Twitter (and related tools)

Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time. What does that mean?  Think of it like Instant Messaging on Crack. It’s a way to connect to dozens, perhaps hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people all at once — and directly into their account.

http://www.twitter.com |

Cost: FREE | Time Usage: Minimal to Obsessive

Words You Need to Know

tweets. –> Your 140 character twitter message;

tweet in verb form: the act of posting to twitter

retweet –> when you tweet something someone else has already tweeted . Always starts with RT.

@replies. –> this is how you reply to someone in a conversation.

hashtags. –> #hashtag, used to create conversation topics easily followed. Use the # with the words behind it to be included in any conversation.

DM. –> Direct message on twitter from one person to another.

Tips for Writers in Using Twitter

  • Make a business plan for your Twitter use – for business purposes.
  • Sign up now. Give yourself time to get adjusted. Take a few weeks to add some people of interest to follow. (Get a list of agents and editors on Twitter here.)
  • The more people you follow, the more will follow you.
  • Be selective in those you choose to follow — for this to work, you need to be smart.
  • Get involved in conversations, don’t just promo yourself. Look for hashtags in people you follow, get involved in those conversations that interest you.
  • Personalize your Twitter page. It’s a bio and you can get a custom background.
    (Yes, I design them. See Services.)
  • Add a badge to your website and your blog that includes your twitter status updates. The beauty of the internet these days is the interconnectivity. Work smarter, not more.

Tools

There are a number of related tools to help you use Twitter to your advantage. I’ve tried to focus specifically on ones that will help you manage this or enhance it’s usage in your marketing efforts.

To make it easier to tweet and reply:

  • Tweet Deck – This allows you to manage your account, replies, direct messages as well as select to follow certain conversation threads. | Installs on Computer
  • Digsby – Works like an IM account, but allows you to see all your social networking tools at once, including Twitter (multiple accounts), facebook, myspace and more. | Installs on computer
  • TwitterMail - Send tweets from your email | Website sign up
  • Twitterfeed - Autopost your blog entries to twitter | Website sign up
  • TweetLater - Autoresponders to your tweets | Website sign up

To monitor and watch conversations and certain key terms

  • monitter.com - A website you can visit and put in #hashtags or topics to all tweets related. | Steps: web browser
  • twitterfall.com – A website to watch the upcoming trends and custom searches.
  • Tweet Deck [recommended] – I listed this in both places because it has multiple uses. In addition to managing your account, you can follow conversation threads. | Installs on Computer

Blog or Website Functionality/Additions

To add twitter capabilities to your blog and/or website:

  • Twitter Remote - Add a widget that shows which twitter users recently visited your site/blog. Usable on both blogs and websites. | Easy cut and paste.

WordPress plugins

  • Tweet This – This adds a Twitter icon to every post and page, so your readers can talk about your blog entries on their Twitter accounts with ease.
  • WP Twitip ID – This adds an extra field to the comment form on your blog to enter a twitter username (for your visitors)
  • Twitter Badge – Display badges showing what you are posting on Twitter.
  • The Twitter Updater – Automatically sends a Twitter update to your Twitter account when you create, publish, or edit your WordPress post. You can customize the text for the updates, and turn the auto update on/off for the posts
  • TwitThis is an easy way for people to send Twitter messages about your blog post or website. When visitors to your website click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the webpage and creates a shorter URL using TinyURL. Then visitors can send this shortened URL and a description of the web page to all of their friends on Twitter.
  • Twitter Tools – This wordpress plugin creates an integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account. Pull your tweets into your blog and create new tweets on blog posts and from within WordPress.
  • Twitter WordPress Sidebar Widget – Customise the number of updates shown in your sidebar, individual links to each status update on Twitter, style your Twitterings using CSS, choose whether to display your Twitter name before each post and customise text between the post text and the relative time.
  • Twitter Feed – Posts your blog updates to your twitter account. Login to twitterfeed using your OpenID, provide the URL for your blog RSS feed, and how often to post to Twitter.
  • Twitt-Twoo – Allows you to update your Twitter status from your blog’s sidebar.
  • Tweet Blender – Allows for multiple tweeters. Great for group blogs.

