You are viewing writerjenn

flower

Social media wish list

On my rambles through the social networks, I've developed the following wish list. I call it a wish list rather than a list of do's and don't's because I'm no guru, and ultimately, people can run their social media presences any way they want. On this list, I've stayed away from more general suggestions that have already been posted many other places around the internet (such as: Don't spam people; don't use social media to bombard people with hard-sell tactics; etc.) I've stuck to things that have become preferences after years of blog-reading, Twitter-following, and Google+-dabbling.

Remember that not everyone is on Facebook. Many people use Facebook as their primary, or only, way to relate to the online world. That's understandable, because Facebook is so prevalent. But even though it's prevalent, it's not all-inclusive. There are still people who have never joined Facebook, or who have left it. So if Facebook is your main or only online home, make sure that the information you want public is public. More than once, I have clicked on a link to see some promised information about an author appearance, a book, or some exciting news in a person's life, only to be confronted by a Facebook login page. Sometimes I'm allowed to see the page without logging in; many times, I'm not. At which point, I click away. I suppose this tip could be generalized to say that any information you're trying to get out to the whole world shouldn't be posted only on a closed network.

Remember that not everyone is everywhere. If you announce something exciting on Tumblr, the people who are following you on your blog and Pinterest won't realize it. If you post something on Twitter, even the people who are following you there may not see it because the Twitter stream moves so fast. If something big happens, like you have a baby or sell a book or get selected for a Mars mission, you may want to announce it multiple places or include links to the big announcement on all your media. Yes, there will be some redundancy if your social media audiences overlap, but  this is for big news only.

We all hate trolls and spammers, but if at all possible, turn off your word verifications. The "word tests" have become extremely difficult to read, with photos of numbers hidden in shadows, and strings of letters distorted beyond recognition. Many's the time I have been able to identify the number and almost all of the letters, but ... is that a w or two v's smushed together? I click for another combo, only to find the number box is a blob of darkness. Click again, and the letters are overlapping to the point of illegibility. At this point, I start to question how important it is to me to leave this comment ...

There's no need to blog about vows to be a better blogger. Especially after a hiatus or slowdown, people often post grand plans for schedules or topics that they can't keep to, which only leads to their feeling worse, avoiding their blogs more, and posting more apologies. Nobody is acting as the blog police, forcing you to blog on a certain schedule or on certain topics. You're not accountable to your readers in that way (except if you open a contest, you should select the winner(s) and award the prize). Blogging is supposed to be fun, not another guilt-ridden chore. If you want to try out some new features, go ahead, but they don't have to be set in stone.

If you switch platforms, provide your "old" readers a way to follow you. If you can mirror your blog posts, or set up an RSS feed, that will help you stay in touch with the people who've stuck with you on one platform. Plenty of my LiveJournal friends have done this, and it's nice to know I can still find them!

Any items you would add to the wishlist?

Comments

I agree with all of these.

I would add something like, "Don't invite a stranger to friend you on LinkedIn or FaceBook." This has happened to me numerous times and it's unsettling.
Oh, yes! And if you ignore the invitations, the sites keep auto-emailing you over and over.
"We all hate trolls and spammers, but if at all possible, turn off your word verifications. The "word tests" have become extremely difficult to read, with photos of numbers hidden in shadows, and strings of letters distorted beyond recognition. Many's the time I have been able to identify the number and almost all of the letters, but ... is that a w or two v's smushed together? I click for another combo, only to find the number box is a blob of darkness. Click again, and the letters are overlapping to the point of illegibility. At this point, I start to question how important it is to me to leave this comment ..."

Oh yes, this. (And just to break your irony meter... I tried to leave this comment... and got presented with a Captcha.

Of course, LJ had logged me out and once I logged back in it was fine - but just finding THAT on a post which advocates removing those things... um, yeah. Just thought I'd mention it...
I tried to cleverly set it up so the word verification would be, "See, isn't this annoying?" ;-)

Yeah, I know it sucks and I'm sorry. That's why I say to turn them off "if at all possible." I know it's not always possible, that people who have hugely popular blogs or get lots of spam have to resort to word verification. I never used to use any Captchas at all because I loathe them. Now I use them only for anonymous commenters on this blog, because given the spam deluge at LJ, I decided it would have to be that or turning off anonymous commenting altogether. But I don't use them on my other blog, or here at LJ for signed-in visitors.

vows to be a better blogger

When I was first choosing a title for my journal, I precluded it in advance: I named it "Mary Catelli's Erraticly Updated and Exceedingly Ill-Organized Journal"

Emphasis added. 0:)

Re: vows to be a better blogger

The nice thing about blogs is that we can make up our own rules and schedule!
I'm not the ONLY person still not on Facebook? What a relief. I'll get there soon, but until then, I appreciate the inclusion of open networks. And thanks for helping me to feel better about being such a lousy blogger.
I'm not on FaceBook and have no intention of ever joining. :-)
So I guess there's three of us!
Not lousy. Low in quantity, high in quality. :-)
Absolutely do not add people to anything like a facebook group without their permission. If you do, it'll really annoy them. It certainly bugs the heck out of me :)
It's one thing I like about Twitter: you decide whom to follow, whose stuff you want to read!
Sadly, even on Twitter some folks seem to think a good use of social media is Tweeting about their book every hour of the bloomin' day.
Thanks for your comment! By the way, have you read my award-winning book, MY BOOK, written by Me?

;-D
Lol :)
I loved this post Jen! As soon as I published my novel, I got a Twitter account. I'm new the publishing world and I was told that would be a good promotion tool.I'd had one, but I deleted it and only reactivated it because of the novel. Now, Facebook is the one page that I keep up with family members on and let's not forget the Wordpress account,which I blog on sporadically.And there are days that I can't keep up with where I want to post a blog or check up on something. I miss only having my LJ account, but I thought that I might get more exposure with all of these other pages, because I notice that they get viewed more than my LJ account. Well, I'm going to stop my rambling before this comment doesn't make sense anymore.
I had to make a schedule for myself: certain things to update daily (like Twitter), others to check weekly (like the blue boards and some blogs). Once I had a routine, it helped the manageability a lot. But I've concluded that I'm at capacity now! And so I don't do Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube ...