RT – The Ultimate Web 2.0 Status Symbol

Will work for a RT!

"Will work for a RT!"

I think there is no question that Twitter is taking over the universe. I realized this when my wife joined and actually seemed excited about it. This is the same woman who begged me to convince our nephew that people of our generation didn’t have Facebook accounts. I had to sheepishly explain to her that I had a Facebook account. She was devastated that I had pulled her into the Web 2.0 universe. She is an infrequent visitor to her Facebook page, but for some reason there is a palpable joy in her voice when she talks about her Tweets.

This morning I told her I had included her in a #followfriday Tweet. She was confused. I assured her that it was a good thing. I was telling my “Followers” she was worthy of following. That ultimately it didn’t say anything about her if no one followed her because of it, but it said volumes about my popularity with my followers. At this writing, no one has followed her because of my recommendation. Thanks “Followers.” You just made me look like a complete ass in front of the woman I love.

But I digress. The conversation turned to the Re-Tweet or the “RT” in Twitter-speak. I described it to her as the ultimate Twitter status symbol. You’ve said something insightful enough, clever enough, interesting enough for other Tweeters to pass along to their Followers, upping your Twitter Cachet. We all strive to earn the RT. In essence, we all want to be loved by all the Tweople, big and small. In fact, it borders on being a sickness. Twitterville is replete with quotes, both humorous and inspirational, that are meant for no other reason to get that precious RT. To what end? To get more Followers. To be loved by the throngs of Tweople. To be the originator of a viral comment that spreads across Twitterville.

The question is can you contrive to create a micro post that is RT worthy? Or does it have to be organic? It’s a challenge to say something quotable in 140 characters or less. I’m sure that marketers are studying this phenomenon in order to create a formula that will ensure that they will spread RTs like typhoid, the 140 characters that will help them sell their wares. They’ll never find it. The RT has to be organic.

I have to go because two guys are talking loudly about politics at the table next to me in Starbucks. Kind of annoying and they aren’t saying anything RT- able. Feel free to RT this post and please follow my wife.

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Twitter – Yet another way for me to be rejected! Or Twitxiety here I come!

Follow me... Please.

Follow me... Please.

I love Twitter. It is a great tool for me to get the word out about my books, and connect with people across this big blue and green globe of ours. I am happy I stumbled across it months ago, and then happened to talk to @thenextwriter who helped me understand its awesomeness. I see the traffic it generates for my blog, and for that alone, it’s worth the time and effort I put into it.

But (you knew it was coming), I do find myself experiencing two whole new levels of anxiety, or to reflect the spirit of the community let’s call it “Twitxiety.” And it is very much reminiscent of my days in high school when I was desperate to try to find a way to fit in. The Twitxiety stems from the all important “follow” status. Getting “followers” is akin to getting a prom date. You feel accepted in the virtual Twitter world. You feel worthy. Yippie, for me, someone likes me or fake likes me in order to try to get me to buy their nifty new way to make a million dollars online. That’s okay. They cared enough to pretend to like me, and I could always use a million dollars. The “follower” is da bomb as they used to say in my day.

And then there’s the “following,” but not being followed status. This is the no-response rejection. You find someone on Twitter you think is interesting; you click the “follow” button, and then they completely ignore you. It’s like sitting by your phone and waiting for them to call. You turn up the charm and say something clever in a “Tweet” hoping somebody they “follow” will “Retweet,” and they might somehow recognize your follow worthiness. And still nothing. You calculate your “Following” to “Followers” ratio and wonder where you went so wrong in life to be so rejected. My mother likes me. Then again if she had a Twitter account maybe she wouldn’t follow me either.

Worst of all, there is the dreaded “Unfollow.” You are so foul and loathsome that Twitters actually go out of their way to stop following you. It’s like someone breaking up with you or getting fired from your job. Sometimes you even have the urge to “Reply” to them (Direct Message is not an option if they aren’t following you), to ask them what you did. Maybe even try to convince them that you can change. You can be “follow” worthy.

I’m a writer. I’ve experienced enough rejection to warrant my own book in the Bible. I’m talking epic proportions of rejection. I can take it. For now, Twitter’s pros far outweigh the cons, but there’s a good chance I may have to go on some anti-Twitxiety medication.