Become a fan of h2g2
Well, you may wonder what Twitter and blogs have in common. The answer is: nothing, at least not as far as I know. However, if you write a blog and want the world to know about a new blog post, you'll need Twitter. Although I still haven't grasped how exactly it works, I've started using it more. I've subscribed to more people, and people subscribe (or 'follow') to me.
The other week I checked out a new follower of mine. Turned out it is an award-winning author who uses twitter to publicise his books. And it works. I was so curious that I went indeed and bought one of his books (as ebook, since I didn't want to wait for ages for a paper book to be delivered). Then I went on and downloaded a few more of his books, as most authors these days give them away as freebies on some days.
Now he seemed to be a nice enough chap, so I tweeted that I had just bought this and this book, to share with whoever might be interested. To my surprise, Peter Michael Rosenberg (the author) sent me a private message on Twitter, asking if I would mind writing a review (for the big online shop where I had acquired the book) once I had finished reading it. I replied that I'd never written a book review before, but he said it would be sufficient if it were a few sentences.
And so, after I had finished reading the two books, I logged in to my account with the retailer and wrote two reviews – which I duly tweeted to let everybody know.
Have you ever written a book review? If not, let me tell you: it's hard work! I've followed a couple of blogs where people frequently reviewed books, and it all seemed so easy, but it is not! Not for me, anyway. I blogged about that, and then I suddenly realised that I had indeed once written something which comes close to a book review – for my blog – only that I hadn't been aware it was review-like.
So now I think that if ever I'll be tempted to write a book review again, I'll just write a blog post; then I can shorten it and try to make it suitable for the review area of the retailer.
Oh, and if you are wondering whether people come over from twitter to read your blog: yes, they do. Now they don't come in droves, but those who know you will come and have a look (if they aren't subscribed to your blog anyway).
You may even be surprised to find a mention by 10 Million Topics that your blog post is among the top stories on paper.li, which happened to me twice. No traffic came to my blog from that website, though, but they wouldn't have found it if I hadn't tweeted it in the first place.
So if you blog, make sure you have the 'share' buttons handy – which, incidentally we'll get for entries once Pliny is launched, so we'll be able to easily share things from h2g2, too. Isn't the future bright?