Top Ten Tuesday: Twitter

Top Ten Tuesday adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ceasedesist/4812981497/I have to admit that I love Twitter, but I use it more professionally—sharing links and resources with others and collecting the links and resources other share. Twitter is a great resource for teachers. I do love the way the Eleventh Doctor mutters “Twitter” whenever it comes up, though. I wonder if Twelve will like Twitter?

At any rate, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday concerns which authors or characters I’d like to see on Twitter. I’m going to do a 50/50 split of authors and characters, just to mix it up.

Authors

In no particular order, I wish I could see the following writers on Twitter:

  1. Oscar Wilde: His acerbic wit and penchant for the best bon mots would make him perfect for Twitter. He would be hilarious, catty, and fun.
  2. William Shakespeare: I wonder what the Bard could do with 140 characters. It would be interesting to see what topics he would choose to discuss, too.
  3. Emily Dickinson: Another one for interesting turns of phrase, but I suspect her account would be sort of like those friends who post “Vaguebook” status updates, and I doubt she would reply, retweet, or follow anyone.
  4. J.K. Rowling: She actually does have a Twitter account, but she never tweets. I wish she would. Wouldn’t it be fun if she answered fan questions and engaged with readers the way other writers like Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, and John Green do?
  5. F. Scott Fitzgerald: What a hell of a Twitter feed that would be to read, whether he was tweeting beautiful lines or dishing about the crazy shenanigans he and Zelda were up to.

Characters

In no particular order, I wish I could see the following characters on Twitter:

  1. Elizabeth Bennet of [amazon_link id=”0486284735″ target=”_blank” ]Pride and Prejudice[/amazon_link]: She’d be the most fun on Twitter. I don’t think she’d be as taciturn as Mr. Darcy. I would love to see what sorts of comments she would make.
  2. Puck: The impish sprite from [amazon_link id=”0743477545″ target=”_blank” ]A Midsummer Night’s Dream[/amazon_link] would probably have some fairly interesting commentary about the nature of humanity: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
  3. Bilbo Baggins of [amazon_link id=”0618002219″ target=”_blank” ]The Hobbit: or There and Back Again[/amazon_link]: I have so much affection for this guy. He’s funny. Wouldn’t it be great to see him complain about the Sackville-Bagginses? Even better, wouldn’t it be cool to read his exchanges with @GandalftheGrey?
  4. Albus Dumbledore: Another one for wise axioms perfect for Twitter. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to read his exchanges with @GandalftheGrey? (See what I did there?)
  5. Naturally @GandalftheGrey would have some interesting things to say.

Who would you like to see take to Twitter?

Monstrous Vermin

Sterility

I hate pests. Up until yesterday or the day before, I followed someone on Twitter who made book recommendations and linked to items for sale on Amazon. I have nothing against being an Amazon affiliate, obviously, as I am one myself. What does bother me is when folks use any sort of hard sell, pressure, or guilt as tactics to convince you to buy through their affiliate links. A simple link that announces you’re an Amazon affiliate and thanks you for buying books through your site is absolutely fine, and I might even be encouraged to help you out. A direct message sent to all your followers encouraging people to buy through your site and guilting said followers by mentioning selling through Amazon is a part time job for you, well, that’s just wrong. Times are hard, and I don’t begrudge folks trying to earn a buck, but it’s not the first time this person has used this tactic, and frankly the value of the book recommendations isn’t worth it to me. If I buy anything through an affiliate, it should be because I want to, and perhaps because they’ve made it easy for me. One thing you’ll never have to worry about me doing is pressuring or guilting anyone into buying books I link to through my Amazon affiliate code. I do, of course, thank you if you do. It helps keep me in books. But it’s just wrong for anyone to send a message to all their followers or all the folks in their email address book or Facebook friends asking that folks buy through you. Don’t you think? Or am I just touchy?

