Wednesday, May 20, 2015

To Tweet or not to Tweet? That is the question . . .

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The ads and trackers of outrageous Facebook
Or dive into a raging sea of Tweeters,
And by partaking, join them?

(With apologies to William Shakespeare!)

I don't want to go on Facebook.  I've written many times before about how that company's cynical disregard for its users' privacy and security makes it beyond the pale in my book.  However, I come across several articles each day that I like, or which intrigue me, but about which I don't have time to write on this blog.  I also come across books that strike a chord, or YouTube video clips that interest me, or articles on other blogs that catch my eye.  (I used to address the latter in regular "Around The Blogs" articles, but again, those take a lot of time to prepare;  and when I'm working to a book deadline, it's hard to keep them up.)

I'm trying to decide whether to open a Twitter account, where I can provide links to things like that.  Would you be interested in following it?  Is this something you'd find useful or valuable?  Or would I simply be lost in the background noise?  I'd be grateful for your feedback.  Please let me know in Comments what you think.

Thanks in advance.



OldAFSarge said...

Yup, I'd follow you.

Brad Richards said...

Nope, I avoid Twitter as much as I avoid Facebook.

Rev. Paul said...

At a friend's request, I opened a Twitter account last year - and realized within days that I hadn't looked at it. So I closed it & haven't gone back.

I can barely keep up with my blog, these days.

Rusty Gunner said...

I find the contents of my RSS subscriptions as much time suck as I can justify. Perhaps you would be better served just bookmarking the tidbits and doing a weekly (or biweekly or monthly) links post.

DGF said...

Don't have FB, Tw, or other gossip time-eaters. I waste enough time following a buncha blogs. And this one and a few others are eddicashunal, not time-waters.

Jenny said...

Unfortunately Twitter is all I have time for these days- but it's great for keeping up with friends.

... I'd definitely follow you. :)

Anonymous said...

Peter, first thing; thank you for the cogent discussions that you present. I'm a baby boomer that is slowly shedding that mentality. Your posts have helped me to straighten out my thoughts into a coherent stream of consciousness.
I think you need to use whatever media is available. You need to get your sensibilities OUT THERE!
Personally I have a FB account; and I post every bit of conservative information that I can. I view my FB account as "dropping pearls before the swine". Hopefully, one of the pearls will be picked up and instigate a change in some of my family. I think of it as carpet bombing for collateral damage!

Murgy said...

An author spent considerable time working Twitter. Had 20k+ followers.

5 showed up at the release party.

It's value seems to be more along the lines of mailed flyers - not so great a return on investment.

Judy said...

I personally don't do any FB, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.

Will you be posting commentary with the links? If you so, then would you be just as well served to post everything here and save yourself the hassle of another forum to maintain. Or are you looking for another forum to get your name and product out there? If the later is part of your thinking, then you need to explore whatever medium that helps the income stream.

Anonymous said...

Twitter is for Twits

Glenn 609b said...

I'm with Brad Richards.....Facebook & twitter are equally dangerous. You do quite well with what you do as it is.

Expatriate Owl said...

I have FB, for the specific purpose of obtaining information about other people with whom I must deal personally and/or professionally. Started when my own son was in college, and I needed to verify some info.

There is the obvious trade-off of my own privacy, so the comments I write on other persons' FB pages are written extremely laconically, and extremely sparingly.

And I am in no position to guarantee the accuracy of all the information about myself (including my name) that is posted on my own FB page.

Anonymous said...

I don't maintain FB or Twitter accounts. For the few instances where those forms of social media are the sole sources of information I'm interested in I use to create a RSS feed that I can monitor along with the blogs I follow.

Anonymous said...

Use Facebook but consider Twitter the equivalent of AR15.Com. The stupid is just too strong for this old Jedi.


Anonymous said...

I have Facebook and Twitter. I rarely check Facebook for family info and have not used the Twitter account in years. I think my Twitter postings amount to about five.

Your Blog is a constant point I hit daily. I plan to continue.

Anonymous said...

