Twelve Reasons To Use Twitter

I was shocked to read an article by the Associated Press about Twitter. Few have signed up for an account since the US election. I assumed with political tweets making worldwide news, people would be curious to see them first hand. Nope.

People use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. It remains the social media of choice. But Twitter has an expansive reach. We have the opportunity to connect with just about everyone with a public account. How cool is that?

According to Alexa website ranking statistics, Facebook is #3 in the world and in the US. Twitter is #18 in the world and #8 in the US. It seems it has become less popular after the election.

Twitter Traffic Statics from Alexa

Twelve reasons to try Twitter:

1. You can follow anyone.

I can follow anyone with a public account. Although non-follower’s tweets won’t show up in my feed, I can check out their tweets and can tweet to them by using their Twitter handle. @susielindau is mine.

2. You can communicate with celebrities, politicians, athletes, comedians, best-selling authors… from around the world.

  •  A few years ago, a blogging friend wrote a satirical piece about Roseanne Barr. I tweeted the article to her along with my friend’s Twitter handle. Roseanne responded and they had a conversation on Twitter. How cool is that?
  •  After posting about how seeing Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis set me back on track after cancer, it blew up on Twitter. The link is still being shared.
  • I finished reading Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, (terrific book!) and asked his fans what I should read next. I tagged him, (added his Twitter handle) in the tweet. He retweeted me. I received hundreds of comments in replies. Gaiman is a consistent tweeter and converses with fans daily.

Beware! If you don’t see the blue and white verified check symbol next to a celebrity’s name, it’s a fake account. There are lots of phonies out there.

Twelve reasons to use Twitter to connect with others3. To be heard.

It feels good to connect with others. We are all human. Expressing ourselves and our opinion gives us a voice. Our words can be meaningful.

Don’t expect a response from high profile accounts, but if you have good timing, your tweet may be read by the person you tweeted.

That said, don’t become a troll. Trolls are nasty people who tweet hate. There’s enough hate in the world. If you are going to disagree, do it in a respectful way.

4. Because most celebs post their own tweets.

Many use it as a platform. One hundred and forty characters can convey a lot especially in all caps.

Trump’s tweet unleashed the #EverythingInAllCaps hashtag game that night.

5. For up to the second news.

I check Twitter Moments for up to the minute news like some who sit in front of their TV and channel surf. In a few seconds, I learn the latest one or two days before it makes it to print or television. People tweet what’s happening as it occurs.

6. Because hashtags. 

Adding a hashtag (#) in front of a word hooks you up with tons of people who may not follow you. They work like a bulletin board to bring people together with common interests. #MondayMotivation, #Thursdaythoughts, #FridayFeeling, #SundayBlogShare, #AmWriting, are a few of my favorites.

Hashtag games can be addictive. They trend throughout the day like #ThingsDoneByMistake in reference to #EnvelopeGate after the Oscars. It’s fun to throw down a 140 character entry.

7. For safety.

#Longmont trended a few weeks ago. It’s a town north of me. I was like, “WHAT?” Three brush fires near Nelson Road made visibility tough. They had evacuated over one hundred and fifty homes less than five miles from my house. 60 MPH gusts pummeled my home. Don’t worry. Firefighters put it out.

8. For inspiration.

Pope Francis tweets and so does the Dalai Lama, Paulo Coelho, Steven Hawking and Deepak Chopra. Years ago, when totally depressed about breast cancer, I checked my Twitter feed. Someone called Angel tweeted. “Everything will be alright, you are loved and being prayed for.” Later, I couldn’t find the account!

9. For promotion.

I blog, therefore I promote. Readers have clicked on links from tweets to my blog over 350 times since January 1st. That’s a pretty good boost.

Warning! Use the 1/3 rule when promoting: 1/3 tweet your own links, 1/3 someone else’s, and 1/3 tweets without links. If you err, do it in the no links category.

To err is human, but don’t expect a lot of followers if all you do is retweet or tweet links. That is sooooo boring. *yawn* I don’t follow automated accounts or those who don’t communicate like a human.

10. You can make lists.

Since I follow a ton of people, I make lists to check on my favorites. They include News sources, Retweetables from Mashable, Science Porn, and Merriam Webster, Funny people, and Susie’s Posse among others.

