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Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Daily Archives: August 23, 2011

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday with Dr. Twuth. The tips offered here are all based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. If our goal is to build an author platform in the thousands to tens of thousands, then we will have to approach Twitter differently than a faceless corporation or even the regular person who does not possess a goal of becoming a brand. This blog will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

So who is Dr. Twuth? Heard of Dr. Ruth, Sex Therapist? Well, today I am introducing you to my alter ego Dr. Twuth, Text Therapist (Dr. Twuth is accredited by one of the best mail-order PhD universities in the Bahamas. She isn’t a real doctor, just plays one on the Internet).

Have a question about Twitter? A problem? A sticky wicket? Let Dr. Twuth help, because the Twuth will set you free.

Dr. Twuth–Putting the “smart” back in smart phones.

On to our tweeps in need…

Dear Dr. Twuth,

When I had my avatar image taken my hair was long (oh how I miss my hair) A while back I had it all cut off ( I do this every 3 yrs or so. Don’t have a clue why) and now my hair is very short. I had new pics taken a few weeks ago, but I’m not crazy about how I look with short hair and have put off changing my avatar since I am, as we speak, wishing upon stars, fallen eyelashes, pennies found on heads and any other crazy suspicion known to man that might help my locks grow overnight.

True my question is based on vanity…I’m sure there are loads of truly important questions in this comment segment that you would rather answer, but Dear Dr. Twuth, should I leave my long haired and preferred avatar alone or should I replace it with my updated image?

Crazy for the Coif in Georgia. 

Dear Crazy,

Ideally our avatar should be of our face. I, personally find it distracting to try and have a conversation with a man’s muscled chest, in life and on Twitter (with a 6’6″ hubby, I have to stand on steps sometimes). I know romance authors love to put pictures of hot guys as their avatars, but mentally it is jarring to see a picture of a Chippendale’s model next to the name Jennifer or Susan. It’s just WEIRD.

What is even worse is when there is a picture of a hot guy and the author has a gender-neutral name like Carol or Sam. I find myself having to rewrite tweets to them so I don’t have to use a gender pronoun. I know I have a 50-50 chance of guessing the right sex, but why publicly embarrass myself?

I have a peep on Facebook who has a pic of a beautiful woman, but the name is a man’s. There are times I want to comment on something, but don’t know how to. I am too afraid I might mistake this author’s gender and embarrass both of us in a very public way.

So the best answer is use a picture of yourself that at least closely resembles you. Twitter is about a conversation and creating a sense of intimacy. In life, we don’t walk around wearing book-covers on our faces or dressed like Johnny Depp, and most of us don’t cross-dress so people don’t know whether to call us “Sir” or “Ma’am.”

Okay, again, @ClayMorganPA IS the standard exception. He and @KerryMeacham dig the pirate boots and cutlass and @ChuckWendig is a total instigator. What can I say?

Anyway…

If we went to a cocktail party, we wouldn’t introduce ourselves as Dragon Girl or Procrastinating Writer. We would use our names so people could know us and possibly become our friends. Twitter is no different. In fact, those who are the most authentic generally reap the greatest reward, and why wouldn’t they? If we don’t know your real name or even what you look like, how emotionally vested can we become?

Hiding behind cutesy monkiers and cute pictures is emotionally distancing and it is the habit of people playing on Twitter, not professionals. If we look up any NY Times best-selling author on Twitter, I guarantee you they have their NAME and a nice picture (likely the one used on the back of their books). If we hope to one day be like these authors, it only helps to learn what we can from them. Besides, many agents are now googling authors who query. Who will they meet if they google you?

In the end, long hair, short hair, no hair, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure the picture resembles you and that it is smiling and inviting. We are writers, not supermodels. So long as we have one head and two eyes and look friendly, we’re good (those with two heads or one eye are excused from using a picture).

All the best,

Dr. Twuth

See how easy this is? Dr. Twuth is all about love and offering a human touch to this digital world. Dr. Twuth is #MyWANA certified, or certifiable, I can’t recall which. But, hey, it’s free so if you don’t like her advice, she will give you 100% refund (There will be a $15.99 processing fee for said refund).

So gripe away and leave your woes in the comments for the expert rank amateur with candy. Let Dr. Twuth help you out. Remember, the Twuth will set you free.

Tweet ya later!

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