Twitter authors, what gets on your nerves?

Paul Dorset (@jcx27), one of the most popular and prolific authors on Twitter, tweets from time to time about a habit that annoys him. It’s about folk who use the TrueTwit validation service, which makes you solve a captcha before they graciously agree to let you follow them.

I must say I’m on Paul’s side. Okay, there are loads of spammers out there, so I can see why the TrueTwits feel the way they do. But at least 10% of the follow requests I make result in TrueTwit interventions, which is pretty irritating. I’m still building my list of followers, so I grit my teeth and complete the infuriating captchas, but the day will come when I’ll give any new TrueTwits a miss and move on.

This mini-tirade makes me think about the few other gripes I have about Twitter authors. As I’ve said before on this blog, they’re a great bunch, very friendly and supportive. My only whines relate to some of their bios. For example, why do hundreds, maybe thousands, proclaim that they love Jesus or that Christ rules their lives? I don’t need or want to know that, though I’m a Christian. I don’t see any Arab, Muslim, Jewish or Buddhist authors trumpeting their faith in their bios.

And so to my last two bio gripes. The first is those folk who insist on telling us they are “geeks” or “nerds”. Why do we need to know that? Is it a boast or a lament? My final whine is about all the authors who tell us what their pet tipple is – cappuccino, latte, Earl Grey tea or whatever. Is that the best use they can make of their precious bio words?

Am I letting off too much steam? Please tell me what you think. I’d also love to hear of any gripes you have with fellow tweeters.


About Richard Louden

Maybe it was because languages were my thing but I loved writing at school and I've loved it ever since. Obviously, I hope others will enjoy reading what I write but, now that I am turning my hand to novels, what matters most to me is to write what, as a reader, I would like to read. As a journalist with UK papers, I've written widely on education, business, sport and law. In the creative writing field, I've written the scripts of two TV dramas (BBC and ITV), contributed sketches to TV and radio comedy shows and had short stories published in national anthologies. That doesn’t make me a novelist but I hope it gives me a push in the right direction.

Posted on October 15, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Nice post! – jcx27: A true believer in TrueTwit, Alien Religions, Geeks and Oolong tea addicts 😉

  2. My gripe is authors who use bots to continually follow and unfollow me, over and over again, in a transparent attempt to get me to follow them and boost their follower numbers. It’s irritating and insulting, and makes me less likely to follow that person, or to buy their book. Sorry to say, Richard, that I’m looking at you. 🙂 This behaviour is a misunderstanding/misuse of Twitter. Follow people if you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say, regardless of whether they follow you back, and expect others to do the same. Don’t just fake-follow to boost your own numbers. It’s undignified.

    • I’m not sure why you’re looking at me, Kitty. Apart from the occasional use of Just Unfollow to weed out my oldest non-followers, I’ve never used a bot or any other device to follow or unfollow anybody. I don’t follow willy-nilly in the hope of being followed back – if I did, I would have many more followers than I do. I exchange tweets with a lot of the people I follow and also retweet and favorite their tweets on a frequent basis. If you can clarify what I’m doing that is wrong or undignified, I’ll be happy to own up.

  3. Well, Richard, I’ve noticed that you’ve followed both my Twitter feeds (and then unfollowed a few days later) at least six times in the last six months to a year. That’s what bots do, so I’ve naturally assumed you’re using one of those programmes to gather followers. If I’m wrong, then forgive me, but it’s a strangely familiar pattern. I’m not singling you out – it happens all the time on Twitter. You just happened to ask what gripes authors have about other authors on Twitter – and that’s my answer! Personally, I don’t unfollow someone because they don’t follow me – I follow them if they have something worthwhile to say. And I don’t wish to be followed by people for the sake of it either – only if what I say is of interest to them.

    • Hi Kitty I’m mystified. I’ve never knowingly unfollowed anybody a few days later (honest!). Likewise, I’ve never used any programmes to gather Twitter followers. Any followers I get are obtained manually, one by one. I agree with you that bots like those you describe are a bad thing but I assure you I’ve never used one. I don’t even know the name of one!

  4. In that case, Richard, I apologise. Twitter and its associated Apps sometimes seem to have a life and a will of their own, as I’ve found out myself. All the best with your novel.

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