Jen Nipps, Writer

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Twitter 101 – Part 3

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Let’s chat.

I know we’ve been talking about Twitter all this week, but today we’re going to talk about chatting on Twitter.

With the use of hash tags and some third-party applications, it is possible to hold a real-time chat where the discussions will show up in the Twitter stream in general. It’s rather difficult to chat on Twitter itself, but it can be done using the search function and frequently refreshing. I do NOT recommend this method for fast-moving chats, though.

What are the applications?
There are three primary chat platforms that work well with Twitter. Keep in mind these are probably PC-based. I have no knowledge of if they work well on Mac systems or not. (If someone who uses a Mac would let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.)

The three main platforms I have used are TweetChat, TwitterFall, and TweetGrid. It doesn’t matter which one you choose to use. They all work in a similar way. I prefer TweetChat because it seems more streamlined than the others. That’s just my opinion. You might prefer something else or even find one that I haven’t listed.

In a nutshell, to chat, you have to use a hash tag. Some examples are #journchat, #yalitchat, #scifichat, #writechat, and more. I don’t know if there is a comprehensive list of Twitter chats anywhere. I wish there was, but I haven’t had any luck finding one.

You have to sign in to your preferred platform using your Twitter ID. Some people don’t like doing this. To me, it’s no different from signing in to Twitter. You don’t receive e-mail from these programs and they don’t have access to your contacts. It’s just a software platform that works closely with Twitter to organize the chat.

Search Twitter for your chat. Look at the times when the tweets showed up. I can tell you #journchat is on Mondays at 8:00 Eastern time (in the U.S.) and lasts an hour.

Many of these chats follow the Q&A format in an effort to keep everyone on topic. It usually works. There is usually a short time at the beginning to introduce yourself. Answer the host’s questions starting with Q# or A# to help keep them organized. At the end, there’s often a time to either reintroduce yourself or give a short pitch about what you do, depending on how the chat is organized.

If someone posts something you like, feel free to retweet it and/or respond to them. I have made some good contacts in chats. More than one have turned into assignments for me.

The End
I realize we haven’t even really scratched the tip of the iceberg, as it were, when it comes to Twitter. If you have questions, respond to any of these posts, leave me a message on Facebook (my profile, the Twitter Queen page), Twitter, or e-mail.


Written by Jen Nipps

August 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm

On Dabbling

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Merriam-Webster defines dabbling as:

a superficial or intermittent interest, investigation, or experiment

I have been accused of dabbling on more than one occasion. Some have intended as the insult to beat all insults. They use only the first part of the definition, “superficial.” I don’t take it like that, though.


To my view, dabbling is important to the creative journey. It takes the second half of the definition, “investigation, or experiment,” and moves it from the superficial realm to something more substantial.

I don’t deny that it may be intermittent. Discovering where your creative passion lies can be intense, both in terms of time and what you learn about yourself in the process. Something like that can only be sustained for short periods of time. But it yields results.

If you were to look at my Facebook profile page, you would see that I still have a wide variety of interests. There are several reasons for this. I like to know about a wide variety of things. I don’t think it makes me a dabbler. I think it makes me a more rounded individual. And it has all influenced who I am and how I perceive myself.

If you do take a look at the profile page, you’ll notice something else though. A lot of my interests relate in some way to the things I have written about and to my views on the creative process. It doesn’t quite show the emphasis on yarn in terms of crochet and such like many of my updates do, but it does give a pretty good impression of who I am.

As a creative person, that’s important.

I encourage you to dabble. Figure out where you primary interests lie. And, perhaps most importantly, don’t worry about what someone else might say about your process.

Written by Jen Nipps

January 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Is It May Yet?

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I know, I know…The year is already speeding along and I’m wanting it to go faster?


Yes. Sort of.

May 1 and 2 is the annual Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc., conference at Embassy Suites in Norman, Oklahoma. There is a pre-conference workshop called “Self-Editing without Self-Destructing” given by Robyn Conley Thursday, April 30.

I’m looking forward to that workshop. I try to self-edit, but I know there is a lot I could do to improve on that.

There are a lot more workshops and speakers I’m looking forward to as well. Tess Gerritsen is the keynote speaker for the Friday night Famous Authors banquet. (After the actual banquet, one side of the banquet hall will be opened up to anyone who didn’t go to the banquet but wants to hear her speak.)

As for the conference workshops themselves, there will be tracks for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and memoir. I have no doubt I’ll have trouble deciding between a few of them. I also hope to have an appointment with an editor or agent. (Note to self: You won’t be getting an appointment if you don’t send the blasted e-mail.)

Other presenters include Jodi Thomas, Romney Nesbitt, Jackie King, Mel Odom, Elaine English, Sandra Dark, Merline Lovelace, Jordan Dane, and many more. (I’ll add additional links as I find them.) There will also be editors and agents available for appointments.

Friday after the banquet, there will be “buzz sessions” — informal gatherings/workshops that cover some of the same topics as what is discussed in the sessions and then some. (FYI, I’ll be doing one on blogging and microblogging — such as Twitter, Plurk, etc. And we’ll talk some about Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace too.)

Saturday, the banquet is the awards ceremony for the contest. I entered — I think — 14 categories this year. That’s a record for me.

I’m looking forward to connecting with new people and reqcquainting with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

If there’s something I’ve left out about the conference that you want to know, leave a comment here or send me an e-mail. Or you could check out the link to OWFI that I gave at the beginning of this post.

See you at the conference in May (or via the Internet between now and then.)

Sources for Writers: HARO

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Do you know about HARO?

Have you ever used it?

What is it??

HARO – Help a Reporter Out – is the brainchild of Peter Shankman. You can sign up to send a query or be a source. As a source, you’ll receive three HARO mailings a day with varying numbers of queries. Some queries are for national publications and/or news shows.

If you sign up to send a query, you fill out an online form, which will then be sent out to the mailing list. The number of responses varies.

I’ve used HARO a couple times. Once was on a plus-size fashion query I was working on. Within a couple hours, I had over 20 responses. I am still in contact with some of the people who replied through social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Plurk.

Speaking of Twitter, if you’re already a member or plan to sign up, follow Peter Shankman @skydiver. He posts urgent HARO requests there as they come in.

Written by Jen Nipps

January 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Don’t Forget About People

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peopleIn her latest posts on The Freshman Writer and Heiddi Zalamar, my friend Heiddi reminded me of something I neglected to mention in my post onĀ  Motivation.

I had forgotten to mention people.

Without interactions with people, I don’t get ideas on what to write about. I wouldn’t have the wonderful supportive friends I have met as a direct result of writing. Heiddi is among them.

People to provide inspiration.

People to provide motivation.

People to provide moral support, a figurative shoulder to cry on when things don’t go so well, a figurative high-five when things are going well.

People to give your latest query a quick once-over because you think you’ve totally screwed it up.

Yes, I have people like that, for all of the above. Online and off.

I realize I’m very lucky in that regard.

One of my favorite places online for that is the AbsoluteWrite WaterCooler, particularly in the Freelance Writing board and the JHS (Just Hit Send) discussions. I’ve also found a few people to fill that roll on Twitter.

If you’re a writer and you don’t have any kind of support group, official or not, offline or on, I encourage you to connect with the AW Water Cooler or on social networking sites like Twitter. Plurk, and Facebook. (Look me up if you do. I use the same ID at all the above-mentioned places: JenNipps.)

Written by Jen Nipps

December 17, 2008 at 10:31 am