Social Efficiency

I am beginning to really understand the need for structure in my day. So far this week I have written a grand total of 3000+ words on topics all unrelated to the stories I should have been working on. I have two new stories coming out of that, but I should be finishing the three I currently hop between.  On top of that, I am attempting to do my best with this whole social networking thing. I like writing blog pieces and word press articles, coming up with ‘witty’ Tweets takes longer than a whole blog article and I still just don’t get Pinterest. Tumblr is a time sink of ‘research’, which boils down to looking through hundreds, if not thousands of other people’s posts and pictures. Facebook and Google+ are fed via previously mentioned social platforms and should consider themselves lucky at that.

Add in waking up, chores, getting the kids out, getting me ready, getting the kids back, food, work, other work, and the day is over. I need to think this through a little better.

It is very easy to get lost in a sea of social applications and the people you find there. It’s clear I need to structure my day so that I don’t lose myself in the duty side of things before getting any work done. I need to do things more efficiently.

Structure is key. I don’t have regular hours for anything I do except when I get the kids to and from school. That’s it. Since I am clearly the type of person who zooms off at a tangent the moment anything interesting comes along, I need to give myself a rigid timetable. And stick to it. One hour of social networking really ought to be enough.

What I can do to make things easier is automate some of it. First step is delegating some of the work to automated tasks. WordPress allows this via the Publicize widgits. Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ also allow it. Be careful here though. Each platform presents itself slightly differently and you need to experiment a little to find out which presentation format you prefer. My preference sends a Worpress blog post to Tumblr and Google+. Tumblr sends it onto Twitter. Twitter sends it to my Facebook. All of these can be toggled off and on as desired for individual posts too.

I still write posts for each platform when I can, but it’s good to know that I can get my work out there quickly and efficiently. Some people say this lacks a certain personal feel, while I think it greatly extends the use of some of the platforms as well as making it easier on me. For example, this is a great way of getting around the 140 character limit on twitter as it adds a source URL to longer messages. Likewise, pictures added in one post are often automatically added as thumbnails or icons to subsequent cross platform postings which also improves their visibility.

Automating the task of posting is another superb efficiency and one that allows you to reach people in other timezones. While I am stuck in the Eurozone, I miss half the world if I am not up all through the night. Tumblr allows queuing of posts, WordPress allows timed publishing of posts, and there are some great Twtter apps (Hootsuite for example) out there to get your posts out at all hours.

 Some simple tasks and practices for improving the efficiency of your social networking. Now I just have to do them too.

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Insert tab A into slot B

Just connected this blog to my Google Plus account (stop laughing) and my tumblr. Disconnected my tumblr from my Facebook. Tumblr still connects to my Twitter. Twitter now connects to my Facebook. Nothing connects to my Pinterest.

So one post here should reach all those. They shouldn’t loop and crash the internet. And I’ll worry about Pinterest another day.

Let’s just test this then shall we?

Losing Pinterest

It is becoming quite apparent that I am not the kind of social user that Pinterest would like. I just don’t see things and think ‘Ooh, must pin that’, or whatever the verbage for pinning things turns out to be. It’s only day two for Pinterest but I feel like it’s going to gather as much dust as my MySpace and Friendster accounts. (joke)

How to be socially anti-social

Yesterday evening I started a Pinterest account. After adding a couple of ‘pins’ to my newly created boards, I feel about as much love towards the service as I do with my Facebook account.

To be fair, my Facebook started with a huge impediment; I started again with zero friends. Writing under a pen name, it would be a dead giveaway if I was inviting all my friends to join it. Same can be said with reference to my Facebook Page for Rebekkah Mee. Yes, I am my own brand, yada yada. But more to the point, I am my own brand with 2 likes, one of whom was me (by accident).
Perhaps my view of the importance of Facebook will improve as the ‘friends’ and ‘likes’ build up.

Twitter too is strange. Coming to it cold with no actual friends to connect with, you are limited in what you can do to gain any kind of ‘following’. I started by simply ‘adding’ a few hundred followers and writing and retweeting ‘interesting’ things that other people said. If indeed they said them either. Most of the account I found to follow had thousands of followers already. Who can keep up with that many people all ‘tweeting’ at you? The simple answer is that you don’t.

I had to step back and ask myself, what is it I even want from Twitter? What do I want from any social platform?

I want exposure. I want to connect with people. I am writing to sell stories, not just to make people cock an eyebrow at me. The Tumblr and WordPress platforms are more interesting. The tag system allows people to find and follow you easily. Until you are labeled as NSFW, and then you are pretty much hidden from the world. Thanks guys.

WordPress I write more about what I am doing. I ‘like’ other peoples’ writings, and sometimes follow accounts that interest me. The reader allows me to catch up on the blogging activity whenever I like, and sometimes I even have the odd comment to reply to. Having the posts available in a nice format with easy retrieval of archived posts is convenient and easy to use.

Tumblr is more ‘stream of thought’, thought it adapts easily to a written themes as much as visual. The ‘dashboard’, is the main landing page and you see what the people you follow have posted. While I like looking through people’s old posts and archives, I prefer accounts that have the majority of their own material rather than being composed of reblogged posts. Most of the interaction with a tumblr can be done via the dashboard so often you do not even get to see what their theme/design is. Too often they are unreadable when you do check them out. tumblr is useful for connecting to people with an interest in the theme of what you post or repost. Fortunately I find the sexual and BDSM and written side of tumblr to be inspiring enough to not delete my account, but there is a dark underbelly to Tumblr.

For the most part people follow one account or another with the hope that you follow back. The problem is that following more than a few dozen of any kind of account, be it tumblr, twitter, facebook or blogs, makes the experience of trying to read what any of them say like searching for a needle in a haystack. It just all turns into noise. Twitter is the daddy of them all, as some accounts have thousands upon thousands of followings. My account has 725 at last count and just the time it takes to blink can add 20 new tweets to my twitter stream.

There comes a moment when you wonder if it is all worth it?