Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Facebook

#SocialNetworking is Fading Away?


I’ve tagged quite a few posts here with Social Media and Social Networking; but, I didn’t see a tremendous difference between the two terms

Social Networking

Image Courtesy of Jean-Pierre Ceppo ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/shibumi-33694

Along comes Mike Elgan and I’m finally starting to see a decided difference; just as one is, apparently, disappearing

Mike has over 5 million followers on GooglePlus and nearly 30 thousand on Twitter.

He’s touted as “The world’s only lovable tech journalist” and is a columnist for publications including Computerworld, Cult of Android, Cult of Mac, Forbes, Datamation, eWeek, and Baseline.

I first read him on the site TechConnect in the article, I’m calling it: Social networking is over.

So, concerning the difference between those two “social” phenomena, here’s what Mike says:

“Social networking is personal content. Social media is professional content.”

But, Mike claims social networking is going away:

“The idea was that you could sign up for a social network like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr or Reddit and connect with old friends and acquaintances, make new ones or even interact with strangers about your life.”

I do suggest, if you count on what you call social media (but might be social networking) for your business or career, you go read Mike’s full article (even if you just use social sites for keeping up with friends, you might need to read the full article…)—I’ll just give you a few more excerpts to make going there a bit more appealing:

“What’s happening is that social networking is being replaced or supplanted by three things.”

“The first is messaging.”

“The second is the general world of online distractions…”

“And the third is social media.”

Remember that Mike defined Social Networking as Personal content and Social Media as Professional content.

Just a few more excerpts:

“Talking about one’s own life in a status update is ‘social networking’. Posting or sharing an article or professionally created video is not social networking.”

Here’s a critical issue affecting Mike’s argument:

“Everything is changing all the time. But what hasn’t changed is that we’re still living in an attention economy. Attention is still the most valuable resource. Companies of all kinds are in a bloody, all-out war to figure out how to get more of your attention. As a result, online sites of all kinds are working tirelessly to figure out how to become more attention-grabbing.”

So, whether you use these “social” sites for keeping up with folks or for promoting a book or for other personal behaviors, things are changing rapidly due to the actions of mega-corporations

“Now the websites formerly known as ‘social networks’ are developing and exploring and evolving attention-grabbing activities that are not social networking. This process will continue until hardly anyone is doing social networking anymore.”

I know Promoting a Book could seem like “professional” content; but, when you compare one author’s efforts to the antics of the giant companies like Google, FaceBook, or Twitter, it starts to seem ever so personal

I’m sure Mike has identified an important shift on the social-engagement web; but, I’m not sure the change will totally swamp the personal, social networking—certain folks could create new spaces for it—lots of things might happen
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Finding a Social Network I Can Truly Engage With ~~~ #Wattpad


I’ve been engaged in a social media endeavor for 4 years, 10 months, and 18 days—right here on this blog… Wattpad

Naturally, since I’m a writer (and, naturally, a reader, too…), I tried the “social networks”:

Facebook—a raucous place for writers (or, readers)—folks standing up on platforms, shouting about their wares

Google Plus—more mature than Facebook but still not geared, specifically, toward writers (or, readers)

LinkedIn—hmmm… Sure, writing can be a “business”; but

Twitter—broke up with it numerous times—worked out a functioning, minimal relationship

I do, however, have WordPress automatically sending links of all my blog posts to all those networks

Feel free to check out more of my social media opinions.

However, 5 years ago I signed up with Wattpad.

I was deep into writing my first novel and didn’t see Wattpad’s value (for writers or for readers)

14 days ago, I wrote a post about my reunion with Wattpad and I linked to that post in another one I wrote 2 days ago—Very Short, Very Powerful Review of My Book on #Wattpad . . .

In that post, PAHughes said (about my novel):

“Picked this up and could not put it down. Astoundingly gripping , your words just dance on the page and every little bit comes to life. 

“I have downloaded a full copy of the book and will read it to the end. A brilliant book, well done sir.”

Then, yesterday, PAHughes told their over 1,100 followers the following:

“‘Notes from an Alien’ is Beautifully written with immense description and powerful undertones. It is the view of a world from strange but familiar eyes. Seriously go check it out.”

So, the reads of my novel have gone up and so have the reads of my poetry book and my collection of fantasy shorts. I’ve also had quite a few more folks follow me

But, I’m finding out that Wattpad isn’t just about me getting readers of my works

It’s also a wonderful place to read others’ writing—some great, some struggling, some amateurish—making comments on that writing (usually greatly appreciated, even if I’ve been a bit critical).

This was something I tried to do through other social media channels but never got used to

Perhaps, as I prepare for my next book (I’m in no hurry…), I finally can take the time to appreciate others’ writing (even if it’s a bit poorly done…)—perhaps it’s the ambiance in Wattpad—perhaps it’s knowing that about 80% of my readers are mobile (my writing is traveling while being read…)—perhaps it’s that around 85% are under 30

Perhaps it’s that I may be helping some stressed-out kid, on the streets ’cause home is a tragedy, slowly, incrementally improve their reading.

