Friendly Blogging: Did I Just Fix Facebook?

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I’m behind on some things because I have been spending lots of time on Facebook this week. I think I’ve figured out how to make that network useful to me as a blogger. I finally see the play after a year of struggling over there. I’ve decided to take the shot.

I’ll wank on the whys and wherefores at Just Gene’O once I have the info to do that. This is the post in which I explain what I am doing and link to a bunch of nice bloggers in case anyone wants to come and play. FBlike

Weeks ago, I started tweaking Facebook so I could have more visibility of the bloggers I talk to often and start liking their stuff.  I started out just fooling around in my spare time, but last weekend I figured some things out and decided to get on it and get it done. Here’s what I did.

  • Used custom lists to tune everyone out except bloggers who interact with me, and blog-friendly people I want to interact with, then started liking and sharing only their posts and nothing else.
  • Screwed my privacy settings down tight, so that anyone who I am sure doesn’t care about blogs or who I have any doubts about for any reason, however small, can’t see what I like, share or comment on.
  • Got myself into a position, through a couple of friends, to eventually be Facebook friends with a few hundred bloggers.

Now I am set up to maintain my timeline as a safe, friendly, no drama zone, to add bloggers as Facebook friends, and to share blog posts and blogging-related updates with them.

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My personal standard. A banner for bloggers to flock to. Because it’s a public domain image, and the Internet can always use a little more mischief!!

Here is what I think will happen as I add bloggers to my “plain ol’ friends” list who see what I like and share, and build mutual Facebook friendships with a lot of them. Engagement on my timeline will tick up because I know a lot of good blogs to share. When I comment on what others are sharing, and they comment on what I am sharing, that will put those posts in other bloggers’ feeds. If I am able to get it growing and maintain it without it sucking away too much time, I will eventually have a Facebook network with the ability to drive some serious engagement, and that will be good for us all.

Once I am sure the privacy settings are right, I will spend a little time each week meeting bloggers by following links from Facebook. I will allow some of them to be my Facebook friends, and so they will have a chance of seeing the links I share and building enough trust to get into my circle of close friends.

By this time next year, there will be a lot of us. We will be a merry band. Most of us will also have Twitter accounts, some with thousands of followers, and a few of us will have accounts on other social media like Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Reddit. How does that sound?

Only “Friends of Friends” can send me friend requests on Facebook right now, but I am paying CLOSE attention to who follows me. Once I am ready to proceed, probably in a week or two at most, I will start contacting the Facebook followers I know well enough to be friends with and asking them if they want in.

P.S: Gretchen, Diana, Taylor, Hannah, Natacha, Rose, Luther, Therefore I Geek, Leather Library, Sisters, CompGeeks, Winter Bayne, Winewankers, Sabina: I think I took a level in badass this year! And just an early heads up. It is too early to say anything more, but Melissa and I are talking about cooking something up for the blog next year.

P.P.S: For those of you who follow my social media blogging. “Friendly Blogging” is the catchphrase for 2015. No more “Blog Traffic and Engagement” as the headline meme, though you will still see those terms in the headlines, because they are good for hashtagging. It’s taken from @Sourcererblog’s “FriendlyBloggers” list, which is one of my two most carefully-curated public lists.

P.P.P.S.: Your weekend music will run at Just Gene’O in about an hour.

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Brainstorming: Better Blogging

photo by Gene'O

photo by Gene’O

If Just Gene’O were further along, I’d post this there. Since it’s not, I’m posting it here and running my Tuesday Texture at Just Gene’O. I’m thinking about what to do with this blog through the end of the year and I’d love some feedback on the ideas I’m tossing out here.

First, we have to get through the end of the month and still be posting the first week of November. That’s a must-do because I’m planning to wind up the Feminist Fridays, or at least my official role in them for 2014, at the end of that week. November 7 is also the one-year anniversary of this blog. The season finale of Doctor Who is the Saturday after, on Nov . 8, and we must finish the season. It will be the third season of television we’ve blogged, and the first we’ve blogged both here and at Part Time Monster. It’s important that we wind it up in good order. Lots of future-stuff is riding on it.

