Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Guest Blog: Editorchat on Twitter

From freelance writer Tim Beyers:

The world's cheapest writers conference

You'll have to forgive writers for embracing Twitter in increasing number. This so-called micro-blogging platform has become a place for surfing, sourcing and self-promotion. Editors haven't been as fortunate.

That's understandable. Twitter may respect brevity but it doesn't care about deadlines. It can't tighten a troublesome sentence or clean an in-box. Other than promoting content or connecting with peers, Twitter hasn't been much of a tool for editors. Till now.

Tonight from 9-11 pm eastern, freelancers Tim Beyers (@milehighfool) and Lydia Dishman (@LydiaBreakfast) are hosting a Twitter chat for writers and editors called #editorchat. The goal? Share ideas for how to mutually thrive in this sometimes-troubled literary relationship and survive in the always-troubled and always-changing publishing industry.

Call it the world's cheapest real-time writers conference.

To participate, log into Twitter shortly before 9 pm and search for #editorchat. Messages posted with this "hashtag," as it's known, are aggregated into a conversation. Refresh the screen to see new messages. You can also use the free TweetChat to follow the discussion. Enter your name and password and specify "#editorchat" as the room you wish to enter. To respond to a topic, post with "#editorchat" at the end of your message. (TweetChat will do this for you, however.)

If there's one difference between #editorchat and your average writers conference it's that Beyers and Dishman want it to be a conversation rather than a pitch-fest. Want to submit a query? Use email or snail mail, they say. (Introductions are welcomed, however.)

Writers have had plenty of reasons to be on Twitter. Now editors do, too.

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