Jacqueline Houtman (jjhoutman) wrote,
Jacqueline Houtman

Dipping my toe in the Sea of Twitter…and a challenge

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.

Tags: giveaways, twitter

  • Fun with Lasers!

    I've been volunteering at the Madison Science Museum, and we have a new exhibit opening next week. Here's a little bit about it. Stop by…

  • Writing about Science

    For my article in Wisconsin People and Ideas on the human microbiome (adapted from an article I wrote for FASEB's Breakthroughs in Bioscience…

  • The Invisible Activist Authors' Tour

    Tomorrow I fly out to Boston for the beginning of The Invisible Book Tour with coauthor Walter Naegle. Unfortunately, Michael G. Long, our other…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.