13 June 2012

Putting Yourself/Myself Out There

Liking my page, reading my blog, friendship requests and selling myself on the internet.

Some people just don’t care what you’re up to. They don’t care. And they have every right not to care. I have a Facebook page as Shelley-Lynne Domingue, writer. I haven’t sold my writing, I haven’t completed my novel. I’m putting myself out there, fitting myself into the shoes of the someone I want to be. Wish me luck, motivation and perseverance.

I haven’t asked many of my friends to like my page, in fact, I’ve never mentioned on my personal face book side that I even have the page. I’ve only sent invitations to people who I was pretty sure would support me. And I kept the invitation no pressure, “like my page if you like and if you don’t want to don’t worry. No hard feelings and I won’t ask you again.”
I kept it low pressure because I have witnessed it all before. I was right about most of the invitations. I have 12 friends who pressed like on my page and 8 people who didn’t. I only invited 20 people.

I have a singer friend who declared once, “if you don’t come to see one of my gigs this year, I will take it to mean that I’m not really your friend.” She of course forgot that many of us had been to several of her gigs over the years. After her ultimatum, I never went to one of her gigs again and I actually liked her singing.
I have known actors who only want to discuss what show they are in now and whether you are going to buy a ticket. Thankfully my actor friends are more sensitive about their sales pitches and usually wait until you ask them, what are you up to?
I have friends who have Facebook pages who send repeated invitations and then put as a status update, “I have 1000 friends why do I only have 10 likes on my page?”
Sometimes, when I’m cranky I want to say, what if I like you but I don’t like your work? It is more than possible. There are some people i like but I don’t like their work.

I discovered/ realized when I first started to blog in 2006 and 99% of my friends ignored my blog:
Maybe people don’t care
Maybe people don’t pay attention
Maybe people don’t like your work
Maybe people are overwhelmed.
And I’m sure there are more maybes to add to the above. But those are the maybes that are affecting me these days. :)

How much of an Internet Presence is good versus overkill?
I’ve been thinking about my internet presence by default. I’ve been watching what others are doing and what I think will work for me or not work for me from what I like and what annoys me. I’ve been asking myself how much I want to be connected to others and in what way.

I have been in overwhelm since I did Robert Lee Brewer’s MNINB’s Platform Challenge . I signed up for almost everything that Robert suggested during the challenge except for Linked In and Klout. As the platform challengers grew in enthusiasm and decided to keep a community they started a Facebook group, of which I joined. We’ve exchanged twitter handles, Facebook pages links to be liked, blog addresses. I have followed and liked and subscribed to every blog that provides an email subscription. I’m so overwhelmed with all this activity, I’ve only been able to check out a couple blogs and make somewhat encouraging comments. There is some great writing out there and I need to free up more of my time to read that great writing.

So with that said, as people from the group start sending me invitations to be friends on Facebook, I have decided to decline. I have to have a place where I can keep up with the people I actually know face to face. There are a few friends on my Facebook who I’ve never met but we have connected through their work for several years and we feel like we “know” each other. We have things in common that we’ve discussed a lot over the years.

I am 2 people short of 500 friends on Facebook. That can be a lot of items in my newsfeed. There’s no way I’m going to be able to catch everything about everyone. Honestly, I don’t know how people manage having 5000 friends and the possibility of all those people popping up in their news feeds. And people who have their twitter account connected to their Facebook so that every tweet shows in their Facebook feed. HELP! OVER KILL!

For me, it makes more sense to have a page and use that to connect outside of my personal Facebook account. I want to be a part of a writing community but I can’t have it be in every little nook & cranny of my online presence. I need to have a place or two for my personal life. I know someone who says, “Writing is like breathing to me.”
Nope, breathing is like breathing to me. And writing is writing. I love writing, I do it as much as possible but I could continue to breathe without it. I’d be sad but I’d breathe. Maybe writing is more like a lover to me. :)

Some of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve increased my on-line Presence:
Facebook: Absolutely everything has a log in as Facebook option. Why would you want to log in everything on to Facebook? Then when you read the article on some condition you don’t want your friends to know about, they know anyway, because yahoo tells Facebook and Facebook provides an update with a link saying you read the article on “name that embarrassing condition.”

Facebook pages vs Personal Profile: Most people who have a page put the same content on their pages as they do in their personal account. The same status, the same “read my blog entry” notification, the same everything.

Personally, I have different content on my Facebook page compared to my personal profile. In my opinion, why should my friends bother liking my page if they can get all the same stuff on my personal profile? Plus, I don’t sell to my friends, so I don’t post my blog entries on my personal profile, ever. If people ask me where they can read my writing, I tell them about my page and my blog. Also then they are genuinely interested. I feel like if I post my blog entries on my personal profile that my friends then feel obligated to read them, whether they want to or not and then they have to compliment. So I don’t create that atmosphere. I want my friends to be my friends. I don’t have any other expectations from them. I don’t expect them to be my readers. I want my friends to be my friends.