11. It’s great editing practice.

With only 140 characters allowed per tweet, I’ve learned the skill of “tight writing.” Cutting excess verbiage has carried over into my manuscripts and screenplays. Since joining Twitter in April 2011, I’ve tweeted 18,100 times. That’s a lot of practice.

12. To meet people from around the world.  

It’s not unusual for me to carry on a conversation with someone from India, Western Europe, Canada, France, Sweden, or New Zealand to name a few countries. The ease of communication on Twitter makes our world very small. I love that!

Through Twitter, I have gained an understanding of how people may view the world through a different lens, but we are more alike than different.

I’ll continue to use Twitter as my social media of choice. I hope you will enjoy it too.

Follow me on  Twitter, PinterestInstagram and my Facebook Page. It’s always a Wild Ride!

Do you have a Twitter account? How do you use it?

Fantastic Meme Found in Crested Butte

bikes leaning across trail Telluride

Danny and I biked on a trail through Crested Butte. As we rode out of town, we noticed a gathering of people taking pictures. We dropped our bikes, walked up to the cement post, and cracked up.

Things I hate meme from Crested Butte

I would love to meet the person who graffitied it. This is my kind of humor.

If you had the opportunity and courage to graffiti, what would yours say?

Mine would say:

Things I love –

1 . Respect for property

2 . Natural selection

3 . Sarcasm

I still like the other one better.

Have you ever graffitied anything? A wall? A desk? A tree? Would you?

My Demon Washing Machine is Haunted

Have you seen the latest Kathy Bates commercial for Turbo Tax?  Haunted by ghostly dead children, she wants to know if she can use them as a deduction. I can relate. I have a demon washing machine.

my-demon-washer-is-haunted

One morning, I sat at the kitchen counter and my washer beeped. It was an unusual sound. Persistent. Frantic. Nonstop. The machine had never warned me like that before. It seemed to be crying out for help.

“What the hell?” I ran to my laundry room. The door of the front loader hung wide open. How could it beep with the door open? As I stepped toward it, cold water seeped through my socks. My gaze dropped to the puddle on the floor.

“Are you kidding me?” I picked up one soaked foot.

The empty washer had filled with the door open…. by itself. But how? The machine had been turned off.

I set it to Drain. The washer obeyed while I wiped up the water. I dismissed it as a random washer failure.

Two days later, I walked into the laundry room with a basket of dirty clothes and towels. I stepped into yet another cold puddle of water.

Crap!

Setting the basket on the counter, I looked inside the empty washer. It had filled with the door open, AGAIN!

I wiped the floor and then made small piles to launder the following week. There would be a lot more after a weekend in the mountains. My washer works better with full loads, anyway.

This time I unplugged the machine. There was no way it could work without electricity. I smiled and packed up to leave.

Late Tuesday afternoon, I walked into the laundry room with more dirty clothes and stepped into water all over the floor. While hanging limp across the top of the washer, the plug gloated as if to say, “See? It wasn’t me.”

How did it fill?

I turned off both the hot and cold water taps. Righty tighty. It couldn’t possibly fill now. I shut the washing machine’s door, just in case. I usually kept it open to keep mildew from growing on the rubber gasket. Poor design, in my opinion.

For four days, piles of clothes and towels had soaked up tepid water. They stunk. Lifting the sodden mess into a laundry basket, I dragged it downstairs to my GE stackable. Starting with towels, I washed them with soap and they still smelled musty. I washed them again with vinegar and a third time with soap to get the vinegar smell out of them. What a process.

Filling the upper dryer with clean towels, I decided to go to bed.

The next morning, I walked to the stackable’s dryer, but the door was already open. What? The weight of the towels must have pushed on it during the night. They were still wet. I had to run them through the wash again. Such bad luck.

I felt like Kathy Bates. Was the ghost in my house a compulsive clothes washer? Had it used a rock to clean its unmentionables down by the river when it was alive? Surely I had fixed the water problem by turning it off.

With fingers crossed, I entered the possessed laundry room. Slowly, I opened my washer’s door. Water poured out. I slammed it shut. How? HOW????

It didn’t make any sense. My husband checked the water lines. Yep. They were shut off. The cord still dangled across the top of the machine. It taunted me. How could this be happening?

