Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm all a Twitter

If you notice on the right I am now on TWITTER. You can also sign up for my WIDGET. At the bottom of my posts now are icons where you can log on to DIGG and FURL and DELICIOUS and twenty others.

There's just one thing....

I have no fucking clue what any of them mean!

Many thanks to my computer wizard for setting them up. And I'm told they're supposed to increase traffic, introduce my blog to more eyeballs, etc. That's great!

But how???

I'm told people can now get alerted to my blog updates on their cellphones. Really? Cool! Will anybody actually do it?

If someone reads my blog on TWITTER are they reading it here or is the post re-routed somewhere? And if so, where is that somewhere? Rochester, New York?

I'm providing RSS feeds for your convenience. Don't thank me. I don't know what that is.

But if any of these features makes it easier and more fun for you to read my blog then I'm thrilled. And if you've recently found this blog because of one of these jimjix, welcome, glad to have you.

It's just weird to think that I myself would probably never find it.


Unknown said...

I use Google Reader on my iPhone so yeah I read your blog online.

But I don't use any of those Digg-alikes (which basically is are aggregated "Farourites" of millions of users who vote for what's currently new and fresh or good on the Internet).

I also don't use Twitter because that's just IRC (internet relais chat) for poor people. And I was on IRC for about two to four years of my life and two years on World of Warcraft. At a certain point you have had enough of online chats.

Basically Twitter can be used to stay in contact with your friends in a semi-live way OR uni-directionally keep your users informed about what's going on with your page and yourself at the moment outside of an actual newspost. Kind of like RSS for your daily life.

So Ken - it depends on you how useful Twitter is for you.

If you ask me - IF you Twitter live from "The Sitcom Room" during that weekend or directly before your radio gigs and/or when something just happened to you that you don't think warrants a whole newspost for a day and is just a fun tidbit - put it on Twitter. I might actually start using it because of you if you keep it fresh. 'cause I think your life in Hollywood (ok, L.A.), as a writer and baseball anchor is vastly more interesting than my rainy german everyday life :-)

Like for instance tonight - if you don't think the presidential debate is worth a whole newspost you might just throw in a 200 letter quib about something you found particularly funny and if the Twitter feedback is overwhelming you might just write up a review of the debate yet if you feel like it.

It's a great way to keep in contact with your audience and kind of dip your toe into the water what your audience likes and what not. So you also have to read a bit what your Twitter peers write like the comments here.

Anonymous said...

Actually Ken, I think if you used twitter you'd enjoy it.

I think you'd find the limit of 140 characters a nice writing challenge.

Go over there and give it a try.

bbot said...

Cheat sheet: Twitter is for attention whores, and is useless; social network link sharing is for kids, and is useless; and RSS is a real actual feature with real actual utility, and not nearly enough people use it.

maven said...

I have no idea about most of what you're talking about. But I do subscribe to the RSS feed. It comes up on my Google home page when you make a new post!

Tim W. said...

"If you notice on the right I am now on TWITTER. You can also sign up for my WIDGET."

Did you ever in a million years think that you would ever say that? This is a strange world we now live in.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I'm sorry, Sebastian, but just what language were your writing in? I only know English, and you comment might as well have been in Ancient Etruscan, although Etruscan can at least be translated by scholars.

But if I don't understand what "Twitter" means, I have seen the movie BAMBI enough times to know when I'm Twitterpated. Is it anything like that? Because I'm all for being Twitterpated. In fact, on some of my best nights, I've been Twitterpated at both ends at once.

R.A. Porter said...

If the only thing you're going to do with Twitter is notify on blog updates, then it's pretty useless. It's far easier to just subscribe to your RSS feed. However, if you embraced it as crowd-interaction technology, that might prove interesting to you.

Its primary purpose remains keeping up-to-date with the mundane events in friends' and colleagues' lives. But it is most useful when it goes beyond that. It works great for rapidly disseminating information in small chunks, and can be very good at getting quick feedback for question/problems. The 140-character limit keeps things brief.

It's especially good at live events. A lot of critics have embraced it, so during the TCA there was a constant stream of updates from a variety of sources. What they lacked in depth they made up for in immediacy.

Anonymous said...

Twitter is mostly about answering the question "What are you doing?". And I think that might be the best for you to do. Write short elements of your life because you can attract more people as they will want to follow the life of a tv writer.

You can promote your blog posts via Twitter but don't make that the main reason for twittering. People will want to know when you have coffee, think about a strange idea for a pitch, cut an extravagant sentence from a script or anything that makes people see that the life of a tv writer is as boring as their own.

In addition, don't forget to follow people that subscribe to your tweets (thats what a twitter posting is called). Just read something about the life of other people, too - it is somewhat soothing. There are different ideas behind twittering but I think the personal angle is the one that will be the most interesting to do for you.

If you want to know what other twitter users are doing you could check out which has an award for the most funny, most dramatic, most strange ... tweet. Just to get you started on what this is all about.

