Is Twitter good for writers, or just another time waster?

Are you on Twitter, and do you find it's beneficial to your marketing efforts? It was strongly recommended - in fact a required assignment - in the online Blog Book Tours course I recently completed, and some writers are finding it really helpful. I'm now on it; in fact you're welcome to become one of my followers if you like. But I'm not very active, because I'm not yet sold on the benefits. Opinions, anyone?

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso

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Raymond Chandler is @chandlerisms
Thanks! They look really good. (But then it's Chandler, so how could they be anything else? :))
I'm still undecided about Twitter. It's very restrictive, and when you follow a lot of people, it's very hard to keep up to date on what's happening.
If you use an application like Tweetdeck to organize incoming tweets, it's much easier. Using Tweetdeck, you can specify users you'd like to follow more closely than others.

If you set it up to organize by subject, you can scan each column for the most interesting messages. And Tweetdeck includes a column (by default) that shows tweets in which you are mentioned.

After a while, you get a sense of who's best to follow and who's just cluttering up your "inbox" with junk. And you can remove the junk purveyors to make the whole experience more manageable.

Tweetdeck isn't the only (or necessarily the best) app for doing this. It's just the one I'm familiar with.
Your 'restrictive' is what is fun and challenging about it to other people. That's like saying a short story is restrictive. Well, yes, but only if you compare it to things that are not short stories.

I do understand your reservations. You do have to be organised and disciplined. I follow 92 people but half of those seem not to post much, another lot do one a day, and if someone starts posting stuff constantly that I'm not interested in, I just stop following them. Debbi's also right that you can use applications like Tweetdeck, though the one time I looked at it I ran away screaming. I'll stick to my own rough and ready methods for keeping Twitter manageable.
Thanks. I'll check Tweetdeck out.
You're welcome. Although I haven't used it, I've gotten one recommendation for PeopleBrowsr, too.

http://www.peoplebrowsr.com/

Tweetdeck does tend to chew up memory, so running it at the same time as another big program can be problematic. Otherwise, it's worked well for me.

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