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6 Twitter Auto-DMs We’re All Tired Of Getting

I don’t know who was the first person to come up with the idea of automatically sending a private message to everyone who follows you on Twitter, but it was a really bad idea, and has rendered the DM function almost useless. I know many people who don’t even check their DMs anymore because 99% of them are auto-DMs. The 1% that are legitimate messages just drift off into Twitter oblivion.

Twitter really should just ban auto-DMs. They’ve banned apps that auto-follow; surely more common sense can’t be far behind.

If you’re wondering if your auto-DM is annoying, the answer is most likely yes. I’ve seen a few — very, very few — that were funny or clever. That’s out of 10,000 or so. (Just rounding here. I haven’t actually archived or counted my DMs.) Those are pretty low odds.

If you’re still not sure, I’m happy to spell it out for you (and vent a little in the process).

  • “_____ uses TrueTwit validation. To validate click here: _____”

No. I’ve already clicked your follow button. Why should I have to click yet another link, fill out a CAPTCHA, and click yet another button (and look at horrid ads while I’m there) just so I can have the privilege of following you? Or so you’ll follow me back? Or whatever the actual purpose of all that garbage is. I could have retweeted three other people in the time I spent proving to you, person I do not even know anything about, that I am not a bot. I just delete these DMs. Every few days, I go to and unfollow 100 people who aren’t following me back. I start with the oldest, so I’m giving everyone more than enough time to follow me back (usually several weeks). If these True-Twitters aren’t following me, then off they go. The only way to not have to validate is to join True-Twit yourself, so you too can annoy the rest of Twitter.

  • “I noticed your follow. Join me @ LinkedIn _____ *DMer’s name* email ______”

First, you didn’t notice my follow. Your app noticed my follow. Second, we are on Twitter. Do not send me an auto-DM asking me to find you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Huffpost, or Club Penguin. (Wait. Sorry. The six-year-old is playing behind me.) Put that info in your bio if it’s so important that everyone stalk you everywhere. Or set up an page. You can put all your social media links on there, and use that in your bio. Or you could list all your links as part of your Twitter background. Then when I want to know more about you — after we’ve actually been social on social media — I can easily find you elsewhere.

  • “Hello. Check out my website/blog/Amazon author page.”

This message can arrive with or without links. I’m not sure which is more annoying. Assuming that I want to do this, and sending it as soon as I follow you (see the point above) or sending it as soon as I follow and assuming I’m going to take the extra time to click over to your bio and find these links.

  • “Buy followers/retweets”

This one comes with links, but the only thing I click is the Report Spam button.

  • “Some stupid random marketing message that has nothing to do with what most people want.”

For the gillionth time, people: It’s social media. There are blog posts and tutorials all over the internet explaining that the best way to get customers through social media — whether you are a brick and mortar business or an self-published author — is to actually engage with people. In case there is any confusion, sending an auto-DM to market to someone who just “met” you does not count as engagement.

  • “I do this (and I’m telling you so you’ll spend some money on my product or service). What do you do?”

I got a flurry of these last year for some reason. I sat down one day and answered all of them with, “I’m a freelance editor and proofreader.” Only one person responded. He was an author, he did not become a client, and we did manage to have a fun convo for a few days. This is not advised for use as a marketing strategy. First, as I mentioned before, so many people don’t even check DMs anymore. Second, when you don’t respond when people answer your question, it exposes your insincerity pretty quickly.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. Basically, if you’re using auto-DMs, just stop. It’s social media. Stick to being social.

Kid Quotes (12/14)

B: You know how I’ve been grumpy the past few days…
Me: Have you?
B: Yes, when you weren’t looking.

J: Blake, get off my arm!
B, jumping back: I’m not touching your arm!
J: Yes, you were. You’re oblivious.
B: I am not!
J: Do you even know what that means?
B: It means I want to touch people all the time.
J: No, it doesn’t.
B: Well, whatever. I’m not that!

Jack came home from a weekend camping trip with a lovely virus. At this point, he’s had a fever for two days. Blake isn’t feeling well, either, although he’s in better shape than Jack.
B: I don’t think I’m gonna make it.
Me: you don’t? Oh no! Why don’t you lie down here and let me measure you for a coffin?
He giggled and I walked off make the tea he had requested.
B: Wait! Aren’t you going to do the cough thing?
Me: Coffin. Do you know what a coffin is?
B: It’s what vampires are in sometimes.
Me: It’s what we bury dead people in.
B: Oh. I didn’t know.
Me: I kind of figured that out. Continue reading Kid Quotes (12/14)

December #Giveaway: Certificate for a Free NLT Slimline #Bible

As I’ve acquired a collection of books I’ve read and reviewed, I’m going to start doing giveaways again. Each month I’ll post a new giveaway on this blog and My Other Book Blog. If you want to be sure to be informed of the new giveaways, you can subscribe to my email list. I promise I won’t send out a ton of emails. I barely have time to check my own emails, so I know how quickly inboxes fill up.

This month, I’m giving away a certificate for a free Premium Value Personal Slimline Bible, NLT. As the certificate needs to be redeemed by Jan 1, 2015, I’ll end this giveaway on December 15. Maybe you can use this to get a Bible for a Christmas gift. We have bibles coming out our ears here. (Okay, not really. That would be painful.)

Please note this certificate must be redeemed in person in a Christian book store. If do not have a local Christian book store or are not able to redeem the certificate before Jan 1, please leave the entries for someone who can actually use the certificate. This is open to US residents only.