Just plain entertaining or interesting

  • SecretTweet - As a writer, I’m fascinated by this. It’s like true confessions in 140 characters or less. Go to this website to post your secret, anon comments. Then go twitter.com/secrettweet to sign up to receive the tweets.
  • PollDaddy Twitter Polls - Create a poll and send it out easily.

Helpful Links

More articles on this:

THE LISTS ON TWITTER

Conversations you can follow and participate in

Twitter Chat Schedules

A full Twitter Chat Schedule can be found here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=ruaz3GZveOsoXUOOt86B3AQ No point in trying to keep up with the list.  Just click the link – it’s an interactive spreadsheet that allows people to update their information.

Agents & Publishers on Twitter

And finally, a list that’s as complete as I can make it so far (I will add to this list) of agents and editors and pubs you can follow.   But first, I want to quote Literary Agent Janet Reid from her blog : “One of the great ways to make twitter a total waste of time is to follow someone who isn’t using twitter for what YOU are using it for.”

Not everyone searches out replies to them. Not everyone does searches by hashtags.  Some people use it as an extended version of IM to chat with friends, coworkers and others and pay no attention to anything else.  Others use it extensively to converse on topics, offer advice, and such.  Check out their pages, see what they tweet about most and adjust your expectations from this accordingly.  Twitter can be a great tool– as long as you use it in a way that makes sense for you.

