Tag Archives: blog

I Hate Social Media

23 Sep

Here’s my terrible admission: I hate social media. Yeah, I’m on five different platforms and I kick out a blog post everyday, but I hate it. If I could hire someone to do this for me, I would. So why the %&$* am I still here?

I apologize, this is a continued whiny post from yesterday, but I figured this deserved its own rant. If you continue reading, you have been warned.

So why am I still on social media? Simple–so I can get people to read my words. I mean, that’s the great democratization of the Internet. You want to be heard. That’s what anyone wants, right? When I ran for Congress ten years ago (8% of the vote for a third party) what I learned on the campaign trail is that everyone has an opinion and everyone has an issue. Well, you can join an organization for your issue (Mine? Cigar and pipe smoking rights), but your opinion? Someone needs to listen to you.

This is what sucks about being a political candidate. You have to listen to everyone. Issues you don’t care about, people who can’t edit themselves, folks who ramble on and can’t stay on topic. And since everyone’s vote is the same, you’re going to stand there and take it.

When trying to sell something low cost like… my book, everyone’s purchasing power is roughly the same, so just like on the campaign trail, you have to reach out to as many potential readers as you can. It’s like campaign signs on the corner. No, you’re probably not going to their website, but when it comes time to go to the ballot box, you’re going to think, “Oh, yeah, that name sounds familiar,” and click it.

Sound stupid? Yeah, it is. But it works. Historically, in a “safe” district where one party has held the seat for decades, the candidate can die and still get reelected. That’s how powerful the familiar is.

I feel safe saying this further down the blog, but WordPress is my favorite. People who read blogs are “readers” and hopefully want to read my books. So I spend the most time on it. Twitter is my second favorite, mostly because I’ve muted all the political rants out, and have focused on the #writingcommunity. So I’ve carved out a small pocket of internet peace. Who knew?

Facebook is next and I was ready to leave it before I starting my writing jihad. Now it’s there to just repeat my blog and occasionally find out what my hobby club is doing. Goodreads falls after them. I’m still mad they got rid of Shelfari and I had to absorb that into Goodreads. But… it has readers and I go where the readers are. Finally is LinkedIn. When I was a travelling consultant, this was vital to getting the next job. Now that I’ve had the same job for two years… eh, it’s where I put my online resume. But I get a strange amount of feedback from it, better than Twitter, so I keep at it.

Am I alone? Are you compelled to stay connected even though you’d rather disappear into the woods? Are there some platforms you prefer above others? Let me know in the comments below!

Friending, Following, and Feelings

15 Jul

Stranger Danger! “Why are you following me?!” “I don’t know you!” As I’ve been reaching out more in social media, I’ve been reaching out to a lot of folks I don’t know personally or never met. I look at a lot of profiles, get some messages back, and I’m sensing that it’s a reflection of how you react to strangers in real life.

Women: “You’re trying to hit on me, you perv!” Yeah, ladies, you’ve got reasons to be concerned, I know. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that flirting with a woman who lives a thousand miles from me has very limited value, so if I reach out to you, it’s not because I want to send you a dick pic. Of course, I’ve also been married for 15 years, so I’m less likely to be, “God, so she’s so hot!” I also realize that I’m a middle-aged, middle-income guy with an extra 50 pounds, so I’m not gonna bother trying to attracting the hot chick. Waste of my time.

Men: Less concerned about strangers, but also less likely to friend you back. We’ve got a specific agenda, and if your profile doesn’t fit that agenda, men might follow you back… they might not… depends.

Twitter: Much friendlier to expanding, but also, we expect a lot less from the ones we follow. There’s only so many characters to express your opinion, and provides nice bite-sized forms of entertainment. So since there’s less at risk, there’s less worry to follow back.

Facebook: Longer form, so now there’s more concern. However, still pretty friendly to reaching out. Less expectation of entertainment, more cute pics of your kids, pets, food, et al. Maybe follow a link, but usually not. A lot more political minefields to run through.

LinkedIn: This is your virtual resume, but a lot of people (including myself) post stuff socially. I feel like it’s harder to expand your connections, because the stakes are so much higher there (after all, this could mean the difference between getting another job or not). Thankfully, since I was a consultant for six years, I already had a pretty amazing Rolodex (when was the last time you saw those?), so I’ve got a bigger audience. On the other hand, people are less likely to check out links because it takes more effort to follow the feed.

GoodReads: Yes, this is social media, but not a lot of traffic. Second hardest to get friends, and precious little benefit from it. But you never know – my fellow readers are the ones who I want to cultivate. However, it’s not your first destination on the social media stage, so I can understand you might not see my friend request for a… week?

WordPress: Hardest to get followers, but damn, once you do… they are dedicated. After all, these are people who like to blog, so they like to read blogs, too. So do I! 🙂 Since this is my goal to get people to read my writing, I value these followers most of all.

In my opinion, if 70% of communication is non-verbal, then to suddenly be limited to the 30% would make anyone unsettled. Therefore you’re less likely to reach out to strangers. Does this reflect your experience? Tell me your experience in the comments section below!

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