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Overnetworked (Now with 100% more Twitter!)

Tick - Typing

I’ve said from time to time that I wasn’t going to join Twitter.  It turns out I lied.  https://twitter.com/jimchines  This is entirely the fault of my publisher, who have their own Twitter account at @dawbooks.

I’m officially at the point where I’m overnetworked.  I think I’m going to try to balance this out by closing out my MySpace page.*  I don’t use that one, and this way I can pretend I’m not adding yet more online timesuckery to my life.

I don’t know how much I’ll be doing with Twitter yet.  I understand that social networking is the Big Thing, but I find the more I try to do, the more … diluted I feel.  Trying to follow everyone on LJ and Facebook and my Google RSS feed already means I find myself skimming most entries.  There are days I realize I’m more intent on “catching up” than I am on actually reading or interacting with folks.  Twitter looks like it has the potential to make that even worse, especially since a lot of the people on Twitter are folks I’m already reading elsewhere.

For the moment, I’m only following people on Twitter if I don’t already read them on Facebook and LJ.  Hopefully I’m not violating any Twitter etiquette by not automatically following everyone who follows me.

We pause now as Jim reboots the computer, losing half the blog post he had composed.  Grumble.

I’m probably overthinking it all.  I’ve got two goals, the first of which is to be accessible.  If someone wants to check out my web site, great.  If they prefer LJ or Facebook or Goodreads or whatever, no problem — it all gets mirrored there.  Goal #2 is to keep in touch with my community — other writers, readers, fans, and randomly cool people.  Oh, and it would also be nice if I could still do things like write the next book, see my family, keep the day job, and so on.

Hm … maybe if I signed my kids up for Twitter, I could–

Ahem.  Anyway, how do other folks handle it all?  Do you use one site differently than another, or is it all basically the same stuff in different formats?  (I do like the @ and # functions in Twitter, from what I’ve seen so far.)  Help a Twitter newbie out here.


*Does anyone use MySpace anymore?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 70 comments — Leave a comment )
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emilytheslayer
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
You aee under no obligations to follow ANYONE on Twitter. But every now and then click the button in your sidebar that says @yourname so you can see if people you don't follow are talking to you and answer questions and stuff. Other than that, you read it when you feel like it, there's really no need to follow it 100%.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I (eventually) found the @NAME link last night, and I like that feature. From what you and another friend have said, it seems like that could turn Twitter into more of an ongoing conversation instead of just a list of random updates.
(no subject) - emilytheslayer - Aug. 21st, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hist - Aug. 23rd, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
stormsdotter
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
I avoid MySpace because I find it annoying. I have yet to discover how to see just my friends' feeds on Facebook, instead of my friends' stuff and all the games they play. (I don't care how many levels they've gained in MafiaWars, I want to know how they are!)

Twitter annoys me and I refuse to follow it, but I also refuse to get an iPod, iTouch, iPhone or iAnything. The damn things break too easily, and I don't want to run down my battery listening to music just when I need to make an emergency call.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
I figured out how to eliminate games and such from my default Facebook update page, or how to create a filter that shows just selected people from my Facebook friends list.

What I haven't figured out is how to eliminate the "junk" from that filtered list. If anyone can tell me how to do that, they'll be my friend forever.

As for MySpace ... yeah. Maybe I'm just using it wrong, but that one feels spammier than any of the other networking sites I've played with.
(no subject) - sageautumn - Aug. 21st, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - margaret_y - Aug. 21st, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormsdotter - Aug. 21st, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mount_oregano - Aug. 21st, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
filamena
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
Yay! Yay yay yay yay! Welcome to twitter. It can be a useful conversation method or a total time sink depending on how responsible you can be with it. (Today, I am wasting time there. Most days I play with it a little bit, then close it for the sake of my own work.) Still, I've networked, landed jobs, and gotten free tickets to things through Twitter. I like it better then face book and even LJ sometimes because I don't have to read a big long post by someone I only sort of care about to get an idea of what's going on with them. 140 characters really forces you to get to the point.

