#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Friday, August 5, 2011

Me and the Social Network

Remember when socializing meant doing something like this?
I miss those days.

This morning I had three social networks open: Twitter, Face Book, and Google +. I've been on Face Book and Twitter for... awhile. I'm not actually sure how long but I'm sure someone could look it up. I've been on all the sites long enough to make some decisions.

1. I really like Twitter.

2. Face Book and Google+ are overly complicated and nearly pointless for what I want to do with social networking as a writer.

Here's the breakdown as I see it...

FACE BOOK: Is a list that looks like my blog-reader. There are a lot of unconnected thoughts and you have to scroll down to find something interesting. If you find something comment-worthy you comment, then wait hours or days for someone else to add to the chat.
+ Good for making announcements.
+ Good for verifying people are still alive after a major news event that doesn't involved power outages.
- If I want to follow someone they have to friend me and follow back. This gets awkward when you want to promote your work but not hear about a fan's kidney stones.
- There is no way to limit who sees what post. Keeping work and family separate requires two accounts.

GOOGLE +: Segregated lists of people allow you to decide who sees what, but otherwise, this is Face Book 2.0. I have lists like "Family" and "Moms" and "Foodies" but I might see my sister-in-laws post about her foot surgery in all three because she has me listed just under "Family". If I could get the posts to match my lists, I'd be happier.
+ Good for making announcements.
+ Good for sorting things like PTA, Scouts, Church, and The Kinky Writer's Club.
+ Video hang out is a blast!
- When people put you in a circle you can see their posts whether you want to or not. You have to click their name, view their profile, and then block to get rid of them.
- Posts rarely line up with the topics you have them listed under. Everything is a mish-mash of TMI.
- Promotion is virtually impossible. You can opt to receive information, but there is no way of knowing if you're in someone's SPAM circle or not.

TWITTER: A list of 140 character ideas, thoughts, or jokes. Everything from "I took a shower!" to breaking news is on the Twitter feed. Jumping into a conversation means clicking on a Tweet and seeing the replies made to it, and only your followers see what you say.
+ Good for finding new people through the miracle of re-tweet.
+ Good for making announcements. Hashtags #these make your tweet searchable so anyone looking for BOOK will see your tweet that says, "My book JANE DOE is for sale at (link). #book #readnow #enjoy"
+ Good for promoting work to a fandom. People follow you, but you don't have to follow back. You don't even have to know they exist for them to follow.
+ Good for stalking favorite authors, editors, NASA astronauts, ect... They tweet, you follow, they don't have to lift a finger for you to eavesdrop.
+ If you want to talk to just one person there is @name or Direct Messages (DM). If you want to talk with a group you hop on the hashtag page.
+ If someone drives you crazy you can unfollow or block with a click.
- The pace is either break-neck or nonexistent. For some people the multi-chat room style is overwhelming.
- There is no theme except what you build by following similar people, so things can get random.

The main problem with FB and G+ is that the networking is reciprocal. This is perfect for posting pictures of the kids and dogs for the family, or sharing a joke with people you know in real life. It's not an ideal place to meet new people.

And when it comes to promoting your work, you want to meet new people.

Even without a book to promote, I like Twitter better. I like meeting new people. I like them telling me they have a new book out, or that there's a contest. Twitter is my water cooler. I head there on my break from the daily grind of writing, cleaning, chauffeuring, parenting, wife-ing, and everything else I do.

Brevity makes Twitter better. I have recipes, book news, world news, and a hurricane watch all jumbled together and it doesn't overwhelm me because it's only a sentence from each.

So, yes, I have a FB account. I am on G+. But don't go looking for me there. I check in once a week. I can't see using G+ for promotion. FB... when I have a book on the market I'll probably make a FB page, but I'll be honest, those give me a headache. I've never had anything good come from a FB page.

If you want to find me, look on Twitter. Send me an @ message and say hello. If you need to talk to me Right NOW!!! then find me there. I'll still check the others once a week or so, but until I find the use for writing work there, they are going to be reserved for people I know in RL (or become friends with on Twitter... go figure).


  1. this was just about what I was thinking about this whole time sink, Liana!
    Twitter is the bomb for platform building--after all that's where I met you!
    FB for friends/family and writers I "know."
    Google+ I just started and find a redundant mix of FB.
    But, I google + your post anyway, bc i'm hoping it might mean something.

  2. I like meeting people on Twitter, and then adding them to G+ just for the face time. Facebook works for my family, but I find platform building there is very awkward.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Agree with you on all of it but Google, but only cause I have not tried Google. I have a Gmail account but never, or hardly ever use or check it. Found your comment on # thing interesting and need to learn more about it. I have no problem @ messaging, That is how I usually connect to you, Have tried DM messages. thought they were supposed to be private, but then I see them scrolling across the screen. Have found using the social networking connections for Facebook and Twitter to announce new blog posts is really pumping my numbers on my blog. Thanks for all the help in getting started at this. I hardly ever checked Facebook till people started thanking me for links, (which I am still not sure how that works), that showed up on their page from mine.