Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Recently, I gave way to temptation and joined 'Twitter'. It wasn’t that I felt any great need to inform the world of my every thought and action. It was just that I had heard so many people talking about the information they’d got from 'Twitter' and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So I signed up and stepped out. No fanfare or balloons, just a nervous ‘hello’ into cyberspace. Pretty soon, friends from other sites discovered me, or I discovered them, and I began to get ‘followers’. I very soon learned how to block those I didn’t really want following me – strange characters who seemed to have no connection with anything I was interested in, yet used my name in their tweets for no apparent reason…no thanks. The list of people and groups I follow has built up quite nicely, too – everyone from friends to publishers, writers to harpists.
There are those who see Twitter as a waste of time. It is. At least it is if you’re going to use it in the way I described earlier – to summarise every thought and deed. But as a tool for getting information, it’s wonderful. Publishers notify writers of competitions. Agents give hints and advice. Writers chatter about themselves and their lives, proving that quite ordinary people can get published – if they have the right story. People post links to sites, videos and photos that would never be seen otherwise. The rich and famous become human, showing a side the ordinary person would never see. Great for a writer to see these normally two-dimensional characters being fleshed out!
Then there’s the entertainment value. I follow two tweeters with names of book/musical characters I love. One of them even follows me back. These two chat as if they are the book/musical characters, constantly arguing and using well-known lines. It’s fun to read. Then there’s the Italian opera singer I follow. He’s been dead for twenty-five years, but his tweets about opera and music in general are always interesting.
I’ve still a lot to discover. I have no idea how to post a link or photo. But I’m enjoying the journey. It’s only a year since I joined 'Facebook', but I’m getting quite adept at using that now. Maybe this time next year I’ll be an expert Tweeter. It makes the world smaller. That can’t be a totally bad thing.