Tiago said...

I read you on google reader, through your rss feed. More convenient. Anything else, I prefer not to know about. I think it will complicate instead of simplifying things.

Anonymous said...

Methinks the people who think Twitter is useless have dismissed it without actually giving it a try. It's not for everyone but I wouldn't go as far as to declare it attention whoring.

Twitter is basically a form of micro-blogging. Your running commentary posts are a good example of when someone would Twitter rather than put in a blog post. Or, as Sebastian noted, as a way to comment on a live event that others could not attend like The Sitcom Room. Based on what little I know of you from this blog, I'm not convinced it's a form of communication that you'd be interested in but that is how I find it most effectively used. (And, yes, as an added way to interact with others online.)

If you're just going to be alerting Twitter when you've posted a new entry (which it appears is how your computer wizard has set things up for you), it's only marginally useful but does have the potential to draw in at least a few more readers. (Note: Your entire post will not be read via Twitter. It just pings your "followers" with a link to let them know you've posted.)

The widget is a way for someone to put an automated feed from your blog on their blog (or MySpace, Facebook, etc.). For instance, as someone who blogs about TV and who reads your blog, I might want to include your widget on the sidebar of might site because my readers are likely to find your posts interesting. (Others may use this to keep themselves updated on when you post but typically used as a sharing tool.)

As already noted, the other icons are just a way for people to say, "I liked this post and you might too!" Of the new items your computer wizard has added, they are the ones most likely to drive traffic to your site. To be honest, though, your posts were probably already being shared via those sites. You've just made it easier for people to do it.

Feeds, by the way, can be read various ways depending on the settings/application someone's using to read them. Your feed is set up to show the entire article so I only ever come to your blog itself when I want to read the comments left on a post. Otherwise I tend to read it via my feed reader. I'm not sure that makes it more fun but it does make it easier and more convenient so I do thank you for providing it as a means to keep updated.

Mr. G said...

I never got twitter, I get all this inane updates from my friends about what they are doing which I don't really care about. And I don't understand why anyone would care about mine.

But RSS feeds are a godsend, once you start using them you will never go back to the old way of web browsing. You need to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to second the idea that Twitter is microblogging, and suggest that if you want to see a writer use it well, you should check out John Hodgman's Twitter feed at (For those who don't know-- Hodgman is on The Daily Show & is the PC guy in the Mac ads.)

Unknown said...

@Tallulah Morehead:

Yeah uhm... sorry?

Or better thank you. Since I'm german it's nice to know that I can confuse people with technobabble in a second language ^^;

Loved your comment, made me smile :-)

Cap'n Bob said...

My head just exploded.

Unknown said...

I just wanted to add Ken that currently your tech guy has set up your Twitter feed just like an RSS feed and that might not be a bad thing because that way people get notified on their mobile phones via Twitter almost instantly when a new post pops up on your page. RSS feed readers usually only update every 15 minutes or 1 hour - some maybe disable the auto-update altogether and manually refresh the feeds once a day - others set it to check every minute (which is not the way it is intended).

So Twitter is a way to PUSH the news that there's a new post while RSS feeds are PULLED by the user. Twitter is like an SMS text message, RSS feeds are like E-Mails. But Twitter can be so much more like we pointed out - if you want to do the extra work, then you can attract more readers with it. I really think you could do that because very often you add things to your posts that happened to you during the day.

The "problem" is that you only post news daily, most of the time I think you even write them in advance and set a time when they should be added to your page (I do that whhen I blog two or three interesting things and spread them out over a couple of days just because it looks stupid on my calendar I put in the top right corner when I only have one day of the month highlighted and there are actually three posts there). And since you make it a point to update at least daily.

Using a tweet to update your users is then only useful when you add additonal updates like the Sitcom Room announcement - and since that only happens once or twice a year, Twitter is not of that much of additional use to you. But it really has a lot of potential if you put additional stuff into your tweet :-)

Annie said...

*wipes up bits of cap'n bob's cranium*
Hey, how 'bout them Dodgers?

Anonymous said...

Um, even people's responses to this are just confusing me further! My brain hurts!!

People have told me they subscribe to an RSS feed for something I do at work. I have no idea (and frankly don't care) what that means, but I'm sure it's great so yay! And yay for Ken getting all this stuff too!

leor said...

i'm fairly new to twitter, but one of the best things i've seen from it was during the emmys last week, when a few tv critics from zap2it were live tweeting. it was fun to read almost instant opinions about the monologues, presenters, winners, etc.

Anonymous said...

Twitter is "microblogging", so you would probably go on twitter to post stuff like "I just had some fruit loops", or "got the shits, brb", and people get that on their cellphone.

The idea is probably that you make your blog post, and then go on twitter and post something like "I just finished my latest post 'France surrenders: an essay on cutting edge comedy'. Enjoy!", and people will find out about it on their phone, and run to a computer near them.