Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Video Killed The Radio Star

Everything is getting smaller except my waistline.

Hi-Fi sets became transistor radios, then Walkmen, and finally MP3 players no bigger than your thumb. Computers once took up an entire floor, and now you can check your email and work on your manuscript on a teensy weensie laptop.

Big, clunky mobile phones became sleek cell phones. A guy even
wrote a novel on a cell phone!

Heck, our laundry detergent is getting smaller! 65 loads per ounce!

It didn't take long for networking to follow suit. First, we passed out newsletters at meetings and left them in foyers. We attended meetings in person, and talked to our friends on the phone. Now we combine several internet social networks in order to get our messages out.

When I started writing, I joined Blogger and got a shiny little website. Later, I joined several Yahoo groups to pimp my books. Facebook soon followed and I reconnected with old family members and school chums.
Then all those book reader sites cropped up and I dutifully posted book covers and attempted to keep up with ravenous readers everywhere.

When Twitter came along, I rolled my eyes.

"I don't need another beak to feed."

"Only 140 characters to get your thoughts across? Pffff! What's up with that?"

"I'm wasting enough writing time already."

One Saturday night during a weak moment (and after a vat of wine), I gave in. I became a Twit.

Every half hour, I check to see what the latest hot celebrity is having for a snack. My faltering ego crawls up a notch when a bestselling author or a dream agent decides to follow me. Oh, the pressure!

Which brings me to the title of my post. Is Twitter killing blogs? I'd noticed a drop in visits here and wonder if it's just a summer lull. Or are buddies reading tweets instead?

I have to admit it's fun, but I gotta rope myself in. I need to finish one of my two works in progress. I struggle getting past 40K in a novel, but tweets seem to curtail the real messages. Does a 140 character statement really bring across a message?
Along with the fun of spying on movie stars and Martha Stewart, I suppose I could use Twitter to post links to this blog (whenever I get around to an update).

'Scuse me while I Tweet this Post. Gah.


jjdebenedictis said...

Love the title of the post, even if it means I'm going to have that song stuck in my head for the next week. :)

I resist Twitter because I also don't need yet another time-sink. On the other hand, I'm not blogging much, and on those sites which I do still frequent a lot, I tend to write short, quick messages, and have the most fun when I'm in a back-and-forth conversation with others doing the same.

Kinda like twittering. Uh, oh.

JKB said...

Yeah, but for me, Twitter is so great. I mean, I met you (basically) on it! so I totally consider it a win.

My blog habits are there, but only econdary now.

writtenwyrdd said...

I admit it: I loathe Twitter! I can only filter so much inanity, and I just cannot go through all the tweets that queue up at the end of the day. And I refuse to download a software tool to deal with Twitter.

I have it, I occasionally tweet, but it's not something I really enjoy.

As far as blog visits dropping off, I have something like 1300 posts, so I get lots of random visits,although not that many regular commenters.

Should I ever get a novel published, I'll be relying on the long-established blog, not Twitter...although I'll probably tweet more.

Jamie D. said...

Ah, Twitter. It's sort of a love/hate thing. I've met so many great people there, and get a lot of good motivation with the #writegoal hash tag, but it really can be time consuming if one isn't good at self-limiting. I originally signed up to "pimp my blog" so to speak - post notices of when my new posts were up, and hopefully reel in new visitors. And it worked, sort of. But of course you can't just advertise yourself on twitter - you have to participate to be taken seriously, and that's where the time sink comes in.

I invest the time though, because I'm ever hopeful that when I finally publish something, Twitter will help me get the word out. I see twitter as an "accessory" to my blog, and try to use it as such.

I'll look you up! :-)

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

JJ, if I've driven you crazy with the title, my work is done. I can't get it out of my head, so I passed it on to you.

Jen, I thought we met elsewhere... Bookroast? Clarity of Night? Anyway, I'm glad I'm along for your ride through Berlin.

Written, I'm still trying to find the balance between the insanity and the enjoyment. I try not to read through all posts, and I should limit my follows although I hate to leave anyone out.

Jamie! Love your blog. Did you ever finish The Bitches?

Barbara Martin said...

Take care with Twitter as your personal information is not safe! Even Facebook is risky where personal information is concerned. I don't have either and will never join considering the warnings I've received from my partner who works white collar crime. He's been adamant about it. A networker on those sites is a sitting duck.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I'm hoping my pseudynom and secondary email account will filter out the nasties, Barbara.

I also have an IT guy in the house, and my son is entering college for computer security. Free security!

Liane Spicer said...

Let's not mention waistlines today.... :(

I'm with writtenwyrd. I loathe it and I absolutely refuse to tweet. I'll sit this one out until the next annoying networking fad pops up. Then I'll ignore that one too. Much as I love the ease of connectivity the Internet has brought, I'm finding myself longing for the days when I was alone with my writing until the book was all done.

I've noticed the drop off in blog comments and in posts too. A few of my regular readers hardly ever post now; one said she lives on Facebook.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I'm just as guilty as your friends, Liane. I wonder if the allure of internet networking makes up for our solitary status while writing. The company of other writers is too tempting, especially when our families don't relate to our passion.

Social networking does eat into writing time, but the deeper you get the more guilty you feel for not keeping touch.

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

BernardL said...

You have a valid point. I hate to think people really believe they are so important, every moment of their day needs a 140 character headline. :) I joined Twitter when it first started, thinking it was another way to get name recognition for writing. I didn't un-join after finding out it was an ego info-dump, but I seldom add a line unless it's a joke.