Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

My first week on Twitter: a travel writer's perspective

I finally broke down and got a Twitter account (@WriterSean). I've been slow to get into the whole technology thing, despite being a cybercommuting writer. I didn't get my first mobile phone until two years ago, and then it was a slippery slope of personal blogging, getting a job at the world's largest travel blog, getting an account on Facebook, and now this!

I've been on Twitter exactly a week. I've done 52 tweets, am following 113 people, have 95 followers, and have been listed ten times. I have no idea of the significance of all this and I don't really care.

I got onto Twitter for two reasons: to give my novel's fanpage a higher profile in preparation for the contest it's a finalist in, and to network with other writers. As far as the first reason goes, I've only gotten one more fan from my first week on Twitter--a Missouri history writer I'm glad to meet. Of course it takes time to build a following, so I'll have to wait and see how well Twitter can be used as a promotional tool. There's a fine line between self-promotion and spamming; I have to tread carefully.

The second reason, networking, has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. I've met tons of interesting writers. Most of them are travel writers and bloggers who found me because of my links with Gadling. Their advice and retweets have given me leads to three different stories already!

So all in all I think Twitter is worth the time if you have a specific reason for using it. If you just want to blab with friends and strangers there are better outlets for that. My wife, for example, is an astronomer. She doesn't need to network through Twitter because the astronomy community is small enough that everyone pretty much knows everyone else and they have their own networking communities. She talks to distant friends on Facebook, her chosen timewaster, so she doesn't need to add Twitter. For writers, however, Twitter is fast becoming indispensable.


Abha Malpani said...

Really now Sean :-) good to see you on Twitter; you will see how you find it increasingly valuable.

Keefieboy said...

Yeah, I gave in too, a couple of weeks ago. Still confused about what Twitter is, really. @keefieboy