What I'm reading: Catch a Mate, by Gena Showalter
I started this blog in July of 2006, and have put up 1048 posts (this makes 1049, I guess). I did it because my publisher recommended it. Then everyone said I had to have a Facebook page, and recently, I succumbed to Twitter. I figured I might as well share what I like and don't like about these sites, starting today with Facebook.
What's my take? The following is purely personal. Things I like, things I've learned, and some of my pet peeves. And what I consider a negative might be someone else's positive, so take my comments with that salty cliché. Today, I'll look at Facebook.
I find this is a fun place to hang, but don't visit too many times a day, and don't play games. I like to keep in touch, see what others are doing, but I automatically block applications and gifts – no Mafia Wars, no Farm stuff. It's a keep-in-touch venue, and I prefer it to Twitter because you can post more than 140 characters. I like posting 'real life' stuff on Facebook. I subscribe to Dictionary.com's "Word of the Day" feature, and I'll post those. Some of them are real conversation starters.
I'll post pictures, but not of my family. I'm moderately private—after all, I do want people to get to know me, and from there, I hope look at my books. So you might see the sunrise, or the deer in my yard, or what I'm cooking for dinner.
I feed my blog to my Facebook page. I don't have a 'fan' page—probably because I'm afraid nobody would "like" me. I don't "Like" many pages unless I know who I'm liking.
I accept almost all friend requests, although I will unfriend, or whatever you call it, anyone who's cyber-hitting on me.
If you're trying to use Facebook as a way to find people—long lost relatives, high school friends, etc., make sure your profile picture is actually you—and recent. People hunting for you might pull up 15 people with similar names, and they don't know if you're the one they're looking for if your profile is a picture of your gerbil. If you're not trying to be found, then anything goes.
Put enough details on your info page so people can learn a little about you. I tend to shy away from adding people who don't have many 'friends' in common with me if their info page is blank, or protected. I figure they don't really want me for anything other than a number in their 'how many friends I have' stat. I also don't 'bribe' people to be my 'friend' by offering prizes when I hit milestone numbers. Odds are, most of these 'friends' aren't checking my pages very often anyway. I know I can't visit many myself.
Another pet peeve. People who post their own promotion on my wall. Get real, folks. If you want to tell me about your upcoming anything, use the message feature, because I'm not here to provide you free advertising. I'll remove those posts as soon as I see them. Persist, and I report them as spam.
I also try to keep my profile page "clean", if that's possible. If I do go to someone's profile page and all it says is who they've just become friends with, I don't hang around. I remove those posts from my own profile page, but I have no idea if my accepting friendships shows up on other pages. I can only control my own page.
As far as promotion goes, Facebook is more 'name recognition' than a venue to sell books. Of course, I will post my writing news—things like releases, reviews, new covers, etc., but it was a marketing venture, I'd probably have quit long ago.
I haven't tried the new profile yet. If anyone has any positives or negatives, I'd love to hear them.
And feel free to visit my facebook page. Let me know what you think. And if we're not 'friends' over there, send me a request.
Tomorrow, my guest is Joselyn Vaughn, talking about one of the biggest 'lies' she's ever been told.
And Wednesday, I'll be back with my takes on Twitter.