Thursday, April 09, 2015

Nobody Cares…Or Do They? Live Socially Online and Learn


A few years ago, I was listening to a radio interview of a well-known fiction writer as she was asked about her creative process. She explained that, as one might expect, a book can take years, and that she managed to find the time while juggling work, family, etc. At one point, she said, "the truth is, nobody cares. You have to find the determination within yourself." That thought, coming from an award-winning nationally acclaimed writer, struck me as both reassuring and scary. If no one cares, then certainly there's less pressure to produce, assuming your publisher isn't knocking down your door on deadlines. You can try and fail and retry, with the main frustrations being your own timetable and goals. On the flip side, if no one cares, that means you have to explain to your family and loved ones that you have your project (writing or …..) and that you need a block of time alone to work on it. And you might need to do that again and again, at the risk of upsetting these loved ones or missing a fun activity out. Still, it's all on you to care.

Recently, there are a few projects I thought no one cared about, until a few surprises made me think twice, and renewed my faith in online "shtuff."

*Several blog posts I wrote last month attracted the attention of both Canva, (they appreciated the mention and wanted me to consider writing about their expanded graphics options), and a blog promotion company wanting me to highlight their services. It's true, a lot of organizations out there are looking for more visibility, but to have this happen in one week was an interesting twist. Then I remembered...
Blogs are promotional, and that's a good thing.

*I always post on Facebook for #ThrowbackThursday, but last week I posted a photo from my freshman year of college that attracted more Comments and Likes then usual. I hyperlinked to my college, of course, which led to many of my former classmates recognizing the scene, and my former roommate remembering that she took the photo, etc. Why all the fuss? Then I remembered…
Facebook began as a college photo directory site.

*At work, I highlighted the first anniversary of a program we had launched last year, with an enhanced graphic, thank you to supporters, and revisiting of the associated hashtag and meme I had created last year. Over a surprising dozen Favorites and Retweets later, I realized that the program had resonated with the community more then I'd realized, and that bringing back what was a first an unknown product with an uncertain future, was itself an affirmation of its success, given that large number of downloads.Then I remembered…Twitter loves birthdays, anniversaries, and commemorations of any kind that stand out of the ordinary, particularly if you show your appreciate to your online communities, and innovate a new hashtag, for goodness sake!

*Twitter may be bored with what you ate for breakfast, but Instagram isn't. Recent food photos I've posted there have consistently garnered more Favorites then on any other platform, leading me to the surprisingly pleasant conclusion that Instagram loves food pics, so…
Don't worry about the funny looks you might get while photographing your meal, you know better…

*I had all but given up on Flickr when a few years ago,  I got shmapped, and my favorite jellyfish photo became a little bit famous. Then I remembered,
Everyone needs a good photo for something, especially tourists…

*The Balloon Boy in Colorado was more of a passing thought, until this happened.

Your online life means something, even if you think no one cares. So take your unshared, uncommented on blog post or Facebook status update, and post it on your Wall -- your real Wall --to celebrate it. You still have to care about it, because that's what starting somewhere means.











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