I’m not having as much fun online as I used to. When I first got serious about social networking, I had a core group of people that I interacted with very regularly on Facebook and Twitter. It was personal and it was fun. I made a lot of real friends. When I met some of these people at Bouchercon, it was as if I already knew them.
Now I seem to have lost contact with many of them. Part of the problem is time. I just never have enough time to read all the blogs I want to and say Hi to all my online friends — and still earn a living, while writing also writing novels.
Another part of the problem is Facebook’s reconfiguration. I’ve lost the ability to see friends’ updates in one easy-to-read page. The home page is not the same, because it has photos and games and gifts too. I miss the update-only page. That’s how I got to know people and interact with them.
And part of the problem is volume. The more people I have in my online spheres, the less personal, and the less frequent, my contact is with any one individual. That seems inevitable. Bigger businesses, bigger schools — their constituents suffer the same issue. It’s hard to feel cozy in a crowd. The people I interact with are probably experiencing the same thing and have less time for me.
But for promotional efforts, volume is good. Right? The point is to reach as many people as possible. Get your name and work out there. Reaching people in a personal way though feels better to me than simply making contact.
My spheres continue to grow — only because I’m friending and following people who come to me. I’m not spending any time trying to expand. But I’ll never turn anyone away either.
I finally download Tweetdeck, hoping it would help me stay in contact with some of the people I’ve come to really care about, but I haven’t had the time to figure out how to use it properly. (I really just want to create a group and have it show up as a column.) And I made lists on Facebook, only to discover it still doesn’t give me their updates when I look at that group.
Some people might say you have to make a choice — personal or promotional — you can’t have both. They may be right, but I don’t have to like it.
So what now? There is no going back, only forward. Is anyone else experiencing this? How are you handling it?