Social Media: Scary Stuff

I went to a seminar on social media recently, put on by Social MediU, and it made me feel a bit stupid. For instance, I was only able to turn the above name, Social MediU, into a link for this blog because I cheated. I searched the web until I found the name already linked and cut and paste it into my blog. I do not know how to make the blue links myself yet.

Something I took away from the seminar is that I should be using Twitter. Twitter was very interestingly described as “the wild west,” and that’s the problem: I’m an east coast gal. Give me the tried, the true, the stable. Twitter seems unknown and scary. Who are the “right” people to follow? How do you know which tweets to retweet? How do you know that your very original comment isn’t going to throw you into a state of oblivion, rather than generate followers? You don’t know for sure, and that’s what’s so frightening.

Another piece of advice was to open a g-mail account, which I recently did. I might never have changed from comfortable hotmail, if a hijacker hadn’t forced the issue, but now I have a gmail account, and I can barely figure out how to use it past sending and receiving email (and even then, I think I accidentally archived some e-mails. They disappeared.) How to learn? Even if I could find the hours needed, it would be like a ten year old poring over a calculus book, trying to learn calculus. The brain function simply isn’t there. I’m hoping I’ll have a lightbulb moment regarding computers, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The seminar took place at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA. The owner, Kelly Justice passed on a worthwhile piece of advice: make sure your give/ask ratio is much heavier on the give side. Go as high as 8:1 or 10:1. The one thing you don’t want to be doing is constantly asking for things. Get involved and show interest. Give praise and then give more. Finally, when something is really important, ask graciously for support. Never join Twitter simply to promote yourself, without taking interest in anyone else. Look up tweet chats, find conversations that interest you, and begin interacting. Avoid redundancy on your various sites. And blog often! If you’re running out of ideas for blogging, answer a question off of http://www.formspring.me.

The ladies who ran the seminar, Rebecca Joines-Schinsky of The Book Lady’s Blog and Michelle Franz of Galleysmith, recommend jumping in and getting started. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes. For the normal person, “getting it” will happen if you hang in there. For someone computer-challenged, such as myself, I may be hiring Social MediU for help.

I’d love to hear more about social media. Please write back if you have any gems to share!

Lucy Balch

Love Trumps Logic

5 Comments

Filed under writing

5 responses to “Social Media: Scary Stuff

  1. I’m with you, Lucy. Technology is growing faster than I even care to keep up with. Buy a new laptop today and tomorrow it’s already obsolete. And for all our connectivity through cell phones, blackberries, etc., we seem, as a society, to be more disconnected than ever before.

    I tweet, but I have it set up (don’t ask me how I did it) so that my Facebook posts, and posts from a few other sites, are tweeted automatically. I really can’t say whether they do much good because I don’t spend much time cultivating my network. Sure it’s a numbers game, but I can’t keep up with the 100 followers I have now, let alone the thousands I see others have. And if I don’t take an interest in them, how can I expect them to take an interest in me?

    Seriously, between MySpace, Facebook, Goodreads, Red Room, Bleacher Report, my own web site, blogging, working on my novel, revising two others to get ready for publication, my full-time job, cooking, shopping, housework (I live alone so if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done), I’m surprised I do as well as I do. It’s a full-time job to network, decide who to follow and who not to follow, and to follow the tweets of others. I seriously don’t know how others do it.

  2. christinehusom

    I am so non-techy and I wish it would be more natural for me to tweet and blog. I may need to consult the same people!!

  3. Lucy, here’s how to make a clickable link:

    (If you don’t find it easy after this brief tutorial, ask, and I’ll walk you through it). All you have to do is select the word or phrase in your article you would like to turn to a blue link. Once you do that, the chain link icon on the tool bar will light up (it’s the tenth one from the left.) Click the link, cut and paste the url of the site you wish to link to into the appropriate space. (“Link Url”) Then, if you wish, click on the triangle after the space for “target” and choose “open in a new window.” Click “insert” and you’ve got a clickable link.

    • Lucy

      Thanks, Pat! I’ve written it down for future reference. The fact that I do not know how most of the icons on the toolbar work is rather sad. Maybe I should learn two per month and blog about them 🙂

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