Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Catch-22 of Twitter

In my mind, most people on twitter are there to promote and sell themselves. It gives you a level of professionalism to draw upon to help in your own pursuits, however it also means that everyone is short on time—providing a gluttony of content and a severe lack of time to consume it. I see much of interest on a daily basis, but no time to do so. There is a constant battle to build followers and network versus the all important need of time to create.

Sure, there are those that dwell as socializer and imbiber of the new, interested in consumption, and not there to create. They are the ones we seek beyond words of advice. Those ripe for the picking. We wish to pull them into our following, to cull them into a fan that furthers our work and our love. But how many of them are there really?

(If my words sound uncaring and money-focused, I should clarify that for any artist, the ultimate goal is to achieve just enough fame to gain the money to continue with their work full time. We are the ones that cringe at a 9-5, shudder at paperwork, and fall pray to catatonic states when pressed for data entry, manual labor, and anything we consider menial. Which in our effort to survive artistically: becomes everything else. We don't lament those workers, we only fear those confines for ourselves, because we are bent to a different task in life. It is not more glamorous, it is just different.)

So my real question: Is there a point to twitter and all the others? Or are we just fooling ourselves? Don't get me wrong. I have found much reward within twitter, grown in my knowledge, shared my own, and found friends of value; but I do wonder if it is the road to success, or even a brick in that road.

Or, are we just committing a logical fallacy: (The Writing Excuses podcast has a good episode on this concept. Sorry, I don't recall which one.) thinking that a plethora of social networking will reward us with a book sale, game job, signed to a record label, etc.?

Should the same amount of time just be spent on honing a craft, and finding an agent, then publisher? I ask this for many different mediums. Paradoxically, does it hold a creative back from the reward of monetary recompense or advance it further by proving a following and laying the work bare to be seen.

In my mind I try to play both sides in a struggle of balance. Hoping that in the end, victory will be mine; even as I genuinely wish success upon a fellow whose work shows promise--he or she that works alongside: telling their tale, honing their art, and weaving their melodies.


  1. I gave up on the social marketing aspects of Twitter. Unless you already have something of a following nobody seems to care, and when you do they only seem to care so they can suck up your followers. I admit that's rather negative but Twitter really seems like a selfish place, BUT only if you're there for the SOLO need to push yourself. It just seems like most are.

    Instead, Twitter has become my place to chat with fellow nerdy and/or geeky people, writers, programmers, web designers, etc. I have made a few friends, we talk back and forth, laugh at various misadventures and the like. That works for me.

    Maybe people just take these things too seriously.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Robert. I agree that, at times, it can seem like that. Best bet is just to do what you're doing and take what you can from the experience. The fact that you're on there and active is good by itself. At least you're connected and if you get some work published you're in a good position to help market it.

    I certainly thought that Twitter would be a good part of a strategy to gain a following to help ensure a publisher takes notice, but it's too easy to gain numbers with little impact. I kind of doubt that anyone really looks at follower count too seriously, unless you have a massive following and little that you follow in return. No way will I get to a place like that without some content, to which I am working.

    I like Twitter for its instant connectivity, ability to cross lines to people you would never be able to touch basis with normally and the networking. Will it become more one day. Maybe. We'll see. I know now that if it is a tool to become published, it is just one of many.


Thanks for reading, now tell me what you think.