Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? My daughter asked our family this question during Christmas break. She had obviously already thought this through as she was able to eloquently answer her own question. My wife, always the pragmatic one, laughed, and in Cantonese opined (and I’m paraphrasing), “Making New Year’s resolutions is useless. Don’t waste your time!” My teenage son, earbuds in, smirked, and turned away, too cool to give this question any consideration. Suggesting that he agreed with his mother. (Always a prudent choice.)
The question made me uncomfortable. On one hand, I had been contemplating New Year‘s resolutions since early December and subconsciously felt guilty that I hadn’t made it official by writing something down. While on the other hand, I agreed with my wife’s opinion, and subconsciously decided that I wouldn’t write anything down because I knew I would ultimately fail to keep my resolutions (again).
However, now, as 2019 has now begun, and I return to work, I realize that I make daily, weekly, even monthly “resolutions”. I even write them down in an excel spreadsheet and check the actions/accomplishments off as I them done. For example, I resolved this morning to write and publish my first blog of the year (Check). I also resolved to make the first draft of my 2018 Employee Performance Review (Check). Yay me! It’s been a productive day, and it’s not even noon yet.
It reminds me of a US Marines promotional campaign that advertised, “We do more by 9 a.m. than most people do in a day.” A comedian (Adam Carolla?) said something like, “Yeah that’s probably not the right message to send to your teenage boy target audience.”
Should a person Blog? Tweet? Post? Is it in his/her best interest?
If so, then why? What is the objective?
Should you separate your Twitter activity from your Facebook activity, or should you try to meld them all together?
These are the questions that I’m trying to figure out, so if you have any insight, please add your voice, but here is how I’m breaking it down:
- WordPress (scottthurman.com) is my writing Blog. I will use this primarily for promoting me, my book and any future writing. There may be some personal bits, but it must somehow tie back to my writing.
- Twitter (@scottjthurman) is a micro-blog. It works in conjunction with my WordPress website. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately, building up my “following”, and I enjoy it. It’s sort of a way of keeping score.
- LinkedIn is for business networking. In general, this is where I put my resume. I need to explore how LinkedIn supports authors/writers.
- Skype: I haven’t really used Skype for personal business, though I don’t know why not. My Skype name is scott_thurman
- WeChat: This is the Twitter of China. My WeChat handle is MenciusScott
- Facebook: Appears to have jumped the shark. I visit facebook once or twice a day, but Twitter has become my go-to social networking app. FB will be for updating and being updated by family and friends. It’s not a place I will be regularly promoting my writing.
- Instagram: Username is thurm2012. Haven’t used it that much, but seems popular with many. There is a way to coming them together.
- Goodreads Author Page
- Amazon Author Page
Earlier today I tweeted something about SUICIDE and within seconds I regretted it and deleted it. It was fairly mundane, but I could see where somebody who had lost a loved one or struggled with suicidal thoughts, might take offense. So, to be on the safe side I deleted it. It got me thinking about all the filters I run my social networking posts through, and wondered if I’ve set it too high, or too low? What factors go into a tweeter’s decision to post or not post something.
Here are a few I came up with:
- Family filter: If I say this, and my wife or kids see it, will I be embarrassed? If one of their friends sees it, knowing that I’m their husband/father, will they be embarrassed, made fun of, or otherwise harassed. Yes? No? Maybe?
- Work filter: I work for a Fortune 500 company that is very protective of their IP and their brand. People have lost their jobs by posting the wrong things, so I stay completely away from anything day-job related.
- Brand filter: We all have a brand whether we like it, know it, or not. Shy, cocky, annoying, confident, etc… I’m trying to build a brand with my writing. Violent, American/Chinese, intriguing, surprising, Tarantinoesque… I would like to sell a lot of my books, and I have started to develop a “tribe” using social networking tools. More and more I find that I’m checking myself before I wreck myself. I believe it’s a good thing from a sales and marketing perspective, but it’s also sad that we now live in a world (America?) where having a different opinion might cost you a sale, or worse ruin your career. This morning I was watching the news and there was a story about how the Barbie brand had reinvented itself after losing sales and market share for the last few years. They came up with a product line of Barbie’s that crossed all sorts of barriers and boundaries. The reporter made some comment about something called the United Colors of Benetton Barbie. Then the reporter asked the Barbie representative “Would Barbie ever take a position on a political and/or social issue, and she said matter of factly, ‘no, we don’t want to offend anybody.'”
Thoughts? What filters do you use, if any? What high/low is your social networking setting?