Oh, and anyone who tells you that you should follow back everyone who follows you is full of crap. Follow who you want, don't let it overwhelm you. If people are insulted, they can bite your butt.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
Is it a good or a bad sign that I immediately wanted to Twitter: "@Filamena says if you're insulted by my not following you, you can bite my butt."
(no subject) - filamena - Aug. 21st, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
rosefox
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
I ignore Facebook entirely.

I use Twitter like a giant chat room; it helps that I read it through my IM client. Whenever I have time to stop by and use it, I jump right in and don't try to catch up on the scrollback unless I have a LOT of time. I mostly use it for conversational stuff, with occasional announcements.

LJ is where long thinky things go.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
"Twitter as Giant Chat Room" helps. Thanks for that.

From the author side, one of the reasons I want to get onto Twitter is exactly what you wrote. Everyone has their own preferences, and for folks who prefer Twitter, I want that to be an option. (For anyone who's actually interested in Jim's random 140-character updates, I mean.)

I think I need to get over that sense of feeling obligated to catch up on everything everyone writes.
(no subject) - rosefox - Aug. 21st, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jonhansen - Aug. 21st, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
seanan_mcguire
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Twitter is interesting, because a lot of people treat it at least partially as a give/take situation. So there is some expectation of following, even if it's not a requirement. I try to Tweet things that aren't in my blog, if only to keep from feeling like a spammer.

For some interesting viewpoints, check this out:

http://www.inkygirl.com/on-twitterspam-followers-and-culling/

This is a FANTASTIC approach. I love Debbie like Tara loves pie.
cathshaffer
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think you should feel obligated to catch up on any of the networking sites you use. I feel that twitter actually saves me some time. I post to livejournal less. If I think I might want to post to LJ, I try to figure out if I can express myself in 140 characters. If I can, I'm done. :-) I see a lot of writers doing WIP updates on twitter instead of blogs, now. I think that's smart. Fans can get a fix, but you're not taking 1/2 hour out of your day to write a blog post.

You may be overthinking it. Participate to whatever extent you find amusing, but don't let it become an obligation.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Overthinking something? Me? Never!
(no subject) - robling_t - Aug. 21st, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
pabba
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Hey, remember that time, on Twitter, when I revealed your existence? Sorry if you got swamped with a bunch of followers.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
I had it all planned out, how I was going to make my Grand Twitter Debut, and then you went and RUINED IT FOREVER!

I should have expected as much from a goblin-killer.
phoenixterranbooks.blogspot.com
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
I have promptly added your Twitter feed onto your LibraryThing author page--a new feature that was just released yesterday. Cheers!
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
THIS is what all of those SF authors mean when they talk about the singularity.
bearmountain
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
I think twitter can be somewhat automated to just post headlines. I think that is how my husband uses it from his blog. I know he has automated it somehow, but I don't remember if he keys off first sentence/link/or title.

I never used my space. Too many ads and by the time I heard about it, it was almost gone.

I did get on facebook, but it turns out that mostly my family friended me and I am pretty sure that they know most of my recipes, have read several of my short stories and so on. I use my blog to post stuff that is perfectly okay for strangers. And that means that I don't post much of anything to facebook...hmm. Maybe I could drop that one! See, you're an inspiration to us all!

Then there's the Amazon author pages, the library thing, my online bookgroup...

I gotta go. Just remember a few things I haven't checked on lately!
akiko
Aug. 21st, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
twitterfeed.com can check your blog and auto-tweet with an URL and the title.

Edited for sitefail.

Edited at 2009-08-21 03:00 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - jimhines - Aug. 21st, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
spiziks
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
You can set up Facebook so that it posts your tweets there. If your Facebook posts tend toward short, you can avoid updating Facebook altogether and just rely on Twitter.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
Already done :-)

I'll probably still use Facebook, because I like it, and I've got many more connections over there (at least for the moment). But it's definitely nice being able to interlink all these things. Blog feeds to LJ and Facebook, Twitter feeds the Facebook status ... behold the singularity!
(no subject) - christinenorris - Aug. 21st, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
kyrielle
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
1) You don't have to follow everyone.

2) You don't have to read all the tweets from everyone you follow, either. I just catch up on whatever is visible now and then, plus those that mention/address me.

