, but I do have a brand to promote.

It’s all a little overwhelming if you give your brain enough time to wrap itself around the concept. But eventually it will all balance out. Twitter will evolve and artists like myself will figure out ways to to most effectively use these tools as a means to make the masses aware of what we have to offer.

Without beating anyone over the head.