Sunday, 19 September 2010

I am being a little cautious about

this business of 'following' people - here and on Twitter. Now I know that it is supposed to be a good idea according to people like Nicola Morgan, Jane Smith, Lynn Price and others. As a writer - or would-be published writer - I am supposed to get myself out into the public arena and make myself known. (This is difficult for a shy and retiring cat who prefers solitariness in real life.)
Now, I confess to having had a little fun at blog parties. Feeling that, if people comment on a blog site where a "party" is being held gives you the right to explore their blog is rather nice. I have met some interesting people that way. I will, no doubt, meet some more in the future. Without the party however I feel that just putting my paw around the door and peering in is - well, a little rude. It is butting in. I may not be wanted there. I suppose they can always ignore me or tell me to go away but it still seems a little rude. I will not do it.
I like the idea that people might actually read my meanderings from time-to-time. It is even nicer when they leave a paw print in the comments. I am not however aiming at a 1000 followers - or more. If that happens, it happens. I would rather people follow me and I follow them because we have mutual interests and find one another interesting within that. (I have met boring people who read books - unbelievable but true. I know boring knitters - unbelievable but true.)
I am even more cautious of "Twitter" (and yes Nicola I did read your blog posts on the topic - anyone else I advise looking at "Help I need a publisher"'s posts about Twitter) because it is easy to be misunderstood in 140 characters and it can have very serious consequences. (If you doubt this please go and read Jack of Kent's latest post on this issue.) Twitter is not just for birds. It can be fun. Living Downunder it is fairly easy to regulate the time I spend pouncing on tweets and playing with them. (It is a bit like chasing autumn leaves.)
But, all of this takes time. If people follow me and I follow them in return then I feel I should actually follow them. I may not read all they have to say all the time but I should at least prowl by and check that all is well, put a paw up to say "hello" - otherwise I am not really following them at all. I am just a number on the screen. It may look 'good' but it is meaningless. Some people will say "this is the nature of the internet". Perhaps it is.
I will go on being a cautious cat.


Nicole MacDonald said...

nothing wrong with being a cautious cat :) And I LOVED karens BBQ - even if my fingers nearly fell off trying to keep up with everyone *grin* I don't bother with twitter and facebook has a note on my 'wall' stating that I don't friend people and if you actually want to chat pop over to my blog. I like knowing that even though I follow TONS of blogs I make it around each blog about twice a month (as long as they are posting) its an effort that I feel is worth it and I love chatting to people *grin*

Old Kitty said...

I'm always very cautious as to the actual use of twitter/facebook etc. - esp. when translating these into actual hard sales of whatever it is one is trying to sell.

I think if you really want to up your followers because you have an agenda (whether for commercial publicity or you really really really want people to follow your blog/page whatever) it's an amazing way of doing so. I have been to blogs where most of the comments are via twitter.

But whether or not these numbers actually buy whatever product you are selling in proportion to how many follow is for me a little dubious (my very personal opinion only btw - please don't beat me and feel free to prove me wrong).

It's a great way for social networking but does this translate into actual sales that matter. i.e. one that will dent the profit margin?

Take care

Tony said...

Directly, no - indirectly, possibly. Word of mouth (or tweet) gets your message across to more people than you can imagine. Think of it as the cyber version of the butterfly effect ;)

Ann said...

I follow blogs I find interesting to read. But having said that, there are so many blogs to read and so little time. I loved the BBQ, it was great fun and I found blogs that I wouldn't have otherwise. As for twitter, I am baffled by the thing. I too think it is rude to just jump into conversations. Very uncomfortable with twitter. :)

catdownunder said...

Thankyou Nicole - I need to write as well as read and I get little enough time for that.
I won't beat you Old Kitty - especially as it is what I wondered.
Tony, I bow to your wisdom. You know a great deal more about this than I do but the idea of being 'out there' is frightening. I think it is wise to be cautious.
Ann, I am very glad someone else feels that way - and I am glad I found you. (It was in a roundabout way via Donna and then Karen - thankyou you two!)

Donna Hosie said...

I don't follow blindly. I only follow blogs about writing and it's the same with twitter. (Of course I follow friends.)

And there is nothing wrong with being cautious, in fact it is very sensible.

Holly said...

I don't Twitter at all. It is kind of like email when it first started out - or someone on their first month on Ravelry. It can consume you without adding much of anything of value to your life.

Everyone says that I am missing a lot. I don't do Facebook either.

But then, I am currently without a cell phone and the world is fine!

catdownunder said...

The real value for me in Twitter is being able to answer quick queries about work related issues - but I do that under a different account.
Your lack of cell/mobile 'phone would not bother me in the slightest. I detest them although I recognise they have their uses - in emergencies not for discussing who was wearing what at a party!