Thursday, February 18, 2010

Working the social media thing and not getting it

So... I joined Twitter tonight, and as I'm sure about 80 million people have said before me,

  1. I don't get Twitter;
  2. I don't know how to work Twitter.
I think I know my username (@JLindsayCooks - because "UntrainedGourmet" has one too many letters for precious character-counting Twitter and because I want to use it to promote my food blogging and writing for Examiner.com), but I'm not even sure of that. I have no followers and don't really have a clue of how to find people on there that I know. In fact, I don't know anyone that uses Twitter. If you use Twitter and want to keep up with what I'm doing or in any other way think I'm awesome enough to follow, come follow me. It will be fun. I'll be eternally grateful. You get bonus points if you tell me
  1. What's the magic of Twitter;
  2. How to work Twitter.
I'm not a total moron (I've got a Ph.D. in something hard like math), so I know the basics of how Twitter works, but what I can't figure out is how you get followers. I found some guides on the web that told me to give a book away or something. I don't have any books that I can e-mail you (unless you want a copy of my dissertation -- BORING!!!), so that's out. Luckily, I'm funny as hell, so following me will be totally worth it. As a bonus, I'll usually be talking about what I'm cooking or eating, which will be awesome.

While I'm sitting here confused about the role of social internet media in the "promoting myself online" world, I'll point out that StumbleUpon, which you can clearly see I'm a part of, is one of the biggest mysteries on the internet. Seriously. I submit some good work to them; no one clicks. I click on some stuff; no one clicks. I submit something else; 70 people click (?). I submit something else that I think is better; 23 people click. I submit something else I don't think is quite as good; 800 people click (???). I submit other stuff; no one clicks. I'm totally mystified. I don't have time to go "Stumble around the internet" for hours a day clicking on bullshit that I don't care about or even that I think is neat, and I don't really get how it's any form of social outlet.

The big confusing one is Digg. I tried to play their game. I don't get it either (less than I get Twitter). L.a.m.e. Social media confuses the hell out of me. Why can't internet marketing be a little less confusing?

In other news, particularly the kind that pertains to food, I decided that my Southern-Chinese fusion recipes (bacon fried rice and peanut fried rice) are a little too hee-haw to publish on Examiner, so I wrote an article about Ugli fruit instead because it's like a super-weird, gourmet tangerine. I also told folks the secret to my flatbreads, which apparently everyone loves. Furthermore, I got hired on by the Examiner team to write articles under a second title: Knoxville Coffee Examiner (in addition to my regular gig as Knoxville Gourmet Food Examiner), and I wrote my first article for them today, a long piece about the loveliness and use of a French press, the rarity in use of which still surprises me.

Ah well, at least I understand how blogging works. I get to come on here, say my piece, pretend people read it, and feel great about myself and all of the cool links I get to plant. If you're in the mood to humor me, check out the links, subscribe to my feeds on Examiner, follow me on Twitter, and Stumble everything I write, though I guess shameless paragraphs like this don't make that kind of thing happen.

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