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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I'm getting interested also. Can't tell you if it works but my agent recommends it. Don't know that that means much. She also recommended book signings.
By this I take it to mean you're not crazy about book signings?
are book signings a waste of time?
Like "hand selling," book signings are labor and time (and, if travel's involved, cost) intensive compared to online marketing. However, they have the virtue of providing more personal contact with readers.

Are they a waste of time? Probably not, if you choose your venues carefully.
I think it has promise, though the limitation on characters would be frustrating to me.

More frustrating though, is a few of the people I've followed on Twitter is that some of them, like the updates on Facebook, become absolutely idiotic on their updates. "Drinking coffee. Love Starbucks." Why should I care.

The static, or babble, may drown out those who are legitimately trying to use Twitter and other social networking tools to get very legitimate information out.

I also can't figure out how you get people who do not know you and therefore are not interested in your writing (because they're not familiar with you) to follow you on Twitter.
On Facebook I've learned to hide messages from people who make those inane comments. On Twitter I haven't figured out how yet. And I have followers I've never even heard of.
Does anyone care about Myspace anymore? No, because it was a fad. It's become the Detroit of the Internet. But two years ago, like the city, one would think it was infallible. Facebook and Twitter will run their course, too. They will be replaced by another fad that will also fade away with time. Expect in one to three years for today's popular social networks to be irrelevant.

Do what you will/bandwagoneer until then.
I'm not so sure Facebook and Twitter will fade away, but no doubt they'll evolve - either that or perish. Probably the ultimate in social networking will arrive when people have electrodes implanted in their heads so they can constantly receive all that babble from their friends. The people who sign up for this will probably be the same ones who are constantly on their cell phones today.

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso
heaven forbid.... electrodes babbling away in my head.... too much 'noise' already me thinks.... I write to escape into my world, I hate all the marketing/networking stuff we are advised to do... but guess it feeds our time for the next book....
That's funny! I had the same thought about chips being planted in our heads, so we could Twitter each other 24/7 by mental telepathy.

I'll be dead before that happens. Thank God.
I don't need electrodes, I can hear the voices in my head now. And I obey.
Snickering uncontrollably. (How come there's no emoticon for snickering?)

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