My yard backs up against undeveloped woodland – it’s actually the little used rear property of a home around the corner. On my side of the fence, it’s a tame cultivated garden; on the other side, a tangle of trees and vines. Very often, I feel like a frontiersman – forever keeping the savage world from encroaching on my kinder, gentler space.
That’s sort of how I feel about social media. Millions of people long and crave for the unknown delights found in the collection and connection of wires and signals. But each time I look at the various platforms, I feel as if I’m looking over the fence along the back of my property, the one that does its best to distinguish my manicured ¼ acre from the knotted twists of vines that are slowly killing the native trees. Yes, social media is kudzu.
But as my blog approaches its first birthday, I’m exploring other means of cultivating readership through, you guessed it, social media. I keep telling myself it’s no different than turning a corner of the yard into a flower bed. It takes time, patience, and the right amount of sun and water and organic matter. And yet, I find myself a stranger in a strange land. I don’t speak the language. I don’t have the right tools. My reference books are outdated. And it’s a jungle out there.
My first stop was Facebook – and let’s be clear, I suffer from Facebookaphobia. For starters, by day I work in a high school, and my fear is that students would have too much access to me or ask to be my friend. That means I would have to set boundaries and reject their friendship, which can then make for an awkward day at work. Then, there is the matter of old friendships. I barely have time to have an actual conversation with my immediate family, much less with people whom I haven’t seen in thirty years.
My friend Teresa, though, encouraged me that a Facebook page would certainly increase readership. With her guidance, as well as the help of my 23-year-old nephew and 11-year-old niece, I created a “Like” page. I’m still not exactly sure what that means, other than people have to find my page and like it to have access.
A little further into this new world, I discovered Tumblr. My understanding is that this is a simpler blogging platform that relies heavily on photo content and reblogs. It’s very different from the WordPress or Blogger format — but in any event, I created a blog and linked it back to this site.
Now that I’ve started hacking — no pun intended — into the social media woods, I can see Twitter and Pinterest up ahead. If Facebook and Tumblr were a mystery, these two are like the island in “Lost.”
I’m not sure how far I want to travel into this untamed realm, but I’m certainly open to advice and guidance. If you like, you can click on the embedded links in the text or photos or on the links near the top of the right column of this page. I would appreciate any feedback you could offer – even if it’s the message that keeps echoing in my head . . .
“Turn back now, while you still can.”
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Beth at Daylily Soup for the Versatile Blogger Award nomination. Her Alabama garden and blog are places of inspiration, creativity, and joy. Click on over and rest awhile.