I was at the library with the 11 year old getting him books for a school project, How to Build a Diorama of Jamestown with 10 Popsicle Sticks, when I saw “How to Twitter” right there on the how-to-do-it shelf.
300 pages of how to do twitter.
I have been unaware that you do twitter. I was logging on and tweeting “I want 18 McGriddles for breakfast. #FoodChat! “
Turns out, you're supposed to “twitter with purpose.” I put the book on top of the “Dioaramas Your Teacher Will Love!” and checked it out.
Once home, it was impossible to decide what chapter gave me the most glee. Was it the Find Your Purpose on Twitter chapter. Or maybe, the Find Your Twitter Voice. But then there's Find Your Twitter Handle. But the most essential chapter is Chapter 4's checklist: How To Know You're Ready: Casting Your First Tweet. But first, you MUST answer the ultimate of twitcisions: How Do You Want To Sound On Twitter.
I was stunned. I'm to have a conscientious awareness of a twitter presence?
After you Find Out Why You Want To Say It (Chapter 7) and Find Out How You're Going To Say It (Chapter 4.5) you'll have the keys to the twitter world. You can then start *twittering.* Would that be like tweeting while quivering? I think so, because once you tweet you can find your... wait for it... flock.
To gather any birds you've had your eye on, follow this advice, “Want to start twittering with your flock, begin with this smooth pick up line: "What you just said is smart." *from the book's cheatsheet of what to say on twitter.
As they explain, flattery lures. They'll follow you back IF you tell them they're smart and have chosen your twitter background wisely (Chapter 2: Your twitter essence).
Here are some suggested beginning tweets: or “Get your tweet wet!” (they said it, not me):
--Hello there, twitter! I'm reading Twitter for Dummies! (I can't stand behind this. It's just cruel to throw someone to the dogs of twitter. I shudder to think what would happen to the poor virgin tweeter in some of those twitter neighborhoods if they throw this out as their first tweet. 200 therapy sessions and countless eye twitches later, never shall they utter the word twitter.)
--Just finished a breakfast of juice and eggs! Off to work! (how can you resist?)
--Wondering whether we'll get that much needed rain this summer. (Really. Reduced to talking about the weather.)
--What are you doing? (this one comes highly recommended by the authors for a *high engagement factor*)
--What are you wearing? (this just became more pervey than anything else)
If you want to dive right in and find that flock, then don't waste time on banality. Start tweeting facts on aardvarks if you just want aardvark lover followers. Talk about the length of the African aardvark's snout versus the Australian aardvark's snout and you have found your tweeple.
By the end of the book, the authors promise you'll be twittering four times a day in no time. So, "Quit your twitcrastination! (they are killing me) and become someone with twinfluence! Get on there and tweet -- it's the only way the twitterverse will ever call you one of the twitterati!"
Enchanting to read, yes, but the Real World of Twitter? Nope. Nary a nod to the things we see out there, the twittercides, the subtweets, the claims of twitter joke stealing. No tutorial on what to do with your feelings after you've been unfollowed or not followed back or blocked. Where's the section on if you wander into neighborhoods where a manual RT gets you blocked or a favorite but not a RT is the equivalent of crushing on you but not wanting to be seen in public with you. Is the sting of an ignored DM covered?
And what's this? No mention of the simple fun of the ### HashTag? #stupidbook #toldmenuthin'
Still, a quaint read. And now I'm ready to move on to the next thing I just found out I've been doing wrong -
Facebook for Dummies.
*If you'd like to see how to use twitter in a way that doesn't enhance your social media presence, follow @gdrpempress -- twitterversely known to do all the don'ts.
**Also this, if you want to write your own book on twitter, just add -twit- before any word, and Voila! You got yourself a book.
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