Tyndale certificate

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Learn About #BabysBrilliantforMilitary and Win $500 Cash!

Having a family member deployed is always hard, but particularly during the holiday season. Baby’s Brilliant is offering a free read-along book to military families. The deployed parent records themselves reading the story and Baby’s Brilliant adds it to a dedicated web page so the children can feel a little closer to Mom or Dad. You can find all the details here.

If you see something you like while you’re on their website, you can do some Christmas shopping and do some good. Baby’s Brilliant is donating 10% of all revenues for the month of December to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Oh, and did I mention they’re also giving away a bit of cash*? Continue reading Learn About #BabysBrilliantforMilitary and Win $500 Cash!

25 Things More Offensive Than Saying, “Happy Holidays!”

With more than two weeks until Thanksgiving, I was already seeing the “It’s Merry Christmas, NOT Happy holidays!” memes on Facebook. There are probably hundreds of blog posts written on this subject every year, including several explaining that “holiday” derives from “holy day,” although, to be fair, the meaning and use has changed over centuries. I won’t even go into the whole “Can we wait until after Thanksgiving to even start thinking about Christmas?” thing on this post.

So this popped up on my TimeHop app yesterday, and I reposted it:

Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas: A list of things you can REALLY be offended about

Then, I posted this as an additional comment. (Well, okay, mostly this. I have edited it just a bit.)

Someone may say “Happy holidays” out of respect [for your unknown-to-them beliefs]. A stranger does not know what holidays you celebrate, and they can’t see your Facebook posts. Just smile, say “Merry Christmas” if you want, and go on with your day. No outrage necessary. If someone else can “take the Christ out” of YOUR Christmas, you have bigger problems than which greeting someone uses. [And, really, it’s a little arrogant of you to assume they care whether Christ is in your Christmas. They probably only care about theirs.]

I just can not understand getting angry and offended because someone offered a sincere greeting. I can’t. Unless you’re wearing a sweater with “Merry Christmas” on it (and please don’t – but Ugly Christmas Sweaters are another post altogether), a complete stranger has no clue what, if any, holidays you celebrate. I have people of many (and no) faiths on my Facebook list. In six years on Facebook, I have NEVER seen one of them complain about someone wishing them Merry Christmas.

So, as I was trying to figure this out yesterday, it occurred to me that maybe people get offended by a simple greeting because they don’t realize that there are other more important things they can be offended by! So I thought I’d help them out. Feel free to share this list with others who enjoy being offended. Continue reading 25 Things More Offensive Than Saying, “Happy Holidays!”

Guest Post: I Was Sexually Assaulted Aboard an Amtrak Train #itsourstory

This post is a departure from my regular posts. I have decided to use this platform to allow rape and domestic violence survivors to tell their stories. These posts are not censored or edited, but come straight from the survivor. Some survivors need to tell their story in a safe place, and many others need to know that they are not alone, nor are they to blame. It’s important to me to provide that connection. I chose #itsourstory to spread the word for two reasons: no matter how isolated you feel, you are never alone and this is part of our culture, our society, and it belongs to all of us. If you would like to contribute, you can find more information here.

Always one for adventure, I jumped at the chance to travel across the United States to see one of my dearest friends when the opportunity presented itself. Needing a chaperone for her kids soon to travel home after a visit with their father across the country, she volunteered to pay for my ticket if I was willing to accompany them. In late July we made the trip from West Virginia to Montana without incident. The lack of wi-fi and patchy cell phone service, I indulged myself in the chance to crochet and read and leisurely play cards with the kids and some new friends. Through time and distance, strangers become friends and the close proximity bred a strange sense of familiarity between people whose paths may otherwise have never crossed.

Three days after our journey began we arrived in Montana, none the worse for wear. Two weeks passed in both spectacular and ordinary ways. I fell in love with Glacier National Park, faced my fear of being eaten by a bear and braved the heights of Going-to-the-Sun Road to take in some of the most breathtakingly beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. When my friend returned to work for several days on end, I settled into the very ordinary kind of routine I have at home. The last morning in Montana, I got word that my son had a car accident that left him unharmed but totaled our family van. I had grown tired of being out of my own bed and was anxious to get home to my family.

Continue reading Guest Post: I Was Sexually Assaulted Aboard an Amtrak Train #itsourstory

Kid Quotes (10/31)

B: I’m tired.
Me: Go take a nap.
B: Not that kind of tired. I’m sweaty. That kind of tired.
Because playing Minecraft is sweaty work.

B: You know why I haven’t been wearing my tennis shoes? Please don’t be mad at me. It’s because they have quicksand all over them.
Me: …

Blake kept asking questions like, “How old will I be when you’re twenty?” and “Will you move out as soon as soon as you’re twenty?” Jack finally told him, “Don’t worry about that stuff for years. Just enjoy being able to be weird in public without being arrested.”

Me, still trying to convince the boy we’re not going to drown in our yard: See, the water is flowing down the street, down the hill.
B: Yep. It’s just minding it’s own business.

B: Daddy and me are going to the Waffle House.
Me: Okay. Have fun. I’m going to have some oatmeal.
B: Don’t start a fire.
Me: I’ll do my best.
B: You’re a high level of cook.
Apparently not, if my 6yo thinks I’m going to start a fire while cooking oatmeal. Continue reading Kid Quotes (10/31)