Have you been twittering?



Ever since the return from Austin, I’ve been twittering with many of the garden bloggers I met there and some I didn’t. Twitter.com offers another social networking opportunity—kind of an easy one, in my opinion. You sign up and then you can write little mini-posts: under 140 characters. Your friends who also twitter find you and they click on you to follow your “tweats.” You find and follow theirs as well and you end up with a page of updates from online pals.

It’s blogging when you don’t have time to blog and it’s kind of fun. I have a weird mix of Buffalo bloggers and garden bloggers whom I follow and who see my Twitter posts, which is interesting, because of course the Buffalo twittering is completely different, and rarely about gardening.

You know, sometimes you’re just not up to sitting down with your reader and reading 20-30 posts. Twitter offers an alternative for such occasions, and it’s possible to twitter from a variety of portable devices. Does it serve a useful purpose? Sure, if you like to maintain a group of online buddies, especially when you’re on the go. Is it kind of a minimal, maybe even shallow way of doing that? I suppose it could be viewed that way, so, for now, I use twitter strictly as an accessory to—not substitute for—blogging.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. I also enjoy the “tweats” of other gardeners, following along as the work out in their gardens, notice “first flowers”, sow seeds, lament bad weather, or in the case of some, cry out for cocktails. I think you are right Eliz., it is a nice accessory to blogging, but hard to explain to those who don’t do it, why we do “tweat” and what value it has.

  2. I enjoy twittering…it is great for those of us who don’t have time to do a regular post daily or every few days. I haven’t checked how long things are stored…maybe I should as I was thinking it might be a good record keeping tool.

  3. I can now blog directly from the garden via my Blackberry. Or if I’m doing something interesting like touring Brooklyn Botanical Garden I can send quick updates. I like Twitter a whole lot more than I thought I would.

  4. Oh, I love Twitter. I blame MSS of Zanthan Gardens for getting me interested in it– I loved how she had it as a sidebar on her blog and posted updates of what she was planting and when things started blooming. Originally I wanted to use it to record the plant tags I always lose when I plant things, but it ended up being far more fun than that. 🙂

  5. I don’t own a Blackberry, I can’t access the internet from my phone. (Heck, my phone doesn’t even have text messaging or take photos.) I guess I’m just not cutting edge enough to Twitter. Then again, I doubt people would be interested to read “sitting in van parked outside school waiting for kids to get out, again,” or “mountains of laundry to do, maybe I should divide the light clothes into whites & colors, or does that smack of racism?”

  6. I’d have to echo Doug’s (and his TechCrunch reference’s) sentiments. Does this service hold anything of value greater than the novelty of something new and exciting? Alas, I’m amiss to its benefits.

    If you compared it to our real-life relationships would we really want our friends to ring every 5 minutes updating us with what they’re doing at that very moment. I honestly don’t care that much!

    Give me a personal blog any day.

    BTW – gotta agree with Heather’s garden. Blackberries should only grow in the garden.

  7. Sorry to double-comment but I just read Stuart’s comment above. Yes, I do believe Twitter offers a greater value than just novelty. Like any tool, it’s only as good as the use it’s put to. GIGO.

    I’ve noticed three changes in my behavior since I began Twittering. 1) I’m more focused in my garden tasks because I enjoy being able to report I just finished something. 2) I have more offline conversations with bloggers about topics I wouldn’t leave in a public comment using Twitter’s DM (Direct Message) feature. 3) I rarely use Blotanical any more.

  8. Gee whiz. It’s just a fun way to mini-blog, and nice for me, because I say non-garden-related stuff , which I never do on my blogs. You don’t have to worry about “monetizing” it or drawing traffic and all that crap.

    Love the direct message feature too.

  9. I’m on Twitter, too. It’s a lot of fun being able to keep up with everyone, even when I don’t necessarily have time to post or get around to everyone’s blogs. And, as Eliz alluded to above, you get to know a little more about people. Stuff that they probably wouldn’t bother to mention on their blog is perfect for Twitter. I forget who said it, but someone said “if you don’t ‘get’ Twitter, you’re just not following the right people.” Very true. The gardenbloggers on Twitter are a lot of fun to read.

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