Seven Rules for a Great Twitter Bio?
I’ve been active on Twitter now for a year. My handle is older than that – I joined in January 2015 to read something referenced on Facebook and couldn’t find my way around. So, I quickly bailed, thinking it was shit for the birds. (No, I’m not a dad. Yes, I’m here all night.) Luckily, Twitter held my account, just waiting for me to try again. Twitter’s very altruistic like that. Yes, Sheldon, that’s sarcasm.
Anyway, in my year on Twitter, I’ve learned a lot of things. Some of it is even useful. Some…not so much. But I’m not here to preach Twitter lessons – at least not my Twitter lessons.
Somebody else, namely Neil Patel, on Buffer.com put together the 7 Key Ingredients to a Great Twitter Bio (https://buffer.com/resources/how-to-create-powerful-twitter-bio/ ). His seven ingredients were published in 2014. I am here to sadly report that there are countless Tweeters not abiding by the seven ingredients. Okay, that’s a lie. I’m sure they can be counted. (I’m one…) Perhaps Elon will undertake a formal tally and then force-feed some Tweeters the ingredients.
I can hear someone saying, “They’re not called Tweeters.” Indeed, they are, Gretchen. In fact, according to Reuters, I qualify as a “heavy Tweeter.” For those of you who just made a comment on my weight, shame on you, have you no imagination? THAT’s the best you can do? Anyway, a “heavy Tweeter” is someone who logs on six or seven days a week and tweets about three or four times a week. Well, actually, I tweet more than four times a week. Perhaps that makes me a “Neutron Star Tweeter.” (Don’t bother googling it. It’s not a thing. Yet. Maybe, though, you should google “neutron star” – it’s fairly interesting…)
If that doesn’t convince you, Gretchen, that Twitter users are called Tweeters, google “Are Twitter users called Tweeters?” The immediate answer: “A person who Tweets can be called a Tweeter.” I’m not sure it’s legit to capitalize the verb “tweets,” but I’m not wearing my Grammar Police hat at the moment
But, I digress (one of those phrases I try to use as often as I can). So, anyways. . .where was I? Oh, yes, the seven ingredients. Wait before we get to them, please keep in mind a Twitter bio is limited to 160 characters. Okay, here goes:
It’s accurate. Tell what you really do or are.
I got this one. It would be hard to fail since it’s pretty self-explanatory. And, yet, there are these gems:
Proud thinker. I’m not sure, but I think someone set the bar too low.
Orhtopedic/ medical doctor. The typo is not mine. It was made by the Tweeter. The tweets do not authenticate the bio…
Entrepreneur. Gamer. Coffee maven. Bacon trailblazer. Travel evangelist. Music lover. Zombie nerd. Food specialist. Soooo many people on Twitter are bacon and beer trailblazers. What exactly does it take to blaze a trail with bacon?
Journalist Union Chairman. Amnesty International Human Rights Defender & 4-Awarded United Nations Staff. The little known secret about the Twitterverse: there are thousands of people who are high-ranking United Nations officials within it. Unlike this guy, they’re usually humanitarian doctors. Or international surgeons. Actually, it’s not such a secret – if you’re on Twitter for a week, you run into many of the United Nations crowd. Remarkably, every United Nations doctor, surgeon, and chairman who follows me is middle-aged or a little older and male.
I am seeking for imperfect gentle woman. I think there’s a malfunction in the communicator device. Quick, someone perform a level 3 diagnostic!
Board Certified Nato Neurosurgeon & Functional Neurosurgeon and Coordinator of the Microsurgical A Dad Eat healthy Fitness A Traveler. NATO doctors are all the rage, too, as are naval admirals and 4-star generals. I don’t know why I don’t just go ahead and grab one of these incredible catches.
It’s exciting. Make it sound cool. Because it is.
My bio is not exciting. There. Is that the first step to fixing it? Perhaps…but I do think it sounds cooler than some…
Never look down on anyone, because you don’t know tomorrow, and believe in yourself okay. Moving on.
Businessman. So very many businessmen. Nothing more to them than that they’re businessmen. That is until you’re stupid enough to follow back. Then the DMs with sweet, badly-spelled nothings begin.
It’s targeted. Attract people like yourself.
I started to say I nailed this one because a lot of fellow writers follow me. But, so do bots, cryptocurrency evangelists, one lady selling nail services in Paraguay, generals, admirals, people devoted to creating a blue wave, people devoted to promoting a red wave, six different
Keanu Reeves and bacon trailblazers.
