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It's silly, high-school and clique-ish. All the kids are doing it, and for some reason, shameless plugs are the "in" thing to do.

The '#' is a trending tool. It precedes a keyword so that other people can find related tweets. For example, if you want to see what other people are saying about your show, you tweet something like, "Just broke ep 5 of #VampireDiaries - there's gonna be blood!" Then when anyone does a search for Vampire Diaries, your tweet will be in the results list.

I see Twitter as a way to say "HEY EVERYONE! See what I'm doing/eating/thinking about/smelling" It's your own little virtual soapbox for randomness. It's a HUGE waste of time.

Follow me:culvercat

I dunno, I've landed some incredible clients and made real life friends from Twitter. I could think of some really cool ways you could use it to highlight your daytime work, your rad blog, and your writing.

Sure there are cool kids and shameless plugs. But if you look around, behind, below them... there are neat people you'd never know sharing your interests! Or underwater basket weaving in Nepal!

Either way, it's a fun way to maintain relationships with your readership (and man do you have several audiences!) and ...yes.
Sometimes a huge waste of time. :)

LOL I love the way Christi said "it's a HUGE wast of time" and then she told you to follow her.

I'm not sure I can explaing Twitter. I know I love it. There are some super funny people who Tweet.

In the last hour I have read two very good articles that someone tweeted about, have read about what's going on in LA tonight after the game, learned that dozens of human heads were found on a flight today, followed Christi aka culvercat, read that Hart Hanson and Dan Sackheim had lunch today..via Hanson, DM'd with a few friends, and saw that you had posted another blog post.

I talk to my kids on Twitter, my dad is on Twitter. I talk to "friends" I've made on Twitter and that's nice. I actually think Twitter is how I found Starfish Envy.

There are so many people/companies etc you can follow. For example there is a B&N NOOK that tweets when there are free ebooks to download.
My local weatherman Twitters during bad storms which is nice since I have Twitter on my iphone.

I think it's something you just have to try a little more to see if you like it or not.

Peace, C

I guess whatever can be said about Twitter, the same can be said about any kind of social network, just this one moves faster! Personally, I don't 'get' Facebook, don't think I ever will. In some areas, Twitter search does a better job than Google. In the end, it's a useful tool.

You know I didn't "get" it at first either, but you just have to jump in and start following interesting people, I follow people that relate to my industry and have build real friendships from that. It's not about pitching yourself or your services it is about engaging in conversation with people and building a relationship with those people. I recently got to attend an event in NYC and met a lot of the people I tweet with in person and I felt like I had known them for years, it was fantastic. Plus I have had my best opportunities arise from the people I met on twitter, even if we have never met in person.
I think the key is you have to build the relationship by engaging with people just like you would in person.
Plus breaking news is ALL over twitter and great articles you probably would never find otherwise!

I sent my first tweet yesterday and have vowed to only use Twitter for professional type stuff. I'm just not that interesting, I spend too much time on fb already, and I rarely can condense my thoughts into 160 characters.

I use it more as a defacto health news reader. In some ways it helps me stay more up to date on popular media health messages that my patients may be hearing.

I love twitter. It opens up a whole new world in terms of social networking and is a great way to share your own work and learn more about what else is going on out there in the universe. I totally disagree with the commenter who said that it's inane or silly. Sure, some people tell you what they had for breakfast but don't follow them (unless you're interested!)I use it to share cool things I come across on the internet and to see what others are sharing. It's a terrific resource IMHO.

Delia Lloyd

I consider it a communication tool and much like any other tool we're each going to use it differently. (And, just like all tools, not everyone is going to have a need for it or find it useful.)

It's actually the reason I now read your blog every day. Someone tweeted a link to one of your posts and then, when I was having issues with your RSS, you responded to my tweet about it and fixed the issue. In that way, I love the line of communication it opens.

It probably helps that I've never been big on phone calls and there are really only a few people I'll email on a daily basis. I'm just not good at those things so Twitter makes it easy to have a phone phobia but still keep up with friends (especially long distance ones). Plus I use it to keep with local news and events.

Anyway. As others have mentioned, the key is to pick those you follow with care so that you actually get some value out of Twitter. But, at the end of the day, you have to figure out how you want to use it in order to really go about selecting the type of people you want to follow.

I'm with you Sarah - I'm keen to utilise Twitter for good (instead of evil) but don't know where to begin. I joined up and asked a very dedicated Twitterer friend to give me an overview, but once I got in there I found it so confusing and everyone was speaking a secret language I didn't want to ever learn so I got the heck out again! But I think there is plenty of potential, especially after reading all of the above comments, so perhaps I just need to try again...

There are so many good explainers online that you can find by Googling.

I would go so far to say that joining Twitter was the best thing I've done for my professional life in the last year. You can find anything and anyone on Twitter. I've used it to connect with other writers working on travel memoirs. I use it as an RSS feed, letting it lead me to all the blog posts and news articles that I should be reading (to make this work, you have to be following people who tweet about topics you care about). I also use it to network for jobs.

One great way to find people to follow is by looking at the lists (right sidebar of profile) that smart people have created. For example, I've got a list called "journfuture" that includes journlists who who work in online media, social media for news outlets, etc.

I also connected with my agent through Twitter. I blogged about that: http://alexisgrant.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/another-reason-writers-should-use-twitter/

Hm, and I blogged about how I use Twitter -- and other social networks -- to find a job. This might give you some specific ideas about how to use it: http://alexisgrant.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/how-to-use-social-media-to-look-for-a-job/

Definitely give it a try. You'll see and understand its value pretty quickly.

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    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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