Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Posts Tagged: Digital community


Welcome to the twenty-first installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. 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. My tips will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–Tunnel-Vision Tweeter

There is nothing especially wrong with being a Tunnel-Vision Tweeter except that it will limit much of what Twitter has to offer. Twitter, when used properly, is about communicating and creating relationships. I know many of us are terrified of saying the wrong thing. Well, I used to be and then learned to not take myself so seriously. Your fellow tweeps are not scouring every word you type waiting to pounce if you make a mistake. This is not to give license to be stupid…*cough* Weiner *giggle*…but it is to help you relax so you’ll feel free to just hang out and chat.

Many times I will see people on Twitter who never talk to anyone else. If you pull up their profile and feed, it is one link after another or one RT after another. We can look at the tweets and see we aren’t dealing with a bot…but it doesn’t feel like we are quite dealing with a human either. Take time to talk to people. Many of us are on Twitter because we are bored, lonely, or looking for friends. The best way to make a friend is to be a friend. This Week’s Twitter Tip–Understand the Power of Names

Want to learn a tactic that will make friends faster than virtually any other habit? Get in the habit of using and remembering names. I have an uncanny recall of names. I’ve had clerks who help me whom I haven’t seen in weeks or months, and it is always so fun to see the look of shock on their faces when I call them by name. I haven’t always been good with names. Heck most of my life, I was lucky to recall my own name. Then I learned a neat technique for recalling names.

Use them. That simple.

One of the reasons we forget names, is we fail to use them. We completely bypass introductions and just start chatting. Hey, I am still guilty. But, most of the time, I go out of my way to use a person’s name at least three times. The criticism for this tactic is we risk sounding silly, but I feel we sound even sillier when we have to say, “Yeah, I know we’ve been chatting for ages, but what is your name?”

Whenever we thank someone we don’t know on Twitter for maybe a compliment or a RT, try to get in the habit of thanking that person by name. Yes, it might take a second to click on the profile, but that is the entire reason it is so special. We are giving time, effort and consideration. Look for every opportunity to call someone you don’t know by his or her name. It might seem like an insignificant detail, but it matters more than we can really appreciate. I like it when someone takes the time to use my name. Why would others be different? It adds a personal touch that will set you heads and shoulders above your peers. Why? You are taking time to make someone else feel unique, special and valued. Yes, it is a small detail, but the difference between magnificence and mediocrity is in the little things ;).

Tweet ya later!



Welcome to the eighteenth installment of Twitter Tuesday. In the spirit of Twitter, this blog will be short and sweet and to the point. 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. My tips will help you rule the Twitterverse without devolving into a spam bot.

This Week’s Fail Whale–The Hashtag Ho

Yes, Hashtag Ho. I thought Hashtag Hoarder might work, but Hashtag Ho was funnier. Oh, I have to be careful on this one, because I still am guilty of this if I am not careful. Hashtag Hoes loooove hashtags, and they use so many #s that the original message gets garbled and likely lost. (For those who don’t quite understand what #s do, go here).

#Writers! #Authors need to build a #social #media #platform to help sell #books and #ebooks and #manuscripts and make #friends so we can survive in #publishing. Go to my #blog about #blogging #pubtip #writegoal #writing #writer

I know that sometimes I have done this trying to make one tweet do ALL things, but I found I was missing the point when it came to Twitter. Twitter is about working as a team and building a group of friends we can count on to HELP us spread our message.

We are better off using only two or three #s, then having our community retweet (RT) and CHANGE the hashtags. Why? Well, there are a lot of people on Twitter who don’t know what the # does….so we probably just look like a lunatic with a Twitter virus that infests our messages with ##########. A good way to get unfollowed.

And others, who know what the # does might just see us as trying to take over as many # conversations as possible. In reality I think most of us are trying to be efficient, but we could be seen as rude. It is easy to forget that a message riddled with symbols might just get ignored because it isn’t easy to read.  I also think  one unintended consequence is that other people might be less likely to RT, because we already did everything ourselves. So the message ends up with far less momentum.