photo credit: Furryscaly

Reading Update: September 25, 2010

The Kindle Gazer, after Lilla Cabot PerryI am falling behind in my Everything Austen Reading Challenge, everyone. I set aside The House of the Seven Gables for now. I might still dip into it a little bit here and there, but I really need to finish some of the Austen-related reading I committed to. To that end, I picked up Syrie James’s novel The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. I finished the R.I.P. Challenge at my commitment level (two books), so I am going to try to finish two more and meet the challenge level for Peril the First—four books. The two books I’ve chosen are Dracula, My Love, also by Syrie James, and Wuthering Bites, by Sarah Gray. Wuthering Bites is, of course, a mashup of Wuthering Heights and a vampire story. If you have read this blog for a while, you’ll recall Wuthering Heights is my favorite book, so it will be a test of my sense of humor to see how I deal with Heathcliff as a vampire, but then, if you think about it, it’s not much of a stretch.

I’ve added a new plugin that allows you to share your Twitter handle when you comment. There is a box beneath the text box for entering your comment that invites you to input your Twitter username. You don’t need to enter the URL for your profile, just your username. It should save the information and will work each time you comment unless you change your Twitter username. If you don’t have Twitter, you can safely ignore it. I thought it might be a fun way for commenters to discover great new Twitter feeds to follow. If you prefer not to put your Twitter username in the space, feel free to leave it blank.

So what are you reading? How are the reading challenges going?

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Roundup: Reading News

Twitter and Facebook are great places to obtain news, depending on who you follow/friend. In the last couple of days, I have learned all the following:

Alice Hoffman Goes Nuts on Twitter

Social networking can be a great vehicle for artists to get closer to their fans. The glimpse into the lives of artists as people and to possibly even interact with those artists are important reasons why I think so many people follow celebrities on Twitter (full disclosure, I follow Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Wil Wheaton, Michael Ian Black, John Hodgman, Joe Hill, and Neil Gaiman on Twitter). Of course, I this sort of transparency is probably not a good thing if those glimpses into the lives of artists reveal them to be, well, jerks.

Gawker posted a story about writer Alice Hoffman, who was enraged by a lukewarm review of her work by Roberta Silman in The Boston Globe. It was reminicent of when Anne Rice freaked out on Amazon reviewers. Listen, as a writer myself, I know it doesn’t feel good for someone to criticize your work, but it’s going to happen. Not everyone is going to like everything you write. They just won’t. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Amazon reviewers rated Alice Hoffman’s book Blackbird House so highly. I really didn’t like it. To be honest, in terms of a more critical and accurate rating, I think the Goodreads rating is probably closer. I gave the novel three stars on Goodreads. The current ratings for the book at Amazon and Goodreads vary by approximately one star. File that information away for next time you get a book based on good Amazon reviews and find yourself disappointed (check Goodreads!).

What’s ridiculous about Hoffman’s infantile tirade is that she’s been writing for long enough that she should know criticism comes with the territory, which also means that not every review is going to be glowing. In fact, some might even be bad. The sad thing for Hoffman is seeing her public reaction will likely turn some readers off her works. I already didn’t like the one book I read, but I wouldn’t have ruled out reading another book. You know what though? I have now. She showed absolutely no class. If, as she claims, she was truly just disappointed that the reviewer gave away too much of the plot, then why not take the high road and say something like “Disappointed that Roberta Silman spoiled too much the plot in her review” and leave it at that? And cloaking her bad behavior under the guise of defending herself or feminism was just sad. I have no desire to support someone who acts like that with my purchases or even my patronage of her books in the library. She learned a tough lesson: anything that goes on the Web can’t really be deleted.

Update: Alice Hoffman issued what is, in my opinion, a weak apology for her Twitter rant. Anytime someone starts out by saying “I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion,” well, anything that follows just sounds insincere.

Second Update: If you want to see Alice Hoffman’s entire “Twitter meltdown,” download this PDF (Thanks, Steve!).

Twitter

I announced this on my education blog, but just in case you are not a reader over there, you can follow me on Twitter now if you like.