Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Confessions of a Social Media Dropout

My kids fall in to fits of giggles when I proudly tell them I have: 26 facebook friends, 19 likes on my LilyMax Fan Club page, 21 followers on Twitter and 3 followers on my blog (okay that bit IS embarrassing).

But I’m good with it. As a middle-aged* matriarch presiding over three children, one husband, two horses, four chickens, one old black dog, one young black cat, one goldfish called Zoomy, 16 rambling acres and a large dusty house; I like to try and keep a grip on things. There is only so far my tentacles can stretch encompassing all my daily duties.  Plus I like to give a personalized service.

Aside from my gmail inbox that sits on 950, I follow:  16 bloggers, 51 Twitterers,  ‘like’ 27 pages,  tweet daily, post statuses and interesting links weekly. I generally spend far too much time reading, liking, commenting and being an involved social-media-persona. This is called ‘reciprocity’. It’s the modern day equivalent of the book tour. And simply means if you want to make your presence felt (blogger presence felt in my case), you have to put-yourself-about. The upside is you can connect with witty and intelligent people all over the country and the world like, the fabulous Mumsnet Blogger Network based in London; all without the airfare.

I have stooped low though. I must confess I’ve read my blogger dashboard page as fervently and as regularly as my children count the likes on their facebook statuses.  OCSMD is not just confined to the young. Psst, don’t let on.  Thankfully I’m easily pleased. When my blog page views reached 500 I was SO ecstatic I nearly posted on facebook.  But held back. When they burgeoned to over 1250 and climbing I REALLY wanted do. I held back again. If a magazine or newspaper editor asks to buy a story, that’s when I’ll share. As if? Jinks, you owe me a soda.

The lowest I’ve fallen is googling my tag words to see where I’m ranked on searches. One post I did on the hot topic of the human consumption of HORSEMEAT, titled I Could Eat a Horse, was 7th past the post out of a total of 1,007,000 links. A win by a nose in my books.  Slightly arse about face, but jeepers, I was almost trending. Now, if someone left a comment (that wasn’t a spam cigarette site based in China) it’d be like winning the Daily Double.

The one thing I will not do is tweet that I have been re-tweeted. Yipee. Not. Although I have witnessed big name media folk begging for followers so they can cap ridiculous figures like 30,000. Even sweet Judy Blume did that trying to get to 80,000 followers on twitter.She's now on 85k+. She's famous already. What Kim K does with her  17,555,420 followers I can’t imagine. I suspect half of them don’t even speak Kardashian.

Blogs are not for everyone, my husband will not read them yet he does the majority of his current affairs reading online and has done for the past five years. Gone is the daily ritual of buying the newspaper, except on Sundays with pain au chocolat x cinq, s’il vous plait. He also follows ‘forums’, the forerunners of social media sites and blogs. ‘Sailing Anarchy’, for example - an interactive e-zine about the world of sailboat racing which includes articles, interviews, editorials, rumours, and a message board.  Free to read but the journalists get paid.

I wonder what will happen in this public domain of free on-line press in the future? If bloggers just die a natural death when the novelty or adsense drops off. If I was to look deep into my horse’s big brown eyes (a bit like looking into the grand canyon of crystal balls) I doubt I’d find the answer. But I’m currently hooked. I love the discipline, the challenge and the public interaction with other likeminded people. One big happy cyber-family as far as I’m concerned.

The chances of an editor looking for a new columnist, reading my blog then emailing me and offering me fulltime employment are about as high as me winning a prize in daughter 12’s Easter Hamper Raffle. But I did.

I bought $10 worth of tickets. Over, the next three weeks more raffle cards came home and $2 coins disappeared from my wallet. Then yesterday, a teacher left a message on my cellphone informing me she couldn’t send my prize home with the kids as it has alcohol in it. Let’s hope there’s also sufficient foil wrapped eggs and bunnies to last this chocolate-greedy family the weekend. 

Have a happy relaxing reader y Easter everyone!     

*between the age of 40 & 60


  1. There are probably groups we could join Melinda?

  2. I think I've got it too but in a bipolar form.

  3. Is that when you feel proud when you have a spell off it Kathy!? To me cyberspace is like having lots of lovely pen pals at your fingertips!

  4. Hi Jane, had similar experiences when I started blogging last year, I'm up at 20 followers now and I recently started writing a monthly toy column for a local newspaper (though it's unpaid). I use my blog mainly as part of a selection of free content that we're trying to provide for customers at the toy shop where I work. You can get into blogging for all kinds of reasons and some of the best advice I've heard is to get clear about why your blogging and what you want to say. Sounds like you're there already, the only advice I can give is just keep plodding on, at a pace that suits you and the followers will go up. Oh and also, I don't know how blogger works but over on wordpress we get statistics of what is getting read on your blog. Respond to that and post about topics that were popular before and you'll start to see your subscriber list go up. Hope that helps, all the best, John

    P.S. found it hard to subscribe, went for RSS but would have been good if there was an e-mail subscription option.

  5. Hi John, thanks for your input. Yes blogger provides stats. I had 'subscribe by email' but had so many problems with feedburner I gave up. If you join my site, my posts will appear with other blogger posts (if you follow some). I do that with wordpress sites. Or you can add me to a blog feed like Meanwhile I hope the RSS feed works? Well done you with 20 followers. I'm not really too phased at the moment, as I said I like to keep things manageable! I'm just enjoying writing my columns. Jane

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