Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to find yourself blocked from my twitter feed

It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that I am surly, curmudgeonly, and quick to bite any fingers trying to pet me through my cage door.


Twitter is an amazing tool for social networking and used properly you can find yourself with a cordial relationship even with the surliest in the twitterverse.

Used properly as *I* define it of course.  These are not hard and fast rules for what not to do on Twitter (yes they are) but they are the things that get you blocked by me:


1. Block your own twitter feed. I go through my list of followers every so often, usually late at night when I'm most surly, and I block everyone who has a padlock next to their name.  I won't ask permission to follow you; you don't need mine to follow me.  If you block your twitter feed I see no reason you should get to come to my party in the invisibility cloak.


2.  Ask me housekeeping questions about queries or submissions.  Twitter is a public forum.  I'm not going to tell you to take a fucking hike in public.  I'm just going to remove you from my line of sight.


3. Ask me to read your book, your query or go to your website or follow you.  It's an even easier decision when your ENTIRE twitter feed is asking people to read your work or follow you. Again: Twitter is a public forum.  I'm not going to tell you to take a fucking hike in public.  I'm just going to remove you from my line of sight.

4. Your twitter feed appears to be you retweeting everything I say. And ONLY that. Write your own damn tweets.


5. Including @janet_reid in tweets that have nothing to do with me. I see all those. If you're using that strategy to include me in a conversation, it doesn't work.


If you want my attention on twitter, you're MUCH more likely to get it organically. Follow my clients, and engage them in conversation such that I see who they are talking to.

There are at least two writers I first fixed my beady eye on solely because @byseanferrell and @jeffreysomers talked to them and liked them.  

Twitter is the long game. Play wisely.

31 comments:

kathrineroid said...

Heheh... and to think, that's in addition to the regular things that will get a person blocked or unfollowed. Having recently followed you, nice to know I passed the gauntlet. ;)

Personally, I don't block the locked folks. Also don't follow them. But that's just me. I wonder what other people's opinions are?

Lisa Shafer said...

I love your comment about people showing up in invisibility cloaks. Yeah, block the suckers.
I wish I could do that on blogger. I hate having followers that don't show up. Seriously, anyone can read my blogs, but I wish I could block people from adding themselves as followers when I can't even see their little icons. It's like having stalkers. Ugh.

magolla said...

I went to Twitter to stalk, er, follow @JanetReid . . . and realized that I already AM following you. Guess I'm not on Twitter much.

Deb said...

Ha! On a related note, may I add that if your followers include authors, NEVER post that you are looking for something to read?

Lavender Writer said...

Just one more example of why I follow you (not stalk you - oh please, I'm too busy rewriting my query). You make me LAUGH. Out Loud. Though I refuse to write LOL. Even though I just wrote LOL. Thank you for your humor.

Graeme Smith said...

Lady Shark

Heh. Risks life - you missed off 'Being an Idiot'... :-P.

Carol Saller said...

I also knock people off who post too often. Some tweet constantly and clog up the stream! I almost never reject someone who posts only rarely.

Lydia Sharp said...

oh, yes, #5. That happens to me, too. I haven't blocked anyone because of it, but I don't reply to them, either.

In a way it's nice to know people want to include you in a conversation. But in a way it's also really creepy/annoying...

I also don't get the point of locking your tweets. If what you're saying is SO secret, get off the f*cking Internet and write it in a journal.

Sharon Cullen said...

Constant political tweets complaining about this and that will get you blocked on my feed. I don't care what political party you're from, I'm not on Twitter for that and it makes me uncomfortable.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

It's not rocket science. Be polite, professional & don't tweet drunk. The trick is to do more for others than you do for yourself. The online world is smaller than we think. Get noticed for the right reasons. What the hell's happened to common sense & respect? I have a wonderful story to share about twitter, but it's not official yet. Play nice & you'll be noticed.

Empress Awesome said...

Now watch everyone start chatting it up with your clients.

I, on the other hand, will chat it up with YOUR Twitter BFFs while I'm watching educational shark shows. That will really show you I care.

Colin Smith said...

Thanks for the tips, Janet. Though I don't think I'm likely to commit any of these Twitter mistakes, I appreciate any and all tips on using Twitter effectively.

Ali Trotta said...

I dislike it, too, when someone follows me, but has a private profile. I block them, because it's creepy.

Though I deal with it less often than you do, there's a certain type of promotion that bugs me. When it's just a blanket "buy my [book etc]" tweet, I get annoyed. If it's a clever tweet, I'm more inclined to look.

