I read a lot of books, of every genre and every persuasion. I have a well-used library card, piles of books next to my bed (because my 6 bedside drawers are already full of books), two full book shelves and a bursting digital bookshelf on my kindle.
I also read exceptionally fast, the advantages of having a photographic memory, but sometimes I read too fast: you know those times when a story is so delicious that you want to indulge every eyeful of words like eating a delicious chocolate cake with slow mouthfuls. So I read 4-6 books at the same time. This way I can jump in and out of stories, lengthen out each delicious story morsel but still fill that gnawing craving for story. It also means I always have a story on the go at any time of day or night.
So I have decided to start a new Wednesday feature (I might miss a week here and there depending on how busy my own story-writing mode is going) on the blog called: Kim’s Kaffeeklatsch.
kaf·fee·klatsch (kf-klch, -kläch, kôf-)
Variant of coffee klatch.
kaf•fee•klatsch or kaf•fee klatsch (ˈkɑ fiˌklɑtʃ, -ˌklætʃ, ˈkɔ-) also coffee klatsch
n. a social gathering for informal conversation at which coffee is served.
[1885–90; < German; see coffee, klatsch]
Don't you just love that word: kaffeeklatsch ?
Good conversation, books and coffee…this is a good afternoon.
I also chose this word in a nod to my maternal side. You might not know it, but I am half German (yes I am fluent in German) and really there is no better description for this new fortnightly feature.
You see…this feature is not just about me: what books are in my reading pile or what coffee flavour I am drinking but also about You, my reader, my follower and my friend. Every 2nd Wednesday I am going to share with you what I am reading and what I am drinking, but I want to indulge in the "klatsch" of this feature: I want you to tell me what you are reading and what you are drinking each week.
So join me tomorrow for the debut of Kim’s Kaffeeklatsch to find out what I am reading and drinking this week…don’t forget to pour yourself some coffee and bring your books…let’s klatsch books and caffeine.
It’s all about the tweeting quality of your conversation…
Are you talking?
One of the most underused and abused of the social networking/media sites is Twitter. I will admit that Twitter completely overwhelmed me and baffled me when I first heard about it. Someone suggested I should sign up as the only way to understand Twitter is to dive right in. Well I signed up. I was lost. For the first couple of months my account remained inactive. So did the conversation. I was not talking to anyone on twitter so nobody knew I was there. I decided I needed to educate myself. I quizzed friends already on Twitter, I read up blog posts on Twitter and then I started a conversation. Someone tweeted something that interested me and I responded. Within seconds there was an echoing response from the tweeter and they had started following me. So I continued talking. Before I knew it I was involved in multiple conversations and had more than a few followers who I followed in turn.
Suddenly a lightbulb had been turned on and I could see the whole room. It was a room full of people talking and connecting over shared interests. I turned around and saw a whole lot of smaller groups. Over there, there was a crowd talking about publishing, just across from them another crowd spoke about music, just across from them another crowd spoke about politics. Turning around I also realised there were celebrities in the room but they didn’t have any “minders” or “publicists”, they were just people like you and I talking about things that interest them.
Twitter is a social tool that breaks down all barriers of fame, wealth, class, age, geography, language in one huge online room full of people having conversations. That is the trick of Twitter if there is a trick. You have to engage in conversation with another person. There is no way that being a wallflower is going to get you into Twitter. But in Twitter there is no need to be a wallflower because conversation is easy. All you need for a conversation is at least two people and a topic that connects them. That is the great secret of Twitter. You need to be part of the conversations in the room to be accepted, followed and friended.
Yes Twitter can be a great marketing tool in that you can tweet links to your blog – to draw in new readers – or you can tweet links to your upcoming products and a site where people can buy them. But if you are only tweeting links to blogs or tweeting product promotion and self-marketing, you have lost the point and the true charm of twitter.
Think of Twitter more as a cocktail party you have been invited to by an acquaintance. Why did they invite you? Did they invite you so that you can climb aboard a pedestal and promote who you are and what you do? Or did they invite you because you peeked their interest and they want to learn more about you, the individual, the person? When you think of Twitter in these terms you will see Twitter in a different light.
However there are so many different conversations going on in the rooms but you may want to leave the main party room and enter a smaller party room to zone in on one specific conversation/debate. This is when Twitter chats come in play or as they are known on Twitter as # (hash-tag chats). For instance if you are taking part in NaNoWriMo this month, if you sign up to a TweetChat account like tweet chat or TweetDeck and enter #NaNoWriMo, you will enter a room where everyone is chatting all things NaNoWriMo. To continue in this conversation, you tweet as normal but make sure that somewhere in each tweet there is the same #NaNoWriMo, this means that all your tweets will be seen by the people in the smaller #NaNoWriMo room.
As you explore more in Twitter chats you will realise that there will be regular chats in your industry throughout the week. Now for writers, twitter is a perfect hangout and brainstorming session with fellow wordsmiths. There are weekly chats on the craft of writing, on the marketing side, the creative side, the brainstorming side and the critiquing side. You just have to search them out. If you have not joined in on one of these chats, I urge you to do so. Not only will you meet many like-minded people but you will learn a lot too. On my writing blog, Wrestling the Muse, I have a page devoted to the different Twitter chats called #Twittertalk. On here you will find the most regular and popular twitter chats targeted towards writers. Try one of the chats out. You may just enjoy the conversation more than you thought and start understanding the unique charm that is Twitter.
I hope that this post breaks down Twitter in simple terms for you as one more great social media tool. Remember that people will take more notice of your blogs, websites, products and talent if they like talking to you anyway. If you can interest them on Twitter, they will follow you to your other places in social media. Try Twitter out if you have not had the courage to yet. If you have and have been overwhelmed, break it down. It is just a conversation after all. You have those all the time every day. Good Luck with your twittering.
Tell me how you find Twitter? Do you enjoy it? Has it baffled you? Will you give it a chance if you have not yet? I would love to hear about your TwitterTalk. Tell me something. Better yet: tweet me@last_lines or @AuthorKimKoning . I look forward to having many conversations with you in Twittertime. Don’t be shy. It is just people talking.
Join me here tomorrow for Part 3 on social media…Tomorrow we are going to talk blogging.