I don't have FaceBook or Twitter. 1) A stalker problem in the past makes me wary of all things social media. 2) My cell phone doesn't text, and if I'm at the computer, I ought to be working.

Granted, this probably doesn't help my book sales, but the thought of having a certain blast from my past show up on my doorstep, or at work, is even worse.


Cedar said...

You know me. I'm all over the place. I use twitter, something like what you are planning, as an easy place to put bits of information I don't plan to blog on. Facebook, these days, I am on for the groups. Those in and of themselves are worth it for me, and it's not difficult to spoof your information creating an account there as long as you don't use an obvious fake name. But that would also defeat the purpose of self-promotion so you are probably just as well-off not bothering. It's a tool, just like anything else, to be handled with care so it doesn't go off when it shouldn't. I will say that G+ seems to be not all there. If and when I can find a forum that's better than FB, I'm gone from it. I've debated installing forum software on my website, actually. Something like the old Baen's Bar, where a group of like-minded folks can hang out and chat. The comments on Sarah Hoyt's blog are probably the closest to that I've seen outside the old Baen's Bar (dang, I miss that place). Something to think about, that, creating an alternative to what's out there.

TheAxe said...

I'm on facebook, and I find it moderately useful for groups and keeping in touch with people. I don't have twitter. It seems to be a wretched hive of scum and villainy (and an echo chamber promoting groupthink). Only one of my friends has twitter. She's an extrovert who loves it, but I've never felt a need to get it. If you do join, I might sing up for twitter to follow your feed.

Bob Mueller said...

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. If you go into it in that mindset, you're fine. You can engage or not engage with people as you see fit.

Twitter followers vs attendees at a launch party is hardly a valid metric. Twitter followers can be anywhere in the world. I follow a couple of hundred people, and some are authors. I doubt I'd attend a launch party in person, unless I was personally invited.

It's a valid way to "build your platform," if you're careful about it, but you've already got a good platform, Peter. It's not just a self-promotion tool, and if you try and use it that way, you'll fail miserably.

Check out Rachel has lots of good information about social media for writers. Also take some time to peruse Elizabeth Spann Craig's links at the Writer's Knowledge Base. She tweets lots of good links regularly, and indexes them at

I'm at You can look at other author feeds like John Scalzi at

Peter, you've got my email. Be happy to talk to you more about Twitter if you like.

BobF said...

No FB or Twit for me past, present or future.

Mrs. S. said...

Pretty sure you are not a bird, so no tweeting necessary.

Bob said...

Upside of Twitter: you can often find out news before it passes on to news websites or TV. Occasionally (or even often) this news will be inaccurate, as most initial reportage is. It also takes you away from your real life.

Downside of Twitter: The culture war is omnipresent there, and the snark is the weapon of choice.

Sean said...

I don't log onto my twitter on a regular basis. In fact, I'm not a big fan of twitter - just how much edifying information can you get across in only 140 characters? However, that being said, if anyone can make Twitter profound it is you.

Anonymous said...

I use facebook for checking on family & my hunting club. It is mostly annoying. People post some really bizarre nonsense that I have no time for. I have gone inactive on it twice. I read your blog almost every day.

Morris said...

"Downside of Twitter: The culture war is omnipresent there, and the snark is the weapon of choice."


Also, Twitter is prolific - I find it impossible to keep up with even though I follow comparatively few people.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

Me do intertubes. Intertubes interesting. Interweb have good stuff. RSS work much many good on intertubes.

Me no do this crap:

If new non-intertube crap get developed, me no do that, either.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Never, to any "social media". Ever.

The cost in exposure to ephemeral drivel and loss of privacy outweigh any benefit from additional "information".

Bryn said...

Quoting DGF "Don't have FB, Tw, or other gossip time-eaters".
Add the privacy issues, and you have a categoric and non-negotiable NO as far as I am concerned.

You may find that your commercial interests may outweigh those concerns for you :)

Toastrider said...

I don't use Twitter. I can't believe wisdom can be compressed into 140 characters or less.