Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Good-bye Facebook, Hello Twitter


How many photos of dogs licking their owners, sunsets, babies, leaves/trees/flowers, graduates, inane comments about a great meal, a "friend's" vacation, putrid writing . . .  Ughs, LOLs, and any other insufferable posts can a person stand?  I, for one, am done with Facebook!

     I really don't care how many people give a thumb's up to one of my posts.  I wouldn't have bothered posting,  if I thought it wasn't worth reading.  And I don't base my worth as a person on the number of "friends" who actually spend a minute of their time posting back.
     Like cell phone messages, texts, Instagrams and, I'm sure, countless other social media platforms out there, Facebook is an addiction.  While not necessarily bad for your physical health like drugs and alcohol, Facebook can be just as tempting as, say, gambling.  (In fact, I know a few folks who ARE addicted to gambling apps.)
     The average attention span of Facebook devotees has to be less than the time it takes to click on an icon of a thumb or to write a one or two sentence post, many of which I might add, make little sense or are rife with grammatical/spelling errors.
     It's true that Twitter Tweets are limited to 140 characters but, in my mind, many of the potential tweeters have a message worth sending and spend a bit more time crafting their messages to fit the word limit while saying something of value.  (Of course, there are many exceptions.  Yesterday I gained a follower [don't ask me why] from a woman who specializes in blow jobs.)

     And for marketing and PR, nothing works as well as Twitter.  People actually read the links you provide, click on your links, retweet to others if they find your information worthwhile, or contact you directly.  I tried my hand at promoting my new eBook about youth suicide (http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Serious-Youth-Suicide-Prevention-ebook/dp/B00KUQRCZU/ref=asap_B001HD19ZY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416318701&sr=1-1) on Facebook.  Maybe my "friends" were put off by the lengthy link.  Maybe they don't read books.  Maybe they don't give a damn about young people taking their own lives.  Or perhaps they could care less about being "friendly" and supporting me and my work.
     Whatever the case, my Google Analytics and Bublish.com analytics (a great site, by the way, for promoting eBooks) proved my point:  Few Facebook "friends" bothered to check out/read/buy my book.
     Now I know prospective book agents and publishers want writers to have what they call a "platform," a term I suppose creates an image of a diver bounding off of a diving board or platform .  And from this "platform" (all these Facebook "friends," Twitter blokes, blog and web site devotees), there is surely a built-in audience for buying books, if not for ignoring books and watching them take a dive.
     I've resisted developing my platform.  I'm a believer in the quality of a book making all the difference.  And, of course, marketing and PR.  There are so many online options out there that, with a little money, an author can get a heck of a lot of visibility.  And despite what they say about the demise of book tours, media appearances, book signings and the like, I talk to plenty of authors who are still out there in the real versus virtual world.
     But if "Platform is the Thing," then I'll hold my nose and do what I can to amass as many online "friends" who might buy my books.
     But I'll be darned if I'll use Facebook to up the ante.


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