This Week’s Twitter Tip–The Hashtag Helper

Many of us probably would be less prone to be Hashtag Hoes if we could plug in with Hashtag Helpers. We wouldn’t be inclined to feel we needed to do EVERYTHING on our own. That has been one of the beautiful things about this new group #MyWANA. The entire purpose of #MyWANA is to boost and support each other, so I think this notion of being a Hashtag Helper has come more naturally for a group whose sole purpose is to serve each other.

Hashtag Helpers want to help others spread their influence. They know we cannot do everything alone, and this Twitter pal can be counted on to jump in and lend a hand. If they see our blog posted in #MyWANA, they immediately RT and CHANGE the hashtags so that other writing #s will benefit from the information. The incredible part of being a hashtag helper is it sets a good example. Many people on Twitter don’t think to CHANGE the hashtags.

Wow. We can really do that?

So when they see us being Hashtag Helpers, it inspires them to do the same. The more Hashtag Helpers we have on Twitter, the better place it will be for all.

Tweet ya later!

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book, We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Today, I am letting you guys in on a cool new development. I am launching the #MyWANA hashtag group so that all of us have a place to congregate beyond this blog and make it easier to spread the love. Not that I don’t still want to hear from you guys here in the comments, but I chose the title of my book for a reason.

We Are Not Alone!

Social media is, above all else, social. It is a community. So what I would like to do is extend this little community we have here on the blog on to Twitter. We all need love–writer love, blog love, or even just friend love. The Internet can be a scary place if you are doing this by yourself. Well, now you don’t have to. We are going to be your adoptive Internet family….your Twibe.

Many of you guys are starting blogs. Others of you aren’t sure you want a blog and you might be watching and learning. Some of you guys have been using WANA principles for a while and you are social media pros, with maybe some tips and insights you would love to share with your fellow WANA peeps. We have an awesome network going here at the blog, and I think the addition of the #MyWANA might help making friends a bit easier. We can cross-promote and help and support each other.

I chose #MyWANA to keep it short, but the other unspoken word is #MyWANATwibe, #MyWANACommunity, or #MyWANAPals or #MyWANAPeeps or #MyWANA Family. The #MyWANA column is the place where we all can gather and chat and have fun. By joining all of us together with a common hashtag, this will make it far easier to locate each other. Rather than individually searching for each other by name (@KristenLambTX), we can just follow anyone who pops up in the #MyWANA column.

There is strength in numbers, and platforms are easier to construct if we have help.

But some of you might be scratching your head.  You might find yourself asking, What the heck is that # thingy I see all the time? I don’t even know what a # does, so how on earth will a #MyWANA help?

First of all, download TweetDeck (or a similar application). Trust me. It will make life simpler. Check out this earlier blog for why.

What is a #? That little # symbol is going to help you build a worldwide following. I know. That’s partly how I did it. And, now, for the first time ever, it will allow you to talk to your fellow WANA peeps, trade tips, read and promote each other’s blogs, trade recipes, gather resources for world domination using sea monkeys and an egg beater, whatever.

So what is the darn #, Kristen? Focus!

Well, when you first join Twitter, you are all alone…save for the celebrities that Twitter gives you, but it isn’t like you and Lady Gaga are going to chit chat. So, you are going to have to make some friends. Hashtags will help you meet people who love to talk about the same things you do. When you place a # with a keyword at the end of your tweet, Twitter slots your tweet into a conversation shared by people all over the world bound by topic (like #MyWANA).

Some popular writer hashtags are:

#writegoal (place daily writing goals and keep each other accountable), #amwriting, #pubtip, #indie, #bookmarket, #amediting, #nanowrimo, #agent

But the one to rule them all will be: #MyWANA …

One # to bring them all. One # to find them. One # to rule them all and on the TweetDeck bind them. 

Okay, wow. Sorry. That took a dark and unexpected nerdy twist. You get the idea! 😛

Back to what #s do. Thus, when I tweet about my blog, often it looks like this:

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

My Tweet now will not just go out to my specific followers, it will be seen by the THOUSANDS of people all over the world who might be participating in those three popular hashtag conversations.

Why I recommend you download TweetDeck is that you can slot each hastag into its own column and then follow the people and conversations. When it comes to social media, we must interact and be vested in others, or we risk being perceived as fake and selfish. The hashtag is to help us meet and converse with others. It is not a new way to spam our fellow tweeps.

