Category Archives: tech

Pet Peeves about Twitter Complaints

I must admit to some trepidation when I thought of writing this piece. For one thing, I didn’t want to come across as too snarky, but then again if you don’t like the post you don’t have to read it. Also, there are tons of sites dedicated to how to use Twitter effectively, so anything I post here will likely be the net equivalent of shouting into the wind. However, on the off chance that you might be interested, I will address my top pet peeves about people complaining about Twitter.

1. If you don’t like it, don’t use it.

Seriously. It’s a tool. If you truly don’t have a use for instantaneous communication with people who share common interests with you, then don’t use it. There’s no point in bashing people who find it helpful and enjoyable.

Remember that revolution in the Middle East? The one where people organized by using Twitter? That seems pretty useful to me. Follow news groups to keep up with current events, follow writers to keep up with their latest works, follow knitters if you like to knit and want to find new patterns. But if none of that interests you and you honestly can’t use Twitter, then stop insulting people who can and do.

2. If you are interested in Twitter, take the time to learn how to use it BEFORE you declare it frivolous and without merit.

Too many times people fail to learn about the strengths of Twitter before they give up. Not every tweet is earth-shattering or important, but neither is everyday conversation. And that’s what Twitter is, an ongoing conversation between people of similar interests. That is why it is so important to only follow people who tweet content that you actually want to read. You know what I do when I find someone is clogging my tweetstream with things I’m not interested in? I unfollow them. It’s easy.

And in the spirit of conversation, tweets are short. People in general don’t rattle off a whole page of data when talking to other people; they speak a sentence or two, get a response, then speak again. So tweets are limited to 140 characters. Yet, if someone finds a blog post or news article that they think they’re followers might appreciate, it’s still possible to tweet the link – thus allowing for greater sharing within the character limit with a simple click of your mouse.

3. Twitter is not serious enough.

I recently read a blog post where a poet was bemoaning the death of poetry because people were tweeting poems. Again, seriously? There is just as much good and bad poetry as ever before; the internet just gives people a means to post their own work. I’ve read some poems in 140 characters that were quite beautiful, other’s terrible. And the ones the poet complained about? They were obviously joke tweets.

Yes, people joke on Twitter. Just like when you converse with other people. Not every conversation needs to be about political upheaval, the merits of Shakespeare, or how to write the Great American Novel. Grow a funny bone.

4. They complain it wastes too much time.

Like anything else, social networking can be taken too far. If you obsessively tweet and check your stream, if you let it interfere with your life to the point that you can’t get things done, then you might want to cut back. Twitter can be used for procrastination. Remember that proverbial watercooler that workers would gather around to chat, socialize, and use to avoid going back to work? Twitter is the net’s international watercooler. Use it to socialize, joke, learn new information, whatever you need to do… then get back to work. Don’t blame the watercooler because someone takes an hour and a half break to get a drink of water.

Most of the complaints I hear about Twitter stem from two things. 1. They don’t use Twitter, or 2. They don’t know how to use Twitter well. Give it a try or don’t, learn about it or don’t, but no matter what you decide, please don’t insult the people who enjoy Twitter. No one’s making you use it, and if you took the time to learn about it, I’m betting you would agree that Twitter has value – whether or not it’s valuable to you.

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Filed under Musings and mischief, tech

Friday Flash: The World at My Fingertips

The World at My Fingertips

The Palm Pilot spoke to me through text that flashed across its screen. My appointments, my phone book, my ebooks and documents showed up as letters against its glowing background – the world at my fingertips.

However, I was surprised when it told me to call in sick to work. At first I thought some mischievous colleague had pranked me, but the device never left my side. Then the words ‘Take a mental health holiday’ flashed across the screen. I decided it had a point. I called in sick and searched through my phone book.

Either I needed a shrink or really good tech support. My whole life was on that thing.


This week’s theme for the 52/250 flash challenge was The Palm of Your Hand. Since I wrote two pieces for the theme, my poetry submission “Poet” appears on the 52/250 site while my prose take on the theme appears on my blog for this week’s #FridayFlash.

On a more personal note, I’m expecting my paperback copies of The Best of Friday Flash soon. I’m very excited to see my name in actual print for the first time, and I’m honored to have been a part of the project. As I’ve said before, this anthology is fantastic. Even if I hadn’t been personally involved, this would still be one of my favorite story collections. The Friday Flash community is filled with very talented as well as diverse and wonderful people.

I’ve planned another My Writing Niche podcast in time for #Spoken Sunday, so I hope you revisit my blog soon. I’m not sure if I will record more than just the short story itself. Since the podcast is a bit of an experiment for me, I don’t wish to record just for the sake of recording. Rather, as well as it being a learning experience for myself, I hope to be able to talk about things that will be of interest to others who care about writing and becoming published. While I may mention some of my personal ups and downs concerning the craft, I don’t plan on speaking unless I have something that may be relevant to others. If anyone has any suggestions for the podcast, I will gladly consider them.

As always, I beg for welcome comments. Thank you for your time, and have a great weekend!

*This file (image) licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0


Filed under 52/250 Challenge, Current events, Flash Fiction, humor, poems, tech, Writing Corner

Poem: Slyde


Dancing finger swirling

over keys

Tracing loop de loops on the pad,

Pirouettes on electronic paper.

If each letter were a note

what music my words would make

*The photo doesn’t match my keyboard, but I wrote this in homage to my new slyde keyboard on my phone.

**image courtesy of DeclanTM via Flicker.

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Filed under poems, tech, Writing Corner

POEM: Cosmic Cube

Cosmic Cube

when we talk of dimensions

what exactly do we mean?

are we speaking of our space

or of something inbetween?

we oft refer to time

as dimension number four

but if that’s really true

then what is that dimension for?

In space we designate


that number three

concrete ways to mark our place

within reality,

but then what is the good

if we do not factor time?-

to be at the right place

but still be missed at half past nine?

So we speak of our world

our lives we live 3d

but common sense dictates

if we split and change

degrees of freedom –

ad infinitum –

than we live in eternity

well okay- not so common

but that’s beside the point

The cosmic cube

stacks our lives

like a set of lego bricks

we think we’re moving on

but it’s time’s stationary trick

so we live-

we love-

we die-

but no matter what we do

it’s forever

etched upon

time’s stationary cube

So if someone asks you

where we’ll be eternally

just think of lego bricks

and smile enigmatically

*inspired by Rudy Rucker‘s non-fiction book, The Fourth Dimension and his description of the block universe.

**Lego cube in the photo assembled by Monsterbat


Filed under humor, poems, tech, Writing Corner