(I may get some backlash writing this, but I must speak my mind--I must. So if you feel the need to fight me, then lets do it in a pillow fight kinda way :)
"That's all I can stands, and I can't stands no more"--Popeye
I'm up to my eyeballs in crazy social media, and author/writer online shenanigans, I tell ya! And yesterday, I completely lost it! No one knew I lost it (I'm a master of disguise), but I did, and let me tell you why...
About a year ago, I thoroughly enjoyed Facebook. In fact, I loved it! I loved chit-chatting with distant friends and family members. I played a few games, and I commented on friends baby photos and even poked a few people. I had an awesome farm with a big house and plenty of pumpkin patches on Farmville (yep, I played that game for a very long time, and I ain't afraid to admit it).
Then, when I delved more heavily into my writer/author career, everything changed. I was told by various advice-giving sites that to increase my online presence and create a better platform, I needed to befriend other writers. So I did. It started off slowly, a few authors at first, and then a little more. It was nice and rather pleasant. I enjoyed discussing writerly type things with them and loved the support we all gave one another, because we all know that the life of a writer can be rather lonely.
Then I was told, join Twitter--Twitter was where the action was, and my platform would be bigger by joining. And since we all know that bigger equals better (ask an Texan) I jumped on board. I loved it even MORE than I loved Facebook! It was cool! It was instant! I was meeting other writer/author peeps from all around the world, people I wouldn't have met any other way. It was awesome! We asked about each others works in progress, about each others families, and even had some inside jokes. We shared and we interacted.
But then I was told having only a few writer friends on Facebook and Twitter wasn't enough--I needed MORE.
I wasn't popular (Klout told me this--dang you Klout!)
Ack! Not popular? Shoot!
For a little nerdy girl who played the clarinet all throughout her Jr. High and High School years, and was the Vice President of the FBLA club (Future Business Leaders of America--yeah, you heard me), the idea of, once again, not being popular brought back horrible memories causing me to start clicking away on everyone and anyone on Twitter who looked remotely interesting. I followed and followed and followed...(see where this is going?) and as people returned the gesture, I became even more addicted to the process. WAH-HA-HA-HA!!
Then someone on Twitter (not exactly who, since there are just SO many of you there) mentioned using Triberr to extend my reach. Extend my reach...that sounded FANTASTIC. So I joined one tribe and then another and then a another. I bought 40 dollars worth of bones so I could join various tribes, thinking this was the way to go.
Right now, I'm a member of 8 tribes and have well over 160 tribe mates. Pretty cool, huh?
Well...I'm not so sure anymore (I will tell you the reason why in a minute).
Then, to top it all off, I joined various Karma chains--I like you, you like me kind of thing. I created a Facebook Author Page and stared LIKING other author's facebook pages and loved watching my number of LIKES on my page increase. "People like me! People like me!"
It was super cool...for a bit.
Now here I am, with a twitter reach (per the statistics on Triberr) of over 300,000 people. I have over 6K followers on Twitter. I have nearly 400 LIKES on my author facebook page, and I feel less connected to people, and less happy, than I was a year ago.
You wanna know why?
Because quantity (sorry, Texans) doesn't equal quality. I think in the process of trying to become popular, trying to increase my online presence, trying to get my name out there, I shot myself in the foot. At least, this is my experience. Maybe it's just me, and maybe I went about the process all wrong. Yes, the hits on my blog have doubled. That's great. But the number of comments I receive to my blog posts have dwindled. How can this be? It doesn't make sense!
But it does. It really does. I'm blasting my twitter followers with random tweets from tribe members--in other words, spamming them. I've been told on Triberr that I shouldn't be reading the posts I tweet, not to pick and choose, but to select them ALL, or I will be kicked out of the tribe for not playing fair. Heck, I wanna play fair. Since I'm tweeting all of these random tweets and links for tribe members, my own blog post links are becoming lost. No one trusts me anymore it seems. My followers don't know which links are mine and which are going to take them off to some other blog which very well could be full of erotica posts and other kinds of weirdness (not that I'm calling erotica writers weird, because I'm not). But do you see where I'm going?
And, by LIKING so many author pages and using my personal account on Facebook to do so, I have littered my stream with so much promotional, random information, that I no longer see posts from family members announcing they're expecting a new bundle of joy. (I actually ran into a family member, noticed her belly was rather large and decided to be brave and ask her if she was expecting. She was 7 months pregnant! She asked me how I didn't know this since she was posting weekly pics of herself). I'm missing out.
Twitter is much the same way. I can literally scan tweets for pages and not find one tweet that is interactive. Not one. As I said before, I like chit-chatting. When someone says, "Hey, how's the weather?" or "My dog just ate my cookie!" I will reply. This is how I build relationships. This is how I make friends. This is how I love my social media life.
So onto the ninja smackdown...
Yesterday, I unfollowed probably 1000 people on twitter and I plan to do more today--mostly unfollowing people who only post links and have no interaction with their followers at all. It amazes me when you scan someones tweets and see link after link after link and nothing else.
I also went through my facebook stream and clicked HIDE ALL on many author posts. It amazed me how much this cleared out my stream and how many posts from people that I actually wanted to hear from came into view.
I had had enough! KARATE CHOP! I can't keep up with all of it anyway--Pintrest, Goodreads, Google+, etc.... It's TOO much!
Now, don't get me wrong, I know I'm just as to blame, doing some of the same things I unfollowed other people for doing, and I promise to be better. I will be picky on Triberr. If the post interests me, or think it will be beneficial for my followers to read, then I will share it. Otherwise, no. If that gets me kicked out of tribes, so be it. On Facebook, if an author/writer interacts with me, then I will click like on their author page and become a fan. Otherwise, no. TALK TO ME! Don't blast me with links and promotional junk 24/7! And I will promise to return the favor.
If this causes my quantity to falter and people to unfollow me, so be it. I'm looking for quality anyway.
Quality is far better than quantity anytime. My experience proves it. I just had to learn it the hard way.
So let the pillow fight begin! How is your experience with social media? What ticks you off and what do you think works best? Let me know. I want to do my part and fix myself.