20180527_222603
The Port Clinton, OH, (Walleye capital of the world; don’t give me a hard time on this, MN) Walleye Festival 2018 at night. (Thanks for the pic, Dad!)

Nope, I’m not going to get all weepy on you (and I’m not going anywhere), but I am going to share a few of the coolest things that have come out of my first year, social–as in, social media.

A retrospective as it were (we will miss you, Daily Post.)

But first, a little tongue-in-cheeky lyrical accompaniment–hum along if you can–from “Brotherhood of Man” (a la How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying):

There is a Brotherhood of Man,
A Benevolent Brotherhood of Man,
A noble tie that binds
All human hearts and minds
Into one Brotherhood of Man.

 

I don’t know a lot about brotherhood or business (OK, maybe a little about the business of writing), but I know that noble ties that bind are hard to come by anywhere.

Question: What connects us human readers and writers, really?

Answer: A love of ideas communicated as words, right? Carefully chosen ones–yes, all in the right order. Not the sort of stuff you can dash off between your Dunkin Donuts run and the office (unless you’re Hemingway and D.D. is a bar).

Rarely do I feel more alone in the writing world than I do while pawing my way through my FB feed populated by thousands of “writers” group members. You (and Mark Zuckerberg) don’t need me to tell you that there’s not enough real connecting–or even real socializing–going on, on social media, for writers, readers, or anyone else.

Not so for my WordPress Reader feed. Of course, I’ve taken the time to curate the scads of sites I follow. (If I’ve missed yours, let me know!) But there is, generally, great care and feeding done to the words that make up WP posts. And that care feeds community. So, here’s where I lament the draining of the Community Pool, especially, and and thank the WP editors for making it and the Daily Posts, like this, happen. (Not to worry, though, there is another pool I plan to dip my toes in and hope you might join me there.)

Back to the good care and feeding of our reading/writing community here and everywhere…remember when e-book readers made us fear the end of real books was nigh? In the same way I worried that email would disappear with my foray into social media. My findings: I still email the friends and fam I used to. And, guess what, people–even strangers–still respond to emails, even from bloggers (like this one), who reach out to writers they want to interview. I’m here to say email still works, and stay tuned for an author Q&A with Cinderland memoirist Amy Jo Burns, who will fill us in on her upcoming novel, Shiner!

My final finding in my very unofficial year-long social media study: the heated FB or LinkedIn debate: which is better suited to connecting with other writers and readers. My sense is that the pace of FB is more frenetic, making LinkedIn the place to connect with other communicators of your ilk looking to take the time to consider something more substantial than a jumping pygmy goat. (FB has cornered the goat video market, and that’s OK).

How do you best use social media to meaningfully connect with your fellow communicators?

I’d love to know.

And, as it’s the last day of short story month, I’d love to present a little gift, the latest issue of Flock literary journal (FREE to view online only until June 4), chock full of carefully tended words, all in the right order. Short stories not your thing (wah?)? How about a poem about honey? Art or interviews your bag? This issue’s got that too.

Hope you enjoy.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “For my ‘hood of humans: a retrospective and a gift

  1. Hey Rebecca – interesting post. I have noticed big changes in the way social media is being used. FB, for example, is nearly all Ads, groups, and links based on search history – oh ya, I know they’re monitoring my activity. Like you, I’m pretty fond of my WP account, however, I find myself seriously lacking regular posting to keep readers coming back. I need to be more committed to the community in the coming months. Thanks for bringing up such a great topic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It certainly takes consistency, this blogging stuff, but it’s worth it for the meaningful connections–at least for me. I for one always look forward to your posts! At least here it doesn’t feel like shouting into a void, as it does other places. And, yeah, I have awesome timing, so just as I got on FB, everyone else was jumping off!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I belong to a couple freelance writer (more on the business side) groups on LinkedIn, but nobody seems to mind the occasional creative post. I wouldn’t post, say, a short story there though. I’ve been delaying doing Twitter–just one more thing, you know? Might have to hop on–especially as I start querying agents. Seems they’re all on Twitter. Thanks for checking in here!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve found that Instagram has been the best social media place to find other creatives. If that community hadn’t of been so encouraging, I might not have had the courage to sign up with WP and start my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Community Pool was great. I made connections with a number of authors, including yourself, through it and WP in general. The whole “build a platform and brand” thing is really overblown. WP and my email list is where the true, thoughtful communications happen with readers and other authors. I deleted my author Twitter and FB for myriad reasons, but Instagram has filled that void. Photography challenges me to come up with more interesting content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t what I would have done my first year of blogging without Community Pool. I hear ya on WP and email! I don’t do a whole lot on my FB “writer” page but link to fun Cleveland stuff that’s too location-specific or silly to post on WP (I could post a different Lebron James meme every day, but I don’t.) Interesting that you’re not on Twitter. Seems all the lit. agents are on and do pitch wars, etc. I’m hoping I can steer clear of that stuff. So far I am, since I don’t even have a Twitter account! I’m not much of a shutterbug but it sounds like Instagram’s the place! Thanks so much for weighing in here!

      Like

      1. Some folks swear by Twitter as an effective platform for writers. After being on there for six years, I felt like the “signal to noise ratio” was way out of whack. Deleted it and haven’t missed it since.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As I read through the other comments on this post of yours, Rebecca, I now feel like I have to learn to use Instagram in a new way. I’ve never thought of it as being anything more than sharing pictures, but it sounds like it’s a great way to connect with other writers too. I also feel like I need to learn to use WP in a more efficient manner. I started blogging just over a year ago, and I feel like I have so much to learn as far as social media goes.

    Oh, and I LOVED “Recruit”- gave me chills. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you–or probably actually quite far behind you!–in needing to learn to best use social media to connect with other writers. It’s a steep learning curve for me. With WP, I just jumped in, but after a year now, I know I really need to take some of the tutorials to heart. I’m sure I could do a better job of connecting here too. (And my site’s in need of a design upgrade.) I just need the time!

    Thanks so much for reading “Recruit”–4,000 words is a real commitment! I appreciate it. And I’m really enjoying your latest journey on your blog!

    Like

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