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More Than Just 140 Characters (#8 of 30)

November 8, 2011

The running “joke” about Twitter from those who don’t use it is “who cares what someone had for dinner?” or “I don’t want to know when they have to use the bathroom.” My family is completely baffled that I have over 100 followers. (Frankly, I’m a little baffled, too, but for different reasons. LOL ) Twitter is so much more than that. Here are a few ways I use it:

  • Keeping in touch with friends. I have friends here in Los Angeles, in other parts of California, across the country, and in fact around the world. A friend in Iowa needed a sentence translated to French, so I re-tweeted her request to my friend in Paris, and minutes later, Delie in Paris translated Katie in Iowa’s sentence and answered her questions.
  • Connect with authors. I follow (and in some cases am followed by) a number of authors. It allows me to find out about new releases or upcoming books. Details on events or future book signings. I’ve even picked up books based on their comments on books they’ve just read.
  • Connect with book reviewers, editors, publishers. Again, I find out about upcoming books, new releases, book signings in my area. I also find out about books and authors I’ve never heard of. I was sitting at Chez Guppy one day, and was stuck there all day. I asked my Twitter followers to recommend some new books, and I discovered four new authors that week. Four authors who are now all favorites of mine and I look forward to all their new releases.
  • Learning fun and interesting stuff. I follow scientists and astronomers and tech geeks. I follow NASA and some of the astronauts from the last Space Shuttle missions. It was fascinating when they’d tweet from space and send back these pictures they took. I was also following Mark Kelly (and his brother and fellow astronaut Scott Kelly) when Mark Kelly’s wife Gabrielle Giffords was shot.
  • Get behind-the-scenes glimpses. I follow actors and producers and make-up artists and get unique behind-the-scenes information and tidbits about shows I watch or movies I’m waiting for.
  • What’s Going On in Knitting. I follow yarn stores to find out about special discounts or sales. I hear about upcoming events or shows. I follow knitting designers to learn about patterns they’re working on or books they’re writing or events they’ll be attending nearby.
Twitter is so much more than just what someone is eating or the minutiae of their day. It can be that, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been guilty of posting things that were completely pointless, but it’s also bigger than just those 140 characters. It’s a way to learn more about what’s going in the world around us. It allows us to connect, however briefly, with people whose paths we never would have crossed if not for Twitter. 

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish With Sticks
aka @FishWithSticks 

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