Last week, I mentioned that I had passed my one-year anniversary of joining Twitter. To commemorate this important landmark, I thought I'd highlight a few of Twitter's benefits, in no particular order:
Research and Advice
-I was working on a book and the question arose as to whether students in an illustration set during gym class should be wearing gym clothes or their regular school clothes. The students were in third grade. I sent out a Tweet, and within 20 minutes had received over six responses from around the country saying that third graders don't change into gym clothes.
-I asked for recommendations for iPhone apps, and received lots of great tips, including Lose It, Scramble 2, and Paper Toss.
-discovered a new poutine restaurant in NYC after seeing someone tweet a picture of their almost-consumed poutine.
-after I took a picture of my soup dumpling from Joe's Shanghai, an author asked where it was from, and then she went and tried it out.
-an author saw my Tweet about doing the MS Ride--it turned out that her mother suffers from multiple sclerosis, and so she, her brother, and her father all donated to the cause. I received at least one other unrelated donation as a result of my Tweet. (BTW, I'm doing the ride again this year, you can donate here. My goal is to raise $550, and ride 50 miles. Please sponsor me!)
-I've found two interns through Twitter--in both cases, someone saw my Tweet and then referred a candidate to me. I've actually found many candidates through Twitter!
-We've also hired two editorial assistants who have come directly or indirectly via one of my tweets on Twitter.
-I interact with other editors, agents, authors, illustrators, librarians, etc. via Twitter.
-I participate occasionally in several different Twitter chats, including #Yalitchat and #kidlitchat.
-I went to a Tweet-up at ALA Midwinter.
News (publishing and otherwise)
-I follow news people and magazines (Slate.com, NYTimes, PW, SLJ, Entertainment Weekly, Gothamist, Roger Ebert, etc.), and follow links and headlines.
-I know very quickly which celebrity has died (or is rumored to have died). Of particular note this past year: Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson, and Britney Murphy.
-I tweet reviews, awards, and other good news about the books I edit (and other books I love)
-I've set up an automatic tweet when a new post is up on both my personal blog, and the Blue Rose Girls. Oftentimes, seeing my own update on Twitter has alerted me to the fact that one of my fellow Blue Rose Girls has posted something new!
-I helped organize and participated in a Twitter chat in honor of the paperback release of Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd using the hashtag #geektastic.
Keeping up with friends/Entertainment
-this is yet another way to know what my friends are up to, and vice versa.
-I love tweeting about events and reading other people's tweets who I know are watching/experiencing the same thing: for example, the season finale of Dexter, or an awards show like the Oscars or Grammys.
Creating a record
-While writing this post, I went back to a site where I've archived all of my Tweets. As I Tweeted last night, I found myself sucked in--it was like reading an old journal, except the entries are much shorter, of course! I loved reading my tweets from my Japan and Hong Kong trip last year.
-I've tweeted several live events, such as the Printz Awards, Happyface book launch party, and Children's Choice Awards.
Twitter isn't for everyone, but I love it. Although I'll admit, I'm perhaps just a wee bit addicted and spend a little more time checking Twitter than I should. But if you haven't tried Twitter, I'd suggest at least checking it out. I have a feeling it'll be around for a while. And who knows what benefits you'll find--others have found all sorts of uses for Twitter. Some people have even used Twitter to lose weight!