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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tweet - *THWUNK*. AKA: What Would YOU Do?

During a recent chat, it was mentioned that someone felt like a bird flying around in frantic circles who just ran into a wall.

What did I think?  "tweet, tweet, tweet....*thwunk*" ...and just started laughing out loud.  I'm odd like that.  But that fun little image has stuck with me and taken a different message.  (And it keeps me laughing.)  How so?

Important Note: Bird violence is not funny.  It is dangerous.  And scary.  Except in cartoons.  And in this image in my head.

I've read countless places that it is important to update Twitter, Facebook, and one's blog on a consistent basis. There are so many reasons for this ...too many to try to recount here.  Suffice to say: I GET IT.  I understand.  I know.

But I've also run across several blog posts, tweets, and Facebook posts that offer apologies for being away, for something happening offline (planned or not) that kept that person away from their typing.  Or people who have disappeared for several days (*gasp*!) only to reappear with no explanation but continued fun information to share.

So my question for each of you is: Do online "networkers" get a "weekend"?  How do we take breaks?  Should we notify one another of said breaks?  If so, what is the cutoff to notify you - if we'll be away for a day?  A few days?  A week?  Should we apologize if unexpectedly able to post for several days?  Offer explanations?  What happens to my online world if I turn off the "Power" button for more than a few hours??

Sometimes I feel like that bird....tweeting, tweeting, tweeting, and then THUNK.  Life happens.

I have intentionally been away from the computer for a couple of days, throwing in a few tweets here and there, but mostly focusing on life sans keyboard.  A lot of it has been art, which has led to reflection, which has led to journaling and long blank stares into space, which has led into feeling hungry, which has led to pizza....mmm, pizza....but I digress.

I know my online support group is still there.  All of you are still existing.  But my blog is falling way down on sidebar lists because I haven't updated since Wednesday.  Those checking out my profile on Twitter or my fan page on Facebook may just venture away because they figure I'm one of those "here today gone tomorrow" type posters.  (Did you notice the shameless plug there with a little link-age!)

I build my connections through online dedication yet to create that following I need something to share.  To have something to share I need to be doing my art and my living off of the computer.  T'is quite the conundrum.

I know none of us should feel guilty for living our lives off of the computer.  (Odd to even say that, eh?)  And yet, the online world charges on without us.  I don't feel guilt, per se, just concern at the length of time one can be gone - and how many times over the period of a year one can be gone that long - before followers or would-be followers start to question my dedication.

SO.  I am begging to know your thoughts.  If you are new to any of these social networking ventures, how often do you post/tweet?  Are you concerned about being away?

If you are a veteran - particularly those with business ventures (coaching, Etsy, etc.), how do you deal with planned or unplanned time away from the computer?  Do you apologize for absences?  Offer explanations?

What about comments?  I have tried to keep up with replying to comments but find myself falling woefully behind...especially when there is no direct link to the commenter's email.  I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS and want to make sure YOU KNOW that I read and honor each one!

I mentioned a long time ago, somewhere in the virtual world, that it would be nice if we all could stop apologizing for being away.  For leading our lives.  And yet, this online world is part of our lives - a big part of my life.  I seriously respect, honor, and consider as friends those who I have come to know through blogging. And I still get giddy every time I get a new follower or an "@LifeUnity" on Twitter or Facebook.

Simultaneously, my art calls.  I need to keep painting, sketching, and reflecting so that my blog stays juicy and full of life.  My kids call.  My hubby calls.

Right now, the bed calls.

Thank you in advance for your comments.  (*hint, hint*!!)  I promise, I will read it and cherish it....even if I don't get back to you.
(Really.  Thank you.)

8 comments:

  1. Hmmmm...interesting query you pose here. I took a one-day mini break last weekend. I programmed all my business tweets, didn't update Facebook and didn't blog. It felt great. It was just for one day. LOL If people stop following you for being away for just a few days, then so be it. It's beyond our control. :( I worried about that constantly. But for everyone who leaves, there are two more to come. And maybe those two more have something important to share! I've never put my shop in "vacation" mode yet, but there is a way to do it. Plus, you can always leave a status on Facebook or twitter...not an apology but just a "Hey, I'm away for a few days...but I'll be back real soon!" Hope that helps...and hope to see you by my blog soon. :) Theresa

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  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! I believe that if you want your readership to grow all social media helps, but at what cost? I've quit facebook. It was consuming my life. I don't want to have a facebook friendship. I want a real one! Facebook became a source of drama. People I know were actually angry at me for quitting. They were upset they couldn't post on my wall. Umm hello??? Pick up the phone and call! I digress! I believe everything in moderation! Yes I Twitter! Yes I blog! But it is fun and a means of expression. As soon as it gets to be something else....bye bye!

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  3. Funny you should post this. I recently did a post titled "blogged down" & I still haven't found the right balance. I've only been blogging since Feb, I'm on FB but haven't gotten to Twitter yet & right now can't begin to imagine it. I've noticed some people that post daily if not more. Like you, I'm interested in hearing others' expectations. At this point I only post a couple of times a week. I'm beginning to take advantage of "timed" posts & I really like that feature in livewriter.

