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First Draft of my Social Media Policy

Out of the many things I heard discussed at WorldCon, the panel on marketing yourself with social media stands out right now. It was also the last panel I attended, which may have something to do with it.

I have had a sinking feeling for a long time that there are some media outlets that use Facebook or Twitter only as announcement feeds for articles on their blogs, which I read via RSS on a regular basis. Therefore I'm getting a lot of noise that I don't need in those streams. I hope to spend some time focusing on a comparison of the feed, the Facebook page, and the Twitter stream of these organizations to determine if they are mostly announcements, or if they are indeed curating.

curating: Posting links to other articles of interest to your readers. jaylakejay_lake 's Link Salad is a curating series. If you didn't know, now you do.

Even better, if I was inclined to waste a lot of time and bandwidth, I'd write a program to do this for me.

The panel also made me think about how I use the various media outlets. The Best Advice of the panel boiled down to: Use whichever one you enjoy using the most and have time for. If LinkedIn is a pain in your ass, don't bother with it. 

So I am sketching my online presense policy, for whateven that is worth.


My blog. I really need to do more writing-related things here, and I have plans, but I've always had plans, so there. I maintain this as a personal blog mostly, and have yet to find a need to separate the personal from the professional. The only thing I don't blog about here is my day job. That's a rule straight across the board. Day Job Josh is not going to take up space here or elsewhere to talk about that stuff. The Day Job is working on establishing social media practices and I'll follow those as the Day Job, not Joshua R English the writer, thinker, believer, and complainer.


The latest and greatest social media outlet. It's private. It's writing related because the community that's over there is my community of writers. Google also has a tendency to insist you have to have a Google account to play along, and that bothers me a little bit. The Hangouts keep my going on the writing front. I try to keep that to my own thoughts and questions about writing, with a little curating on the side.


My personal friends, family, some writers, and of course my church community are on Facebook. I have tended towards the political and religious posts here, and will continue in that vein. I'll announce story sales (if) there, but the rule on story sale announcements is: Everywhere on sale, Everywhere on publication, and probably only a few places on review. I curate a lot of links there, too, but they will be more of my leftist slant stuff and progressive Christianity posts.


Another grab-bag of thoughts, questions, live snarks, and curating. I used to tweet work-in-progress updates, but some of my family didn't understand #wip. I follow TV shows,  music, life in general. Thanks to my new phone (thanks Jan!) I can text faster and update my Twitter stream multiple times. I even got a Follow Friday mention for (I'm guessing) my few #renosf tweets.


Hahahaha. Pull the other leg, it has bells on. LinkedIn will bug me 17 times a day with updates, then go fallow. When I do manage to log in, I have to change my password because LinkedIn has forgotten it, and after twenty or thirty minutes of trying to figure out how the hell I'm supposed to do anything on LinkedIn, it boots me off and I have to try to log in again, only to have LinkedIn tell me my freshly-minted password is no good, and I have to start the cycle over again. I exist on LinkedIn as a ghost, and I'm happy to be that way.


A bibliophile like myself should love talking about books, only I don't take the time to hang out in the forums and participate. My library is public, my profile is public, I will send messages back and forth, but the focused social network doesn't work out for me as well as I had hoped. I still try to keep my books cataloged over there. I am, however, woefully behind.

As with any statement of policy or intent, this will probably change. I try hard not to treat FB and Twitter as announcement-only feeds, but I've done that twice now tonight, with little else to add.

All my Goodbyes are Twenty Years Too Late

I'm not falling in love with FaceBook. In fact, it's scary what kind of time it sucks out of me. I don't see myself spending great swaths of time there, just checking in and seeing what's going on with my friends who have fallen silent here on LiveJournal and taken up microblogging. I did spend a lot of time there yesterday while Stephanie was getting her FaceBook legs. They look a lot like her swing dancing legs only they move in really short steps. I ended up browsing 140 people who listed my graduating high school class. This only reminded me that my 20 year reunion is this year, and that I left a lot of people behind when I graduated.

There are people with whom I should have stayed friends, should have maintained contact. I didn't. I hid in an apartment in Reno and at the University and KNEV and left quickly and quietly. I only got in tough with some folks ten years ago to learn about the reunion, hung out with a very few number of people, and felt like I had to be there to give some sort of honor to my friend Russ, who was the first person in our class to die.

So I looked at the class of 1990, because I had some friends there that I walked out on, and thought about writing them a message, but what would I say? Sorry I was a jerk all those years ago, hope you're happy now? They wouldn't recognize me now, after twenty years, anyway. Nor would they have ten years ago. If they did, my life would probably disappoint them.

When I re-read my yearbooks, I saw lots of notes like "see you on stage" or "see you in the movies." I was going to be an actor, once. I didn't get there. I sidetracked to art, then to technical support, now to writing. I can't remember what any of them wanted to be save one person, who turned out to be exactly that person everyone expected him to be. Well, almost. I expected him to topple Microsoft and the few words we had in exchange made it clear that he wasn't going to. He was making a living off of Microsoft.

No, they wouldn't recognize me.

So all I can say to them now is what I should have said twenty years ago: Goodbye.

See, it doesn't help, and it's far too late. None of them will read this.

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