July 23, 2015

"You're doing it wrong..."

Welcome to my first rough, raw installment of my social media guide (currently called "Rebel Rule Breaker: Tales from a Social Media Failure"). I actually change the title quite a bit—which, I'm sure, is wrong. I ought to choose a title and stick with it for consistency.

But that would be too easy.

Several times a month (and sometimes a week—and on really bad days, hourly), I will be told I'm doing something wrong. And hey—I'm wrong a lot. But I'll be told I'm doing something wrong when there isn't a right way. When we can all agree that people can have different opinions on how to do the thing I'm doing.

Imagine I got dressed in one of my favorite outfits—little scarlet t-shirt, black thrift-store cocktail dress, hose, spectator pumps—and went to the library to make out with some research books, and someone stopped me to tell me I'd dressed myself wrong. Maybe I'd dressed myself weird. Because—that is mildly my m.o. But wrong? No, that's an opinion.

People have told me I blog wrong. "You use this blog like twitter." They've told me I tweet wrong. "You tweet in bursts. People will unfollow you." They've told me I write wrong. "You've got a serious boner for Anais Nin, that's obvious. And one day you might actually get somewhere, once you overcome the self-interested vanity of the first-person POV." They've told me I Facebook wrong. (I actually can't remember now why I quit Facebook.) My website's wrong. I use my "tags" wrong. My business cards are wrong. My guidelines are wrong. My promotions are wrong. My giveaways are wrong.

And so I've decided to embrace my failure and pen a guide. My guide (at the moment, things might change) will cover all sorts of social media rules that I have broken—and that I encourage people to break (if they want to).

It's not just me.

All day long we're bombarded with articles along the lines of: Are you making these 15 social media mistakes? My answer to that: Probably not. My other answer: If you follow all the rules people tell you to, you're going to wind up looking exactly like them. You don't know how many author blogs I've visited that all look like they use the same plug-in format. Is that better? I don't know.

What I'm going to write about includes:

Your social media
Your posts
Your website
Your "brand"
Your interactions
Your fans
Your friends
Your trolls

I was thinking that maybe *this* is why I have such a negative reaction to these types of interactions. I lived with someone who loved to tell me I was wrong. Who lived to tell me I was wrong. Maybe that broke my need to be right.



Cora Zane said...

That was an intense read about Connor and Byron! And I will now forever picture you with black curly hair, tattoos, and zipper jeans. That said, I'm eagerly awaiting your guide! It's scary to imagine anyone saying, "You blog wrong. You tweet wrong." Yikes! How is that possible? What do they mean? I've always thought of this blog as an example of a writer's blog done right.

By the way, I miss the days you were on FB. I never knew why you left. You're definitely not missing much. Most of the posts now are inflamatory rather than fun, and it will only get worse as elections roll around again. *_* If not for a handful of beloved friends I keep up with through FB, I would've given it up a long time ago.

Graydancer said...

As usual, you're spot-on for "things I needed to hear today". I've been told the same for my GRUE unconferences - either "this will never work", "this is not worthwhile" or, when it both works and people rave about how good it was, "it's just you feeding your ego, Gray." I won't lie; those criticisms do keep me up at night. Luckily, in the morning, I get up and get back to work.

I am eagerly looking forward to your Rebel Guide. I know I'm doing Social Media wrong...the problem is, I'm pretty sure everyone else I know is, too. Even the successful ones.

Please never give up your vanity of first person POV. mainly because I enjoy laughing at the thought of someone criticising you for it...

Jim Scovill said...

Keep on doing it wrong, its okay with me.

Alison Tyler said...

You all (y'all?) are lovely. Thank you thank you!

I spent the weekend proofing. My eyes are practically crossing!

Fab notes like these are delightful. Thank you!


Darius Karada said...

I recently read a joke and I think Graydancer told it on his podcast originally... ohh there's a thought, Alison Tyler reads Free smut friday. Hey I'd be all over it.

"How many rope people does it take to tie someone up. The answer is 100. 1 to do it, and 99 to tell them what they did wrong?"

Its a pretty accurate statement on anything people do that others observe. Everyone is always willing to tell you what you're doing wrong. The thing is not many of them have the balls to do much more than that.

You're better at the social media thing than you think. I know you're one of the folks I look for first on my twitter feed.