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  4. you know- i think it's normal to slow down over the summer. i know people who have a complete 'blogcation' and announce it...

    but then i've slowed down to about two posts a week- and haven't mentioned a thing.

    I think twitter is much less concerned with announcements, whereas if you're going to slow down or take a complete break from blogging i'd want to know :)

    Weirdly enough (maybe it's the small town canadian in me) but i get concerned when people fall off the face of the planet- are they ok? hope their life is going alright? i hope nothing terrible has happened?

    lol- but then i worry like that.

    Yay art and taking a computer break! (does this mean you're actually taking a break, or thinking about it?)

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  5. First:
    I hate hate HATE when people post apologies for being away. Especially when they start EVERY post with it.
    Second:
    I don't think it's the regularity of posts that keep people coming back. It's the CONTENT!! A person could post something every day, and if the content of the post isn't worth reading, they won't have followers. I know a lot of successful bloggers that don't post daily. They post a couple times a week or more. When they do post, their content makes it worth the wait.
    Third:
    I think there is a REASON for feed readers. I use bloglines to read all the blogs I love. (like yours) That way I don't waste time checking blogs for updates. Making subscription to RSS easy to find (like you do) is a great way to make sure that when you DO post, your readers will know.
    Fourth:
    Twitter (and some other social medias too):
    One Word. YOONO. http://Yoono.com is a social media "browser" that loads into a sidebar and runs while you're working on line (checking emails and reading blogs) It keeps all your social notifications right there, in live time, and you can respond to all of them from the widget as well. It's a HUGE time saver, and it makes things like twitter very easy to manage and participate in.
    Facebook:
    LISTS. Make lists. I actually have a blog post that explains in detail how to do this. Having your friends in lists makes Facebook a LOT easier to keep up with. http://www.minetothine.com/2010/06/making-facebook-manageable.html

    IMO it's up to YOU to decide what you can and can't manage, and don't try to live up to other people's ideas of what will be successful. If you don't have the time or energy to put into the "working model" it won't matter if you use that model or not. You'll fail. Do what YOU feel is right. Chances are, that's where you'll find your success. At the very least, you won't kill yourself trying to do it! lol

    Also:
    Join Blogging Without Obligation. http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233

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  6. I want to make sure that as much as possible that everyone else in the group is aware of when you post something for our group so that you will receive visits. We now have 99 participants. That is so great! Because we are so large, it is not possible to visit each and every post that every member puts up; so when you post something related to The Artistic Mother's Art group, I would suggest that you start your title off with "Artistic Mother" to maximize your chances of others from the group paying you a visit. I look at the blog roll for our group every day; and when I see those words, I automatically know that this is a post that I don't want to miss. Please continue to check the blog roll on my blog for Artistic Mother Group related posts on a regular basis so that we can continue to encourage one another in our efforts to do a little something creative each day. Only five show at a time. Just click "Show All" to see all of the blogs.

    Trudy
    Host of The Artistic Mother's Art Group
    www.artisticcreationswithtrudy.blogspot.com

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  7. Oh, that great debate! LOL! I post generally five times a week. I don't post on weekends and my readers have been smart enough to figure that out, but when I do put up a random weekend post now and again, they are awesome and come read it anyway because readers rock like that. LOL! I have my FB fan page set up so that when I post there it automatically gets tweeted, too. Two birds, one stone. Not that bird violence is okay or anything. Just say'n. HA!!! I also have my regular fb page and I try to promote my blog there as well. Twitter and I are in an on again/off again kind of relationship. Some days I'm all over that, other months, not so much. HA! Like that switch from one time measurement to another? Yeah...that's the way it is, folks. That's just the way it is. Now, if I go on vacation ever in my life, I plan to either blog from vacation or have scheduled posts ready to go. I don't like to mention being away from home, as that is pretty much an open invitation to break-in-ers and such. I'd like to avoid that, if I can, kwim? Also, I gave up apologizing for 'missed' posts. It's MY BLOG and if I don't want to post I don't have to. THERE! Tantrum with kicking legs and all! No, really, though, if I miss a day or two, it's just that. I appreciate any emails or comments from kind folks looking for me and I'm happy to reply. But, no, I don't feel like I need to apologize for disconnecting for a day or two. I'm a big girl. I'm allowed. Just say'n.

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  8. Soooo lovely to read this post, Lisa. I've been fretting too about my own levels of consistency with blog posts, fb and twitter, plus the huge amount of time I'm spending on-line. Perhaps I've become a little too fixated on 'establishing an online presence in order to ensure creative biz success' mantra of the past few weeks.... lol! Like you, I've been getting panicky about what happens when things just get too busy, I go on holiday or if I only manage to post twice to my blog in a week etc etc. (Gosh, my heart is pounding just thinking about it... LOL)

    Surely it is not healthy to feel almost 'shackled' to my laptop or feeling guilty when I have to stay away? Tbh, its hard enough keeping up with my family/real-life friends, real life even (!!) let alone fitting in doing some art too.

    I suppose it's all about finding 'balance' and what works or feels 'right' for us as individuals. But it really is sooooo reassuring to know that I am not alone in these struggles.
    Hugs xxx

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