Social Networking – a very personal take

Firstly, it´s great! The technology is there to get your stuff out there. And you have to be serious about it if your aim is make money.

There are wonderful books about how to go about things and here´s one recommendation, a book already translated into a swag of languages. Jon Reed´s Get Up to Speed with Online Marketing. Why do I recommend Jon Reed? Well, I like to actually meet people I “know” on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al . I´d been following Jon´s work even though I´m an apprentice autodidactical nerdlette and was lucky to met him at his TweetUp at the London Book Fair this year. His stuff´s great and he´s really nice.

There´s all sorts of stuff out there that makes my mind boggle (I´m a cliche queen, if you haven´t noticed ;). I´ve been told I can save time if I tweet to Facebook and LinkedIn. Thing is, I´m not in a hurry, and the platforms are so different to my eyes. So different, that maybe they’re all the same, just with other members added or subtracted. (Case in point, keeping up with MySpace which I´ve dropped.)

On Facebook I do whatever I like, but that got a bit much for some when I got passionate about how traditional media sat on the fence for so long about Egypt. So I started following Egypt tweets and posted them on Facebook and lost some real-life friends in the process. No worries. I set up a “writer page” where I try and keep the writerly things, but some of them slip over into my “name page”. You can peek at the former, though, without even having to be on FB. Good stuff for lurkers. (Oh, and speaking from personal experience, blog “followers” often forget to come back.)

That being said, I get passionate about lots of things and I really am all over the place. Even the DSK stuff had me rooting for the maid. And when word came out that she´d lied, there was a lot of scrambled egg on my face. But do her lies make him less of a ….? (That idea came from an article on Twitter.) Which brings me to something else. Social media and politicians, and politics per se.

Some voices say, don´t trust what´s out there, and maybe they´re right. But it´s a bit like a waterhole gathering of yore – everyone´s got their own take. Up to you to make up your own mind. Traditional press had got to the point of making it up for you, often at the behest of the powers that be, now it´s the media per se with someone still trying to pull the strings, but maybe not your usual suspects; so I guess we´re all on our own now.

But with a difference. The information is out there, but we still have to think. We may make mistakes, as one does in real life when we jump to conclusions. But we have access to all the options, if we are really interested, at least where I am. So my question here is, are we really interested in taking things apart? For the sake of the exercise, or? Just spilling some thoughts now.

Anway, back to me and social media and promotion. I love the former, but am lousy at the latter. So be it. I want to be me. I want to step back and say to hell with it all. Too much like hard work, hard work to which I might be selling my soul. I´m past that, though never got into that t-shirt properly or I´d probably be a millionaire by now. But I am a millionaire. I have access to millions if I want. But, somehow that´s not what it´s about.

I´ve met a whole bunch of people doing their thing in writing – sharing stuff, charity anthologies, collaborative writing, selfpublishing, indie publishing, or simply sharing (although I´m unsharing lately on Scribd so that I can be in other places): people like Greg McQueen, Jodi Cleghorn, Annie Evett, Frankie Sachs, Marcus Speh and their projects, progressive indies like Ether Books, Twimagination, places like Women Writers, Women Books, Australian Writers Rock and Red Room. These I like. But I don´t need to hang out all the time.

So I´m not focussed, Jon, but I still think you´re great; even more so since you let me have your Twitter Cheat Sheet which, although very clear, I still haven´t really worked out. Not your problem, Jon, just my scattiness.

I guess it´s because I don´t have a goal per se except perhaps writing and having my words read – I´m a writer – and I like to do my own thing as I feel, when I feel it. Dear Margaret, still my agent, despairs that I will remain unpublishable. Maybe. But I know that I´ve touched one or two of you out there with my words and my stories. And, hey, that makes me happy!

I love social networking. Maybe, one day when I get myself organised, I´ll be using it as a real promotion tool, but until then I´m just gonna have fun. This is my way of wearing purple as I tip my straw hat to the “Warning” of Jenny Joseph. Onwards!