With the addition of the #MyWANA column, this will allow you guys (and me) to gather on Twitter and help each other out and even get to know each other better. Your goals, thoughts, dreams, blogs and books will all remain top of mind and plugged in to your WANA family so we can help. If you are brand new on Twitter, without a friend in the world, you can now just seek out your Twibe #MyWANA and we will take you in and offer love, shelter and a tasty digital beverage.

This is a #MyWANA grassroots movement.

Writing is a lonely business and building a platform can be overwhelming and, frankly, terrifying. There is a lot of misinformation out there about social media. #MyWANA is the place where you can find quality information and the best peeps on the web. If you guys have friends or family who need to build a platform (not just writers), tell them about #MyWANA, and invite them to join the fun.

#MyWANA…where our peeps hang out.

I continually brag that I have the BEST peeps on the web. You guys are THE highlight of my day, and I am so thrilled that I will not only get to see you guys here, but also in the #MyWANA circle.  WANA principles are based on service above self, and I am really happy to bring you guys just one more tool to help each other out. And I will be there too, doing all I can.

What inspired Twibe #MyWANA? Recently I taught an on-line class for Write It Forward. I watched in awe how my WANA principles brought together a group of strangers and made them friends. Every day I would watch how these writers visited each other’s blogs and commented, offered feedback, helped each other with content, and even subscribed to each other’s feeds. At the beginning of March I had a roster of individuals. As of yesterday? I said good-bye to a cohesive force, bound by love, community and service. These writers inspired me to take that kind of community cohesion another step…and #MyWANA was born.  That, and I am totally selfish and couldn’t really say good-bye to such awesome people. Now I can hang out with them via #MyWANA…and you can too!

So what do you guys think? Excited? Scared? Isn’t it liberating to realize you don’t have to build your author platform all by yourself?

We are not alone! Isn’t that cool?

I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of April, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of April I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

Important Announcements

Mash-Up of Awesomeness is posted today so keep scrolling!

Will post last week’s/ month’s winner on Friday (Sorry, last week I was sick with a bad cold and there are a lot of names to tally. THANKS :D ). Check back, please.

May 9-13, 2011, I will be teaching an on-line Building Your Author Brand with Social Media Class for only $15 to support the wonderful Long Island Romance Writers.

My new book, “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer” will be out in less than a month!

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Add additional depth to your story with symbols. Great WriterUnboxed post by the mega-agent Don Maass.

Cool mindbender blog by Manon Eileen. Geet your geek on with Does Our Perception Fool Us?

A great blog for this week, in light of Bin Laden’s death. A tribute to the heroes, since those are the people we should remember. Piper Bayard’s We Drank Champagne and Remembered.

Some really cool posts about Norse mythology by Terrell Mims. Great post about Loki, the God of Mischief

Hilarious post by the Genius Word Pirate Chuck Wendig… Why Writers Drink

Interesting post by Peter St. Claire, What is a Serial Killer?

Author Amy Shojai has one of THE best pet blogs. Want to keep your dog from digging? Go here.

Don’t Fear the Comma by Orlando Ramos

You don’t have to know code to build a website. Great post for the technologically-challenged by Jane Friedman.

Very cool nostalgia piece by Earl Brussel The Day We Got Lights.

Yes, I am totally poaching @4KidLit’s mashup for last week, namely because there are a TON of killer writer blogs listed (and I am totally lazy and NOT going to type all them out). Adventures in Children’s Publishing always post fantastic links for all kinds of writers, so seriouly go check out their site.

Want to learn about LinkedIn and see if it is a good fit for your platform? Check out Jenny Hansen’s post Build a Writing Network with LinkedIn.

Want the skinny on the best TV shows to watch this summer? Take a peek at Tiffany White’s Tele-Tuesday .

For mystery lovers, K.B. Owen has a great post about Nancy Drew. Girl detective and master slueth.

Want to laugh? Subscribe to the funny and brilliant Tawna Fenske’s blog. This week’s post, ‘Getting Hitched’ Sounds Dirty if You Say It Just Right

And finally, one of my FAVE blogs. Jody Hedlund posts some of THE best material on the web for writers. Excellent post this week, The Three Stages of Querying

Have a blog you just LOVED this week, but it isn’t listed in the mash-up? Tell us about it in the comments or tweet it on #MyWANA.

Until next time….

In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.