Tag Archives: Twitter

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!

Quality with a “K”

10 Aug

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “k.” There’s no particular reason why quality has to be spelled with a Q, in fact… it probably makes more sense with a KW. However, if you’re used to the dictionary, it weirds you out, just like all the little updates in my life. They’re not amazing… just weird.

So I managed to earn my “k!” – a thousand followers on Twitter. My joy was foiled because I got pinged because I decided to unfollow 40 people who weren’t following me. Facebook, LinkedIn, and even WordPress lets you know when you’ve gone too far with following folks. Twitter? They punish you and let you know you did bad… but won’t specifically tell you what you did. Yeah, that’s quality with a “k.”

Quality with a “k” is apparently a fun phrase that apparently was big in Eastern Pennsylvania back in the late 80’s; heard it from a guy who grew up there–I’ve heard it nowhere else. Okay, other accomplishments!

  • Finished my second (fourth?) draft of Defending Our Sacred Honor, which is the next novel I intend to publish. Love the story, laughed out several times, but I still hate the name. That’ll be a post for another time.
  • Plan to create my first audiobook with my novella, Virginia is for Lovers because it’s shorter. Got the equipment, but need to figure out the mechanics, because I’ve never done it before.
  • Gotta start thinking about what I’m gonna start writing next. Thinking about blitzing for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • Wondering how long I should sit on To Serve a Foreign Queen, which is the novel I just finished. Too much work to revise, no interest. It’s not the worst plan to let it sit in my folder for three years like Defending…

I just wanted to show everyone that it’s very common in India to spell it “kwality.” Yeah, it keeps bugging me. What’s some of the little things that bug you but no one else? Tell me in your 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!

Double Secret Probation

7 Jul

So for the second time, I’ve gotten hit with Twitter’s double secret probation. The problem is that the list of rules on their website is HUGE and they don’t bother to list which specific violation you’ve done. Frustrating? Oh yeah.

Of course, I know what I did. I’m trying to expand my social media presence, and the way to do that is to connect with more people. So instead of doing the natural, organic way of reaching out to people, I quickly look through my stream and say, “Oh, that person needs a #writerslift, I’ll jump on that.” “Oooh, they suggest following these three people… now there’s three more!” Then you get rid of (most of) the people who aren’t following you. And sooner or later, you hit some arbitrary number that the Twitter bot decides, “You’re a bad boy for following a ton of people all at once” and puts the brakes on you.” That number was originally 300, now apparently it’s 50-100? What the hell?

Although I spend a lot of my efforts on Twitter, I find it interesting that I get the least return on my time investment. The point is to drive people to come here to my website… so they can see my writing and decide if they want to read more of it. After all, this is a “press.” However, according to my stats, I get more people from LinkedIn and fellow WordPress bloggers than Twitter! Twitter is just… easier? Nah, Twitter is just the first one that was recommended to me.

What has been your adventures in social media? Have you been put on double secret probation? Put your story in the comments below!

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