Tuesday, April 23, 2013


T Extra! Here are Three Talented Artists I found! Joanie, Kate, and Saul. You really need to see their different styles! And one has a contest to win a poster! Go see to find out who =)

From the messy countertop of the Lazy Housewife...

Tweet! I finally tumbled into Twitter. @Taratylertalks, of course. But as a Twitter Toddler, I need TIPS from YOU! I still feel like I'm at TJ Max, sifting through tons of clothes, looking for that one awesome top! So here are my questions for you Twits (affectionately titled)!

  1. What is the point of Twitter? The exchange of information, yeah, I know that much. But when I think of something to say, I debate whether to say it on Facebook or Twitter. Facebook seems more informal and Twitter seems more businesslike and advertisey (I like to put y's or ish on things to create my own adjectives, it's fun!)
  2. I finally figured out that RT = retweet, right? (don't laugh!)
  3. I am getting a bunch of new followers I don't know - how does that happen? Does my name get put on a "new twitter list?" Am I being suggested to other writers or something? And do I have to follow back?
  4. Speaking of following, how do I keep track of all the tweets? As I said, there are so many that are just advertisements - here's my book, here's my blog post. Where's the BEEF? Not really sure what I'm looking for and don't have time to sift through it all.
  5. What is protocol for responding to a tweet? star it as a favorite to "like" it?
  6. And I am really confused by the whole hashtag thing. Are those just ongoing conversations on specific topics? How do you join those? (or get out of them?) and which ones would you recommend? WTH is #FF??
  7. But I do have the lowdown on abbreviations - here is a list from A to Z 2011, Nyms (can't believe that was two years ago! IKR!?)
  8. Oh yeah - follow me if you like! I added social links in the margin for the occasion =) 
More T TIPSTexting
  • don't be rude! the text can wait! talk to the person in front of you!
  • don't text and drive, duh! (or tweet or read comments. I admit I'm guilty at stop lights. I hope they install the device that turns off reception in cars when it's in Drive! Remove the temptation!)
  • don't be like teens! SET THE EXAMPLE! Show them you care about the world around you and you can limit your screen time! Limit thyself!

Editing Tips

that - it's distracting from your beautiful writing, that! over there! find and remove as many as you can. If sentence makes sense without it, delete it!
timelines - use them to keep your story straight, even if you're a pantster. What time is it? (gotcha!)

commonly confused "T" words:
than (used to compare things) / then (sequences)
that (refers to things) / who (refers to persons)
there their / they're (you better know these by now and use them properly!)
tic (involuntary muscle spasm) / tick (a light noise, a mark to check off items, a blood sucking insect)
towards (depends on the editor)

Find more A to Z posts here.


Fida Islaih said...

I love tjmaxx!! And welcome to twitter! You can find me @Fida_Islaih. FF is follow Friday. You'll get a hang of twitter soon (:

M.J. Fifield said...

It took me a while to work out that whole RT thing, too.

You can create lists, group tweeters (tweeps?) together to make it easier to follow them.

You will be recommended to others and they to you. Whether you decide to follow back is really your decision.

#FF stands for "Follow Friday" and is traditionally when tweeters recommend others they think should be followed.

And you can hashtag anything you want, and people can search for it. I.E., you can search for #FF and find Friday recommendations. I hashtag the phrase #workhaiku when I'm tweeting sarcastic haiku about my work day.

Anything goes. You'll figure it out. If I did, anyone can.

Jennie Bennett said...

First of all, I wrote a post about Twitter today, go read it. Second of all here's some answers to your questions:

Figure out how to add people to lists and then use those instead of your feed. I put all my favorite buddies on there who don't spam the feed with promotion.

You don't have to follow back. I don't follow back anyone whose not a writer or agent. I'm there for my career not to boost anyone's numbers :)

I just followed!

Rhonda Albom said...

LOL - I will be back to read the comments, as I don't really know much more that you do. I am @laugh_quotes

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes

Dana said...

Good to see you on Twitter! I'm @raineerose there. Sorry I don't have any tips. I just tweet and learn as I go. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've been on twitter for a while, but I'm still a twitter toddler. I appreciate your willingness to ask questions (why didn't I think of that?), and I eagerly read the answers in the comments. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Tara,
I'm a bad tweeter in that I almost never remember to use hash tags. :( I use the @ button to keep abreast of who's said what to me.

Laura S. said...

Following you on twitter now!! I'm @LauraMarcella

Twitter sends emails with follower suggestions, so that could be one reason you're getting so many awesome new followers. Hashtags are a way to group topics so you can have a conversation with like-minded people. I use #writing #amwriting and #writetip a lot.

Good luck with twitter and have fun!!

Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Tips for twitter:

1) Don't use twitter to spam for your book or your writing or your blog.

2) Communicate with those who follow you and strike up a conversation. Twitter is a social network designed for people to be...wait for it...SOCIAL. This means checking out links and then sending a tweet saying. That's a really cool link. It reminded me of this and this. Or it means saying "I'm sorry you had a bad day..." when a person you followed had a bad day. It's quid pro quo.

