blogging 201-9: spread your blogs wings

Today’s assignment: create a page or section on your blog to display links to your online presence elsewhere, and make sure your other presences reflect the brand you’re developing on your blog.

(well this should be a short post.)

i’ve been doing some thinking about this whole challenge. as excited as i am – i probably re-examine my goals for what i want it to become. why am i putting in all this hard work for? what do i hope to get out of it besides a project to keep me busy and out of trouble.

*strokes chin*

i am so humbled to actually have a few places that my written works have been posted or ‘featured’ – but since the number is more than the eyes i have, but less than the fingers on one hand – i think i’ll wait.

plus.. i don’t know how i feel about it. i am always proud when anyone reads anything i write. because well.. i wrote it. but because they could’ve been anywhere in the world – but they chose to read me.

the check me out! page flies in the face of the person i try to be and what im hoping to accomplish here.

then again, is it any different from posting pictures on instagram for likes?

*deeper thoughts

i have some ideas on how to grow this blog. some of it will be the old-fashioned way (in real life!) and some of it will be via the social networks.

i guess only time will tell where i go.

(but if you see a page added to the blogs called ‘this happened’ – then you already know).

stay tuned..

[amy]

ps: this is like my shortest post. ever.

since you been gone: lessons from lent (part 2)

(see part 1 here)

as time went on, i got emails, texts, bbm’s, gchat messages asking where i be at and i explained what was going on. most were surprised/impressed. (as was i. lol). i did get the question a lot of what did my fast entail. and while my response in the beginning was everything – there was some doubts as different people define social media/networks as different things.

for me: twitter, facebook, instagram, tumblr – sites where i interact directly with people, sole purpose is for sharing randomness with no actual purpose. bbm/gchat/texting (TEXTING???) to me are not included as they are communication tools. i have conversations with people i actually know in the flesh (not THAT way). they are not publicly broadcast for sharing.

i will say that when i resurrected goodreads, it felt like cheating. it’s facebook/twitter for readers. you add friends. comment on books and are sharing what book you are reading, have just finished etc.. i hoped that i wasn’t replacing 1 social network with another. the other partial cheat was pinterest. oh pinterest. what a time-suck disguised as something else you are. i use my account for everything from event (business) to cooking (lots) to creating my dream home and wardrobe. other than sending some pins to people – it’s still a solitary function. but one you can get lost in for hours if you aren’t careful. if i were to ever do this again, pinterest would probably be included. if you feel like you are cheating…you probably are. (let that sink in for some of you…)

oddly enough, the social media fast extended beyond the networks. i stopped watching tv. i didn’t make a conscious effort to do so, i just remember 3 weeks going by and my friends asking me about scandal, and me realizing that i’ve missed 3 weeks of a show i used to have a twitter account solely devoted to. is part of the reason because live-tweeting is what makes watching certain things worthwhile? probably. not to say i can’t watch, but it’s funny how interactive everything has become. heck even READING is social now.

i was having a conversation with someone about travelling, and the joke was made that they wouldn’t want their plane to go missing. i asked, why would the plane go missing?

person: there’s a plane missing in malaysia right now

me: THERE’S A PLANE MISSING IN MALAYSIA??? WHAT!?!?! (i know, i know…)

one thing i can say about news and twitter, is that it may not always be right but it’s always first. and if you spend your commute time to work, idle moments at work, commute time home, decompress time before dinner, remixed decompress time after dinner, before you go to bed, while you are in bed pretending you are going to bed scrolling through your timeline, you are bound to see major news like that. i don’t drive, so there’s no radio. i don’t live at a major intersection or take the subways so no free metro paper for me. im not watching anything on tv other than treehouse – i had truly removed myself from the grid. maybe a little bit too much. but the noise reduction was so nice. i was being filled in on some twitter drama one day, glad i wasn’t a part of it and knew it adds nothing of value to my life to be.

in 40 days, i broke fast and looked at twitter once (i was forwarded the @steenfox sexual assault viral story and was so moved and broken hearted). i had to break the fast and post on facebook when my phone was stolen. i can say that i have always had immense respect for my Muslim friends who observe Ramadan because it requires so much faith, strength and discipline. especially during the long hot summer days – how can one not even think of drinking water until sunset? sheesh!!

speaking of water, the juice part was the hardest part of my fast. i thought, i’ll replace it with water. but we all know drinking water if it isn’t already a habit, isn’t an equal substitute that is the addition-inducing simply lemonade (with mango). i had bottles and jugs at work, in my purse, at home and would do well for a couple of days, or during the work day, but terrible on the weekends. after 1 particularly hard day, i deliberately broke fast and drank a glass of juice (i bought it because SLwM is expensive and it was on sale!!) – i immediately felt sick. i presume likely for 2 reasons:

1. that was sugar shock to my system

2. the emotional guilt/disappointment in myself i felt.

i definitely didn’t expect to feel that way, and knew that this was bigger than just giving up juice for 40 days. the juice fast was the one i broke the most, and always after receiving bad news. i didn’t want to eat my feelings and felt like i was being punished, so why bother? it took a lot of soul-searching, praying, conversation and tears to get to the other side of that.

the juice fast also meant i replaced my sugar intake with foods. i snacked and baked a heck of a lot more. i felt like i was never full. if i was doing the do..i would’ve thought my uterus was occupied again (ITS NOT). my body was just trying to get back to what it was used to getting by any means necessary. and here i thought it was going to kick off a weight loss for me. nope.

