Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Post: Kiss Theory of Social Media


This is my 'keep it simple, stupid,' theory of social media.

(For what it's worth.)

Considering the time investment in learning any new social platform, any sort of social media strategy is better than none.

Keep it helpful, positive or relevant, if nothing else funny or entertaining. People like to be liked, and they need to be listened to. There is no such thing as cynically 'reassuring' people. If you're fake, they'll spot it. When in doubt, keep silent.

Consistency over time is probably better than a big noisy splash that goes nowhere.

Right now I'm signed up for more social platforms than I can safely handle. Spewing out links that are boring, irrelevant, or shameless self-promotion wears thin pretty quickly. If you are not prepared to put in the time on any social platform, you're not going to get much out of it; and you're just doing unnecessary damage to yourself.

To engage using social media and at the same time distancing yourself from its emotional impact is not in my experience impossible. It is merely hard! It teaches me...maybe a little sensitivity...some objectivity. The fake IDs on some platforms make this clear: you are who you present yourself to be, because no one has anything else to go on.

'I'm not judging you,' sums it up nicely. I'm sure there are good reasons to put on a papier-mache goat's head and call yourself, 'Spawn of Goat-man,' or whatever.

In some ways social media are unregulated. A site is private property and you play by their rules or out you go. Like many things that are unregulated, they are self-policing. This has its dangers, especially if enough people mistake it for high school.

The unwritten rules of any community are enforced by group pressure. At that point it becomes a question of which group you choose to join,(or leave.)

Never click on pictures of some guy with a head like a goat promising 'special' picures of Jon-Benet Ramsey.

Trust your instincts and know when to back away quickly.

To be a writer, and to be friends on Facebook with 800 other writers is a bit like a convention of shoe salesmen. We are all exchanging business cards, trying to sell the other guy a new pair of shoes, and we all know they've got a big truck full of brand-new shoes out in the parking lot, and they're trying to sell us a new pair of shoes...and we've all got one eye on the other guy's friends list or fan list...and we're all just sort of doing our jobs and trying to keep it nice.

If you don't love people for their own sake, and not so much for what they can do for you, get out now while the going is good.

When I get a minute, I'll post a photo of my new shoes up on Facebook or something. Nice guy, gave me a great deal...hopefully he'll buy one of my books, sooner or later.

Does that sound cynical?


(This is the dumbest post you've made in some time. -ed.)

(Thank you. -louis.)

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