I agreed to be on a panel at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books in June, but on one condition, that I sign up for Twitter. I already blog (sporadically) and do Facebook, and I did a panel at kidlitcon 2010. But they insisted--no Twitter, no panel.
So here I am, @jjhoutman, wandering aimlessly about the Twitterverse. I consider it research. My findings so far:
- It’s a much more efficient way to waste time than Facebook.
- I can follow just about anybody and anybody can follow me. That’s a lot creepier to me than Friending.
- It’s fast.
- It requires an economy of words that I find appealing.
- Less appealing is the use of abbreviations, even when not required to stay within the 140-character limit (2 for two, 4 for for, and so on).
- I haven’t mastered hashtags.
- I’m sure I’m offending someone because I’m ignorant of some important point of Twitter etiquette.
- I found a couple of helpful blog posts here and here, but if anyone can point me to more, or even offer me some individualized advice, I’d be grateful.
Here’s the thing. I had intended to do a giveaway for Autism Awareness Month. I have a box of ARCs of THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS that my publisher had leftover and sent to me. I thought I could give away a stack of them--say 5 or 10 or 15--so that a classroom could use them as a read-together. Sort of like the Class of 2K10’s 230 book giveaway, but just for EDDY.
But I haven't gotten a huge response to previous (pre-Twitter) giveaways and so far I only have 47 followers on Twitter.* I’d love to get the word out, so that more teachers can have the opportunity to acquire the stack, but I want to see how far it’ll spread. So I’m going to try an experiment. I figure 50 followers is worth a book. As I acquire more followers, I’ll add more books to the stack, until I reach a limit of the books I have available. I haven’t counted, but it’s at least 20. That’s enough for a nice classroom set.
So follow me, retweet, and do that #FF thing I’ve seen on some tweets. Tell your friends. You can always unfollow me on May 1, but I’m hoping my tweets will be interesting and/or informative enough for you to keep following me. I’ll do the giveaway based on the number of followers I have on April 30.I hope that by then, it'll be quick and easy to get the word out about the giveaway.
*I know it’s quality, not quantity of followers, but as a scientist, I needed something I could measure.