A few weeks have passed since bab.la announced the results of the Top 100 Language Lovers competition 2013. Now we have contacted the winner of the Top 100 Language Lovers, Judy Jenner, who has also secured first place among the Top 25 Twitter Account. She told us about her very successful Twitter account and the enthusiasm from her followers for language and translation.
1. When did you start blogging and why did you incorporate Twitter into your communication?
I started blogging with my twin sister Dagmar in September 2008 and reluctantly joined Twitter in January 2009. Just like many people, I couldn’t quite understand the point of this new thing, but I am glad our techie advisor talked me into it. I’ve really enjoyed the ride.
2. What type of audience do you mainly target with your Twitter account?
The best advice that I received early on, again from our techie advisor, is to not censor yourself too much and to not necessarily think for whom the message is intended. Of course, it’s essential to be polite and to try to not offend anyone, but I don’t necessarily shy away from a good discussion or some controversy if warranted. I tweet a lot of things about translation, interpreting, and languages, but I also tweet about food, Vegas, travel, politics, books and literature, Mexican news and much more. I don’t really think too much about the audience, but figure that someone out there might be interested in what I have to say.
3. Do you have any advice for other language bloggers and Twitterers?
There are no secrets, but I think it’s important to tweet and blog about things that are relevant and interesting and to do so consistently. Running a great blog or a popular Twitter account is like losing weight: you get there slowly and consistently, and it takes a lot of time and work. I also make sure to engage with my followers, answer questions and comments and retweet a lot of great posts by others. It very much feels like a virtual watercooler, and I am learning a lot.
4. How do you keep up with updating your blog and Twitter on a regular basis?
On our blog, we usually do one or two posts a week, and some are quite short, including a quick post about an upcoming conference or a quick anecdote from our practice followed by a piece of advice. Other posts are longer, more in-depth and more editorial-style. It really doesn’t take that long, as we are constantly collecting ideas and we find inspiration everywhere!
Twitter is something fun and entertaining that I do when I have a free moment and when I want to take a break – it’s almost like a cigarette break, yet much healthier, and I don’t smoke! I work from home and don’t have any colleagues, except for Fridays, when I work from a co-working space, so it’s great to feel connected to people around the world.
5. What is the most memorable Tweet you read on Twitter?
Wow, that’s a hard one. There are too many to count or mention, but I remember being really excited when Salman Rushdie joined Twitter – his wit is razor-sharp and his observations are witty and hilarious. I also liked one of Bill Clinton’s first posts, and really enjoy John Acker’s posts from Mexico City, where he is a leading voice on Mexican politics. Perhaps the most memorable tweet is when a travel blogger tweeted about the Icelandic volcano erupting in May 2010, as he had that information significantly earlier than any news outlet. He just happened to stand there and tweeted that the volcano erupted. It turns out that had a negative impact on our planned trip to Europe, but it’s great to be informed.
6. On a scale from 1 to 10, how addicted are you to Twitter?
Good question. I’d give it a 7 for now.
7. You must have loyal readers. How did you promote your Twitter account to get so many votes?
I have a good amount of followers, so I tweeted about this competition a few times and asked people if they would consider voting for me, but didn’t pursue any particular strategy. I am very grateful for all the votes.
8. What are your plans to stay #1 for next year’s competition?
Oh, I will just keep on doing what I am doing. There are many fantastic Twitter accounts out there, and I look forward to the friendly competition come next year!