By Sandra Gore Nielsen
Like all writers, I love words. I like to play with them and caress them, putting just the right ones in the right combinations to tease the senses or trick the mind. My fiction is sprinkled with phrases that linger between poetry and prose. I also like to write pithy, straight forward facts and opinions expressed directly, with no frills, no icing on the cake. That’s the style of my magazine blog www.sandraoffthestrip.com.
But it’s on Twitter where I’m supercharged. Tweeting your point can be challenging; it requires new skills. You have to get creative. 140 characters isn’t much. No space or time to babble on. Get in. Make your point. Get out.
It’s not as hard as it might seem; think of it as techno-Haiku. Need some examples?
“Seems like one long blur with spikes of joy. Can’t imagine what it’s like for ppl of Libya.” Still 50 left.
“The right chemistry needs a movement w/ a leader. A leader can make a movement. But can a movement succeed w/out a leader?” 18 spaces short of 140.
Or here’s a tweet not directed to everyone, but to a dear follower in Holland.
“@hilliewelp Here’s a pic of the strawberry meringue tarte from last night. http://twitpic.com/4iwujz.”
Still 40 spaces left and Hillie can link to a photo of the pie I uploaded to twitpic.
Some people tweet about their dogs, their next seminars, their thoughts for the day. But for me, the power of Twitter is my chance to help shape the world, one tweet at a time. Twitter with purpose.
I touch the world and the world touches me. Twitter connects me to news articles, websites, blogs, maps, poems, songs, Facebook pages, YouTube, Livestream, Audioboo – all the tools that get the message out, whatever that message is. Weight loss, daily prayer, marketing ideas, or nuclear disaster in Japan? Earthquake and Tsunami? I didn’t wait for American TV, but went straight to the source and followed English Japanese TV HNK through a tweeted link with live feed.
Because of a tweet, I watched a young man named Mo start a pirate TV station in Benghazi on his laptop. He moved every couple of hours those first days to elude capture. When TV Libya Alhurra linked to satellite hookup, I was there in the international chat room. And I got the heartbreaking tweet the night Mo was assassinated by Gaddafi snipers one month to the day from his first broadcast. A future leader, a courageous young voice silenced forever.
My Mo story was the first on the net. That’s how my blog and Twitter work together. Material for my posts comes from Twitter. Google gives my blog high ranking for original content and I also drive traffic to my site by tweeting links to my blog.
I didn’t write Mo’s story for web stats, but because I cared for him and what he stood for. I had watched him every day and followed his bravery. I had watched him grow. His loss was deeply personal. Many of my twitter connections are closer in an odd way than to the people I see in the real world. We share the same interests. We have the same passion.
I’m just one of thousands of “citizen journalists” who tweet. My followers come from every continent – all ages and all professions. Some of them are most unlikely, but they follow me because they like what I say, learn from my connections and trust me as a reliable source. Trust is always a huge factor in human relationships, virtual or real.
Active followers “retweet” my tweets to their own web of followers, sometimes adding comments. Passive connections are readers who just want to be in the know. But active or passive, there’s a place for everyone in the Twittersphere. What are you passionate about? Get a handle. Change the world a little. Start tweeting with purpose.
Follow me at my handle @LVworldview. Note: Although Twitter was designed for cell phone use, hence the 140 character restrictions of texting, you don’t need a Blackberry or iPhone. I tweet on my laptop.
To read some of the hundreds of tweets from all over the world the day after Mo’s death go to: Twitter Tribute to Mohammed Mo Nabbous | Off the Strip for free thinkers and adventurers http://bit.ly/gxeIBh
Following her own yellow brick road winding from Kansas through Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, she eventually returned with a Viking husband, an art degree and speaking five languages.
After a proper stint as good wife, mother, boss and politician, Sandra turned to writing for adventure, traveling in mind and spirit rather than body. She’s written one non-fiction book, Sex and the Zen of Shopping: Live Rich by Shopping Smart and the first two novels of The Red Mirror Trilogy: Isis and Athena. She is currently researching Elektra, the next adventure in the edgy series based in Ancient Egypt.
You can also read Sandra’s personal stories in two Life Choices anthologies: Navigating Difficult Paths and Pursuing Your Passion.
Sandra and her husband divide their time between Las Vegas and Central Coast California. Find out more on her author website: www.sandragorenielsen.com.