Monday Blogging Post: Reorganizing the Social Media

This is a companion piece to an article I published at Jessica Leeman’s Social Media blog a couple of weeks ago. That post is about how I’m using various forms of social media at the moment. I wrote it a month ago. It was one of those posts I needed to write to keep things clear in my head. I’ve done some thinking since I wrote it — have been thinking about how to reorganize my social media for awhile.

Here’s my current reorganization plan. It’s a work in progress, of course. The various social media platforms are listed in the order of priority to me. This is not to suggest that one is better than the other in an absolute sense — all of them are fun, and can be valuable if you  learn how to use them. This list is based on what’s  worked for me so far.

WordPress

I’m taking Sourcerer back to a six-day-a-week schedule for all practical purposes. I’ll still do Silent Sundays here, because it’s easy to load them a week in advance, but the blogging posts will move to Mondays through the end of the year. The WordPressblogging posts have been great for Sundays, and have extended my week this summer, but it doesn’t make sense to keep publishing two posts on the weekends when I know I’m about to start my busiest time of year at work and I’ve promised Doctor Who posts on Mondays or Tuesdays at Part Time Monster for the duration of the new season.

I’ve registered a new URL for my personal blog, Just Gene’O. I’ll leave the old blog intact so as not to kill any links on my friends’ blogs, and will load the archives from the old blog into the new one before I commence blogging there. I’ve posted a more detailed notice about the transition at Just Gene’O. I expect this change to take a week or three.

Aside from these two things, I have three priorities on WordPress:

  1. Do whatever I must to help Part Time Monster keep gaining ground. The Monster is just working. It doesn’t seem to matter if we miss a day over there or have an off week with the content. I’ve been posting three or four times a day here for most of the summer to keep up with the views the Monster’s generating with one post per day.
  2. Read, like, and comment on other blogs more than I have been in the last month.
  3. Contribute to Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts as I am able. I’m updating the blogroll here to list QJT as a partner. I’ve always thought we needed three blogs posting regularly to do what we want to do, long-term. It’s why I posted at my personal blog daily during the first few months while we got Sourcerer up and running. The popularity of Jeremy’s posts here, the number of contributors he’s gotten so far, and the number of views he’s generated since he started blogging in earnest in June tell me his blog can be very successful. I’d like to do what I can to help it along.

Twitter

I haven’t been on Twitter as much in the last month as I was in the previous six. I haven’t checked my personal account in weeks. I’m surprised I haven’t lost more ground than I have there, and I plan to get back into a routine and be more present on Twitter going forward. @Sourcererblog finally has a good ratio — about 50 more followers than I am following, and most of the difference is accounts I’m not following back. The real ratio is very close to even. I’m not actively following at the moment, just following back. Once I get WordPress back where it needs to be, I’m going to start growing that account.Twitter-icon-the-bird

I’ll also revive my personal account. I can sync both accounts to my mobile, and I finally have a computer setup that makes Tweetdeck useful. Expect more tweeting from both accounts by mid-September.

Google Plus

I’m set up to operate on Google Plus. I haven’t been networking there for months, and have most of my profile hidden, but that’s about to change. G+ has real potiential, I think. It’s more time-efficient to use than Facebook, and it’s a more open network. It gives me the ability to chat with people who aren’t in my FB network and who aren’t close enough to have my phone number. It’s also much more mobile-friendly than Facebook, at least to me. And since I’ve already put the time into setting myself up there, tweaking my profile a bit and opening it back up seems like a smart move.

Reddit

When I have time, I plan to get into Reddit. I haven’t set up an account yet. I’m moving slowly with it and trying to learn the etiquette of the network before I start. Diana and I had a long conversation about Redditwhether I should go all-out with Reddit or StumbleUpon a few weeks ago. I only have time to do one and it makes more sense for me to try Reddit for several reasons:

  • Reddit seems to favor the sort of interaction I excel at, and it’s a network that we have no presence whatsoever on.
  • I’ve estimated that it will take me at least six months of regular interaction to get any traction on Stumble, and in that length of time, I can probably make a ton of connections on Reddit.
  • Jeremy’s got an active StumbleUpon account, and he’s the only one that’s had success attracting views to the blog with Stumble. For me, just starting out and looking to do the most good for the blogs in the least amount of time, Reddit seems like a better bet because it opens up an entirely new network for us.

Tumblr/Facebook

What I’m doing on both of these networks isn’t working, and I know why. Both like specific types of content, and they tend to be things that don’t translate well when you simply publicize from your blog. At some point, I’m going to disconnect my Tumblr page from all the blogs, redesign it as a personal Tumblr page, and use it as a photoblogging site. I’m hoping I can find a little synergy with my Tumblr and my Facebook fan page, so that I can post at one and start building both. We’ll see.

