A couple of weeks ago, I took my moribund Twitter account (still with its tags on), tied it to my person, lit the blue touch paper and hurtled myself, in a shower of sparks and noxious gases, into the Twitterverse. This is the main reason why it is five days since my last confession – sorry – blog post. Somewhere out beyond the viral galaxy is a universe which seems at first sight to be a place of utter chaos. New rules, new language, new protocols, new ways to spend huge amounts of time when I could otherwise be writing the sequel to The Butterfly & The Bull.
I noticed that, since I first opened the wrappings and pressed the ‘on’ button, I had acquired some ‘Followers.’ Not many, I admit, but most of them had materialized spontaneously from the ether. Some of their postings were intelligible, others seemed to consist of random letters and there was a lot of use of the @ symbol. Hmm. Where to begin? Search for authors, writing and other likely tags. Voila! Here are some folks I can maybe relate to. I’ll follow them and see what happens. Days later, I am following 95 and have 74 Followers. But I’m so busy trawling furiously through the increasing deluge of Tweets and thanking people for Following me (part of the protocol, I surmise), that I’ve only managed to spit out 105 Tweets. But never mind, there does seem to be some beautiful symmetry to be achieved by having Tweets, Following and Follows all at the same number. My fevered brain decides that this is a possible goal. What other might there be? Yet, try as I might, the Tweets keep inching ahead. If I stop tweeting, the Followers slow down. Curses! And still they keep pouring in. I look away to take a mouthful of coffee – 5 new tweets; I get up to go to the bathroom – 15 new tweets; I go to bed, bleary-eyed and exhausted – 1454 new tweets. This is small beer, of course, by comparison with others in the Twitterverse. The more followers you have, the more tweets (duh!).
But wait – what’s this? Some little nuggets of gold flash past in the endless trawl. Take breath, dear man, and stop a moment. Here’s a wonderful quote, lots of links to really good books, a website that offers to review my book, an invitation to be interviewed on someone’s blog, AND – wait for it – I suddenly have a huge audience who will spread the news of my three Giveaway days on Amazon. Now I begin to see it making sense. It’s going to take a long time before I get to grips with all the possibilities and nuances, but I think I might be hooked.