It seems I have turned into Captain Slow on Mondays. :(
Twitter. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I’m actually new to Twitter, having been officially on it for less than a month. Sure, I’d heard of it, but I really didn’t get it. Okay, I didn’t try to get it. Not until lately. You know, in my ignorant stage, I thought Twitter rather silly, just a bunch of people announcing what they we’re doing. In other words, the ultimate of arrogant, listen to me behavior.
I was wrong. Hey, I’m admitting it! And admitting falling for that old pit trap of making assumptions about something I knew nothing about. (g)
Twitter is the ultimate chat room. It is social media at it’s streamlined best. You follow people you admire or find interesting and others follow you. You can meet new people, connect with old friends. In an instant you can learn about upcoming events, book releases, reviews, and gossip. Yes, twitter is gossip’s best friend.
As a writer, you gotta love Twitter. Say I have a book coming out *cough*. I tweet about it, and if I’m lucky, my followers tweet about it, and out it goes, like tossing a big freaking rock in a pond and watching the ripples surge outward.
This is one of the best ways –best FREE ways- to self-promote.
It is also one of the scariest beasts to mess with. Because when something goes viral, it goes lightning fast on twitter. When I say that something on the internet has gone viral, I mean this: the use of existing social networks to spread a message.
When someone steps out of bounds of what the majority of us would consider normal behavior, the internet will make sure everyone knows about it.
And this, my dear friends, is when we return to another round of Authors Behaving Badly.
Ah, the internet. Sometimes I wonder if people forget what it is and how it works. Let us have a small reminder, shall we?
If you put something up on the internet it goes up forever –or has that potential. This is like throwing a needle out of a jetliner that’s cruising at thirty-five thousand feet. You ain't finding that needle nohows. (g) Your words are “out there” for anyone to pick up. Worse, with a media like twitter, IF you are intent upon making an ass out of yourself, Twitter will be more than happy to help you along.
Take in point what happened today, as played out in the Twitterverse. There was a review of a book, and there was an author who did not like said review. She was VERY vocal about it. Very. In a matter of twenty minutes, I read a dozen tweets about this author's meltdown. In a matter of one hour, writers, agents and editors had followed Twitter links and watched it unfold for themselves.
That is less than one hour for a writer to completely ruin her name with her peers and possible readers. One hour for her to shred her chances of anyone in traditional publishing taking her on.
That is the power of Twitter.
As writers, let us remember the power of words. The permanence of them. Sometime in the future, you may read a review of your work and feel it grossly unjust. Walk away. Every person is entitled to their opinion. Even if it is that you suck. Walk away. Do NOT let those fingers fly.
We all know how we want to be treated in life. We all know we should treat others the same way. But it seems that more and more of us are forgetting that fact. Or perhaps some people just don’t care.
So if anything, let this be a lesson in knowing of what Twitter is capable, and perhaps in learning to utilize and enjoy it for what it is.
And, since this writer has done all the damage she can to her name, I won’t feel guilty in posting what lit off today’s Author Behaving Badly viral infection.