Danny shrugged. “Maybe you should call someone,” he said.

“Like an Priest or an exorcist?” I asked.

I called an appliance serviceman and said, “Yes, I have a demon washer,” and then explained what was going on.

The resident expert suggested disconnecting the hoses. That way I would know if the valves were broken. A new machine wouldn’t fix the problem if a valve needed replacement or repair. Danny disconnected them.

As I stared at the dangling plug and disconnected hoses, I wondered what I would do if the washer filled and spilled water onto the floor again. Was this the start of some new crazy haunting? We’ve had bangers and I’ve seen ghosts, but this one could be destructive. I imagined wading through a flooded home, Roxy dog-paddling beside me.

It’s been a few weeks and the faucets remained dry. No wet socks. No mysterious filling. No beeping in frenetic warning since that very first day. The washer was definitely the demon. My stackable has been doing all the work.

I asked Facebook friends what kind of washing machine I should buy. A friend replied, “One without a demon.” We’ll see. I plan on purchasing a new washer this week.

Stay tuned my friends. I hope I don’t say, “I’m going to have to move again,” like Kathy Bates. I’ll keep a lifejacket in my kitchen, just in case.

Have you ever experienced unexplainable events in your house? What kind of washing machine should I buy? My Frigidaire front loader was the worst.

Related posts:

Being Haunted – A True Story

Haunted at The Stanley Hotel

Unnerved at The Winchester House

On Glamour for Fashion Week, but What Does that Mean?

What do I know about fashion, glitz, and glamour? Not much these days, but I care about my appearance. I live in Colorado where casual defies formal attire. My friend, Sherilyn wears the latest trends and bought me a flashy metallic scarf for Christmas. I couldn’t imagine how I would wear it.

A scarf like one in the Michael Kors collection

This is Fashion Week in New York City where all the 2017 fall lines are being unveiled. I worked retail many years ago and imagined my boss sitting at a runway show while making notes on the latest styles. Attending one is on my bucket list.

Twitter hosted the Michael Kors live fashion show Wednesday morning. I clicked on it and went full screen HD. With ten minutes remaining before it started, attendees found their seats and chatted. I felt like I was there rubbing elbows with the likes of Blake Lively and Anna Wintour.

As the cameraperson moved through the large room, superimposed phrases appeared. I didn’t think to write them down. One said something about fashion and glamour. I understand fashion, but what the heck does glamour mean, exactly?

I conjured an image of my mother getting ready to go out for the evening. Tightening her lips, she applied lipstick in the bathroom mirror. Makeup from a bottle of Revlon evened her skin tone. Her bright violet eyes popped with eyeliner and mascara. A fabulous new dress would be worn for dinner out with my dad and their friends, most likely a Vogue dress sewn on her Singer sewing machine. She may have worn a matching coat. She was the most beautiful woman I knew and still is.

Was being glamorous more easily understood? Celebrities. Lifestyles of the rich and famous. Being pampered, chauffeured, and treated like royalty. A bit cliche, perhaps.

I had to look it up.

According to Merriam-Webster, Glamour means: A magic spell. An exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness.

I was dead on.

Fashion Week is an unveiling of designer’s collections created so we can feel glamorous. I know the feeling of wearing something that makes me feel more attractive. It’s illusory alright. Not so sure about romantic.

Maybe the first experience girls have of glamour is in the story of Cinderella. With a magic spell, she is transformed from sooty, dirty housemaid into lovely enchanted princess. No one could take their eyes off her including the prince. Maybe that’s why some of us consume the latest and greatest fashions. To feel like a princess, even if it doesn’t last or is an illusion, is still a dang good feeling.

In fifth grade, I needed a dress for Confirmation and found the one of my dreams at Gimbels. My mom frowned on the price, but had me try it on anyway. She studied the French seams, the lace, and the unusual square cuffs that hung over my hands. Then she bought similar purple velvet fabric and duplicated it on her sewing machine. When I wore it that night, I received so many compliments and lots of attention. I felt glamorous. I’m not sure the nuns at Queen of Peace were as in love with my dress as I was. Too much leg!

my-purple-dress

I think it all goes back to that magic spell. While watching the Michael Kors show, I studied the fabrics, the colors, the metallics, the cut, and the flow. Inspired, I filed these mental notes away for next fall. Then all eyes fell on the last model. She sashayed around the room wearing a black mini dress layered in full-length fringe. We were simply spellbound.

