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Toiling in the Land of Twitter

Now I've got to come up with clever things to say in the Twitter-verse.

Being a writer, I’ve been counseled to take advantage of “social media.” The translation for me is that I need to figure out a whole host of social outlets, not the least of which is Twitter.

I’m supposed to network through Twitter to link to my blog, then get people to follow my blog, especially if they’re Twitter people. “Netiquette” requires me to then link to their blogs and Twitter accounts and follow them around.

What?

How do I link, why do I care, and why don’t people get paranoid when strangers are following them? Could I lead them off a cliff?

But, I signed up.

The next thing I knew, some guy from San Francisco was following me, along with a radio show host from Cleveland. Someone from a communications company, a member of a race car crew, a greenhouse owner in Florida, and a grandmother of eight in Kansas were suddenly interested in what I had to say.

My own family doesn’t pay that much attention to me.

Now I’ve got to come up with clever things to text so I don’t embarrass myself and incite a virtual revolt among my new friends in my new universe.

You can’t just enter the Twitter world and speak English; they have their own language. Swell. Not only am I supposed to post clever updates, but now I also have to learn the correct lingo.

I have a knack for butchering my native tongue, so learning to speak Twitter should be an exercise in futility. My 11th grade French teacher would have loved a ringside seat to what was sure to become a language debacle in my hands.

The first thing I had to learn was that I no longer had a name; I had a “handle.” In the Twitter universe, you put the “@” sign in front of whatever name you’re going to go by. That makes no sense to me, as you now have a superfluous keystroke to make. Wasn’t technology supposed to be more streamlined?

There are no people in Twitter land. They’re called “tweeple” and you don’t have friends, you have “tweeps.” Then you get into the hash tag, the tweet deck, the mentions, the retweets and the DMs (direct messages). And, from what I can tell, this is just the “twip” of the Twitter iceberg.

As I’m typing this, my word program is going crazy trying to correct all of my supposed misspellings.

But, who knows? Maybe I’ll get a "handle" on this brave new world. Probably not, though, especially when you consider that I put the "twit" in Twitter.

This is my last post on Hellertown Patch, as I’m going to be doing other things. You can keep up with me via Facebook - Tamara Kells, The Brunette Lucy. Just hit the “like” button, and I’ll keep you posted as to where you can read my drivel. Many thanks to Josh Popichak, my editor, for his encouragement, help and friendship.

David Chiles October 01, 2011 at 02:28 PM
It is proper netiquette, http://www.networketiquette.net, to link to blogs based on the merits of the posts rather than cyber friendship with the author.
Arthur Joel Katz October 02, 2011 at 11:58 AM
Lucy, I am sorry that you are leaving Patch, especially for the great unwashed. I've enjoyed your columns and looked forward to them. Many good wishes on your new endeavor. Joel Katz
Tamara Kells October 03, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Thank you so much, Arthur! I appreciate it.

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