StumbleUpon

I’m not off StumbleUpon completely. I’m following a good dozen bloggers there who I know. I add things to StumbleUpon when I have the time to actually browse. The problem with StumbleUpon for me is that to really succeed there and get flagged as an active account, you have to interact with other peoples’ content. Doing that requires the same amount of page loading time as visiting blogs, and the actual websites don’t get views unless you click through and load a second page. It’s not time-efficient enough to be viable for me during the months of August-November. I’m hoping to just keep my account active until December, then come back at it during the early part of next year.stumbleupon

This seems like a lot (these sorts of lists always do), but keep in mind, this is a general social media plan for the next five months. As always, I’ll just do what I can do, make the things that work part of my regular schedule, and revise my plan again once it becomes necessary. Maintaining what we’ve built on WordPress and Twitter, and keeping them in a position to take another leap forward next spring and summer, are absolutely the two most important parts.

I’m interested today to know anything helpful you might have to share with me about Reddit. It’s the part of all this I have the least knowledge of, and I only know a couple of people who have Reddit accounts. I’d like to get started over there in the next month or so.

Have a great week!

StumbleUponBlog: Join me and together we can rule the galaxy!

That’s a way over-the-top headline just to get your attention. I doubt we’ll rule any galaxies in the near future, but we can dream. I’ve learned what I needed to learn about Twitter and drawn a blueprint for other bloggers to follow. I am now turning my keen analytical mind to StumbleUpon. Today I’ll give you a little history, my theory about how it works, and some accounts to check out and follow if you like them.

Continue reading

TwitterBlog: How Many Followers Do You Need?

The short answer is: It depends on what you want to get out of your Twitter experience. I decided awhile ago to stop growing my Twitter following as rapidly as possible, for a few reasons which I will discuss below. I’ve been wondering if TwitterSuziethat was the right move for a couple of weeks. A conversation I had last weekend with Conrad of The Wine Wankers on one of my blogging threads convinces me that it is. I’ll  explain.

If you’re looking to see a significant number of referrals to your blog every day through your tweeted links, I think you need 20,000+ followers. I know how to organically grow a Twitter account from 0 to 20K. I’ll tell you, it’s not that hard, but it will require quite a bit of your time even if you’re efficient about it.

If you’re just looking to have fun, you need as many followers as it takes to find a few people to Tweet with. That could mean 100, if it’s the right 100 people.

Here’s why I’m no longer growing my Twitter account at a rate of 25-50 per day. I have around 2400 followers and that gives me tons of people to Tweet with. If I don’t look at my account for a whole day, when I come back to it, I usually have 50 or more notifications and three or four new followers.

That’s not a very high level of activity for a Twitter account, but I’m happy with it. I find it useful to have a following that size, especially since it includes a ton of bloggers. But I don’t want to grow my account to 20k any time soon because I’m Twitter-icon-the-birdnot sure how I’d manage it, even with Tweetdeck. And since I’m not trying to make it really big, I don’t see what an account with 5,000 followers will get me that my account with 2400 isn’t getting me already. So I am content for it to grow slowly.

This is not to say I’m about to stop giving followbacks, answering notifcations, looking at shoutouts and Follow Fridays, or following new bloggers when I run into them and have a good conversation. Just that I’m not following new accounts by the hundreds any more. I need to put the time and energy I’ve been spending on Twitter growth into other things for a while.

And here’s the great thing about it. I know how to grow a Twitter account. I can have another 1,000 followers anytime I want them. So, as long as I remain active enough to keep from losing large number of followers, and as long as I keep up with the people who actually tweet with me, I lose nothing at all by slowing it down for awhile.

TwitterBlog: The Importance of Monday Blogs

As some of you are aware, @MondayBlogs is one of my favorite things about Twitter. This is an account which retweets links for bloggers on Mondays, and it has an associated hashtag #MondayBlogs. I tweet some version of this a couple of times a month:

Here’s how it works:

  • Tweet them a link to a blog post.
  • No book promotions.
  • The post doesn’t have to be published on Monday, the link just has to be sent on Monday.

Here’s how I use it:

  1. I retweet at least two or three links from the @MondayBlogs timeline, and sometimes I retweet a lot of them, if I have time and I see a lot of stuff that might interest my followers. I always RT Monday Blogs tweets from my friends if I notice them.
  2. I send them one link from my own account, using both @MondayBlogs and #MondayBlogs. I’ve never seen them say you should only send one. That’s just the way I do it because it feels like the right way to play.
  3. I usually send them a link to a post written by someone other than me or Diana. I only send our stuff if it’s something especially good or something I’m trying to get a lot of exposure for. The reason I use it this way is that it’s a simple, easy way to do something nice for another blogger. No reason you can’t send a link to one of your own posts every week — that’s what most people do.

I’ve picked up quite a few Twitter followers who I first met by favoriting and retweeting from @MondayBlogs, and I think that’s where its real value is. It’s not going to magically attract hundreds of extra visitors to your blog by retweeting your link, but it will help you meet bloggers. Since it only takes a few minutes to send one link, favorite a few, and retweet a couple, it’s something you should consider.

I strongly recommend checking out @MondayBlogs and thinking about participating if you have a little spare time on Mondays. Especially if you’re looking to meet bloggers or grow your following. It’s helped me out tremendously.

@Mondayblogs was established by author @RachelintheOC, who also writes very helpful articles on how to use social media. She runs @BadRedHeadMedia, as well. I follow all three.

I’ll have a preview for the rest of the week this afternoon.