3) Neil Gaiman does a lovely trick where, when he posts a blog entry, he tweets a link to it (along with a little teaser about what it's about). I think his is actually automated, but it means the blog stuff is 'integrated' to Twitter for those watching him there. (He also has actual tweets, not just blog-post tweets, but I don't see that you couldn't do just links-to-elsewhere tweets if you wanted.)
sartorias
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
Teens use MySpace.

I just do not have time for Twitter. I have Facebook linking to LJ--I hope that is regarded as a decent effort at accessibility.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Given what I write, it might be worth trying to build more of a teen audience.

It *might* be worth it, but I don't think I have the time or energy to try...
guinwhyte
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
Basically, everything but Livejournal I use only to read updates from people who primarily use each of them. MySpace is not high on the list; I only check it about once or twice a week unless I'm bored. I'm not on Facebook mostly because I don't really want people to find me. (Like my family. :P) Twitter I don't really post on because only one person that I am good friends with is on there -- but that's where he primarily updates. I follow a few people, but am not really obsessive about it. If I'm following someone more well known (y'know, most of the people I follow :P), I look to see how often they update before I decide to follow -- some people seriously need to step away from the iPhone and not tweet every single thing they do.
spaceoperadiva
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
I stayed away from Facebook for the longest time out of fear of people from 20 years ago that I'd rather not talk to finding me. Finally I signed up to follow a friend that I love. It took less than 12 hours for the ancient horrors to start shambling in. Facebook is diabolical that way! But on the good side, once they got the "where have you been for the last couple of decades?" out of their system, they've quieted down.
(no subject) - guinwhyte - Aug. 21st, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Aug. 21st, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
christinenorris
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
I don't know about MySpace. I was considering closing mine too, but I do get the odd friend request now and then. Once in awhile I update the profile page, but no longer use the bulletins or blog. I consider it a static ad for me and my stuff.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
I might leave the MySpace as a static thing. Sort of a "Jim has left the building, but if you want to find him, check out these other sites" thing. I can't remember the last time I actually did anything with it.
mtlawson
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
This is scary, Jim. I was thinking about the silos we put ourselves in with Myspace/Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/etc., and I find out you're wondering the same thing as you just signed up for Twitter. There are times when I think we're back to the days before the major online services opened up Internet portals, and if you wanted to keep up with friends you had accounts on several services at once.

Must be a case of the Fridays, I guess.

Personally, I try to avoid the social networking sites as much as I can (yeah, and here I am on LJ typing away). Maybe it's just me, my age, or my profession -IT Security- but I'm not drawn to utilizing social networking sites as anything more than just a replacement for the old GEnie forums and Usenet groups that I frequented. Of course, being in a business that depends on accessibility and visibility, you're pretty much required to have some sort of online presence.

My only advice is to automate as much as possible so that you spend an absolute minimum amount of time fiddling with the mechanics of keeping stuff up to date, and more time doing what you signed up for in the first place.

(I will say this about Myspace: at least you don't have to have an account to peruse a Myspace page, unlike Facebook. From my perspective, that's the only major difference between the two.)

georgmi
Aug. 21st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
I had a long response here, but I am in no way trying to make myself accessible to an audience or professional community, so it was all pretty irrelevant. Here's the short version:

My primary interaction with the blogosphere is my LJ account. I have a Facebook account because that's where family and the few people from high school that I could stand are, but I mostly only read there. I read a couple of Twitter feeds, but don't have an account. MySpace makes my eyes bleed, so I never go there.
wulfsdottir
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Everyone else has already given you the good answers, but as a writer, you might be interested in checking out some of the ongoing stories some are posting to Twitter.

See @BrentSpiner and @Othar for two very different examples.

Not necessarily a suggestion that you do something like that, more of a "this may be relevant to your interests" sort of thing.
jmeadows
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
I hear some people still use MySpace. I think these days it's mostly useful for the free music and being able to follow bands. I have an account, but I never visit. It's so spammy and trashy looking.

I liked Facebook okay for a while, but it took a lot of maintaining. I gave up trying to keep up.

