Of Tweeting, Instagraming, Snapchatting and Vine - Jenny O'Connell

This month's topic is not exactly one for me. First of all, I remember "the old days" (which means just a few years ago) when authors had book signings and interviews were conducted on TV or for *gasp* printed publications!

The other day my daughter (who has a zillion Twitter followers, snapchats her friends as often as I blink and thinks a photograph that shows up for five seconds and disappears is an actual form of communication) said to me, "Mom, you have to tweet more often or your followers will get mad." Really? The concept is lost on me. Does anyone really care what I have to say? The two kids I live with don't care, why should a stranger named 'pantzonfire32' care?

Well, I actually took my daughter's advice to heart and tweeted the following: My daughter says I have to tweet more often or my followers will get mad. And you know what? My followers liked my tweet. Huh?

Now, I get social media as a "conversation," that it's a way to "engage" with readers and create a "brand." Whatever. When readers email me, I get back to them. The same day. Most of the time within hours. That's a conversation. Me tweeting that the crust of my macaroni and cheese eerily resembled the image of an upside down kangaroo? Not so much.

I get social media as a means to reach a broad audience, that today everyone and their mother (well, not my mother) has a blog. And I always answer the questions those bloggers send to me for their blogs and I'm flattered they cared enough to email me and invite me to play. My blog? Well, I used to be incredibly diligent until... well, even I was sick of me. Do I really have that much to say? Sometimes I do but sometimes I don't. Mostly I don't.

There is a saying: we have two ears and one mouth for a reason - we are supposed to listen twice as much as we talk. Well, we have ten fingers: are we supposed to type blogs and tweets and facebook posts ten times as much as we talk? If so, are you really telling me that when we type these things we actually have ten times as much worthwhile stuff to share? Or are we just coming up with stuff to say because it's so easy and those fingers are dying to be put to use (I type pretty damn fast, even faster than I talk and I'm a very fast talker).

So I am a poor example of the social-media-author. Perhaps when my next book comes out I'll have contests (which I have done in the past and that was fun, I even gave away t-shirts and winners got them the old fashioned way... in the mail!). Maybe once my next book is done my brain will be free to retweet other author's posts (which I actually enjoy when I remember to read them) rather than write, or even come up with my own.

Until then, I'll remain a solid C in the social media department. And let my son post the awesome Vine videos, he is freaking hilarious and way better at them than I would ever be.


  1. Great post, Jenny!! I feel the same way. Does anybody really care what I have to say?

  2. I doubt that our followers would get mad about under-tweeting--everyone seems to be following hundreds or thousands of other people. And even if they did ... there are only so many hours in the day. I'm more likely to get annoyed by people who tweet too many promo links.

    I never even heard of snapchatting until this post. There are now dozens of social media and communication methods. But all I see is more and more fragmenting. People I used to see on blogs have variously dispersed to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Ning, and many more I'm forgetting at the moment.

  3. So glad to hear I'm not the only one who remembers the "old days". I'd much rather have books published like all of you Jennifers, than have a huge following on Twitter from constantly tweeting.

    I rarely tweet. I admit it: I just don't get Twitter, although MJ, the Queen of Twitter, says she doesn't get Facebook, so we're even. Sort of. :) And if I spend any more time on either site, I'll never get my third novel written!

    I second what Jennifer Hubbard says about fragmentation. With too many social media outlets, people are zooming from one to another at a speed that takes my breath away. In addition to the forms she mentioned, there's also LinkedIn, Google+, Klout, Xanga, Flickr, StumbleUpon, and probably several more that started since I started typing this comment. And that's just what's popular in THIS country.

    The problem with all of them? They're supposed to be social. But what's social about advertising your book?

  4. I'd never heard of snapchatting, either! Sometimes I wonder about the power of a Tweet, too...But then I remember when Will Hoge (one of my favorite musicians) replied to my Tweet. It was one word, and sent me into a complete fan girl tizzy. ;)


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