In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In My Words: Social Media = Me + You and You and You and You . . .

The writing world is all a-buzz with talk of social media. Blogs. Twitter. Facebook. Google+. Vlogs. And plenty of things I'm sure I've missed. The one underlying theme I'm hearing is social media is all about relationships.
Think of it this way: Behind every blog, every tweet, every vlog is a person.
Sounds simple, doesn't it?
But with all the information being thrown at us -- that's what it feels like sometimes -- we can easily forget the personal aspect of Internet.
I signed up for Facebook because I knew it was a good thing to do. As a writer, it helped me connect with other writers -- and family and friends too.
I balked at the idea of Twitter for quite a while, but finally caved because I knew I should. Honestly, I probably retweet (RT) other people's tweets more than I post my own tweets.
Another phrase for social media is social networking. My friend and fellow writer, Edie Melson, wrote an informative article about social networking called "Social Networking -- It's All About the Relationship."
Her perspective began to change my attitude about social media, changing my "have to" attitude to a "want to" attitude.
I'm refocusing my efforts when I blog or tweet or comment on someone else's blog or when I add a Facebook friend or LinkedIn colleague. Here's what I ask myself:

  1. Blog posts or tweets: What unique perspective or experience can I share that might help someone else? 
  2. Comments: Will my comment on this blog add to the conversation? If yes, then I post. If no, then there's no need to just make noise in a comment box. Confession: If I read a blog and see that there are no comments, I will often comment. I've had my "no comment" days on this blog. No fun.
  3. Facebook & LinkedIn: Does this person who has asked to be my Facebook friend have any connection to me, i.e. similar friends? If yes, I add them as a friend. No? Then I don't. With LinkedIn, I like to see a connection with other people or at least a similar career field.

In Your Words: How do you handle social networking? Do you feel connected or over-connected? Do you have any tips for managing all the options?

 photo by schlomaster/

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At 9:34 AM, Blogger Edie Melson said...

Beth, you summed everything up really well. I'm teaching on Social Networking this week and I'm going to use this post! Blessings, Edie

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

If I I'm not commenting, but like the topic — I tweet it.
I just finished reading Edie's book on Social Marketing. She has lots of great tips that I hope to use to revamp my blog in coming weeks. I have no clue on this G+. I've been invited and I have circles, but I'm letting that simmer for a bit. I enjoy the connections through social media, so I'm not going to get overwhelmed with a new outlet.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Melissa Tagg said...

I'm not sure this comment will truly add to conversation, but I'm going to say it anyway: I promised (myself) I'd join the Twitter-verse in January when my contract is up on my current (very basic) phone. Am I using the need to network-on-the-go via Twitter solely as justification for the purchase of a sweet iphone? Do I really have to answer that?

Google+, however, I'm not delving into until I'm sure it's here to stay. :)

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I'll be MIA most of the time this week -- vacationing. Sometimes you just have to unplug.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

Interesting conversation. I live in the boonies, so social media has been a huge blessing for me. I deleted my FB account more than once before I decided to make it work and I'm glad I did. It keeps me connected with family (especially the younger generation) and friends I'd otherwise never see. Twitter has been a bigger challenge. I love the concept, but sometimes feel like I could tweet that I was dying and you, Beth, would be the only one that notices. It just moves too fast. I've intentionally not looked for people to follow on twitter. I can't keep up and feel like it can be disingenuous to follow thousands of people. If it weren't for people like you, Beth, and Patsy Clairmont, I might have deleted my twitter account long ago.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Sarah Forgrave said...

Good points, Beth! Sometimes I have so much fun with social media that I have to remind myself it's work. :) Balance is key for me, so I try to limit my time online and make sure I'm spending just as much time with the people in my living room. :)

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Patricia, I understand the feeling of "is anyone out there listening?" I appreciate it when others comment because there is a sense of validation -- even though I know what I posted felt worthwhile at the time, or I wouldn't have written it in the first place.
And, yes, Sarah, I can spend way-too much time on social media and get to the end of the day and think "Did I write anything on my WIP?"


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