THE LIST

Literary Agents

Allan Guthrie: http://twitter.com/allanguthrie
Alice Tasman: http://twitter.com/AliceTasman
Amy Moore-Benson: http://www.twitter.com/amblit
Andrea Barzvi (ICM) http://twitter.com/AndyBarzvi
Barry Goldblatt: http://twitter.com/barrygoldblatt
Beverly Slopen: http://www.twitter.com/slopenagency
Byrd Leavell (Waxman Agency): http://www.twitter.com/ByrdLeavell3
Chip MacGregor: http://www.twitter.com/chipmacgregor
Chris Richman (Upstart Crow Literary Agency): http://www.twitter.com/ChrisRichman
Danielle Svetcov (Levine Greenberg Literary Agency): http://www.twitter.com/dsvetcov
Deirdre Knight: http://twitter.com/DeidreKnight
Elaine Spencer (Knight Agency): http://twitter.com/ElaineSpencer
Elana Roth: http://www.twitter.com/elanaroth
Elizabeth Evans: http://www.twitter.com/EMEvans11
Ellen Papus: http://twitter.com/ellenp
Emmanuelle Alspaugh: http://twitter.com/Emmanuelle15
Evan Marshall: http://www.twitter.com/evanmarshall
Folio Literary: http://www.twitter.com/FolioLiterary
Ginger Clark: http://twitter.com/Ginger_Clark
Greg Daniel: http://www.twitter.com/DanielLiterary
Haylee Yeeles (Pollinger Unlimited): http://www.twitter.com/HayleyYeeles
Holly Bemiss (The Susan Rabiner Literary Agency): http://twitter.com/BeMissH
Holly Root (Waxman Literary): http://twitter.com/hroot
Isabel White: http://www.twitter.com/BourbonKid
Jacquie Flynn (Joelle Delbourgo Associates): http://www.twitter.com/BookJacquie
Janet Kobobel Grant (Books & Such Literary): http://www.twitter.com/janetkgrant
Janet Reid (FinePrint Literary Mgmt): http://twitter.com/Janet_Reid
Jason Ashlock (Movable Type Literary Group) : http://twitter.com/jasonashlock
Jennifer DeChiara :http://twitter.com/4writers
Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary): http://twitter.com/literaticat
Jennifer Rappaport: http://twitter.com/jennyrae
Jennifer Weltz (Naggar Literary Agency): http://www.twitter.com/JVNLA
Jenny Bent: http://twitter.com/jennybent
Jessica Faust : http://twitter.com/BookEndsJessica
Jessica Regel: http://twitter.com/jessregel
Jill Corcoran: http://twitter.com/JillCorcoran
Joelle Delbourgo: http://www.twitter.com/JLDelbourgo
Johnson Literary: http://twitter.com/cjlitagency
Jonny Geller: http://www.twitter.com/jonnyagent
Kae Tienstra: http://twitter.com/Bookfan
Kate Epstein: http://www.twitter.com/EpsteinLiterary
Kate Lee: http://www.twitter.com/katelaurielee
Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary): http://twitter.com/kate_mckean
Kate Schafer Testerman (KT Literary): http://www.twitter.com/DaphneUn
Kathleen Ortiz (Lowenstein Associates) http://twitter.com/KOrtizzle
Kelly Mortimer: http://twitter.com/KellyMortimer
Kim Lionetti (BookEnds): http://twitter.com/BookEndsKim
Knight Agency: http://www.twitter.com/KnightAgency
Launch Books: http://www.twitter.com/LaunchBooks
Lauren MacLeod: http://twitter.com/BostonBookGirl
Lauren Shults: http://www.twitter.com/Laurenshults
Literary Agent (anon): http://twitter.com/literaryagent
Lisa DiMona: http://www.twitter.com/lisadimona
Lucienne Diver (Knight Agency): http://twitter.com/LucienneDiver
Marlene Stringer: http://twitter.com/MarleneStringer
Matt Wagner (Fresh Books): http://www.twitter.com/mattwagner
Michael Bourret (Dystel & Goderich Literary): http://www.twitter.com/MichaelBourret
Miriam Goderich (Dystel & Goderich Literary): http://twitter.com/MiriamGoderich
Natasha Kern: http://www.twitter.com/storyseller
Nathan Bransford (Bransford Literary): http://twitter.com/NathanBransford
Nephele Tempest (Knight Agency): http://twitter.com/NepheleTempest
Nick Croce: http://www.twitter.com/thecroceagency
Noah Lukeman: http://www.twitter.com/LukemanLiterary
Paige Wheeler (Folio Literary Mgmt): http://twitter.com/pwheeler_agent
Peter Cox : http://www.twitter.com/AgentPete
Peter Tallack (The Science Factory): http://www.twitter.com/petertallack
Rachael Gardner (WordServe Literary): http://twitter.com/RachelleGardner
Robert Brown (Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency): http://twitter.com/agentrobert
Ross Grossman (Affinity Artists Agency): http://twitter.com/AffinityArtists
Samantha Haywood: http://www.twitter.com/samjanehaywood
Sarah Such: http://www.twitter.com/sarahsuch
Scott Waxman: http://twitter.com/scottwaxman
Serendipity Literary: http://twitter.com/serendipitylit
Simon Trewin: http://www.twitter.com/simontrewin
Strothman Agency: http://www.twitter.com/StrothmanAgency
Stuart Krichevsky: http://twitter.com/skagency
Ted Weinstein: http://twitter.com/twliterary
Tracy Marchini (literary agent assistant, Curtis Brown Ltd): http://www.twitter.com/TracyMarchini
Tom Wilkens (The Jeff Herman Agency): http://twitter.com/tomwillkens
Upstart Crow Literary Agency: http://www.twitter.com/upstartcrowlit
Wendy Goldman Rohm: http://www.twitter.com/Wendy_G_Rohm
Wendy Lawton: http://twitter.com/wendylawton
William Gladstone: http://www.twitter.com/wgtwelve