Twitter: almost everyone who has something of theirs to sell seems to send that initial Direct message (DM) the moment you follow them. “Hey, Thanks for the follow! I have, I have, I have and follow this and this and this” ha-ha! It’s a bit of a turn off.
I’ve only received 2 DM’s where the people said specifically “if you are interested in prosperous Martians, consider my latest book on prosperous Martians.” As luck would have it, their topics are something I am actually interested in.
And a third DM was sent from Erik Wahl, who has the distinction of being the only person to say, “Hey I’m an artist and this is where you can check out my work, WHERE can I check out yours?”

And Twitter: Did I mention the twitter updates that are posted on Facebook? Every single one? Again, so why am I following you on Twitter when I’m getting the same content on Facebook? (shrugs shoulders)

When I have something to Sell:
I think one of the things I’m seriously considering is how do I like to be sold to? I like buying and finding things to buy in an organic, natural way. I never ever buy anything from overkill. In fact, I will not buy something I like from overkill, out of spite.

While it’s lovely to have great blog stats of page views, and lots of people liking our Facebook pages and enough Twitter followers to rival The Bieb, what does it really mean? If most of them are tuning us out because they liked our pages out of obligation, what purpose does that serve?

When I first started to blog in 2006, once I had a fair amount of blog entries, I emailed my friends to tell them I was blogging. No one replied to my email. No one told me if they even looked at my blog in passing. I was hurt at first but then I put it into perspective. They were too busy, disinterested, forgetful, or they checked out my writing and didn’t like it.

I had to decide, if none of my friends ever looked at my blog would it mean that what I had to say wasn’t important? I let the hurt go and kept with my goal.

Then one friend subscribed to my blog. She was a new friend, at the time, who asked me where she could read my writing and after a bit of reading, she subscribed. She has always been a great reader too. When we saw each other she would tell me about the blog entries that she liked, or made her laugh. And if something really connected with her, she would email me to tell me how it spoke to her, how it reminded her of something she’d been through etc. It really built our friendship. And in the grand scheme of followers, it’s so much better to have one reader who actually reads my entries than a whole bunch of followers who ignore my entries altogether.

I did end up with other bloggers who became followers and subscribers. People whose blogs i read, people who discovered me on their own through who knows what avenue. And some of them are now my Facebook friends, but that’s after years of creating a relationship.

I think it’s good training ground anyway. When I finally sell my work, when I have that book launch or whatever, most of my friends will not show up. Some will purchase my work but most probably won’t. Some people won’t even give it a second thought, for whatever reason. I expect that now and I have no control over it. And I'm OK with it.

So I'm going to keep on doing what I love to do. Find the common folk with the common interests in an organic way. And keep my personal little nook of the interwebs personal. I hope there are no hard feelings. I'd love to have you subscribe to my blog and like my page on Facebook. And leave a comment every once in awhile, if you feel like it.

In my little, figuring out what I have to say in my writing Field of Dreams, "If I write it, they will come... eventually" :)



Mel Jones said...

I go back and forth on this. I've had up to 800 Facebook friends -- deleted everyone I didn't know...and then I start over. It's easy to become overwhelmed. I have more professional connections on Facebook than I do face-to-face friends.

Twitter is another story -- All the DM "buy my book," "Try this" "best idea ever" I usually just leave them in a tit-for-tat sort of way. They're following me, so maybe they'll click on my blog, maybe not. Their loss if they don't. I've learned with Twitter, not to be attached, or feel committed. I scroll for a minute, and let the rest go when I'm reading -- which is why people often post the same message to Twitter repeatedly throughout the day. And that works as a strategy.

I too have everything Robert suggested, I find that I announce things everywhere -- but I generally communicate on Facebook.

Going in to the April Challenge, I had about 230 readers per post (well, per day), now, I have 450... I've broken 1000 a couple of times. I think the effort has paid off. I've made some friends, and some good connections with journals and publishers...

Do what's right for YOU! It's kind of like reading someone's critique of your work, take what you like, and leave the rest... I clicked to "Like" you and had already done that.

Mel (http://melwalshjones.wordpress.com)

Shelley-Lynne Domingue said...

Thanks Mel! You're right about comparing it to critiques of my work, so true! :)

Donna said...


I appreciate your thoughtfulness in this blog post. I agree this social media thing can be overwhelming and at some point we must put things into perspective and realign priorities.

I'll agree with Mel, we must do what is right for us as individuals and not run with the group just because they told us we should. I'm sure your friends appreciate you for who you are and not because of what you do.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

takeaim11 said...

I totally agree with you. All this social media stuff is overwhelming. So far, I'm having fun. But once it's no longer fun, I'll change things. Meanwhile, I "liked" your Facebook page.

Shelley-Lynne Domingue said...

Thanks folks! You are all right, PRIORITIZE and keep it fun :)
Thanks so much for commenting!