It’s all the fault of WordPress. And Brian out of ‘New Tricks’.
Although this blog site is unashamedly more of an ego trip than a sales pitch, I confess to sometimes feeling that it might be nice if my finely-polished aphorisms attracted an audience that extended a little beyond duty-bound immediate family and kind friends (to all of whom I am of course most grateful).
A few weeks ago, I noticed the ‘Publicise’ tab on my Dashboard. Investigating further, I read that Twitter, apparently, could be used to boost traffic to your blog. However, I didn’t pay much attention – mainly because I’d never given a thought to having a Twitter account.
My – entirely secondhand – perception of Twitter has always been that it was a sort of Facebook for mouth-breathers: people who couldn’t string together two sentences with which to poke their wall, or whatever it is you do on Facebook.
By and large, I have no interest in what somebody has just had for breakfast, or the fact that they’re bored at work. Nor do I feel compelled to seek out their opinions about the singing unicyclist gerbil that’s the latest sensation on Britain’s Got Talent.
(Not that Facebook is exactly High Table at All Souls. There’s some stuff on there that makes me think that the Neanderthals didn’t die out after all. Or evolve very much either, come to that.)
Anyway, the bottom line was that Twitter was just something I would occasionally harrumph about when in Mr Grumpy mode, but to which I paid no serious attention.
Then, shortly after my little voyage of discovery around the Publicise tab, I was watching an episode of ‘New Tricks’. For the uninitiated, this is a TV series featuring some former policemen who have been brought out of retirement to work in the unsolved crimes unit.
One of the programme’s running themes is old cops v. new technology (an away win banker if ever there was one). So, when I saw Brian, the nerdiest of the old geezers, writing and posting tweets from his desktop computer this was, quite frankly, news to me. I had assumed that you could only ‘do’ Twitter on a smartphone, something that I neither possess nor hanker for.
I re-read the Publicise blurb. Still didn’t understand it, of course, although the gist seems to be that you can automatically alert your Twitter followers to the fact that you have published a new blog post.
I have subsequently been carrying out some further research. This has involved downloading the Twitter app to my iPad and setting up my own account. As far as I can tell, I now have all the tools I need to spread the word. I even managed to work out how to put the Twitter widget onto this site’s home page (it’s down there).
Sadly, though, I don’t think Twitter is going to ‘boost my stats’, as we bloggers put it, due to a fundamental flaw.
You see, I don’t know anyone who’s on Twitter, and nobody on Twitter knows me, so who exactly am I going to alert?