Yes, this is me, yipping about social media again. ‘Cause it’s on my mind. And an article I read today got me thinking about how difficult it is for me to compose website blurbs, blog entries, Twitter tweets, and Facebook feebs. At least when I’m posting as an Author.
It’s a philosophical thing, you know: the marketed person is not the real person. Ask any celebrity.
A friend recently commented that she preferred to follow writers on Twitter or Facebook if they came across as a “person,” and not just a spam-bot pushing books (to which you might say, “well, duh”, except it’s excrutiating how many authors don’t realize this). The comment made me ask, naturally, “What are some ways I can be more personable on my Facebook fan page and Twitter?” I mean, it’s one thing for me to let down my hair on Live Journal. These outlets were created to be places for personal expression, and I consider a great number of my flist to be personal friends, even if I met them first on the internet.
I’m also pretty personable on my personal Facebook wall, although there’s some compartmentalizing with filters and some downright self-censoring as well. You know what I mean–don’t you hate those people on FB who repost political stuff from their feeds or just say whatever idiot thing is on their mind from moment to moment?
Being personable on an author Facebook page, Twitter account, or website is just that much harder. Don’t talk about politics. Don’t bore people with the minutia of your daily life. Don’t be an obnoxious jerk. Those are the no-brainers. Unless, of course, it’s part of your reputation, your internet “personality” as it were, to talk about such things.
Which is really my point. We are socially constructed on social media. The selves we present are a compartmentalized subset of who we are, or sometimes, a character we or someone else made up. And if we’re smart, we’ve developed a persona that the people we want to draw to ourselves like and want to see more of.
One benefit (and drawback) for those of us without a publicist is we can construct ourselves.
So who am I going to be? I can try to be The Philosopher, but that’s very hard to do in the limited character-count typical of Twitter and Facebook (at least it is the way I do philosophy). I can be the Philosopher in a blog, and then link to my blog, but the trick is to get people clicking on those links.
On the other hand, I can really funny with the witty one-liners. People at my day job think I’m “hilarious” and “feisty” in meetings and on instant messenger. Problem is, my one-liners are only funny in a context. Twitter tweets and Facebook updates are very low on context.
Who do I want to be on social media? I want to be funny, philosophical Nancy. I want to talk about the philosophical depths of my favorite fantasy and science fiction stories. I want to kvetch about the writing process. Ocassionally, I might want to drop a tidbit from a story I’m writing or an anecdote from my daily life.
Now I just have to figure out how to be that person in Very Few Words. I’m not good at Very Few Words.