Glamour isn’t only for the rich. It’s about finding a style that reflects who you are. It’s about how you feel when you wear your clothes. Some of mine date back decades, but I think I have an eye for fashion. I keep the timeless garments that boost my confidence.

That said, look at what Michael Kors tweeted after the show…

Look familiar? Hmm. Maybe it’s time to rethink my wardrobe and find something new to wear with my scarf. Thank you, Sherilyn! Then I’ll go through my closet and freshen it up (toss out tons of old clothes) after I study Vogue, Glamour, and Instyle magazines.

It’s time to feel glamorous again.

Are you into fashion trends? Do you wear clothes from decades ago? When was the last time you felt glamorous?

Related post: In Defense of Rankings, Yoga Pants and just Going Naked!

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s always a Wild Ride!

It’s a Valentine Blog Party!

Valentine's Day Blog Party

Can you feel the LOVE? Be my Valentine and come to my blog party. I hope you’ll dance along with my video too!

My husband, Danny, went heli-skiing this week, so I decided to host all of you while he’s away! I love bringing bloggers together to meet each other. I just need to clean up the mess before he comes back…

Drop ONE link to your blog in a comment. Two links will send you to spam prison. Tell us a little about what you write or share. The shorter, the better. Something that will hook readers into stopping by your blog.

Click on a few links and say, “Howdy do!” Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your place.

Subscribe to a few! Maybe some will subscribe to your blog. Mingle with the guests and don’t forget to dance!

Click here for my Dance Bomb video!

Don’t have a blog? No worries. Click on the links below for all kinds of fabulous stories. My followers are the BEST!

Spread the word. Tell your Facebook and Twitter friends or better yet, reblog it to your followers!

Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and my Facebook Page. It’s always a Wild Ride!

Want to see how it’s done? This blog party was a rager.

An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers

Dear New WordPress Bloggers,

Thank you so much for following my blog! I’m so glad you’ve decided to become a part of my blogging community. Or have you…

an-open-letter-to-new-wordpress-bloggersA few of you left comments. You are so good at what you do! That’s exactly how you build a blogging community. You are on your way to being a successful blogger. I always respond and try to stop by your blogs to read and comment. Here’s the thing: Most new blog followers never stop by the Wild Ride. EVER. 

Some new bloggers have an itchy index finger. They click to “Recommended,” and hit “Follow, Follow, Follow,…” all the way down the list. How do they handle so many new email notifications? They probably turn them off. What about the Reader? It may resemble a Twitter feed when following thousands. Whoosh!

A properly built WordPress blog is structured with real connections with other bloggers and readers. It is strengthened by getting to know others. Reciprocating doesn’t mean, “Ha! You followed me back, sucker! You’ll never see me again!” It means taking the time to reach out to those who make the effort to read your words.

You may confuse blogging with Instagram or Twitter.

It takes a minute to pick out a photo, edit it, and add hashtags on Instagram. Okay, maybe two. Twitter takes even less time. We plow through our feeds and can engage with followers or not. There’s very little time investment on either side. With so much in our feeds, about one-hundredth of the people who follow us may see our posts before they slip to oblivion. On those sites, users follow for followbacks. I get that.

For most bloggers, posts take an hour and sometimes days to polish before blogging them publicly. (Or they should since no one wants to read poorly written garbage.) We may add carefully edited photos or video which takes even more time. Our site is a living room where we welcome strangers to sit down on our favorite couch with a cuppa joe or tea and stretch out while we share our wild lives and then open it up for discussion.

The WordPress Reader makes it easy for you to take a look at our latest posts. (It’s right up there on the left side of the black bar.) Bonus! Views from the Reader and Likes are being counted, as of last week. That’s such a huge relief since I want to know if my posts are hits or big time misses to the sound of crickets. I’m always learning too.

You should ask yourself this question:

Why do I want to be a blogger? To become famous and spew? To build an author’s platform? To sell books?  To make money? Those are all end-games. Blogging for results will get you nowhere.

Instead, focus on the path of writing what you are passionate about and you will see results. It’s all about practice and community building.

