Considering all the things I’ve learned to do the past year, in the realm of social media, one might ask…”Dude, what were you afraid of all these years?”
The short answer, I guess, is a combination of concern over not understanding a social media tool and being overwhelmed in the learning and using, time-wise.
The funny thing is… when I choose to “boldly go where” I’ve never gone before, like with performing at open mics, giving presentations in front of large audiences, attending film debuts and charity events I’ve been invited to, or learning to use various social media tools and sites, I find things easier than I thought.
Ever since I first went online, in 1998, my relationship with social media, not to mention familiar tools found on my computer has been a mixed.
I have learned to do so much in 14 years yet there were times where I tried to learn a new program, or join a writer’s community, but soon gave up, or discontinued membership, due to lack of understanding, lack of interaction from others, and/or a perceived lack of time to learn, or participate on my part.
Some programs, like various messenger apps, I stopped using because they were time wasters and spam attracters. I once contemplated podcasting, even bought the things needed to start, but nothing ever came of it for fear of not being able to learn, and not having the time or funds to keep it up once started.
Joining Facebook, then Twitter, as well as Yelp, and learning to make simple YouTube videos and a PowerPoint presentation, not to mention use Adobe PSE, have given me more confidence that I can learn to do things. Since last spring I’ve gotten more active in social media online, including starting a writer’s page on Facebook, a group on Facebook, using Pinterest, Google Plus, and now WordPress, as I have begun to look at my writing and blogging less from the point of view of a hobbyist and more as someone who is a writer in a more professional way. Looking at redesigning my blogs, building a platform to promote myself, and considering chapbooks and E-books as ways of publishing some of the best of my decade of blogging, and even new material, are all things I’ve overcome old fears and concerns, to do and consider doing.
In thinking about the question of social media fears I did a Google search, this evening, and found that the subject is quite popular, not just with ordinary bloggers, but businesses as well. That last makes sense because I can remember how, 3 years ago, when I began my cat blog, an effort to reach out to shelters and rescues, and other organizations, locally and nationally, by sending out over 80 flyers about the blog, by snail mail, met with utter silence.
You would think that, after 6 years of there being a pet blogging community that the national groups, especially, would be aware of the community, and at least be considering making connections, but no, at least not with me. That HAS changed in my case, since then, leading to several interesting, fun, and educational, interactions, even my being a runner-up in a Purina Cat Chow Pet Correspondent contest.
I have been going into pet stores and attending pet fairs and asking management, employees and others, if they were aware of pet bloggers and learning that many don’t know anything about blogs, period.
The success of the Blog Paws Social Media Conference (I’m going this year at last!), since its inception, in 2010, has begun to educate and inform, and connect, bloggers to each other, and to the industry, so there is real hope that a dent is being made in the ignorance and fear of using social media, found in the business world.
I found 3 interesting articles, going back as far as 2009, and an interesting take on the subject of social media fear on the newest “big thing” out there, Pinterest, and plan to discuss them tomorrow.
Day 18: Social Media Fears – A Popular Discussion Topic Online – Pt. 2