Let’s be happy with what we have Life is simple, it’s the world that complicates it. I don’t even know what to say, other than I guess the Tweeter wasn’t targeting people like me.
Hello. In the normal world, a bio of “Hello” would not seem to be targeted. In fact, it would seem to be general to the point of being vague. In the Twitterverse, however, it seems to signal porn. Lots and lots of porn. Similarly, “Looking to meet new friends” can also mean porn, but not always. It’s kinda tricky. It can also mean foreign men trying to find an American sugar mama.
<Nationality> who can care about anything in life hope you live well. Calling out a whole nationality of people seems to me to both be targeted and not targeted. The message itself is baffling.
It’s flattering. Tell about your accomplishments.
I guess I failed this one. But, again I’m not alone…
Always hate will find a way. Uhm…
Passionate. Okay, well, congratulations on that.
Talk about magic! Well, there’s no conceit in this guy’s family ‘cause he got it all. (Oh, Gretchen, do I have to explain everything to you? He got all the conceit. <sigh>)
Sparkling! Uhm, same guy two different Twitter handles, perhaps?
I’m nobody. I made the mistake once of trying to be nice to a person whose bio said “I’m nobody” after he followed me and said hello. Oh, he was somebody. Somebody trying to play upon other Tweeter’s heartstrings with his hangdog bio so that later he could attempt to play upon her pursestrings. Go ahead and be nobody.
It’s humanizing. Prove that you’re legit.
For the record, I am legit. I promise I am not a bot, or a United Nations, 4-star General humanitarian surgeon.
We deserve happiness. I’ve seen this multiple times. Always on protected accounts with American in the names. I’m thinking it’s one of two things: 1) a bot waiting to inundate my inbox with bullshit; or 2) a secret code for some Q-anon subversion. Either way, not biting.
I’m a bot. Well, not humanizing, but definitely legit – legitly a bot. I appreciate when they self-identify,
It’s intriguing. Invite people to follow you.
Again, I failed. Well, except I think the “…yet” at the end of my bio (before the DM warning) might be a little intriguing. Yes? Okay, maybe not. Apparently, it’s hard to be intriguing, which might explain all the bacon and beer trailblazers.
Single. Amazingly enough, a lot of people share this same bio. The mind boggles.
A joy it will be one day, perhaps to remember even this. Maybe this should be an example of how to meet this rule because I have to admit I want to know what the hell “this” is. Yes, yes, Gretchen, I know it’s a quote from The Aeneid. But, how does it apply to their bios – oh, did I mention there are multiple people with this quote as their bios? And, what about their lives is so epic to be boiled down to a haunting line from The Aeneid? Inquiring minds want to know!
Loving Nature. So, uhm, does it mean he’s a nature lover, or he has a loving nature. Or, he likes to do his loving out in nature. Perhaps intriguing, but I’m not asking.
It’s connected. Use hashtags, @s, or links.
I threw in a hashtag and the link to my webpage. Yay me!
I prefer serious relationship. #proudsingle #lookingforman. The article doesn’t say this, because who would really think it necessary, but, perhaps you should make sure your hashtags go together when you put them in your bio. I’m looking for something serious. I’m proud to be single. I’m looking for a man. Maybe better get your personalities together before writing your bio, Sybil.
I think I got 2.5 out of the seven. Maybe I’ll rewrite my bio. I hate writing bios. Maybe it’s good enough. Or, maybe, just maybe, I’ll say I’m a bacon trailblazer. If you have ideas, let me know.
In other news…
Well, Elon’s in charge now. Word on Wall Street is that, at this point, Twitter’s only worth half of what he paid for it. Consequently, he may no longer be the world’s richest man. Are you feeling sorry for him? I remain a little disappointed that he made such a poor deal to begin with, but I’m optimistic that he will turn a turd into a gem…or at least a toadstool.
Some advertisers have departed – not necessarily due to Elon – and he’s said he’s looking for ways to make up the revenue, including charging high-profile people for their blue check marks. He floated charging $20/month for the checkmark. Then after Stephen King called him Tom Sawyer (on Twitter, of course), he dropped the price to $8. Unfortunately, blue check marks don’t mean much as Valerie Bertinelli proved to the world when she changed the public name of her verified account to “Elon Musk” and gently trolled him with it. Brilliant! I love her!
He’s only been in a short time but some changes are readily evident. Hate speech is up, mostly because our boy fired just about everybody who was monitoring those kinds of things.
