I am not the biggest fan of Twitter. I can only get work done when my internet is disconnected, and the idea of a "community" that requires constant input is both daunting and distracting. Still, a few months ago I signed up ... and quickly discovered that I am the worst Twitterer in the world.[1. Of course, Charlie Sheen has since won this title out from under me]
Case in point: last week I wrote the following message --
With hindsight, I can see that this is a bit, shall we say ... desperate? At the time, however, I was simply thinking "Gee, people post these kinds of messages all the time and then get a zillion followers -- I want a zillion followers!" I hit "tweet" and waited for success.
So how many new followers did I get?
Zero. None. Not even a spambot. In fact, I lost a follower.[1. It was a Thai restaurant from Minnesota ... why they were following me in the first place, I'll never know.] If there's a moral to this story, it's something about how I should never again be allowed near a computer.
Despite the shattering of my fragile ego, there has been one big upside to using Twitter: I've made connections with a number of interesting people in the children's book world -- people I wouldn't have met otherwise. For example, Deer Hill Elementary teacher Mike Lewis reached out and invited me to contribute a video to his school's annual Read Your Heart Out Day (warning: contains me in pajamas).
Another example is Share a Story - Shape a Future 2011. This is an annual literacy event hosted by a variety of children's book bloggers. My involvement was slightly accidental. A few weeks back I answered a call for photos of writers' notebooks from teacher-blogger Sarah Mulhern. I sent her a few photos of my old journals. Little did I know what I was getting into. You see, Sarah's "author notebook" post is a part of a massive event that includes dozens of teachers/librarians/writers/book lovers all over the world. The theme this year is "Unwrapping the Gift of Literacy," and each day will tackle a different topic:
MONDAY - The Power of a Book
TUESDAY: The Gift of Reading
WEDNESDAY: Unwrapping Literacy 2.0
THURSDAY: Keeping School from Interfering with the Gift of Literacy
FRIDAY: Literacy: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Once I figured out (through Twitter, of course) what this event was, I asked if I could join the fun. The coordinators are nice people and said "dive in!" I'll be posting related pieces this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In the meantime, check out posts about "the power of a book" at The Book Whisperer and Reading is Fundamental.