Publishing Industry

Agent Query: http://twitter.com/agentquery
Angela James/CarinaPress: http://twitter.com/angelajames
AuthoressAnon:  http://twitter.com/AuthoressAnon
Bantam Editor: http://twitter.com/BantamEditor
Barbara Vey/PW: http://twitter.com/barbaravey
Book Pubs: http://twitter.com/bookpubs – Added 5/2010
Books Reviewer: http://twitter.com/BooksReviewer
Colleen Lindsay: http://twitter.com/Colleen_Lindsay
Jodi Meadows (slush reader): http://twitter.com/jodimeadows
Kirkus Reviews: http://twitter.com/KirkusReviews
LitChat http://twitter.com/litchat
LitMags http://twitter.com/litmags
Moonrat (acq editor at NY pub): http://twitter.com/moonrat
MJ Rose: http://twitter.com/MJRose
Publisher’s Weekly: http://twitter.com/PublishersWkly
Publishing Talk: http://twitter.com/publishingtalk
Query Shark: http://twitter.com/QueryShark
Ranty Editor: http://twitter.com/rantyeditor
Self Pub Review: http://twitter.com/selfpubreview
Sue Grimshaw: http://twitter.com/SueGrimshaw
Writer’s Digest: http://twitter.com/WritersDigest
Writers2Follow http://twitter.com/writers2follow

Book Publishers

Absolute Publishing: http://twitter.com/Absolute_Books
Alonquin Books: http://www.twitter.com/AlgonquinBooks
Amber Quill Press: http://www.twitter.com/AmberQuillPress
Aqueous Books: http://www.twitter.com/aqueous_books
AVA Publishing: http://twitter.com/avabooks
Bantam Dell: http://twitter.com/bantamdell
Bloomsbury Press: http://twitter.com/BloomsburyPress
Carina Press: http://www.twitter.com/carinapress
Crown Publishing: http://twitter.com/crownpublishing
DK Publishing: http://twitter.com/dkpublishing
Dorchester Pub: http://twitter.com/DorchesterPub
Dutton Books: http://twitter.com/DuttonBooks
Echelon Press: http://www.twitter.com/echelonpress
Forever Romance: http://twitter.com/ForeverRomance
Grand Central Pub: http://twitter.com/GrandCentralPub
Graywolf Press: http://twitter.com/GraywolfPress
Hale Publishing: http://twitter.com/HalePublishing
Harlequin Books: http://twitter.com/HarlequinBooks
Harper Studio: http://twitter.com/harperstudio
Lily Roth Publishing: http://twitter.com/LRPublishing - Added 5/2010
Little Brown & Co: http://twitter.com/littlebrown
Medallion Press: http://www.twitter.com/MedallionPress
Osprey Publishing: http://twitter.com/OspreyBooks
Penguin Books: http://twitter.com/PenguinBooks
Potomac Books: http://twitter.com/PotomacBooks
Random House: http://twitter.com/randomhouseinc
Samhain Publishing: http://www.twitter.com/samhainpub
Sapphire Blue Publishing: http://twitter.com/SapphireBluePub – Added 5/2010
Seedpod Publishing: http://twitter.com/seedpodpub – Added 5/2010
Softskull Press: http://twitter.com/softskull
Simon & Schuster: http://twitter.com/simonschusterUK
Story Publishing: http://twitter.com/StoreyPub – Added 5/2010
Stylus Publishing: http://twitter.com/StylusPub – Added 5/2010
Tor Books: http://twitter.com/torbooks
Tradewind Books: http://twitter.com/tradewindbooks – Added 5/2010
Turner Publishing: http://twitter.com/TurnerPub – Added 5/2010
White Rose Publishing: http://twitter.com/WhiteRosePub – Added 5/2010

More links to authors to follow:

Another place to locate folks to follow:
http://wefollow.com/
. (Hint: You should also be listed here!)

And of course, the most important ones of all: mine. :)

@jeannieruesch

@design4choclate

Are you a writer on twitter? Let’s start a conversation… Use hashtag #writerstweet and tell me how you use twitter.

More links to authors to follow:

Another place to locate folks to follow:
http://wefollow.com/
. (Hint: You should also be listed here!)


Interested in a custom twitter background to match your branding? Contact me.