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  • Kristen Washburn

Navigating Twitter, an Imbecile's Experience

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

It's crucial to building an author platform, but how does one get that boost past 6 followers?

Me on Twitter, stranded in unfamiliar waters

The work in progress progresses.


Today's challenge: Twitter. A raging social media river into which I have tried to dive a good three times. Each time, I cruise swiftly back to shore and tell myself I'll do some research first. One really shouldn't plunge into a river without knowledge or guidance.


I don't end up doing the research, though, and there are probably two reasons for that. One is that, as I've said, I'm a millennial and I should be able to learn technology by doing. It's too frustrating to read the "how to" manual. Two, I don't like social media. What am I supposed to do with a bunch of people's 140-character thoughts? What would anyone want to do with mine (other than revel in their brilliance and suddenly understand their own life in a new and better way)?


Dive number four (which sounds like a good title for a YA book) came this week, and here is what I've learned after three days of cautious exploration:


The GOOD

  1. Pictures and videos and links are much more predominant than useless couple-character ramblings

  2. It's a nice way to find articles to read that doesn't involve your phone eavesdropping on you/sending creepy clickbait

  3. In this horrible town with barely a bookstore, I can follow all the good bookstores and read the conversations around books, and I'll know what to read next*


The LESS GOOD

  1. You need to be active and consistent if you want followers

  2. I still don't understand why someone would follow a non-famous person they don't know


The TECHNICAL

  1. Sell yourself in your bio

  2. Participate in conversations

  3. Utilize communities


What to do with all this new knowledge?


The unfortunate answer seems to be spend more time on Twitter. Lots more. Which coincides in all the wrong ways with my second reason for not venturing further into it before: I do not like social media, Sam I am.


Then again, like it or not, I've spent my share of time on Instagram and Facebook watching people from high school's babies grow from afar. A critical and academic step onto a new platform might be exactly what this wasting brain could use.


I'll keep you "posted."

*horrible is the last word to describe beautiful, surreal Santa Barbara. And we do have one crowded little bookstore, with little space and little seating. But oh, what I would do for a Barnes and Noble...

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