Saturday, July 3, 2021

Blundering into Twitter


I’ve avoided Twitter for years, in part because the entire twittersphere seems to have the intellectual depth of a spinner rack loaded with competing bumper stickers, but mostly because in the early years of the thing I watched several good friends—novelists all, successful, best-selling novelists who had no trouble writing brilliant and well-received 200K-word books—reduced to babbling fountains of gibberish by the thing. One in particular used to send a wonderfully written 4-page letter to all her friends every Christmas, summarizing what had happened that year in her personal and professional lives and filled with uplifting and inspirational thoughts for the coming year.  

In her last few years she replaced that with a “Best of Twitter” letter that recapped her favorite Tweets of the year. Frankly, it read like the sort of incoherent word salad produced by people suffering from serious closed-head injuries.

Nonetheless, it seems we must come to grips with Twitter if we are to grow our audience. Several years ago Eric Dontigney created a RampantLoonMedia twitter account, which people seem to have trouble finding. One thing I don’t understand just yet: should I be telling people to “Follow us on Twitter @ RampantLoonMedia,” or “Follow us on Twitter @loon_media?” RampantLoonMedia seems to be the page; @loon_media would seem to be the author name attached to each post, just as ~BRB is attached to most posts on this site. 

Or am I completely misunderstanding the argot of twitterpatedspace? 

Meanwhile, to further confuse things, I created a Stupefying Stories account this morning, then noticed that space characters don’t seem to exist in the twittersphere, so I also created a StupefyingStories account.

Now I’m confused. How do I phrase the invitation? “Follow us on Twitter—[choose one of the following]?”

a.) @ Stupefying Stories

b.) @StupefyingS

c.) @ StupefyingStories

c.) @StupefyingStor1

d.) @ RampantLoonMedia

e.) @loon_media

More caffeine. Definitely, this situation calls for more caffeine. 

—Bruce Bethke

UPDATE: They’re all wrong. The correct answer is @StupefyingSF, or to use the fully qualified URL,