Anti-social networking

Having a web presence today is as much a given as having a car; both seem to be considered indispensable to succeed in your work.  It was no stretch for me to figure I needed a website to communicate with my readers, not only about my writing, but as a locus for general thought and idea sharing.

Static websites are the “brick and mortar” of the internet; effectively the storefronts for each business in the virtual world.  These sites continue to provide the needed infrastructure to the internet.  From entertainment to research to gossip to news, websites remain critical to the popularity of internet surfing.

Given the changes in behavior of people (and thus, popular media), it was inevitable that something like social networking would develop.  Feeding into the increasing need for instant gratification and reduction of complexity, these easily updated and edited platforms became the shorthand of the internet.  Social networks are the texts to the traditional websites’ phone calls.

Understanding that, I naturally determined that having a presence on the social network framework was important as well.  Coming up with a page on facebook is not particularly difficult, until the limitations of the platform become apparent.  For the burden of value in social networking is as much about frequency as it is content.

That presented a dilemma for me in that I had little, if anything, frequent to say.  Especially this early in my writing career.  No updates on book signings, travelogue of appearances or variety of other interesting tidbits to offer.  What could page fans possibly find interesting in “talked to school principal today” or “working on designing some new marketing materials”?  The vagueness and lack of immediacy would bore me writing it, let alone someone reading it.

So there I was with a facebook page and nothing to actually update it with.  There’s no greater kiss of death to a platform based on repeated postings than no posting whatsoever.  But what was I to do?  I deemed it even worse to put mindless posts on the page about this or that.  Such may be allowable (but still dreadfully dull) on personal pages (“I just came back from Burger King”), but on a professional page it would be amateurish and counterproductive.

I found out right away you can get some fans to follow your page right off the bat.  Keeping them becomes an issue.  Keeping them without posting regularly is not an issue, it’s an impossibility.

Obviously, I got ahead of myself on the facebook page.  The people who did “like” the page initially have mostly stayed, though few of them return to see if anything’s changed.  I usually slap a link to the most popular blog of the week, just to let them know the page still has a pulse.  Other than that, I’m not spending any efforts socially networking until I actually have a network to socialize with.

Therefore, I encourage you not to “like” me on facebook, despite what my website keeps telling you.  I’m sure you agree with me in my belief that decision makes me conscientious, not anti-social.

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