Anyway, I liked this post.

Peter D. Shapiro said...

I confess to a version of Offense #3 which may be why I am a recent blockee, i.e., noting in a Reply the availability on Amazon & BN.com of Ghosts on the Red Line, a new ghost & suspense novel about visitations on Boston's major subway line. On the other hand, let's face it, everyone has an angle, even grumpy literary agents. Note for example the list of clients' works displayed to the right of this blog.

It is my impression that Ms. Reid is passionate about her profession, her writers, and books. She is generous with her time & insights and is entitled to block anyone she wants from her own Twitter feed, even though on occasion she might have found his reply comments to be of middling interest.

ryan field said...

I hate the political tweets. I hate them on all social networks.

And I'm not too fond of the private messaging either. I have an e-mail address. I have a blog with an open comment thread that welcomes anonymous comments, too. I honestly don't have time for pm's. Last week I had a pm from twitter that turned out to be a virus. I didn't click it; I know better. But I'm sure plenty did and it cost them a small fortune.

Lorenda said...

Sharon - I'm with you on this. I've recently removed a couple of biggish name authors because frankly I was sick of hearing them complain. At least TRY to find something happy in your day.

And yes, I'm aware of the irony of this post. So I'll take my own advice. "Today was a beautiful day!"

Anita said...

This is my question: When a literary agent tweets something, is it considered weird of me to reply? Sometimes I have something I want to add to the conversation, but I don't know if the agent will think I'm nuts if I reply. Like, "Who do you think you are, replying to the likes of me?"

word verification: oilyhos (Hah!)

Marty said...

Note to self... DO NOT piss off Janet Reed!

Janet Reid said...

Anita, I think replies are what makes Twitter fun. I have crowdsourced fact checking a novel and asked for help on a myriad of other issues.

I'm glad to talk to people. I just don't want to talk about their queries, or what I'm looking for "housekeeping" kinds of things.

And "being weird" doesn't get you blocked. I may not reply, but I'm not going to block you.

Blocking is for people that I just don't want to deal with...evah.

Janet Reid said...

Who's Janet Reed?

magolla said...

*snort* Had to double check that I didn't make that particular boo-boo. HA! It wasn't me . . . this time. :-)

Marsha Sigman said...

LOL. Sometimes this blog is the only thing that gets me through the morning. And a huge pot of coffee.

I'm trying to be more consistent with Twitter but I'm sure I miss a lot of great conversations. I like to follow industry people who are funny, smart, and maybe a little sarcastic.

Which doesn't really include Ian Somerhalder but he gets a pass 'cause he's pretty.

Empress Awesome said...

Marsha-- You're so right! I tried to follow Ian because he's pretty and sweet, but he's not so entertaining when it comes to the tweets. Adam Levine is another story, though-- it's so much fun to read what goes on in his head. Plus he looks like my bf (who doesn't have a twitter) so I feel like the stalking is justified.

jesse said...

I know pub house keeping tips are a faux paus, but who else am I going to ask about getting blood and sour mix out of sharkskin?

Mystery Robin said...

I predict lots of new followers for @byseanferrell and @jeffreysomers...

Lynn(e) said...

I appreciate that you used the f-bomb. It made my heart smile :)

Michael S said...

I had a person in my feed that did the whole "promote book in every god damn tweet" thing. It drove me insane. He lasted like 2 days before I couldent take another blast about the book anymore and I removed him.
People who dont know how to use social networking sites drive me nuts.

*Growl*

Peter D. Shapiro said...

Michael S, when you write a book for which you'd like a reader or two, or as a performer you are in a production that would benefit from audience butts on seats, you'll growl a different tune. Even famous and outstanding agents like Ms. Reid share with her blog's visitors the images of her clients' book covers and their ecstatic blurbs. http://bit.ly/nGGGQC

Terri Coop said...

My biggest wish for Twitter is something akin to the "like" button. Gazillions of times I would like to acknowledge something as interesting while not doing a retweet or inserting myself into the conversation.

Heather Wardell said...

Peter, I hope Michael S does not growl a different tune. He's absolutely right that promoting yourself in every tweet is terribly annoying. And I have eight books for which I would like readers, and I find that people are more interested in reading my books when I chat with them than when I do the digital equivalent of standing on a street corner wearing a sandwich board shrieking at them.

Hannah said...

That definitely explains why you blocked me four years ago! However, considering I was fourteen at the time, I don't blame myself for having had a private account. Oh well.