I hate Twitter. There, I’ve said it. (Ironically, I’ve gotten 7 new followers while working on this post. I… hate blogging? It’s worth a shot, right? 😉 ) I reserve the right to change my mind, but so far I find it to be an incomprehensible fast flying morass. I’m also not a huge fan of Facebook, for entirely different reasons. I absolutely adore Pinterest, but that’s because if I had my way I’d have WALLS covered in cork boards and inspiration pictures. Pinterest saves my husband’s sanity. And so far, I really like Instagram. The jury is still out on Tumblr.
But, as I’ve embarked on social media adventures to begin promoting myself (well, doesn’t that sound high and mighty!), my artwork and this blog, I’ve also determined that I am a social media curmudgeon.
WordPress recently congratulated me on my anniversary with them. Four years blogging on the wordpress.com site… they missed a few years though, because this blog has been alive, in various forms and under various names, since 2008. And I kept a personal blog through Live Journal (oh my god, remember that? It still exists!) for several years before that. I’m proud to say I’ve blogged for 9 and a half years. Eish. That’s a long time!
I’ve never been what you’d call a “successful” blogger. But watching blogging trends from the sidelines has been interesting. I don’t remember blogging contests eight years ago… I’m sure there were a few awards around but they weren’t a huge deal. I don’t remember advice articles touting “When you’re stuck, write a list!” It was content, pure and simple. Sure, some of it was more diary than introspective, but that was okay. Writing a post every day is hard. So I understand why those sorts of things exist. (I certainly have my share of that here.)
But here’s my curmudgeonly side. Somewhere back in my idealistic, journalist-trained little monkey brain, part of me believes that genuine, thoughtful, long-form content will still eventually gain a following. That I don’t have to follow the “it bleeds, it reads” formula. That formula headlines aren’t the end all. That others will be genuinely moved to share – like I am and do! – when a piece speaks to them. That the canned “if you like it share it!” demand annoys other people as much as it does me.
I recently saw an article with advice to “post on Facebook every two hours” to maximize your page reach. We all know that Facebook is clamping down on organic reach – I’ve seen an impact just since merging my Facebook pages – only 7 people see each of my posts now, on average, more than that if someone happens to “like” or comment on it. But seriously, I don’t have time to post every two hours. Just finding time to sit down and write a blog post is an accomplishment for me! Even pre-scheduling content requires that I spend time setting it up, although I’m trying to do more of that. I’m also doing all of this without a smart phone – so I have to physically sit down at the computer to write/comment/share pictures/whatever. (Instagram requires some fun work arounds, let me tell you!)
Anyway… I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past few weeks reading about the “right” way to do social media. Do this, don’t do that. Post so often. Don’t use more than a few hashtags. Use ALL the hashtags! It’s exhausting, disheartening… and I’m just bumbling around in the dark. So for now, at least, I’m going to continue doing as I have been doing. Posting when I can. Sharing what I think is fun, informative, or has a really good message.
I’m doing it wrong. I get that. But it’s what I can do right now.
What about you? Are you fed up with the merry-go-round as much as I am?