LOL!

overall, this was a good thing. it was a challenging season (like winter was) – but i made it through the storm and now hope springs eternal. i’ve learned alot about myself, my friendships, what loyalty means, what trust means, what words mean, what faith means.

i’ve missed writing (i didn’t blog because SM’s are how my posts are shared/read) and interacting with people, but know i will come back to it differently. it won’t be a crutch anymore. that may be pathetic to some reading it – but it’s honest and is the truth. most people who think it’s easy either don’t know use the products to the same extent anyways or aren’t being real with themselves.

i received an offer to write for a website about of one my favourite things (the Philadelphia Eagles**). i turned it down for several good reasons such as not always having access to the games, but more importantly we say yes to too many things because it’s a good opportunity. but there’s a cost to all these yeses. what do you gain? what will you lose? what am i adding? do i want to be stressed by something i took on voluntarily and has deadlines and commitments? or do i want to be free to enjoy my NFL Sundays (when they come back) to do what i want (which may be go to brunch instead of watching the games?)?

if work/life balance is important, so is life/life balance. you direct it. to feel at peace in your body and spirit is so valuable.

thanks for the love, support and encouragement from my friends during this time of refocus and refreshment.

(now to catch up on scandal before i return so i dont get the spoilers!)

[amy]

what’s your word? did you give anything up for lent? do you usually do so? what made you choose what you did? what were your challenges? if you blogged about it, drop the link like it’s hot!

 

notes:

*: i didn’t know that during Lent, you don’t fast on Sundays. which.. kinda makes sense!

**: i only found out about the team trading away one of its best assets because my phone was stolen. God knew i probably would have thrown and broken the old one…smh.

ps: funny how i did do a social media fast (practice) many moons ago.

pps: looking for images for these posts and came across this. i HEARTEDLY chucked.

 

blogging 201-8: when social becomes work

Today’s assignment: create a 30-day plan for how you’ll grow your presence (and your blog) on the social network you selected yesterday. If applicable, create a profile on the network just for your blog.

The main thing to remember is that social networks are not just about promoting your blog, but creating a sense of community with your readers — yesterday’s assignment was just the preamble. Don’t just use your Facebook page to Publicize your blog posts: share other interested, related content, and engage with your audience. Tweet about more than just your latest post, and re-tweet other good stuff

i’m glad today’s assignment addresses some of the concern that i brought up in yesterday’s post.

but i kinda wish that it had been done in reverse – explaining to people who creating a twitter/fb account for your blog is work. you can’t be saying the same things on the e-spots or people will get bored. i feel like many jumped into creating fb and twitter accounts for their blogs without having an idea about what it will do/say for them. and how they will manage it. and what they want it to be. (the voice vs an extension of their voice).

while i know this challenge is about pushing people to think outside their usual boxes, and get the most out of their blogs – the base of all social networks is organic growth. it’s not twitter + blog = follows = blog page views. you don’t ask people to follow you (outright at least).

people will do it if they see the value. are you funny? are you knowledgeable about the topic? do you motivate? why should people add you to their newsfeed/timeline? especially if you already have a personal account where you may already be promoting yourself.

i by no means am an expert, but i will say that blogging for 3 yrs, managing as many twitter accounts as i have as well as managing social media for work gives me a different perspective on things.

im not here to be debbie downer (poor debbie) and encourage everyone to go forth and prosper, i just want people to have realistic expectations of themselves. in 8 days, we’ve set goals, created editorial calendars and now making forays into social networks by creating new e-identities to push the brand. some of us (me included) just figured out that we want to BE a brand (or already are).

also think about the logistics (im an event planner..sorry) of managing these things. wordpress and twitter for iphone allow for managing multiple accounts from one app. facebook, ig, pinterest, tumblr do not (a 3rd party app may though).

someone also made a good point, when you have a facebook account devoted to your blog, does this fragment the discussion? will people just drop a comment on the facebook and not bother to do so on the actual blog itself? will they just like or rt the post and that’s it? i personally love comment discussions – because i learn so much and my commenters are hilarious!!

so many questions!

i know that it seems like i’m pushing back against the expansion of social media. and if you know me, trust me that i am not. at all. and i also know that nothing about this challenge is written in stone. we must each create something that makes sense. the garden of our brand will reach as far as it’s watered and cultivated.

(ooo…that was a good one! lol).

so.. with that.. i may boycott this particular assignment. lol. (gosh.. my first F in blogging university!!). since my blog was on a LONG hiatus – i’m going to get back to the peoples that made me the blogger i am in the first place.

then i’ll worry about taking over the world!

[amy]

what’s your word? i don’t have any questions.. just want to know what your word is. lol.