3) Don't post tweets like "eating eggs for breakfast" or "tying my son's shoes"... those kinds of everyday things are mundane and boring. How would you like it if someone tweeted: "just washed my hands after using the bathroom"

Anyway, welcome to twitter :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I personally think I would like to know that Michael washes his hands after he uses the bathroom. ;)

I totally have no clue how to use twitter or what is a tweetable thing...heck I used to be very busy on facebook, and now I have trouble there too. I don't want to bore/ badger people.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have no idea on the Twitter thing either. And yet I keep amassing followers.
You can organize the ones you know into a list. I have one for blogger buddies. Helps cut down on the noise.

Rhonda Parrish said...

I think the main point of Twitter is to have a conversation. There are a lot of people who are on there just shouting into space trying to advertise their stuff, but the ones who are doing it right (IMO) are the people who are interacting and building connections.

~ Rhonda Parrish

Carrie-Anne said...

I use Twitter for various things, like weekly chats, pitchfests, venting, random thoughts and observations, and responses to shows as I'm watching them.

VikLit said...

Twitter is best when I can devote a bit of time to it, which sounds odd for something with such brief tweets. But I mean spend time responding to people, getting into conversations, etc.

You don't have to follow back. If somebody follows me and I see they have 30000 followers I can guess we are probably not going to have much interaction!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm on twitter. I tweet about things I'm "supposed to tweet about" and things I'm "not supposed to tweet about."

I try to mix it up.

And I apologize if I offend anyone with any of my tweets.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I'm no twitter expert but I'm still going. 'That' is one of my writing faults. Must work on that.

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm on Twitter, but I TRY to keep it strictly for writing related things. It's a great platform but a major time suck!

Writer In Transit

Heather M. Gardner said...

I didn't read all the comments so I don't know if someone answered you or not. You can link Twitter to Facebook so that your comments and retweets can be seen on Facebook.
Don't over think it. It's mostly for fun and info sharing.


Shell Flower said...

I am still a Twirgin, so can't help. Good luck. I have noticed that a lot of agents are on there, so that could be helpful. I believe there is an #asktheagent or some such hash tag. I remember when hash was a drug...LOL.

Jean said...

I think you've gotten most of your answers, but I'll offer my two cents (thanks for your lovely homey kitchen table with cousins comment about my blog -- that made me feel warm and cozy).

1. The point of Twitter. I think it can be whatever you want it to be. But here's how I use it compared to Facebook. Facebook is more personal. I know the people there better, and I have limited my posts to Friends, so I'm reasonably certain (as certain as you can be with Facebook, anyway) that what I say there goes to the people I'm aware of on my friend list. Twitter is more like a public broadcast or an open blog post -- anyone in the world may and can see it, so it's going to be less personal. My tweets go through to FB but not the other way around. My blog posts are fed to Twitter, which, in turn, feeds them to Facebook, so there's a cascading effect.

2. Yes, RT equals Retweet. You'll also see MT, which equals Modified Tweet.

3. You do NOT have to follow back. Some people consider it good etiquette to do so, but I don't subscribe to that philosophy. If someone follows me, I'll check out their profile. If they look interesting, I'll follow them back. If they don't, I won't. They'll still see my tweets, but I won't see theirs unless they address me directly (using @polarbear60 -- my twitter handle). People can find you all sorts of ways, but there are people who "buy" followers. To me, that's unsavory. You'll also get picked up by spammers. It used to be they were easy to tell because they'd followed a bunch of people and no or few followers and maybe a couple tweets that were only links or obvious come-ons. They're getting more sophisticated and may have profile pics now and a brief bio. Usually, they stand out in some way, still. I report and block obvious spammers. Other than that, I don't worry much about who's following me, and maybe I'll follow them back or maybe I won't. It really isn't about followers. Tweet good, genuine content, and like-minded people will find you.

4.If you're tired of the advertising, unfollow the source. If you're not following them consider if they're spammers and report and block them.

5. That's a good question. I've seen some people who seem to use the Favorite function as a Like. I only favorite a tweet I may want to refer to again.

6.#FF is Follow Friday -- people will suggest other tweeters to follow. The lists of #FF with a ton of accounts after it are essentially useless to me, and I ignore them. If someone says, so and so if great because of this, and the this interests me, I'll check them out. Or, if the recommender is someone I value, I'll check the person out. Hashtags work a couple of ways. Some are established, and people use them for chat sessions #amwriting or #writechat for instance. Others can be just to make a point, like #blessings.

I'll add that Twitter can be a variety of things to you. I use it to be social to a variety of people (which I never do in real life, but I relax a little more in the Twitterverse), and I've made a few friends that way. I use it to gather breaking news and other news. I use it to communicate with other writers and to keep tabs on the business. As a veteran, I keep up with other veterans or veterans issues this way. In short, I use it for a variety of reasons, but many other people are much more single-minded in their use of Twitter. I see to be an aberration in my approach.

Jean (http://polarbear60.org/randr)

Tara Tyler said...

thanks so much for the tips everyone!
and the follows!
you comment ona my blog, i follow you back on twitter! capesche? you know what i mean!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara .. I'm keeping this up and running as I really must start doing some social media this summer ..

Cheers and thanks for all the great information you've given and your commenters have added to. Hilary

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