My Twitter account (Theo-sophy) got controversial a week ago.
Let’s blame him, okay? Just like you can blame the dog when someone in the room farts.
Theo took over my Twitter feed a few months ago, and he has gotten himself into a bit of hot water. Specifically, an argument with one of the most popular accounts – Thoughts of Dog. (@dog_feelings)
I love Thoughts of Dog. Like Theo, Zoey the dog runs this account through a young man who also posts as WeRateDogs. Thoughts of Dog is hugely popular. WeRateDogs is astronomically popular. And both sites are successful for a really good reason. They are adorable. (and by the way, Matt, who runs both sites, raises lots of money for sick dogs through WeRateDogs.)
Theo responds to Thoughts of Dog’s tweets.
All the time.
And this was the issue.
Matt apparently became more and more annoyed with Theo’s responses. He felt that poor Theo was “hijacking” his dog account in order to build Theo’s own dog account.
And he – that is, I – was.
But as I understand Twitter, that is how it works. You find people, accounts, (and dogs) who like what you do by finding similar accounts and commenting. If folks like what you write, then maybe they check you out. And perhaps follow you.
That is how it works.
It’s how social media works. “If you like A, then you might also like B.” (I often tell folks just starting a blog and asking me for my advice to do this … find similar blogs and post thoughtful comments.)
But I guess I overdid it.
I tried it at first for the very reason above. To see if people liked what I wrote and if they did, maybe I would increase my base. And the reason why I wanted to increase my base is right here in this blog and in my novels. If people like what I write, maybe they will also check out my blog. Maybe if they really love what I write, they might even read my books.
I am a writer. I write to be read. I want people to read what I write. I think that is normal (for a writer.)
But I guess I overdid it.
Because I did it pretty well. And this was also my reason. Because it was fun. It was fun to come up with silly, ungrammatical sweet responses to Thoughts of Dog. I looked forward to it.
And so did many others, I guess. Many people started commenting that they loved seeing what I would write to Thoughts of Dog. They, like me, looked forward to it. “The best part of my day is reading Thoughts of Dog and then seeing what Theo will say,” they wrote.
My own Tweets are not only responses to Thoughts of Dog. I tweet daily on Theo-sophy with Theo’s Pup Tip of the Day – a little snippet of advice and philosophy. I work hard on those tips. They are positive and life-affirming.
Like this one:
But, unbeknownst to me, Matt was increasingly annoyed, as hundreds of folks every day “liked” my comments on his sites.
So 10 days ago, Thoughts of Dog blocked me.
If you are not familiar with Twitter, when you are blocked by someone, you can no longer see their posts. You can’t access their site. You certainly can’t comment.
I was stunned.
I thought it must be some kind of mistake.
But it was not. When I tweeted that Thoughts of Dog had blocked me, there was in the Twitterverse, a little bit of outrage.
Not a lot though. I have 5 thousand followers; Thoughts of Dog has 2 million. His average tweet gets about 150,000 “likes”, My comments on his tweets average about 800 “likes”. That is about one-half of one-percent of his response. On a really good day, I can get to one percent. Not exactly hijacking. Thoughts of Dog has nothing to fear from Theo.
But still, the tiny, though vociferous, outcry was enough to compel Matt to actually have a private discussion with me.
He was mad. I was hurt. I don’t like not being liked.
But we worked it out.
He unblocked me. I promised not to overdo it.
I truly didn’t mean to compete with him. I was not trying to be better than his sweet site. It was just plain fun.
I did, however, want people to notice me. And his audience was a great place to get noticed.
And I am sorry and a little ashamed if I was not being fair.
This social media business can be tricky, I guess.
Theo will be walking on tippy toes for a while.