I’m thinking of doing a near-shutdown sometime after that. I don’t mean going away entirely, but cutting back to a couple of posts per week, re-thinking the design, and revamping the pages a bit. The reason I’m thinking of doing this is because I know how long it took to move my personal blog to Just Gene’O while keeping up the rest of the schedule. Way too long, is how long it took.

Since our traffic receded to pre-summer levels almost the minute we stopped posting three and four times per day here, I’m not concerned with taking a big hit on the page views. I’m especially not concerned about December because December is going to be bad no matter what we do, and we’ll get a bounce in January. So it makes more sense to me to put the time into things like design, reorganization, and stockpiling content in late November and early December than it does to put it into everyday blogging. So, my questions for feedback are:

© Gene'O 2014; original photo by Vicki, 2013.

© Gene’O 2014; photo by Vicki, 2013.

  1. If you were redesigning this blog, what would you do to improve it?
  2. Have you ever walked away from your blog for longer than, say, three full weeks and then returned? If so, how difficult was it to get your traffic back?

I’m also considering posting publicly for a new contributor or two. Doing that has its pitfalls. I’ve hesitated to do it up to this point because I haven’t felt a real need. But I’m thinking that along with the redesign, the blog needs one more regular blogger. Anyone ever had any success with recruiting regular contributors from the blogosphere at-large?

A final thought. This is more a puzzle for me at this point than anything I expect help with, but opinions are more than welcome 🙂  Just looking at what multiple posting every day did for our traffic over the summer, I’m asking myself this question:

Say I have six posts in a given week and that’s all I can do. Do I post them once per day, Monday-Saturday, or do I post two per day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays?

I don’t know the answer, but I am curious about it. I am also wondering how different the last year of my social media life would have been if I’d branded myself a pirate instead of a sorcerer.

Arrr, Mateys!

Suzie81 Speaks! (This is a social media experiment.)

Suzie81 is running an experiment. I’ve decided to join in. The idea is to answer seven questions, either on Suzie’s thread, or in a post, in which case it’s ok to share a link to your post on the thread. She’ll compile the responses once the deadline for the experiment passes. If you choose to answer the questions on your blog, including an image would be a smart thing to do, because that will allow me to pin your post 😉 And you only have a few hours to do it before the thread closes, because I am late informing you about it.

© Gene'O 2014; original photo by Vicki, 2013.

© Gene’O 2014; original photo by Vicki, 2013.

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

I was brainstorming blog titles, trying to come up with something funny and geeky at the same time. I came up with Sorcerer, and Diana suggested spelling it Sourcerer to make it into an Internet pun. I wish I’d googled both those terms before I adopted it, though. There are tons of web-based products and projects with that name, so it isn’t great for searches.

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

Stockpile content before you start — the more, the better. Blog for two months and just save the drafts before you ever publish a single post and when you go live, make a big deal out of it for a day or two before you kick off your blog. If you’re even halfway competent with a camera, this includes stockpiling photos. Having your own images saves tons of time, and if some of them are good enough to use as stand-alone photoblogs, they get you easy updates on days when you don’t have time to write.

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

Hmmm. It’s an ongoing thing for me. I live in a town of 50K, have been here since the 90s, and I’ve had a doppleganger the whole time. He looks like me and has similar fashion sense. We have no mutual acquaintances, but we’re so close together, geographically, that people get us confused. Now and then a person I’ve never met walks up to me and starts talking about a previous conversation that I have absolutely no knowledge of. When I say “hey, that wasn’t me, I was somewhere else,” they look at me more closely and withdraw in embarrassment. This has been going on for more than 15 years now.

Sometimes it happens only every six months, sometimes often. A year ago I was having one of these encounters every three weeks or so. The cashiers at my convenience store of choice told me they could only tell us apart because of the cigarettes we were buying (He smokes menthols.) Anyway, I have never once met this person, but he’s lived within a few blocks of me at least twice in the last ten years, and he looks just like me. Weird, eh?

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

“I love you.” There’s nothing better than that. People who love one another should say it more often  than they do.

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

I’d want to witness the Big Bang, and to see what the world looks like in the year 9,000 C.E. If I could only do one, I’d flip a coin.

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Portrait of Gentleman, aka Cesare Borgia.

Portrait of Gentleman, aka Cesare Borgia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, my first name is pretty cool. If I just had to change it, I’d go with Cesare and insist on the correct pronunciation.

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

Damaged Genius.