I have tweeted out 40000 tweets in the last 4 years and 4 months and I need a scapegoat.
That’s right. 5 million characters. Yes – I can count. Really it could be 5600000 characters but not all my tweets use all 140 characters so I am rounding down.
I needed to blame someone for this landmark number – I cannot be held accountable. For many non-tweeting readers this will seem a phenomenal amount of tweets. Some might even say a phenomenal waste of time. For me, it has turned my life around.
Previous to twitter I considered myself connected. I had Facebook, I had worked in hypermedia engineering research, I had run a virtual library and written HTML coding, I used ALIA elists, weRead book aggragator and subscribed to Fiction-L. I was there – ha! I was so faraway from there. I may have worked at these things, I may have known they existed but I did not engage with them. They were peripheral. Twitter immersed me to an online life.
@merejames is to blame.
In February 2009 I had myself booked in to go to the inaugural Australian Romance Readers Convention. My friend Meredith had come over and suggested I live tweet from this convention. “It’s a thing” she told me. She was right.
@Bookthingo is to blame.
Sometime in 2007 (? could it be earlier) I recommended some Thomas the Tank Engine books and a healthy dose of Suzanne Brockmann to a borrower called Kat Mayo. I have no idea if she enjoyed the Thomas books but Brockmann started our romance as librarian and borrower to dueling tweeps to friends that go on date nights. We both tweet and we both agree on the “vomit” book.
@cbishops is to blame.
One of my first follows and follow backs, my friend Chris Bishops. He was a serious business tweep. He tweeted serious digital media information links. I thought “I better tweet serious library information links”. We had opposing views, and long debates, on the role of libraries in the digital media world and publishing which kept my *snort* altruistic librarian self grounded. Chris passed away nearly two years ago yet I still can’t bring myself to unfollow him.
@oldbitey and @fangbooks are to blame.
The two/three of them. I have no idea when they started #badsongfriday and it has been several years since we played but they both wasted my Fridays. No housework was done, no reading, no cooking all in aim of trying to outdo each other with awful music. BEST FRIDAYS EVAH!
@Huzbah/@The_JohnElliott is to blame.
Best husband in the world. And best kids in the world. I think the three of them were more than happy for me to hangout on twitter while they watched rugby league without my whining that I was bored. And they also allow me to tweet out funny things they say.
Twitter introduced me to @SarahFrantz, @EricSelinger and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance in 2009. An idea twigged in me. Maybe, just maybe I could return to study romance fiction in libraries. I hadn’t considered it before our exchanges. I blame them too.
The readers I met put me to shame. I thought I read a lot but then I met online readers. They are a scary lot. The most awesome @MargReads. I am in awe of her. I love her blogs, I love her Library Loot event and I love that she has spent four years running one of the best online book discussion groups – the weekly South Pacific Book Chat #spbkchat. I blame Marg.
Actually, I blame you all. I blame everyone of the follows, unfollows and tweets and retweets over the past four years. You grabbed my attention and it has hardly wavered.
From blaming library engagement with @ellenforsyth, @janholmquist and @genrelibrarian to blaming romance tweeps @THRJessica, @VictoriaDahl, @Liz_Mc2, @JanetNorCal, @MerrianW, @AnnaCowan, @jodiMcA, @j_aallan who ask serious questions and discuss sparkly ballz, virgins, cacophony, chest hair, Abbey Girls and many other eyebrow raising topics. They are to blame.
How do I list all the other fabbo fabulosum tweeps that I have had countless conversations with? The wonderful tweeps I have met, several of whom have become dear friends. The authors, editors, bookshop owners, grammarians, publishers, teachers, librarians and fictional characters. I can’t do justice to them here. If I have not listed your name it is not from forgetfulness but for lack of space. I say go to my twitter page and follow all 540 of them for I blame you all.
I spent 2009 through to 2012 upping my reading ante. Going from a reasonable 50 books a year to a mind-boggling 365 last year. My print reading diminished yet the volume of news and journal reading I was reading via Twitter feeds was huge. Professionally, I was livetweeting all the seminars and conferences I was attending, I was doing reading challenges, like in April 2010 when I did a bookbinge month and read 23 books in 31 days and my children learnt that Brinner is a thing.
In 2010 I could no longer contain my ideas to tweets. The 140 characters were too restrictive. I turned to blogging. And then at the end of 2011 the blog was not enough. I returned to university to undertake a Masters by research at the University of Technology, Sydney. And dammit, that too was not enough. Next month, I am filling out all the paperwork to transfer from a masters program to a doctoral program.
I BLAME TWITTER.