Social Networking – Learning to Talk to Strangers

Fey on Crowe SheaI’ve participated in online social networking for quite a while. Just thinking about it makes my head spin!

My introduction to social networking was email. I was completely web un-savvy but I had a Juno account and knew how to use it. :) Friends gave me their email addresses and through them I found email groups to join. We spent a lot of time talking up business (I sold Avon at the time).

Then Juno made web access available and I discovered the rest of the internet! I created the first edition of “A Web Site Created by Babs” using a template on Tripod, found fandom forums, and stumbled upon instant messaging. Between ICQ and AIM I had to eventually install Trillian to keep up with everyone.

Things went on this way for a couple of years before a friend introduced me to LiveJournal. Originally it was embedded into my web site, which had gone from template to MS Publisher produced to from-scratch-taught-myself HTML. Then it, more or less, became my website. I still have my account there, though I don’t use it as much. I also recently created one for my business. I spent a couple of years there before copying everything over to GreatJournal when the fur started flying over the banning of a fanartist. If I recall correctly Warner Bros. had a hissy fit over some Harry Potter yaoi and, even though the work was “friends only” LJ banned them. BTW, if you know what yaoi is, high-five to you, girlfriend. :)

From there the social networking scene gets a bit blurry. I know I was briefly on Blogger, got both a personal Twitter account and one for my writing pseudonym, joined Facebook, and officially removed my site from Tripod and moved it (along with content from LJ) over to DrakNet where it was recreated in WordPress. With recent additions of a business Twitter account, a Tumblr blog, and accounts on Plurk, Google+ and Pinterest, I’m pretty much everywhere, now.

You would think that all these years dabbling in social networking, talking with my fans would be a piece of cake. It isn’t. Chatting up friends about Power Rangers or Gundam Wing, or fellow business owners about a venue is completely different from interacting with current and potential customers. The reason? TMI.

Now, by TMI I don’t just mean getting too personal with my fans. I’m also referring to a general “too much information”. I like to share things I’ve found, but I don’t want to bombard my readers with a bunch of links to products for sale (even if they aren’t my own) and I’m not sure if what I “cut” them with (links to articles/pictures/humor) is something you want to read. And that’s the point of this post (yes, there is a point).

I started participating in an online experiment. While it primarily focuses on Facebook, I’m sure it will spill over to all the social networks I take part in. My current homework is to find out what sort of content you would like to see from me. I have noticed a lean toward the visual, so I’m thinking of trying to add more pictures. But what kind of pictures? More pics of my stuff? Humor? Cute, fuzzy animals? Hentai fanart?

Or something completely different?

Please, please let me know! I’m begging you! LOL!