I’m trying, I’m really trying, to make this whole blogging/social media thing work for me.
Here are two social media occurrences of the past week:
- Kourtney Heintz bestowed on me an ABC (Awesome Blog Content) award. (Thank you! and you should check out her blog.)
- I joined the “Author Karma by Novel Publicity” Facebook Group and got involved with their Facebook Liking Chain.
Herewith, my thoughts on both.
Unchain my heart
My first thought upon receiving this “award” (and the earlier Kreativ Blogger Award I received from Carrie Rubin) was that it’s a glorified chain letter. (Just so you know, if you ever forward me an e-mail that says, “Pass this along to 978 dear friends and don’t dare break the chain because if you do you’ll go straight to hell,” I will immediately delete the e-mail. I expect I’ll be going to hell at least 978 times over).
Then I thought, “What’s so bad about this kind of chain letter?” By virtue of being mentioned as part of these awards, my blog has found new readers. And I have discovered blogs I really enjoy reading and people whose ideas resonate with me. So, if it’s a chain, it’s a chain with a purpose. And, thankfully, the givers of the awards bestowed them without the expectation of reciprocity.
That said, I look at some of the more professional blogs out there, and I see that they are not trading mentions of one another and offering lists of bizarre facts about themselves (which is a requirement of some of the awards). To put my marketing hat on for a moment, it’s a question of positioning. Do I want my blog to fall into the category of an informal conversation among peers, or to be more the professional face of my writing business?
I haven’t quite decided yet.
The karmic chain
Now to a chain of another sort. As best I can understand it, one way to describe the Karmic Fan Chain (first introduced on Goodreads) would be to say it’s a big cluster f***. But that would be unkind. In the past couple of days, being part of the karmic chain on Facebook has netted my Dance of Souls page more Likes in a few days than it received since its launch last fall. (In some mysterious way I don’t understand, having a lot of Likes is good for visibility and traffic—so that’s a good thing.)
The problem is, collecting these Likes seems a bit like collecting Monopoly money or costume jewelry. It’s easy, it’s cheap, but what can I do in the real world with a big bag of Monopoly money or a wristful of paste diamonds?
What is the value of a Like from someone who doesn’t know me and who has clicked the Like button merely because they saw me listed as part of the karmic chain and wanted me to do the same for them? By the same token, I suppose one could ask: what is the value of the Like you give to a big company in return for them entering you in a contest?
To address this—at least as far as my reaching out and Liking people goes—I have decided to try to be somewhat discriminating. Rather than clickety-click-click-click with wanton abandon, I’ve taken much of the afternoon and evening to view each Facebook page listed in the karmic chain and visit the author’s blog or web site if they have one. I have Liked and posted only on pages that seem somewhat related to my genre of literary fiction. I stayed away from YA, teen paranormal fantasy, vampire fiction, and romance. Nothing wrong with them, of course, but there is something to be said for positioning.
And something remarkable has happened. I have found more voices in the wilderness, more kindred spirits. Maybe this was the intention of the karmic chain all along. Here are a few of my discoveries. (If I never get around to formally passing along the Awesome Blogger Award, consider this my link in that karmic chain.)
P.S. Just so we’re clear, I won’t be your friend on Facebook if I haven’t met you in the world. You’re welcome to be my fan, and follow me, and Like Dance of Souls, but unless we have a connection in real life, I’m going to keep it to that.
*with a nod to Aretha Franklin.