It’s possible to upload a full book or story but the Wattpad community has evolved in a serialization world (they even recommend keeping each portion of your work below 2,000 words...)—many Wattpaders are obviously writing a serial first draft and begging for comments so they can improve it.

I discovered Katherine A. Ganzel the other day and profited from reading her, How To Get Reads, Votes, and Comments – A Guide.

Katherine recommended another guide that I haven’t yet read—MichaelLimjoco‘s, Cracking the Wattpad Code: Insider Secrets the Pros don’t want you to know!

Wondering who those “pros” are or if Michael is just trying to draw in readers

But, Katherine’s guide is comprehensive and extremely helpful and she really likes Michael’s guide

Wattpad also has a Club (Forum) called Improve Your Writing and within that Club there’s a special place with a multitude of links to other aids and resources for aspiring writers plus what I’d call their Community Library

Plus, they’re rolling out Multimedia Storytelling.

And, for any writers out there who still feel hesitant to, at least, explore Wattpad’s possibilities, here’s an interesting blurb from a writer with more entrepreneurial spirit then me:

“Drawing on her own success story, indie author Dianne Greenlay explains why she thinks all self-published writers should try using Wattpad to increase the discoverability of their books.”

She’s written this article—How Wattpad Gained My Self-Published Novel 500,000 Reads.

So, whether you’re a reader looking for mobile-joy or a high-powered Indie author, I feel fairly certain Wattpad has something for you
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Friday Poll ~ What’s Your Favorite Social Network?


Just before this week’s poll, here are the results from last week—where folks buy books:

No one said they don’t buy books online.

25% buy books online.

12.5% said they buy books online and offline.

25% buy their books on Amazon.

12.5% buy books online from Book Depository.

12.5% buy books offline—places mentioned were Dymocks and Readings bookshops, both in Australia.

The other 12.5% was folks using the “Other” space to write things in…

So…

This Week’s Poll—What’s Your Favorite Social Network?

There is a choice for no favorite and another for using no social networks…

And, even if you check “I don’t have a favorite”, you can still select a few social networks you like…

Also, the “Other” Space can be used for writing-in networks not mentioned…

And, if you need more space than “Other” gives, fill-in “Other”, then Vote, then click on “Comments” at the bottom…

And, here’s a Very Long list of Social Networks :-)
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Facebook’s Deceptions


I haven’t viewed my newsfeed on Facebook for years.

I do still push my blog posts out to them, plus Twitter, LinkedIn, and G+; but, I long ago lost faith in the personal value of these social media tools.

However, I know these social networks can have value for many folks.

Still, I blog, five days a week; and, blogging is social media.

The one big difference in blogging-as-social-media is that there are no faceless sets of algorithms or unaccountable groups of people manipulating what I post.

In case you haven’t yet heard, Facebook secretly manipulated the newsfeeds of nearly 700,000 people.

I have no clear evidence that Twitter or LinkedIn or G+ are engaged in similar practices but they certainly have the means, if they decide to mess with your account…

Basically, what Facebook did was to remove positive entries from some newsfeeds and negative entries from other newsfeeds, then sat back and watched how people responded…

Facebook’s deceptive indiscretions are all over the news but I’ll only give you a few excerpts from a handful of sources.

From The Guardian—Facebook reveals news feed experiment to control emotions:

“On Sunday evening, a senior British MP called for a parliamentary investigation into how Facebook and other social networks manipulated emotional and psychological responses of users by editing information supplied to them.”

From ForbesFacebook Doesn’t Understand The Fuss About Its Emotion Manipulation Study:

“The larger debate is about what companies can do to their users without asking them first or telling them about it after. I asked Facebook yesterday what the review process was for conducting the study in January 2012, and its response reads a bit tone deaf. The focus is on whether the data use was appropriate rather than on the ethics of emotionally manipulating users to have a crappy day for science.”

From VentureBeatFacebook secretly experimented with the moods of 700,000 of its users:

“This experiment takes Facebook’s disregard to another level, as it actively sought to impact the wellbeing of users….And what is the point of this research? Why is it being conducted? Is it purely an academic exercise, or could it be used by some unscrupulous party to mess with people’s feeds and moods on a regular basis?”

From PCWorldFacebook researcher: ‘We care about the emotional impact of Facebook’:

“A Facebook researcher behind a controversial psychology experiment on users has defended the research, saying it was aimed at looking into a common concern that seeing friends post positive content on the social networking website leads people to feel negative or left out.

“The researchers were also concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook. ‘We didn’t clearly state our motivations in the paper’, researcher Adam D.I. Kramer wrote on his Facebook page Sunday.

