Social Networking: How Much Is Not Enough?

Sculpture detail

Social networking - is it all just navel-gazing and blogging about blogging? Or are we actually building connections that will matter?

So one of my resolutions, post-Confusion, was to be better about social networking and spreading word of my projects. Towards that end I’ve been posting scraps of the WIP on a daily basis (and plan to do so until it’s done or someone buys it), doing more writing for the SFWA blog (just finished up a review, and I’ve got interviews scheduled with authors Myke Cole and Jason Heller) as well as a series I proposed on Thomas Burnett Swann for the blog, and — in keeping with my belief that one of the best ways to promote yourself is to promote other people — trying to mention interesting stuff on various social networks.

So – it’s weird, but they all have such a different vibe for me that I find myself posting different stuff depending on what the network is, and this, I think, leads to a certain amount of inefficiency and wasted time, which since in theory I am a fiction writer more than I am a blogger is something I should curb.

I’ve pretty much abandoned Livejournal, and I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing. I should probably set up a widget to collect G+ posts or Twitter tweets on there. Google+ is great (and my favorite, truth be told), but not everyone is on there. I use it a LOT for class stuff.

Facebook is where almost all of my family members are (and where I get most of my baby pictures, between certain people named Corwin, Dresden, Leeloo, and Mason) and it’s also where I seem to talk about politics the most. Twitter and I have an on-again, off-again relationship, and I always feel like I’m missing parts of the conversation on it in the BLAST of stuff from the firehose of tweets constantly crawling up my page. And then there’s this blog as well.

One of the things hampering me in setting up a good system is a feeling that too much social interaction can be a bad thing — that people will unsubscribe if there’s too much, and it seems as though that varies from one network to another. I like Jay Lake’s Link Salad — and maybe one thing to do is collect the links and stuff posted on other networks to present here in a weekly entry. Is that something people who read this blog regularly — or sporadically — would find useful?

And should I be posting the same stuff on all the networks? I took a look at what I’d posted over the course of one day on FB, Twitter, and G+ and while some stuff got crossposted, there wasn’t a lot of overlap.

Part of the reason I’ve never cottoned to Twitter is that it feels like you’re shouting all the time. I like being able to like or + a comment to show I read and appreciated it without feeling like I have to say something. And conducting a conversation on the latter two feels like…a conversation, while Twitter feels like shouting across a room of people who aren’t particularly interested (or else are overly so) interested in the conversation.

What do you think – how much social networking is too much? Do you stick to a particular network or employ the same scattershot approach?

Enjoy this advice about social media for writers and want more content like it? Check out the classes Cat gives via the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, which offers both on-demand and live online writing classes for fantasy and science fiction writers from Cat and other authors, including Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire, Fran Wilde and other talents! All classes include three free slots.

Prefer to opt for weekly interaction, advice, opportunities to ask questions, and access to the Chez Rambo Discord community and critique group? Check out Cat’s Patreon. Or sample her writing here.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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