Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blogging Stress - Less networking, Better Networking

Following my article Blogged Out, Stressed Out I have been concentrating on researching the issue of Social Networking with a view to cutting back on some of the groups I am a member of. My aim is to make my social networking activities more productive as well as less time consuming.

To gain the full benefit from Social Networking sites you need to be an active participant. In general adding contacts, commenting on their blogs, favoring those you like and messaging are necessary to make your membership worthwhile. If you join multiple such sites, time constraints mean that you have to spread yourself too thinly and you cannot give each of them the attention required. Many times I find the same people are joining the same sites that I am a member of. One face may appear four times in my sidebar widgets (MyBlogLog, Bumpzee, SpicyPage, Blog Catalog). It is a good reminder for me to catch up with some of the people behind the images, but then I have to decide which is the best site to visit to contact them through.

I took a little time out to think about this and did some research on where my visitors were being referred from and which sites my main contributors belonged to. When I first registered with these sites I keenly joined up with many groups, accepted all friend requests, trying to keep up with my increasingly bulging email inbox.

I am now going to be much more selective. I will join social networking site groups/communities only after I have worked out if I share common interest with other members so that I can contribute to the group. I am now turning down requests to join groups if I don't think them worthwhile for me or if I think the time involved means I cannot contribute. I have stopped bookmarking on multiple bookmarking only sites.

I will concentrate more on keeping in contact with current contacts, realizing that more close contacts have developed because of other close contacts rather than from the networking sites. Apart from this I feel bad about taking longer than I should to respond to these friends. For me social networking is not all about gaining readers it is a form of socializing and a way of gaining friends too.

Specifically these are sites I am going to pay the most attention to:
  • For the kind of site where favoring individual posts is the main aim I am going to favor Stumbleupon.
  • If a blog has a Digg button and I enjoy an article, I will continue digging. I will Digg friends who request one.
  • I have become more involved with Ning lately due to the Blogging to Fame Fans site but have started refusing invitations to join other groups.
  • I am considering mainly concentrating only on MyBlogLog rather than multiple such sites. I will continue following only the Bumpzee groups that are of the most interest.
  • Del.icio.us is to be my favored bookmarking site.
  • I will continue to use Pownce to see if that takes off among my blogging friends as it promises to be a good direct way of communicating if I don't have direct email contact or if I want to send a message to a few contacts at once. I find it hard to keep up with a conversation if part of it takes place on Facebook, part on MyBlogLog, part by email....
  • I will continue with Facebook as I also have non blogging friends and family on there.
  • After success with gaining members and new friends on Blogging to Fame Fans I am going to think more about creating my own topic specific Social Networking sites.
I most definitely do not want the sites in my list above to be viewed as recommendations but as examples. Your needs and requirements are most likely to be different to mine. I do suggest that, if you are getting snowed under with your social networking activities, you do your own research. Work out which sites have been the most valuable to you personally and which may be so in the future. Take into consideration your blog topic, your most popular types of post, who your current readers are and where they are more likely to 'hang out'. For example, are your readers young or more mature (the two are not mutually exclusive, I was referring to actual age).

Here are some posts that may help you with the decision.

I could find many others but one of my resolves is not to get sidetracked by surfing too much!

If you know of any useful articles with advice on which Social Networking sites are the most useful please let me know and I will feature them in this blog - with a mention of you in thanks of course.

Hearing of your own experiences would be wonderful too.

I will be continuing this series with posts on time saving, useful tools and being organized.

tag , , alexablogging to fame

8 comments:

Kuanyin said...

As you WELL know, I'm all over the place, and cutting back and minimalism are imperative for my sanity. :-)

Like yourself, I'm attempting to cut back. I haven't even twittered in ages! Excellent post!

Saboma said...

I'm with you Sue. I am absolutely wiped out with social networking groups. Actually, my brain has gotten real numb. I'm overwhelmed with too many conversations. AND THEN when one or five suddenly appear in my life and begin demanding my time as if I'm on their payroll of consultants, it gets to be a bit much, to say the least.