“’The reason we did this research is because we care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product’, Kramer wrote.”

From the San Jose Mercury NewsFacebook runs into uproar over experiment that tested emotional reactions:

“‘People suffering from severe depression or on the verge of suicide could have been very adversely affected’, complained San Francisco artist Susan Lien Whigham in a Facebook post over the weekend. She added: ‘Shame on you Facebook. Whether or not it’s legally permissible, doing social experiments on people without their permission is ETHICALLY WRONG.'”

So…

What’s your take on this fracas?

If Facebook is doing things like this, which other companies are?

What does this mean to you as far as where our society is headed?

Care to share your thoughts or feelings in the Comments?
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The #SocialEra Is Much More Than Just “Social Media” . . .


[ this post is directed to writers but it can help Anyone who needs to overhaul their ideas about “business”…]

Regular readers have become aware of my difficulties with Social Media as a means of helping folks find my books

This blog is my main Author Platform and, as far as “doing social media”, I’m down to Google Plus; and, it never helps as much as attracting people through simple Internet searches

Some people Love using social media and I’ve worked to provide information here to help them —> past posts on social media, social networking, and author platform. [ You’ll see this post at all those links since I’m tagging it with all those terms :-)  Just scroll a bit to see all the other posts ]

However, there are issues and considerations far beyond posting updates on Facebook or Twitter for a self-published author like me (not to mention the issues and considerations of the harried authors who traditionally publish).

There are more books then ever before in human history and more of them will be completely forgotten then ever before, in spite of the long-term memory of the ‘Net

But there’s a woman referred to as the “The Jane Bond of Innovation”—Nilofer Merchant—and I posted a video of her talking about businesses going beyond just social media in the post, #SocialEra ~ The New Model for Book Promotion.

I focused that post on book promotion but Nilofer is proposing ideas for any business (and, yes, these days, sorry but, authors have to think about business).

So, to give you a hint for how to approach her ideas for business from the perspective of an author, hold on to your image of traditional publishing versus self-publishing and check out this quote:

“These organizations don’t operate like the powerful ‘800-pound gorillas’ of yesteryear—but instead act more like a herd of 800 gazelles, moving together across a savannah, outrunning the competition.”

And, even though she uses the word competition, her ideas are nowhere near the cut-throat competitiveness of the Traditional 800-pound-gorilla Publishers

I recently read Nilofer’s book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, and will share some of my favorite quotes:

[You can almost always plug in the word “author” for “company” and “reader” for “customer” and “book” for “product” and “publishing” for “manufacturing”…]

“…communities ‘made up of singularly unique individuals’ create value.”

“You no longer need to have a budget to deliver value.”

“Social purpose is a fundamental way to create value in the Social Era.”

“When a clear purpose is coupled with shared power, people can self-organize to reach a goal.”

“However much I’d like them to be, these ideas are not 100 percent neat and tidy; they are certainly not a formulaic or even a prescriptive set of ideas.”

“Connected people with shared interests and goals…create ‘virtuous circles’ that can produce returns for any company that serves their needs.”

“…a person or team anywhere in the world can create scale without being big.”

“…what makes a company great: customer insights and the ability to serve those via its own unique strategy (what only it can uniquely do through a combination of talent, culture, and purpose).”

“Social gives companies more control to operationally adjust their offers and create zealots by better collecting and amplifying even weak signals.”

“…platforms exist to allow community to fund expansion. When no one funds you, you know there’s no market for your idea. This changes more than the economic source. When a community invests in an idea, it also co-owns its success. In other words, it’s not just socially funded; it’s socially meaningful. And when products are crowdfunded, the ‘return’ is not just financial. When people are emotionally invested, they also want to contribute to the value equation.”

“When companies figure out how to shape their design, production, and manufacturing cycle from rigid planning and production systems to unique customer-driven experiences, they’ll design a way to respond in smaller bursts of more profitable cycles.”

“Organizations can be in a constant conversation to learn what is working and what is not, and adapt on the fly.”

“What is interesting about this approach is that no company has to get it right the first time; it just has to know how to learn and discover what works for growth. A firm that waits until it gets it right will actually be at a disadvantage.”

“The Social Era rewards those that can bring together a herd of gazelles by which they can be fast, fluid, and flexible. What we reward in the Social Era is being connected to customer insights and acting with relevance in what we produce and deliver.”

That last quote could be misinterpreted as authors communicating with their “herd” of readers and swiftly producing a series of formulaic genre books.

However, it’s possible for an author to work with readers and still produce unique and valuable literature; and, if you visit Nilofer’s site or read her book, you’ll see that she’s far from proposing we suck up to enervated consumers

Here’s a link to a Webinar of Nilofer talking about The Social Rules: Communication That Will Change Your Company.

And, here’s a short video with her talking about some of the human barriers to innovation:


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