Saturday, January 11, 2014

Only Connect! Rethinking Twitter

"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer."
- E.M. Forster, Howards End 

Lately it seems I'm spending more time off the computer and communicating via phone and iPad.  As a result, I find myself looking at the social media sites and thinking about whether they work for me.

My beloved Pinterest is the same on computer or iPad - a stream of beautiful, whimsical, funny photos.

Facebook is also fun in any medium -- a chance to catch up with friends and family, read updates, share photos (and, okay, I will admit it - play Songpop as well!).

Twitter, though, is another story.  I am finding that I end up reading long streams of items for sale, books promoted, but very little actual conversation. 

I have been doing Twitter wrong.  As a vintage seller, for years I have scheduled item tweets with Hootsuite (a lovely program for organizing Twitter reads by lists and stream).  Unfortunately, this means I wasn't really talking on twitter, except for brief conversations with personal friends and dachshund community buddies.

I'm going to try something different.  I have some Valentine tweets scheduled (one a day) but after these run out, I am not going to schedule tweets, but will interact regularly.  Of course I will still tweet some of my vintage items, but I will do so live online, and on a much smaller basis.  My new motto is to talk more and promote less.

The same goes for massive retweets.  I was retweeting sometimes 25, 50, or more vintage tweets at any given time.  Yikes!   I participate in a link exchange with a small group of longtime eBay friends, and I will still do that, but that is again on a small scale, resulting in just a handful of tweets.  

I don't know how this will change things, but I'm looking forward to finding out.   I can't promise that my tweets will all be pithy or interesting, but I can promise this:  they will be real.