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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

Why Twitter Trumps Facebook


I don't have a smart phone. Expression of regret. This significantly limits my social media time to about five minutes a day, but even with only that, I now prefer to spend them on Twitter. Here's why.

Facebook (which I joined while in grad school) is primarily a keeping-tabs-on-people device. I loved how many people I was able to reconnect with, and I still appreciate the connectedness that Facebook provides. It's there that I post a few pictures after returning from a trip so my friends and relatives can see what I've been up to, and I likewise enjoy scanning my feed for the pics my friends have posted. Otherwise I would probably have no idea who of them are getting married, having new babies, or vacationing in the same places I am. (I recently saw on FB that my aunt and uncle in Oregon were going to be in DC the same time I was, so we met up.)

Twitter is likewise a connection vehicle, but it has the added benefit of actually being useful; of actually making you better and leaving you more informed on subjects you find interesting. Granted, I'm a new user who has admitted to only spending a few moments logged in each day, but I am constantly amazed at both how valuable and useful I find the content that the people I follow post. These people are agents, authors, publishers, readers. Most of their very livelihoods center around books and writing, and even down to the writerly humor, I eat it all up and then want more. I only hope that one day I can be as helpful to followers. I also hope one day to actually have followers. Maybe it takes more than five minutes a day. And maybe I need a smart phone.


Lessons from Tristan Prettyman


It's hard to call her a newcomer when she's got a few albums out there already, yet I doubt most people have heard of her until now. I only heard about her (earlier this year) because someone introduced me to her music. And now I've seen her twice in concert and find that I like her sound better than most other performers I'm hearing these days. And this is something I think about a lot; this whole idea of an artist pounding the pavement for years and eventually gaining enough momentum to have a following. It's something few I'd-really-like-to-be-a-rock-star dreamers achieve, so when I see it happening, I can't help but applaud. I've enjoyed watching the same thing happen to Neon Trees. I attended the same university (at the same time) as their drummer, and seeing her and her band mates play show after show in that university town, I always admired their persistence when the odds of industry success were pretty slim. And look at them now.

After her performance last night, Tristan greeted each and every person who wanted to meet her. The line snaked through the lobby, and she took the time to sign every autograph, take each picture, and have a host of conversations with chatty fans. Not every artist does this. Heck, not ANY artists do this. Granted, she's not exactly an A-lister, so it's actually feasible for her to do this and not be signing autographs for days straight. But especially when you are toward the starting end of building your following, think about how important it is to put in this effort. Now each one of those people who she met last night will fill their Twitter and Facebook pages with their "me and Tristan" pics and tell everyone about how gracious and friendly she was. They are super-fans in the making.

Of course while standing in line I was fantasizing about someday having a line of people waiting to meet me, even though right now I can usually count on one hand the number of people (who I don't already know) who come to my book signings specifically to see me. It's pretty sad. And I'll probably never have the following that Tristan has, although in my defense, authors are far less glamorous than performers, and let's not forget that I don't do this full time. As much as I would like to. At any rate, last night was a great show, and it makes me happy to see others realizing life-long dreams. Not that doing a show in Cleveland is the dream, but doing a show anywhere and knowing there will be people lined up to meet you, to buy your stuff, and to write sappy blog posts about it the next day. That, my friends, is the dream.