Well, I did it. I joined Twitter. And I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing. I have the rather disorienting feeling that I am standing in the middle of a rushing river, with snippets of conversation rushing past me. Conversations that I cannot follow, since I only see a small piece of them. Anything I tweet is carried away by the flow of words. Nothing comes back to me.
Fortunately, Justine Musk at Tribal Writer has a terrific "writer's starter guide to twitter" that has been a terrific help. I've followed her advice on the initial set-up, and now I'm at the looking-around-and-getting-to-know-the-culture stage. And trying to build up my tweetstream, which is hard to do, when I have the feeling that no one is listening.
So I am left with questions: Do I just jump in and start tweeting questions to people? If a conversation catches my eye, how, exactly, can I follow what it is about (and join in), since I tend to see only one side of it? Is it considered rude to interject my 140-characters' worth into an existing conversation? How do I go about finding the people I want to follow? Yes, I am slowly wading in, not quite ready to confront the full current of tweets, but thanks to Justine's terrific post, I am getting there.
And that brings me to another question. I have a Facebook fan page (for those wonderful people who like my stories—there's another poem on the way soon, this one for the parents out there), and I have my personal FB page, but I don't really want to share pictures of/information about my children with people who are not close friends or family. So should I set up a professional FB profile? One that's not a fan page, but rather one for professional connections, with other authors, agents, editors? How do people typically manage this? Can anyone in the writing community give me some advice?