I'm Not Mentioning You On Twitter

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So I just posted this Tweet:

That’s a quote from an essay by Chuck Wendig, who is all over Twitter.  I don’t follow Chuck.  I don’t need to.  He’s retweeted by my author friends at least six times a day, so I forget that I don’t have him friended, as there’s no human way to avoid him.  It’s a good thing he writes fine essays.
Yet I didn’t tag him in this Tweet, because I don’t like tagging people unless I want them to weigh in.  For me, the @ is like a 1st-level summoning spell, where you have a 10% chance of causing the Author Himself to appear, adjusted by the author’s CR.  And in this case, I’m just saying, “Here, read this essay on self-publishing that I like but could be controversial,” and as such I don’t want Chuck to show up.  If there’s any blowback from this Tweet, well, he’s getting enough of that on his blog.  I doubt any worthy debate will occur on Twitter.
Yet I’m also doing a mild disservice to Mr. Wendig by not @-a-boying him, as people who like the essay are now less likely to follow him on Twitter.  If they don’t realize this is a Chuck Wendig essay, maybe they’d be more likely to click through if I mentioned him.  As a marketing tool for the mighty Chuck Wendig marching machine, I have failed.
I dunno.  I don’t like yelling at people – “HEY YOU ON TWITTER!” – unless I have something interesting to say.  And so I sometimes give the impression that I don’t read, when in fact I read voraciously, all the comments and entries and friends-lists – I just eschew notification unless I’m adding something other than, “I liked that.”  But there are some people on Twitter who I know precisely because they do tag me all the time, and I feel more warmly inclined to them.
So should I?  Probably.  Do I?  No.  Even on the Internets, I’m strangely shy.
Dunno.  No big wrap-up here.  I just don’t rope in authors much on Twitter, because I worry I’ll bug them.  Which is my entire life, really, trying not to bug anyone.  I fail at it, but that’s because I’m a loudmouth.  So it goes.

1 Comment

  1. John Wiswell
    Jan 29, 2014

    Especially since Twitter implemented the @ columns for All and Only-Those-You-Follow, I don’t mind tagging authors in posts I’m sharing from them in the least. I love being tagged myself, even if it’s just as a pat on the back. Tagging others, though, like Guy Gavriel Kay and Jim C. Hines, has spurred some of the best conversations I’ve had on Twitter. I imagine they, like Wendig, are famous enough to disregard any mentions they don’t care for, but sometimes it can be very meaningful to them. It doesn’t feel like a summon spell when it happens to me, just an invitation.

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