Twitter: It’s Not a Popularity Contest

By • Jun 18th, 2009 • Category: 26th Story, Web/Tech, Weblogs

Booksquare UniversityI was preparing for a talk about the tools of the internet with Harper authors on Friday — and I came across this new site.

Kassia Krozser and Kirk Biglione are top notch in my book, and I’d sincerely recommend anyone who wants to know more check out this site and what they are offering.

I love what Kirk says on this video about Twitter.

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  • Haste yee back ;-)

    Might be my mistake, but I quit reading at SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER $19.95

    I’ve been to the “Cocktail party.” And ya know what – if you’re not on the A-list, nobody wants to talk to you, OR hear what you have to say! Everyone wants to talk UP. That is, talk with those that’ll get you up the next rung of whatever professional ladder you’re climbing. And the small cadre of A-listers really only want to talk amongst themselves so they can keep being A-listers, (with all the perks)… I don’t see Oprah tweeting Pig Farmer Pete… “hey, Pete, got enuff slops for all them porkers?” Sure, you can learn what the movers and shakers of any industry are doing, but they ain’t gonna invite ya to ski Aspen’s slopes with ‘em, (where the real business gets done)!

    Haste yee back ;-)

  • Debbie

    @haste yee back :) I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. Maybe Oprah might not respond — but I find it an extremely democratic conversation where up and down aren’t as much in play as interesting conversation.

  • Haste yee back ;-)

    Yeah, I might be mistaken. I tried twitter for like…. 2 weeks, maybe not enough time. And, you have a point – maybe I’m not talkin’ to the right folks, or my conversation wasn’t interesting. I certainly appreciate what twitter’s doing for Iranians and their struggle. I might give it another chance in the months to come.

    LOL, so, you ski Aspen?

    Haste yee back ;-)

  • Debbie

    Patience Haste Yee. Patience. It takes longer than 2 weeks! Go in and follow the people I follow. I find them ALL really interesting. And just listen for a while. That’s what I’d recommend.

  • Kirk

    Thanks so much for the link Debbie.

    The full potential of Twitter isn’t immediately obvious to most people. We’re trying to help authors get over the initial hurdle that so many seem to run into. Once they do the possibilities are endless.

    @Haste_yee_back – Yes, we’re charging a small fee for access to our interactive learning environment. We consider our workshops to be digital publications. Our pricing is comparable to what you might pay for a book about Twitter. Except, with a book you likely wouldn’t get detailed training videos and direct assistance from the author in a members forum like you will at Tweet Camp.

  • Rebecca Woodhead

    I wrote about Twitter being like a drinks party. This is exactly my take on it. Got to go, skipped out of #followreader party :)

  • Connie Bennett

    While the cocktail party comment is a fascinating comment and great analogy, I’m learning that Twitter is soooo much more than that. As an author, I’m sooo excited about Twitter and its incredible potential! Using Twitter can help you to:

    - Directly connect with readers or would-be readers.
    - Help people with useful info, advice, links with great articles, etc.
    - Inspire people with thoughtful comments & motivational quotes.
    - Build your platform.
    - Enable you to connect with some fascinating, fun people, in addition to thought leaders (many of whom you can do things with later — for instance, I’m inviting some on my radio show).
    - Make new friends in all parts of the country and world.
    - Do some good.
    - Etc.

    You have to learn about this amazing #140conf in New York City, where I had the pleasure of meeting Debbie. It educated hundreds of us about Twitter’s many uses, etc. Catch this fascinating video here of one of the panels:

    Debbie’s panel was great, too!

    Learn more info at

    By the way, because of this conference, I came up with an idea that I’m now spreading via Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    Good luck, everyone! Give Twitter a chance! I was on it for a long time without using it but now I’m hooked!

  • Debbie

    Thank you Connie! Your energy inspires me! I”m taking your book on vacation with me.

  • Rebecca Woodhead

    Hello again.

    A little update:

    I am amazed at how motivated the reading/writing community on twitter can be. I’ve pulled together an army of fellow ‘word nerds’ who, in only a few days, has voted me past all but four of our top celebrities in Ms Twitter UK. in under two weeks, I’ve pulled in 2826 votes. These votes have come almost exclusively from book-lovers who embrace the slogan ‘the pen is mightier than the pin-up.’

    To earn their votes, I have offered myself up for public (and publisher) scrutiny every day through ‘literary stand-up.’ This is what I call an open exam in potential humiliation in which I offer to write haiku, iambic pentameter, six word stories etc (or to translate Medieval text) in front of a live, Twitter audience. Just to make it fun, I do it against the clock.

    This is utterly exhausting but is a group effort and having ‘gone through this’ with my followers I know how anxious they all are for me to become a successful writer and I know, when the time comes, I have a ready market for my novels amongst people who will willingly promote me and my work.

    Now I just have to convince an agent over here to see this as a good thing. For some reason, although UK publishers love it, UK agents avoid Twitter like a hand-written manuscript.


  • rebeccawoodhead

    I won by the way and Booktrust (the people who administer the Orange Prize for Fiction) got in touch and asked me to write two guest blogs for them about the experience. which drew the attention of a journalist from one of the the top UK newspapers who said lovely things about me. It also led to a number of guest blog opportunities elsewhere. It may not be a popularity contest in itself but using a popularity contest on it did help me quite a bit. Web 2.0 rocks for writers!

    Rebecca blog about the literary issues raised during the campaign – my interview with Jamie Ford

  • robert wahl

    Have you ever run across one, Louise Bagshawe?

    Haste yee back ;-)