I have been thinking a lot lately about my online presence. Most of it is due to this blog and the promotion of this blog. I do have several online accounts, all mostly connected to the blog with automatic posting connections set up. For instance, when I publish an article here it goes out to three different online networks without me having to physically visit and post them there myself. I’m not sure how well this works in the way of getting my message out there, but I do have quite a few folks stopping by to have a look, so I’ll leave it that way for now.
I am not much of a Tweeter. I have a Twitter account, but mainly it publishes blog posts. I don’t get on there and Tweet stuff. I rarely get on there and read tweets, unless they are from people I currently follow. I find some very interesting things posted on Twitter though, so that’s an account I will keep.
Twitter only allows so many keystrokes per Tweet, but you can get your point across with no problem at all if you use your words wisely. I think it’s a great lesson in the frugality of prose.
I do not Tumble, but I have a Tumblr account. I thought it was publishing my blog posts, but have realized that in order for Tumblr to publish anything, you have to be signed in when you hit the Publish key. I am rarely signed in on that account, so today I decided to delete the entire thing. I’m sure I won’t miss it one bit.
Tumblr is a great place for the tween and college age generation to write blogs and share photos. In fact, once you start looking around you’ll see the generational leaning is towards the much younger age group.
I have a Facebook account and I adore Facebook, even though sometimes it might not sound like I do. My blog auto publishes to Facebook every time I post something there too.
Facebook used to be just college students, but they are being fazed out for the much older generation now. These days you can find a little something on there for everyone, young and old.
I have a Google+ account and my blog auto publishes there too, but I never visit my account to add to my circles anymore. I keep wondering if anyone visits Google+. If you do, please let me in on the secret of why it’s not more popular. I really thought it would give Facebook a run for it’s money, but it hasn’t.
Google+ reminds me of a fancy disco that opened, right after disco died.
I used to be in a lot of Yahoo groups during it’s heyday, but I’m guessing those groups all moved over to Facebook eventually. I don’t hear too much about Yahoo groups anymore. What happens when groups haven’t been maintained for many, many months? Does Yahoo just delete them? Do they just blow away into cyberspace?
I also have a Pinterest account, which I had forgotten about until I received an email that told me I had an anniversary coming up. Really? Then I wondered why I had opened the account and what I planned to use it for, so I decided to go have a lookyloo.
I logged in and went right to my profile. I edited the old information and verified my new blog, which is this one. Then I explored sharing this blog on Pinterest. Google Chrome had a popup about making pinning posts easier by adding a P button to my toolbar, so I added one.
Then I started pinning my most current posts and you know what I started seeing…I started seeing my readers! That’s right! My own readers were already pinning my posts to their boards!! I was flushed with pride and humility and love! I kept pinning for almost an hour and each time I saw a someone that had pinned one of my articles, I followed them. It was like getting hugged over and over again.
I think Pinterest could possibly be very addictive. It sure could give Stumbleupon a run for it’s money for sure!
I used to Stumble quite a bit!! I absolutely adore Stumbleupon!! I have posted several of my posts to my own account, but it can be tedious and time consuming, so I stopped doing that. Occasionally I will log in and stumble through some of the most amazing posts on the Internet though. If you like to look at cool stuff, try Stumbleupon. It’s worth it to have an account.
There’s no fear involved with maintaining an online presence, as long as you do maintain it.
If you already have numerous accounts that you never use, I would suggest closing them. Figure out which ones are your favorites and keep those. Spreading yourself too thin across the Interwebs can open you up for trouble with hackers and who wants that kind of trouble?
The best way to get the most out of your online presence is to bookmark each of your accounts and save the bookmarks in a folder on your computer. I would make it a habit to check in with them about once a month, just to catch up, or to see what you might be missing out there. I realized that I had two Pinterest accounts when I finally checked back in on mine. How in the world did that happen?! So I updated the one I really wanted to keep and deleted the other one. So whether your account is on Twitter or Reverbnation, make sure your information is uptodate so people can find you. Especially if you are a working band. You never know who might be out there looking for you to say hi, or to hire you to play a gig.
And finally, a bit of good advice about having an online presence.
Since I use mine mainly to share my blog I try to make sure I am not constantly repeating myself. If one friend subscribes to each of my accounts, then they are getting the same article numerous times. Who needs that kind of noise? So I do strive to vary the groups a bit, if I can.
The other thing I would like to caution you on is using your online presence to hurt someone.
I have been subjected to this kind of abuse and I can tell you that it’s no fun, and it won’t make people love you either. I tried fighting back against this smear campaign, until I realized that no one I really cared about was even paying attention to it. That’s when I stopped participating. I don’t write with the intention of wounding people, but there are folks out there that do. Realize that the temptation to do this exists, but the price you will always pay will be your reputation, credibility and integrity, your friends’ trust and a huge piece of your soul.
Following through with a smear campaign and actually delighting in the pain you cause others is simply unhealthy. If this is you, I encourage you to seek professional counseling right away.
Using the Internet wisely and safely will always reap you great rewards and endless hours of entertainment and knowledge. Have fun out there! Learn a new language or find a new recipe for dinner! Download an exercise program or keep track of your fitness! But most of all, stay in touch with people you love. Til next time this is Madeline Laughs and I’ll see you on the Interwebs!!