Twitter is a community. Community defined is a social group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.
But let’s face it, most creatives are unaccustomed to functioning in true community.
Most artists detest order and rational thinking. Almost everything they do is spontaneous and sporadic. At best, they are somewhat organized—at worst they cannot function in a rational world.
Authors are lone rangers. If they get anything done, it usually is accomplished in isolation. At best, they are socially awkward—at worst they come across as intellectual and social elitists.
Most pastors suffer from a large dose of entitlement and cultural irrelevancy. As one adage states: They are so religiously minded they are no earthly good. At best, they overcompensate and are “religiously correct”—at worst they are despots.
Celebrities don’t know who to trust. They are afraid to let the few trustworthy people they know—that will relate to them for who they are instead of what they do—come inside their inner circle. Who can blame them? The celebrities I know have been repeatedly burned and taken advantage of. At best, they trust a very limited amount of people—at worst they are desperately alone in a world of adoring fans.
These factors (and many more) make it virtually impossible for these people to understand Twitter.
Here are a few suggestions—since by virtue of the road I’ve traveled, I can (painfully) relate to each of these creative lifestyles. As my friend would say, “I resemble the remarks above.” I have been an artist my entire life, an author the past four years, a pastor for twenty-nine years, and a “celebrity” on center stage and television each week at two mega-churches with tens of thousands of fans, I mean, parishioners for fifteen years.
You will never truly be a respected and functioning member of the Twitter community if:
1) The rare Twitters you post are only about your latest blog post, book, accolade or accomplishment.
2) You never reply or retweet anyone unless you have a vested interest in them.
3) You only follow a few people, despite hoards of people following you.
4) You don’t say thanks to people who brag on you, retweet you, or mention you.
5) All your tweets are mostly superspiritual, superpolitical, or superegotistical.
6) You have someone else Twittering for you.
7) You Twitter intensively for several days, then disappear for weeks.
8) You are narcissistic, intellectually snobbish, or boring.
9) Your Twitter persona is different from your real personality.
10) You only Tweet quotes, spiritual sayings or Bible verses.
11) You are culturally irrelevant.
What say you?
What other suggestions should we add to help our creatives truly join and bring value to this new and extraordinary community we call the Twittersphere?