The Quest for Conversation

Been feeling blah about social media lately. As little as two years ago, anytime I signed on Twitter there was someone to chat with. It was the MAIN reason I loved Twitter. It totally skipped the friend request process of Facebook and moved straight to the chatting. Like mingling at a party, which is ironic since real party mingling scares me. Anyway, I don’t see my online friends as much anymore. If they’re thinking what I’m thinking, they’ve seen the shift go from talking to people to being talked at.

My main stream is full of tweets that are all just different shades of ads and most are scheduled. So if I did want to respond, nobody’s home. Even the hashtags I like have been overrun.

Another trend I’ve noticed is almost every new follower I get has a stream filled with links, quotes and, of course, promo. And the conversations, if you can call them that, are either a thanks for following me or thanks for retweeting my link/quote/promo.


What about writer’s Facebook groups? The ones I’ve been a part of, with the exception of WANA 1011, have become promo black holes just like Twitter. I’ve left them all.

The writing community has become less a community and more a bunch of people yelling at the same time.

Despite the promo invasion, I still like social media, but I need to change the way I use it if I want the enjoyment of the good ol’ days back. I need to go OUTSIDE the writer’s world because there is social media beyond our little part of the universe.

One such place is the #whedony hashtag. Every Monday at 9pm EST it hosts a chat to talk all things Joss Whedon. I did it once and it was pretty fun. Unfortunately, my work schedule didn’t let me join in anymore, but now it’s different, so maybe I’ll pop in this Monday.

As for Facebook, if I found one good group, there must be others.

I’ll keep you posted.

10 comments on “The Quest for Conversation

  1. Don’t give up completely on us Twitter-folk… I love chatting with Mr. Mocete!!

  2. One of the reasons I follow a wide variety of people on Twitter is this. I find if I stick to “writer” groups, the promo stuff gets overwhelming. As I find people who are engaging, I stick them on a group and make that group an important column in my tweetdeck (when at my computer, I use tweetbot when I’m mobile).

    I feel ya, bro. 🙂

  3. @Tiff- Nah, not leaving. I’ll definitely keep up with my buds, but I’m tired people trying to get me to buy their crap without even saying hello.

    @Amber- I’ve been lazy with seeking out new people, but rather than be annoyed with all the promo, I’ll use my time to meet new people. I have a general group of people I like to talk to. Maybe I’ll diversify it more.

  4. There’s a Whedon hashtag? Really? That makes me smile. I must check that out.

    One of the reasons I’m not on Twitter as much is because I can’t get a conversation started to save my life. I say things I THINK might be interesting and no one cares. Sometimes I can’t get people to talk even when I reply to something they tweeted.

    I’m sure some of the people who follow me might wonder why I don’t follow back. I always check their tweets, and if there’s nothing personal, I don’t follow back. Some writers constantly quote lines from their books. Others do nothing but tweet links. Some people do nothing but retweet. And some ALWAYS are self-promoting. I think we should mention our books from time to time. That’s actually how I’ve found some good ones. But the important thing should be engaging with each other.

  5. I had never heard of the Whedon hastag. While I am a big fan of his, I have never seen firefly or Dollhouse, so probably couldn’t take part in any discussions 🙂

    I agre that Twitter (especially) seems to be nothing but links to books and retweets. I have some conversations but with the same people. While I enjoy talking to them, I have not struck up a chat with anybody new in quite some time.

    Facebook isn’t too bad, I’m part of a couple of nice groups, but in some I notice again that every post is either a link to a pitch. No real conversation starting posts.

    Maybe we can change it, all of us together, reclaim social media!

  6. It’s totally a thing. I haven’t been as active as a once was, more due to my own schedule and time limitations and the fact that I’m trying to unplug a bit more–but I have definitely noticed the shift. As you know (since you’re one of them) the people I talk to all the time, I grab on Google Talk. No 140 character limit and stupid excessive promo people no allowed.

    I find Tweetdeck helps me a lot. I have a column specifically for the people I like to talk to. I just call it favorites. I think Susan has one called Not Annoying. And people get moved in and out of those columns depending on their behavior. So I can USUALLY find someone to talk to between that, #MyWANA (which founder Kristen Lamb has finally reclaimed), and #ROW80.

  7. @LL- There’s a Whedon hashtag, Buffy quoters, and a bunch of accounts that only report Whedon news.

    Don’t judge what you say on Twitter by the response or lack there of. Sometimes people have nothing to add, but don’t think no one is reading what you say. I’ve seen too much proof that everything we write is read by someone. And it goes the other way too. There are plenty of times I @ someone with no response. Unless I was asking a specific question, I don’t expect one. I just keep on tweeting. Usually what you thought was a meh tweet is the one people will respond to. Go figure

    @Alex- Some of the Whedony chats are about specific characters in the Buffy/Angel universe. They also tweet the topic before it starts, so you can always check.

    @Kait- Love Google Talk. So glad you guys introduced me to it.

    I have a column on Tweetdeck too, but it needs refreshing. Some of the people, I don’t talk to as much and that’s probably making it harder for me to keep up with the people I chat with more.

  8. I have been on this track lately, Trying to engage more on Twitter.

  9. Oh goodness, yes, I’m having this issue now, haha. It didn’t seem so bad, but now I get a lot of follows from people who have a couple thousand followers (sometimes up to 20,000!), so I don’t follow them back because they’re the worst offenders. I also make use of the lists, but then I find I’m just chatting with the same people I’ve connected with anyway. Not that I’m complaining about it. I have gotten to know some people using twitter, (you’re one of them). ;D

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