Twitter, on the other hand... Darn if I said I'd never join, and darn if I don't love it now. I am SUCH a hypocrite. But having a client for it (I use Tweetie on my Mac) really helps, and I don't follow everyone back. (I follow maybe 175, which is still too many, but I can manage, and about 625 currently follow me.) I don't worry too much about catching up on the backlog, either. I skim for the people I need to read (personal friends and people I'm paying close attention to) and that's it.

As others have said, it's more like a full time chatroom that doesn't update except every few minutes. And it's 140 characters.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Just playing around on the Twitter site, a client sounds like it would be a lifesaver when it comes to managing everything. I'll have to poke around and see what I can find. (Still on Windows over here.)
stillnotbored
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Ahem. Anyway, how do other folks handle it all?

Right now I don't. LJ is it. No Facebook, no Twitter and no MySpace. I don't know how I'd find the time to fit them in and still write. And I keep asking myself how plugged in I really want to be.

I have to admit there are days I feel like I'm missing things on Twitter, conversations I'd like to read or be part of, but it seems like it is also such a time sink. I guess I'll wait until the lovely agent tells me I need a Facebook and a Twitter account. I know she has them.

When did this get so complicated?
mtlawson
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
That's probably a question that's worth a discussion all by itself, and one that has no good answer.

I'm actually wondering how Twitter's earnings are going to work in the long term, and whether it's sustainable. Google is struggling to make money with YouTube, and Facebook still isn't profitable either.

(no subject) - stillnotbored - Aug. 21st, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Aug. 21st, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - michaeldthomas - Aug. 21st, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stillnotbored - Aug. 21st, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - michaeldthomas - Aug. 21st, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Aug. 21st, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
realmjit
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
I signed up on MySpace to see what my hunny was doing over there, but I haven't done squat with it. I don't think I've checked it in over 6 months.

I use twitter for blogging from work; mostly "GAHHH! PPL R SO STUPID." I used it heavily last march when I was helping MC move, because I knew I would want to blog about the whole trip.
headintheair
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
I've recently deleted my MySpace account. I hadn't logged in in about 3 months or so. I spend most of my time on FB and Twitter. Twitter, btw, I was quite hesitant about but now love. I love the informal chatroom feel of it as well the usefulness of being connected to anything and everything and everyone in the world.
lady_ravenlocke
Aug. 21st, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
I'm fairly new to Twitter myself, but I've been using my Twitter to feed my LJ via LoudTwitter (when the service works again; the poor guy who runs it has had a server burn out, I believe, so he's in the process of restoring the service).

There are people I follow on Twitter that I don't have on LJ or Myspace, and by the same token, I don't feel like I'm absolutely required to follow someone who's following me. Unless they're RL friends, or online friends I've had for years.

I find Twitter to be a good source to post all the little things that flit through my mind, or that I come across during my net surfing, letting me use the LJ more frequently for longer posts, usually about my artwork or my writing.

As for MySpace, I use it some, but not a lot. Mostly to keep in touch with old high school friends I can't reach any other way.
jongibbs
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
I have a Myspace and a twitter account, but I don't use either, though I may end up tweeting at some point.

I've no doubt multiple journals = more exposure (not that I'm at a stage where I need it), but I plan to stick with one blog. Besides, I'm easily confused.
burger_eater
Aug. 21st, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
I've been part of a private mailling list for quite a while, but it's been slowly petering out. Then I joined Facebook (don't ask why) and I found all those people there, posting all the stuff they used to put into the list.

I hate to let go of the old, but communities seem to migrate from one social network to the next.
jimhines
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
I know!

I still miss Speculations.com. It was pretty much the only community of SF/F writers I could find back when I first started.
deborahblakehps
Aug. 21st, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
I started out on myspace, but mostly only use it now as another place to mirror my blog and post things generally (when I remember). I use FB quite a bit and also Twitter. The only problem with having your Twitter updates automatically go to FB is that if you take part in a chat (like the Sunday afternoon #writechat), your FB folks can get overwhelmed by nonsensical updates. I finally had to disconnect them again.

I follow people who genuinely have things I am interested in hearing about--usually other writers, some agents and editors, a few friends, a few misc. interesting folks. I find I have to keep it to about 175 or under in order to be able to even remotely keep up.

And now that I am back in the writing zone again, I've had to cut way back on both FB and Twitter, since they are major time sinks.
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