I don't mind being helpful to anyone yet when demands surface, I'm gone, kaput, no mas, end of story.

*Hugs*

btw, it may seem that I am not lending support here but just to let you know, I've been keeping up with your posts via my Google Reader since I first met you. I have all of me online buds in it.

Deborah said...

I'm with you, Sue. It's virtually impossible for me to get back to each one on a timely basis to respond, above writing to the blog, trying to make time for visiting friends whose company I value (such as you), the every day demands of biusiness, amongst everything else.

I've only used Facebook for the few personal friends I have here at home, and for those that I've become friends with.

Spicypages was my first introduction to social sites, and I've met others who are a little more personal in communication other than simply adding you.

Mybloglog is good of course, and Blogcatalog. Stumble is important for bringing in traffic. Digg I visit almost daily for ideas.

I've read some very positive things about Reddit recently, and received a large influx of traffic from a post that someone submitted, which has made me think of its possibilities, but it's impossible to spend the time there as well as Digg.

Shoutwire is supposedly another good one, but again, where does one find the extra time?

There's a plethora of others that some have asked me to join, but I'm beginning to say no as well.

As for Ning, I haven't been joining any networks any longer and only intend to spend time at BTF Fans when I can make it. As you had pointed out once before, it's merely a click of a button where ppl can add 20 invites at once, so there's no direct desire from the members to want to add you to begin with in those circumstances.

Sandy Carlson said...

Wow. This is very, very helpful. I have found that limiting the number of contacts is sane and meaningful. A few good blogrolls--Wordless Wednesday and Blog Your Blessings--keep me in touch with like minded folks on a regular basis and remind me to look at what else is out there. Thanks for this post, Sue.

Sueblimely said...

Thanks for your support Saboma, I am the same with you too - I pop by and visit your blog but have not commented much. (Apart from after I wrote the last sentence.) Half an hour later I am back to finish this off. You have such interesting content!

Sueblimely said...

I am glad it is not only me who is finding that social networking is getting to be a chore. It really has been worth it though - I have some lovely and talented people leaving comments on my posts now. Thanks.

Anna said...

Hi Sue - I'm new to this social networking biz but I have to say I am amazed at the amount of time it can take and have very quickly (within a matter of days) decided to stand back and take a breather while I assess how I can best use it. I wouldn't go out in the street and start chatting to everybody I saw. No doubt if I did I would meet great people but... It seems the same thing. I want to reach the women who are most likely to benefit from my blog/our site and, like everybody, my time is limited.

Your site is great -- intelligent, timely, well written. I will be back for this one.

all best wishes
Anna Ross
www.wealthofwomen.com/blog

Sueblimely said...

Hi anna
You have made a very important point. You want to reach readers who are going to benefit most from your blog. I will follow up on this in my series after I have done some more research on the best ways of doing this. Thanks for your input, much appreciated.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blogging Stress - Less networking, Better Networking

Following my article Blogged Out, Stressed Out I have been concentrating on researching the issue of Social Networking with a view to cutting back on some of the groups I am a member of. My aim is to make my social networking activities more productive as well as less time consuming.

To gain the full benefit from Social Networking sites you need to be an active participant. In general adding contacts, commenting on their blogs, favoring those you like and messaging are necessary to make your membership worthwhile. If you join multiple such sites, time constraints mean that you have to spread yourself too thinly and you cannot give each of them the attention required. Many times I find the same people are joining the same sites that I am a member of. One face may appear four times in my sidebar widgets (MyBlogLog, Bumpzee, SpicyPage, Blog Catalog). It is a good reminder for me to catch up with some of the people behind the images, but then I have to decide which is the best site to visit to contact them through.

I took a little time out to think about this and did some research on where my visitors were being referred from and which sites my main contributors belonged to. When I first registered with these sites I keenly joined up with many groups, accepted all friend requests, trying to keep up with my increasingly bulging email inbox.

I am now going to be much more selective. I will join social networking site groups/communities only after I have worked out if I share common interest with other members so that I can contribute to the group. I am now turning down requests to join groups if I don't think them worthwhile for me or if I think the time involved means I cannot contribute. I have stopped bookmarking on multiple bookmarking only sites.