Follow blogs without the expectation of a followback. Writing books and screenplays takes most of my time, but I still make the effort to stop by, read, and say hello when I can. That’s how I’ve built my community.

I follow four hundred people. Some don’t follow me. I read them like the newspaper or a magazine. Newspapers and magazines don’t follow me either… yet.

Don’t build a flimsy blog. No one wants to post in a headwind so strong no one hears your voice. You may get frustrated. After a few months, you may quit. That would be a total bummer.

Build a strong blogging community and you will get to know other bloggers pretty well. You might even meet them in real life. They may help you when you are sick, even if they live halfway around the world. They aren’t just another avatar or a number. They are real. They could be your people in your community if you build it correctly. The best part of blogging is the instant gratification of interaction. I love my blog. Have fun with it, communicate with others, and you will too!

I hope that helps you in your first year of blogging. If you need any other help, tips, or guidance, I’m always here at the Wild Ride. Yee Haa!

Wishing you the best of luck in your blogging journey,

Susie Lindau – AKA – Wild Rider

P.S. Here are some other blog tips and tricks:

Wild Rider Magazine – Crush Procrastination and Boost Your Blog

Blogging Tips from a Wild Rider – How to Hook Readers

Why Blog And What the Heck is a Writer’s Platform?

Do you see a pattern of follows and unfollows? What are you doing to build community that could help others? Do you follow a lot of blogs?

An Ode to a Midwinter Cold

midwinter-cold

Hark!

Is that a death rattle I hear, trembling the dark wood around me?

Nope.

‘Tis the phlegm from thy chest cold shaking the bed frame as I hack up another loogie.

A midwinter cold has claimed yet another Kleenex which shroud thy bedclothes like moguls on ski slopes in thy feverish dreams.

Okay, so I don’t have a fever, but as I gaze out the window, red nose pressed against the glass, the lengthening daylight draws me outdoors, like a siren, or Beckham, or some other hot guy. Thy waning energy, thy only defense against overdoing it on yonder slackline. (A gift from Santa.)

yonder-slackline

Each day, upon wakening, hope soars that its hold has loosened. Alas all that has loosened are the reeds in thy larynx as I croak in a strong baritone, “Coffee, I need coffee.” Perhaps I should audition for a boy band.

And so linger do I like fingerprints upon thy neti pot. Only a shadow of thyself, stretching out with the day, on the couch, zapper clutched tight in one pale hand while guzzling mugs of green tea like shots of tequila with the other.

The next few days would certainly ring brighter. But, alas, I awake slack-jawed with energy zapped. Now rapid-fire sneezing and nasal congestion appear. I try to sleep it off.

Then darkness swallows all hope as a shiver slices thy core. I tunnel deep within the tangled sheets, tossing then turning to Web MD – How to sleep with a fever. Reduced to a mouth-breather, I check off thy list until the corners’ of thy cracked lips curl in a smile.

Nasal strips. Duh!

I dash to the bathroom to see if drawers contain the desired breathing implement. Aha! I apply it to nose’s bridge and can instantly breathe. Oh, the relief and sanguine bliss and scent of flowers and sunshine and… then I notice thy reflection which resembles a prizefighter after losing the prize. What if my nose sticks like that?

I quiet down for a long midwinter’s nap, snoozing for two hours at a time. By morning, the fever has fizzled. Yes! My expectations fly away with my imagination. I would rest, then go running tomorrow and then write, then replenish thy refrigerator, and then… I dragged through another day.

I curse thy pharmacist. How dare she send me away since thy flu shot was almost in hand (or arm) and with such a lame excuse. Something about anti-cancer drugs suppressing thy immune system and not giving anyone a shot who had double boobectomies. Never before have I beset such an outrage. Instead of smiling and leaving, I should have explained, “I only had one bad boob!” Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

And here am I, a mere shell of thyself, crawling with legs splayed sideways, skittering from bed to couch to chair, always hiding, the light too bright still.

Oh, when, doth midwinter’s cold end? Hack, cough, spit.

It better be soon, dammit. Snow’s in the forecast and there are wild rides to be had.

Did you get your flu shot? It’s not too late. When I’m well, I’m demanding one.

I drew Midwinter’s Cold as I imagined it when I wrote this poem. Yes, thy mind is a very scary place.