I’m heading away for the holiday weekend–going camping in Maryland with friends, which means very limited, if any, internet access. I can tweet and answer emails from my cell phone, but that’s about it (and that depends on what the cell phone coverage is like down there, of course).
I like being in touch. The social networking scene is still somewhat of a mystery to me, ie, what I’m “supposed” to be doing, but I’m getting better at it. By following a friend’s advice, I was able to increase Twitter followers to over 1,000 (from around 20) in just over a month. Now that I’ve hit 1,000, I figure that’s good for now, I’ll let it grow naturally and focus on my blog and tweeting something “meaningful.”
My campaign to add followers was work. I had to follow people myself, finding ones who matched my interests (writers, publishers, artsy people, etc.). Then I had to let them know I was following them, and then I had to thank them for following me back. I read other’s tweets on a regular basis and I respond or retweet when something is interesting. I also like to follow links to people’s blogs, and if I have time I will read them and comment on them.
My website is set up so that every time I blog the entry is posted on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’m signed up on Google+ as well, but I haven’t really started exploring it yet and don’t know if it’ll be beneficial. I didn’t like MySpace much when I tried it in the past so my account has been dormant. If someone can convince me I should be using it, I’ll give it another shot. I’ve also heard I “should” be on Tumblr as well. Why I should, and why Tumblr has no “e”, I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll look into that.
I use LinkedIn mostly for business, Twitter for business and personal connections, and Facebook mostly for personal connections–friends and family. Most of my family uses Facebook now.
Social networking is a lot of work, sometimes fun, sometimes tedious. But I do like having followers. Will it mean more work? Time will tell. One big goal to all of this is to eventually draw people to my website and get work as an editor. I consider those I’ve edited for in the past friends, and I follow them on Twitter. Those of us who know each other tend to retweet the others’ tweets or toss out mentions.
All four of the books I recently edited are coming out in the fall–the first one in September–and I’ll be tweeting a lot about that as the time draws near. I didn’t write these books, obviously, but I feel a part of the process and I’m very excited for everyone, especially my two authors who have never been published before.
Among the followers I don’t know, some stand out; they are funny and interesting and I like getting to know them. It’s a virtual community–we probably will never meet–but it is a community and I like it.