The Collective Intelligence of the Twitterverse

On a lazy Friday afternoon in the middle of August, just 10 years into the new millennium—by which I mean, yesterday—I joined Twitter.

It was a big day for me, joining Twitter.  And my life hasn’t been the same since.  Mainly because, before yesterday, I wasn’t a tweeter (is “tweeter” even the appropriate noun? For an English professor, I’m not really much of a grammarian).  I wasn’t really sure I saw the point in it.  But, as an author, it occurred to me (as it has to a couple million other artists looking to bring awareness to their work) that Twitter might very well be something I should look into.

Since yesterday—which, again, was my first day on Twitter—I’ve tweeted exactly eight times.  Is that too much?  Not enough?  Seriously, I have no idea.  Of those eight, half are original tweets, while the other half are re-tweets.  And as of this blog post, I am following 103 tweeters.  Is that appropriate?  Am I entering obsessive stalker category?  Or am I underachieving?  As for followers, I’ve acquired 13 since yesterday.  Am I lighting the world on fire?  Or should I be horribly ashamed?

While my primary purpose for being on Twitter is to bring attention to my writing, I don’t want to be the asshole who only promotes stuff.  But when it does come time to slip a shameless plug into Twitter, do I couch it in what appears to be a 140-character witticism or is that an insult to the collective intelligence of the Twitterverse?

In fact, if it hasn’t become clear enough already, the primary purpose of this particular blog post is to write about Twitter simply so I can tweet it.  In this way, I told myself, I could tweet a link to my website, thereby promoting myself, but because the medium by which I would be delivering it would be directly related to said link, it would shield me from any perceived doucheiness.

Now, of course, you may be thinking: If he tells us what he is trying to get away with, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trying to get away with it?  The answer, of course, is yes.  I have, in fact, defeated my own purpose.  And, you may be glad to hear, I’ve done so out of respect for you.  I knew, long before I hatched my scheme, that you were too smart to fall for it.  Therefore, I decided to fill you in on it.  In this way I’d be offering a nod and a wink in your direction, my subtle little way of making you aware of my awareness of your awareness.

But, more than that, it is my attempt to appeal to your sense of ethos.  I want to show you that I am an honest guy.  I’m not here to pull the wool over your eyes.  I’m not trying to get away with anything.  If I say it, you can believe it.  So let me be even more upfront with you: Not only am I writing a post on my website for the sole purpose of promoting myself on Twitter, but I’ll also be posting this very same link on Facebook.  So, yes, I’ll be engaging in a virtual orgy of social-networking.  Shameful, I know.

In the end, it is my sincere belief that the men and women of the Twitterverse are a good people. A kind people. A forgiving people.

So, my fellow Twitteronians, I beg your forgiveness for this and any other future offenses to your world.