This morning, twenty of the top literary Twitter users announced the formation of the Literary Twitter Co-Op. The group, which included @booksquare, @KatMeyer, and @maudnewton, hoped that the new venture might fill the void left by the now defunct Litblog Co-Op and bring attention to authors and presses that are struggling to be noticed in a flooded marketplace.
“It’s only 140 characters,” said Kassia Kroszer. “I mean, how much of a commitment is that?”
Still, the new venture has attracted controversy. Whereas the LBC resulted in a war between print and online, the LTC has seen an altogether different battle between bloggers and those on Twitter. To cite one example, litblogger Mark Sarvas was seething with rage on Wednesday morning because he was not asked to head this new group and bask in all the media attention.
“You don’t have a Twitter account, Mark. So shut the fuck up,” fired back controversial litblogger Edward Champion. Sarvas and Champion are using the LTC as another excuse to carry out what technology experts commonly identify as “dick wars,” that Internet phenomenon in which two users with oversized egos argue over something extremely pedantic and use this as the basis to hate each other.
But more troubling than this petty skirmish is the side effect of LTC members being flooded with tweets while attempting to draw attention to overlooked titles in a flooded marketplace. A recent discussion of a neglected title published by Two Dollar Radio ended with four of the LTC members getting distracted by interesting links sent by non-LTC Twitter users.
“That would seem to run counter to their interests,” remarked Michael Dirda, who had considered tweeting with Champion after the two had exchanged hostile words over Dirda’s belief that most of the LTC members being based in Terre Haute. Dirda, to his credit, has “at replied” a handful of the LTC members.