Looks like maybe the restrictions on following too many people too quickly may be looser, too. That’s a strange result given Elon’s fit over the number of bots in the Twitterverse. Perhaps it’s because the Tesla engineers he put to sniffing Twitter’s code have a more technically advanced method of detecting bots. Or, perhaps, like the hate speech increase, it’s because our boy eliminated too many people from the payroll without a plan for covering their duties.
Another event that occurred shortly after Elon took over: Amber Heard deleted her account. I don’t know if his takeover has a causal relationship to her departure, and I don’t much care. I simply say, good riddance.
The ride is just beginning – I only hope it’s not on Tesla autopilot…
Book Review: The Memories of Eskar Wilde by E.H. Wilde
If you can suspend your disbelief at some fantastical aspects of this story (and, I suggest that you do so), you will enjoy a marvelously told tale full of intrigue in The Memories of Eskar Wilde.
Eskar is the narrator, and at the time he’s telling the tale, he’s just turned eighteen. His story, however, starts much earlier – going back to his earliest memories with his parents Gabriel and Sascha. It’s when he reaches his twelfth year that the action truly begins. While on a business trip to France, Gabriel is killed in a hit-and-run accident (or is it?) in Paris. Eskar and his mother immediately fly from their home in Australia to France to see to his father’s affairs there.
Included in those affairs is the recent purchase of a “fixer-upper” estate in the south of France. Once Eskar and Sascha arrive at the estate, Clos des Seps, they decide to delay their return home. Eskar becomes driven to learn the secrets of his father’s life, and his best friends aid him in unraveling the mystery of his father’s attachment to France.
Here’s where we get to the fantastical aspects of the story. One of Eskar’s best friends is a cat that may or may not be the reincarnation of his father. Eskar and others ask the cat’s opinions – no, the cat doesn’t actually speak, but he makes his opinions known. The cat goes everywhere with Eskar and is accepted in fine dining establishments throughout Paris.
In addition to the cat, for a period of time, Eskar reports seeing and conversing with his father’s ghost. Everyone takes that in stride when he tells them about it.
But the most fantastical aspect of all is Eskar, himself. At twelve years old, he’s not heretofore had the presence of mind to understand that his father’s profession would not require travel to France and has not noticed the family bodyguard who’s apparently been around his whole life, but he’s an expert on wine and French cooking and is a prodigy on the piano. He runs around Paris, making reservations for himself and his thirteen-year-old friend, at fine restaurants, making small talk smoothly in French with people he encounters along the way. In my opinion, this is all highly questionable for a boy of twelve. I enjoyed the education I received on wine and food pairings and Paris, but it would have been more believable from someone older.
But, as I suggested at the top of this review, I suspended my disbelief because the tale itself is outstanding and is so masterfully told. Against that reality is overrated. E.H. Wilde, if indeed that is his name, is a virtuoso of the written word, but even more impressive, he’s a magical weaver of intrigue. There are numerous twists and turns, and he keeps them all on track, closing the loop on every single thread. And, he chose (wisely) not to tie everything up in a happily-ever-after bow at the end. He lays hints that perhaps, over time, everyone may get their hearts’ desires, but he doesn’t force it. Eskar, after all, is only eighteen, and his father’s only been gone six years. It’s not time yet for any happily ever afters.
I heartily recommend this book for readers of all ages!
Short Story: The Moonlight Sonata Challenge – Part I
Backstage, Lily felt the old familiar butterflies as she heard the orchestra begin to tune. As she always did before a performance, she said quietly to herself, “I am Lily Gabriela Machera-Davies,” and thought back to her first recital almost 20 years before.
* * *
When her instructor, Mrs. Reddy, introduced her, Lily froze. Her legs wouldn’t have taken her out onto the stage if she wanted them to, and she definitely did not want them to. Mrs. Reddy said her name again, expectantly; Lily did not move. Mrs. Reddy repeated her name a third time. Robbie whispered loudly behind her, “Get out there!” Suddenly unfrozen, Lily bolted down the stage steps and out the door into the hallway. Moments later her father found her there in her beautiful purple and black recital dress, sitting on the floor against the wall, her knees drawn to her chest.
“Lily,” he said, the concern evident in his voice. “What’s the matter? Are you all right? Are you sick?”
Lily left her head against her knees.
“Well, something must be the matter,” her dad said gently. “You’re hiding out here in the hall instead of playing your song for your great-grandmother Maria who came all this way to hear you.”
