Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 Social Networking Peeves

You know what I’ve noticed? Social networking has become, like, the hub of our collective lives. Or, well, the dramatic parts anyway.

Take Facebook, for instance (just one of a great many examples). I can sign on at any time of the day, and with a few minutes of scrolling, figure out what’s going on with a lot of people. Theoretically, this should be the best possible place to get news or information about the people we care about.

Except for two things. (Well, there’s probably more, but I’m just going to highlight these two.)

1. Some people have discovered that these public forums are a good place to whine about their poor, sad existences in order to garner instant sympathy.

2. Others have discovered that these same public forums are a great place for publicity, and so they fill every post with, “buy my___” or “I’m doing this, come see me” or “I know you’re so excited about me, me, me”.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to post about each of those subjects occasionally, sparingly. But I also think it’s important to have other updates in between. Let’s face it, no one wants to see how poor picked on you are 100% of the time, and if you never post anything entertaining, or of value to others, it’s highly likely you’re about to get unfollowed, unfriended, or hidden. Or in the worst cases, maybe even blocked.

The same rule applies to self promotion. Social networking sites are perfect for it. But if the only comments you ever make are all about your book or product, and you never take the time to give back to your collective following (chat, say something funny, comment on the weather or other people's statuses, whatever), people are likely to be more annoyed than glad for your potential success.

But I’m not an expert. This is strictly an opinion (or rant) based on my own experiences and observations. So I’d love to hear what you think about this phenomenon. Do you think it’s important to balance our social networking updates or posts?


Matthew MacNish said...

I can stand anonymous shot gun promotion like that. My time is valuable to me, so if you want me to promote (or buy) something you made, have the respect to ask me directly (hopefully after we've gotten to actually know each other).

Anyway, that's my rant.

Matthew MacNish said...

That should say "can't." Oops.

Angie said...

I totally agree. I try to be a good online friend to people. I don't think they need me dumping all my problems on them or only trying to get something from them. Great post!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I aim to make friends first and foremost, and I keep my author fb page separate from my personal fb profile, which seems to help. Obviously I'd do more promoting on my author page and if people don't want to see that stuff they can unlike the page and I won't mind at all.

I do get annoyed with those who promote too much and don't put up anything personal.

Carolyn V said...

I totally think it's important to balance it. I love to hear about everyone's progress and work, but a little personal is good too.

J.R. Johansson said...

Hear, hear! I'm with you on this one. I know it's hard. Writers are busy people, but take the five minutes a day to talk about other things... then we'll listen closer when you talk about yourself and your sad/greatness.

Windy Aphayrath said...

Sing it, sista!