Frank's Handy Waterproof Guide to Twitter

Oh yeah. I tweet. I have tweeps. I can hashtag and @FF and RT with the best of them, baby.

I'm referring of course to Twitter, where I can be found as @Frank_Tuttle.  I know, it's not the most imaginative Twitter handle going, but as a self-aggrandizing hog for attention I couldn't imagine using anything for my handle but my name. I was deeply saddened to learn I couldn't specify a 45-point bold font, written in letters of animated fire and accompanied by swelling orchestral theme music. I also want that in real life, if any generous multidimensional beings are listening, hint hint.

The people who make up Twitter make it fun. And because the Universe delights in malicious symmetries, the people who make up Twitter also ruin it, at least briefly, several times a day.

With that in mind, here are a few things you probably shouldn't do on Twitter, if your goal is to avoid be loathed and reviled:

1) For the hideous tentacled love of Cthulhu, please stop tweeting ads for your book every 11.72 seconds. Especially if it's the same ad. We do remember these things, you know.  And hey, I get it, I'm a writer too. I want my books to sell. But causing people to mutter SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP from a fetal position while they scramble to find the UNFOLLOW button isn't going to sell any books or win any friends.

2) Do. Not. Tweet. Drunk. It might seem hilarious at the time, but that's because you're drunk. Everything seems funny when you've slammed down 19 warm Pabst Blue Ribbon beers -- climbing around on the roof, driving around on the roof, asking the Highway Patrol from your smoking wreck if they've got a spare bottle opener. But none of it is funny the next day, or to the people reading your tweets and shaking their heads in mild disgust. 

3) Don't tweet angry. I watched a full-on meltdown recently, by a writer upset that her sales numbers didn't budge during a promotion. Um, no. Be upset if you must, but do it the way the rest of us writers do it, by slamming down 19 warm Pabst Blue Ribbon beers and then NOT tweeting about it. Don't go online and castigate your followers for not buying the book they probably already bought. That's worse than badgering, which is coincidentally as bad as bearing or beavering. Avoid any activity that can be roughly equated to an attack by an infuriated mammal.

4) Don't tweet a mess of hashtags and abbreviations such as "@FF #mystrangerash will see #runningopensore with AABG #myhalitosis LOL HA SQUEE!" because I'm not C3PO and even if I was I wouldn't bother to translate that mess. One hashtag, *maybe* two, per tweet. And don't expect everyone to know that ACIMPOL is short for "Aircraft Control Interface Media Protocol Online Links," which I just made up and am justifiably quite proud of. 

5) Do check your spelling. Especially if tweeting from a smartphone with autocorrect, because tweets like 'I am  licking Stephen King's new groin' tend to make you temporarily famous for all the wrong reasons.

Follow these five easy rules, and you'll be a better tweeter and an all-around stand-up man or woman.

And then follow me!  There's a link to follow me on Twitter to your right. Or look me up -- @Frank_Tuttle.