Écrire un nouveau Tweet…
Each time you visit France, all those French classes rush back into your mind, don’t they? You’re Rimbaud Jr. by the time you find your luggage at CDG, thanks to your immersion in the scene, the rhythms, the place.
That’s a great way for a platforming author to approach Twitter — as a language. And nothing works like immersional baggage handling. Publishing is an industry mad for the tweets. You want to be fluent, starting with Twitter’s use of names—yours and others’.
Are you putting your byline on your posts? Good. Now add your Twitter handle.
Place your byline at the top of every post. It’s good, professional procedure.
Your byline needs to do two things:
So add your Twitter handle — with the @ symbol — right there with your name.
Are you welcoming a guest post to your blog? Then add your guest’s Twitter handle along with her or his name, up top, first reference:
By My Guest Today / @ MyGuestToday
It’s also fine to just make links to people’s Twitter pages, without @ symbols, if you’re working with a large number of names in one piece.
At Jane Friedman’s site (@JaneFriedman), Thursday’s Writing on the Ether references a lot of people. The inclusion of 40 or 50 @-symbol handles gives the Ether a polka-dot aesthetic. Not au courant. So there, we link names to Twitter pages.
However, if you’re just dealing with one or two names, writing out the @-symbol handle is best practice.
But who cares who wrote it?
I do. And I hope you do.
If writers don’t care enough to credit each other, who will?
The New York Times has never written a word. Journalists do all the writing. I’m glad if I have enough space to credit both a writer and the Times in a tweet, it’s a great paper. But if my 140 characters don’t allow for both? –I credit the writer.
If authors wrote as well as agents…remind me to do that post some day.
So if you’re tweeting about a post from La Gardner here, it’s important she get the credit, mais oui. Messenger over medium.
So why are handles better than names on Twitter?
On Twitter, a name just lies there. But a handle lights up.
Say “vegetable” to your French buddy. Then say “légume.” Right?
The Twitter system “speaks” those @-symbol handles. If you write @Porter_Anderson on Twitter:
Don’t pass up the amplification of the digital infrastructure.
Is it important to make your Twitter handle link to your twitter page in a post?
It’s not as important as simply writing out your Twitter handle with the @ symbol.
That sounds illogical. But it has to do with time.
When broadcasters like me find a great post of yours, we want to alert others to it. But we don’t have time to:
Search for your Twitter icon, that bluebird of helpfulness;
So my recommendation is that you make it as easy as possible for all of us to expand awareness of your work. Wear out your @-key.
Speak Twitter, think in Twitter-ese, use Twitter handles with names, so your platform can translate to the world what you’re doing.
Have you ever found a great post by an author and had to spend time searching for his or her Twitter handle? How important do you feel it is to credit writers in tweets? How fluent do you feel in Twitter-ese?
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Porter Anderson / @Porter_Anderson, BA, MA, MFA, is a Fellow with the National Critics Institute and has done special readings at the University of Bath, UK. As a journalist, he has worked with three networks of CNN, the Village Voice, and other media. He writes Thursday’s Writing on the Ether at JaneFriedman.com, and is a regular contributor to Writer Unboxed and Digital Book World’s Expert Publishing Blog.[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]