An evening conversation: Tweet, tweet

By Stephen Cameron

Are you hooked on Twitter yet?

There are hundreds of people I know, or with whom I regularly communicate, who basically live on Twitter.

They “tweet” news, or comment on it. They tweet thoughts, opinions and everything else under the sun.

And to be fair, it’s a quick way to stay abreast of things, since the Twitter limit is 140 characters per tweet.

Heck, I know people who can’t say “Hello” in 140 characters.

Anyway, I’m now officially a Twitter person.

I got started on it for fun, as a way to follow my favorite English soccer club. Then came a move to promoting via tweet when I had a novel released in April – and now I officially need to tweet as executive editor and columnist for the Mercury.

And you know what?

It’s hard work.

No, not the tweets themselves. Rapping out a dozen words to let readers know what’s in this column, or that Ned Seaton is doing a story on the monumental construction delay at Bluemont and Manhattan is simple.

Tap, tap, tap. You’re done.

The problem comes when you try to stay current on what’s happening in the Twitter world – and you MUST be interested, or you wouldn’t be “following” whomever it is who’s just sent that tweet.

Needless to say, if you have friends, or contacts, or news sources around the world, Twitter is tossing something new at you every few seconds, 24 hours per day.

So what to do?

I suppose you could abandon your job, your life, your family and everything and become a professional “tweeter” – although I doubt it’s going to pay that much.

Alternate ideas?

They’re obvious. Check Twitter morning and night, or every hour, or at the beginning and end of your work day.

I’m trying to keep up, but each time I visit Twitter on my iPhone or iPad, I’m shocked at how much really good stuff piled up while I was away.

It’s also a surprise that some people have become “professional tweeters.”

Seriously, there are PR and marketing firms that hire people to haunt cyberpsace and report back immediately when something needs to be clarified or just plain shot down.

It’s all way, way too much.

I’m going to stick with checking Twitter in the morning, posting an occasional tweet during the day, and making one last check for anything dramatic just before bedtime.

That’s enough.

The bottom line is that I’ll find the key information and greetings I need.

There have been some surprising tweets aimed at me already, and I’ve only been in Manhattan a month.

It was fun to get a tweet from Noel Schultz (@kstate_1stlady), welcoming me to Manhattan and to K-State.

I’ve heard from others, as well. Sorry, but you’re not married to the president of the university and so will have to remain anonymous today.

And sure, I enjoy doing the odd tweet on behalf of the Mercury, or maybe just because something amuses me.

But I will NOT become a junkie – either tweeting or checking Twitter 50 times per day.

I’m going for quality, rather than quantity.

On the other hand, I haven’t checked Twitter in a while, and maybe somebody has replied to my tweet from this morning.


Just for a few minutes, OK?

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