He squatted in front of her and reached out to pull her face up from her knees, saying, “Look at me, sweetpea.”
Her normally porcelain face was crimson in his hand, and she whispered, “I just couldn’t go on. I couldn’t!”
“Why, honey?” he asked.
She said in a small voice, “I was too scared.”
He looked at her lovingly and said, “Okay. We all get scared sometimes. Let’s just go out and watch the rest of the recital.” With that, he took her hand and tried to pull her up from the floor.
She pulled her hand from his, and, her face flame-red again, said, “I can’t go out there with everybody I just want to go home! Please, just take me home!”
“Okay, let’s just go and get everyone…“
“No!” she cried. “Please, daddy, I can’t see them right now!” Tears began silently sliding down her face.
He pulled out his phone and sent a text. Seconds later, a tone from his phone indicated he’d received a reply.
“Okay,” he said. “Mom and Angela will ride with your uncle Michael. Mom will get your things. Let’s go.”
Later, at home, Lily went straight to bed after hanging up her beautiful recital dress. Her mom stopped in to say goodnight. Sitting beside Lily on the bed, she favored Lily with a loving gaze and said, “It will all seem better in the morning, Lily-bug. I love you, and I’m so proud of you.”
Lily pulled the covers to her chin as she blushed to the roots of her hair. She thought, “How can you be proud? I ran off like a baby!” But, she said nothing as her mother kissed her forehead.
There was a knock at the door, and her mom went out into the hallway. Then, she came back to Lily’s bedside and said, “Nonna Sophia brought Bisnonna Maria to talk with you.”
Lily’s eyes got big, and she shook her head emphatically. Her mother patted her cheek and said, “It’ll be all right.” She moved out of the way as Nonna Sophia brought in a dining room chair and sat it beside Lily’s bed. Then both women left the room, and Bisnonna Maria came in, closed the door softly, walked over, and sat in the chair.
She was a thin woman in her late seventies, with perfect posture and her white hair pulled back into a simple bun. She wore a beautiful silk dress in various shades of teal and purple swirled together with black velvet low-heeled shoes. Both arms were loaded with gold bracelets, and almost every one of her perfectly lacquered fingers wore gold rings. Her face was flawlessly made up, and she looked much younger than her age. She favored Lily with a small smile on her fuchsia lips.
“So, you chose not to perform this evening,” she said in perfect, Italian-accented, English.
“And why did you make this decision?”
“Hmm,” Bisnonna Maria said. “I heard you play your piece yesterday. It lacked the feeling that Beethoven should invoke, but you played it technically well. Why did you not play it, tonight?”
Her dark eyes bored into Lily’s, and Lily said meekly, “I was afraid.”
“Afraid of a monster?”
Lily shook her head.
“Then afraid that someone would bring you harm?”
Lily shook her head.
“So, then, afraid of what?”
In her meek voice, Lily answered, “That I would mess up in front of everybody.”
Bisnonna Maria scoffed. “And, so what if you messed up?”
“I would be embarrassed.”
“And, yet, you were embarrassed anyway, were you not?”
“Yeah, but, people would laugh at me…and…” Her voice trailed off.
“And, what?” Bisnonna Maria asked
Lily answered with her eyes downcast, “Well…you were a concert pianist, and I’m not that good….”
“Of course, you’re not ‘that good.’ You’re nine years old. Do you think I was a concert pianist at nine years old?”
“No, I was not. I didn’t expect you to play like a concert pianist. I expected you to play like you – although, truthfully, with a little more fire than I heard yesterday. But, that will come when you feel the music.”
Bisnonna Maria pursed her lips and said, “I don’t think you were afraid. I think you just lacked confidence. Was that because you didn’t know your piece – because you hadn’t practiced enough?”
“No, I know it, and I practice all the time!”
“Well, then was it because you thought the piano would break?”
“No,” Lily said with a hint of laughter.
“Then, it must’ve been that you just didn’t believe you could do it.”
“Hmmm,” said Bisnonna Maria. “So, why do you not have confidence in yourself?”
“I don’t know,” Lily replied. “I don’t know how to have confidence. How do you get it?”
“Well, one way is to keep practicing. But, that’s not all of it. Let me tell you about some people who have great self-confidence. Self-confidence looks different for each person, and each person finds their way. Perhaps you will hear something that will lead you to your own.”
Next time: Bisnonna tells three stories of her family and her friend.