Instead of featuring someone specific today I'm going to talk about Twitter for those who haven't taken the plunge yet because you just aren't sure how it works. After you read this post, you will have no excuse! Those of you who are already on Twitter might drop in on the comments section and let me know if there's anything I've missed. This last week at the NYC Pitch conference I made a lot of great new writer friends. The problem was, they aren't on Twitter! I'm making it my mission to remedy this. Much of this will be basic for their sake.
Twitter is unlike any other social network out there, which is part of why I love it so much. You don't have to follow everyone who follows you, it isn't like the 'friend' thing you see elsewhere. Those who follow you see what you tweet to everyone but they won't see what you answer tweet to someone else if they aren't following that person as well. The same thing goes for the people you choose to follow. If you don't follow someone who follows you, you won't see their tweets.
There is a direct messaging system on the bar to the right of your screen. You can only direct message someone you follow who follows you as well. You and the person you send a direct message to are the only one's who see it. As for regular settings, if you have your settings on public then everyone will be able to see what you tweet. For writers who are working on building their readership and platform I recommend this setting. Don't worry, as long as you're careful you won't get hacked like on some other social networks I won't name.
There are pages within pages of Twitter. Most are safe, some are not. Be very careful which one's you choose to log into because when you do so it will ask you to allow access to your account. There is only one page I will allow access and that is TweetChat. You'll need TweetChat to easily keep up with the chats you choose to participate in. Here is the link: http://tweetchat.com/ I recommend saving it to your favorites so it's easily accessible. Why do you need it? For social networking of course! There are some amazing chats for writers on Twitter. There is a #scifichat, #thrillerchat, #scribechat, #litchat, #scriptchat, #askagent among many others. Not to mention you can create your own just by using the # sign.
The # sign preceding a grouping of words means it's a hashtag. Anyone on Twitter can follow a hashtag, making those chats a great way to find more people interested in the same things you are. Now go get started and get connected!