Following on from my blog of yesterday, the feedback I have been receiving has been twofold. Some are saying that twitter has little to no relevance to them and they use Facebook as their preferred medium. Others love twitter as the tool it is--using hashtags to locate sites or events in a new city, etc. As an author, I remain ambivalent.
In the business world, the mantra is all about transparency. The purpose of my blogs is to create a contemporaneous memory of my journey for myself for future reference--and to share this with others who are struggling with the same issues. In one of my discussions with an entrepreneur, who is currently undertaking a $100 million plus business venture, I was struck by the similarities he and I both struggled with. One of the recurring themes is that the creative element of the brain can not function adequately when bogged down with the mundane realities of marketing logistics. He needs to allow his mind to 'connect' to the world of cutting edge manufacturing techniques, marry that with progressive financiers and then sell his product to the world. Knock off seven or eight zeroes, and you could be describing any aspiring author. As an author, we need to write well and in a genre that resonates with us. Somehow, we need to sustain ourselves during the process. Many authors do their writing part time, stealing time from their day (or sacrificing sleep). Then, we need to present this product to the market, nervous that they are going to discover that we are terrible writers, incompetent in our subject field and a total waste of time.
All media, print or digital, becomes a carrier for others' messages. Lord Beaverbrook (a newspaper tycoon) is purported to have said that newspapers articles are the things that go in between the advertisements. He knew on which side his bread was buttered. All social media, to be sustainable, is being driven by advertising. As consumers, we benefit. But we are the algae and little fish that the whales consume in great volume. We simply don't realise that we are being digested.
What I am contemplating (and this may be me being naive again) is to create (or expand) a twitter feed to an enormous following--with the sole purpose of demonstrating whether Twitter has value for authors (and in what form). I will talk to people this week and see what their feedback is. If you have some views, please let me know in the comments box below. I would like to shoot for a large number (a million has a nice ring to it) and then document our collective journey through these blogs. I have no idea if this is delusional on my part or a reasonable target. If I take this journey with you, I will outline the software that I use, the techniques employed and screenshots of the scheduled tweets and following algorithms. To me, it would be an interesting experience. Hopefully it will provide valuable feedback to others. If there is value to the list, in due course, I open it up for everyone to use (assuming this is allowed). As you can see, I really have no clue as to what is realistic or possible. That's why I think it can happen.