I will concentrate more on keeping in contact with current contacts, realizing that more close contacts have developed because of other close contacts rather than from the networking sites. Apart from this I feel bad about taking longer than I should to respond to these friends. For me social networking is not all about gaining readers it is a form of socializing and a way of gaining friends too.

Specifically these are sites I am going to pay the most attention to:
  • For the kind of site where favoring individual posts is the main aim I am going to favor Stumbleupon.
  • If a blog has a Digg button and I enjoy an article, I will continue digging. I will Digg friends who request one.
  • I have become more involved with Ning lately due to the Blogging to Fame Fans site but have started refusing invitations to join other groups.
  • I am considering mainly concentrating only on MyBlogLog rather than multiple such sites. I will continue following only the Bumpzee groups that are of the most interest.
  • Del.icio.us is to be my favored bookmarking site.
  • I will continue to use Pownce to see if that takes off among my blogging friends as it promises to be a good direct way of communicating if I don't have direct email contact or if I want to send a message to a few contacts at once. I find it hard to keep up with a conversation if part of it takes place on Facebook, part on MyBlogLog, part by email....
  • I will continue with Facebook as I also have non blogging friends and family on there.
  • After success with gaining members and new friends on Blogging to Fame Fans I am going to think more about creating my own topic specific Social Networking sites.
I most definitely do not want the sites in my list above to be viewed as recommendations but as examples. Your needs and requirements are most likely to be different to mine. I do suggest that, if you are getting snowed under with your social networking activities, you do your own research. Work out which sites have been the most valuable to you personally and which may be so in the future. Take into consideration your blog topic, your most popular types of post, who your current readers are and where they are more likely to 'hang out'. For example, are your readers young or more mature (the two are not mutually exclusive, I was referring to actual age).

Here are some posts that may help you with the decision.

I could find many others but one of my resolves is not to get sidetracked by surfing too much!

If you know of any useful articles with advice on which Social Networking sites are the most useful please let me know and I will feature them in this blog - with a mention of you in thanks of course.

Hearing of your own experiences would be wonderful too.

I will be continuing this series with posts on time saving, useful tools and being organized.

tag , , alexablogging to fame

8 comments:

Kuanyin said...

As you WELL know, I'm all over the place, and cutting back and minimalism are imperative for my sanity. :-)

Like yourself, I'm attempting to cut back. I haven't even twittered in ages! Excellent post!

Saboma said...

I'm with you Sue. I am absolutely wiped out with social networking groups. Actually, my brain has gotten real numb. I'm overwhelmed with too many conversations. AND THEN when one or five suddenly appear in my life and begin demanding my time as if I'm on their payroll of consultants, it gets to be a bit much, to say the least.

I don't mind being helpful to anyone yet when demands surface, I'm gone, kaput, no mas, end of story.

*Hugs*

btw, it may seem that I am not lending support here but just to let you know, I've been keeping up with your posts via my Google Reader since I first met you. I have all of me online buds in it.

Deborah said...

I'm with you, Sue. It's virtually impossible for me to get back to each one on a timely basis to respond, above writing to the blog, trying to make time for visiting friends whose company I value (such as you), the every day demands of biusiness, amongst everything else.

I've only used Facebook for the few personal friends I have here at home, and for those that I've become friends with.

Spicypages was my first introduction to social sites, and I've met others who are a little more personal in communication other than simply adding you.

Mybloglog is good of course, and Blogcatalog. Stumble is important for bringing in traffic. Digg I visit almost daily for ideas.

I've read some very positive things about Reddit recently, and received a large influx of traffic from a post that someone submitted, which has made me think of its possibilities, but it's impossible to spend the time there as well as Digg.

Shoutwire is supposedly another good one, but again, where does one find the extra time?

There's a plethora of others that some have asked me to join, but I'm beginning to say no as well.

As for Ning, I haven't been joining any networks any longer and only intend to spend time at BTF Fans when I can make it. As you had pointed out once before, it's merely a click of a button where ppl can add 20 invites at once, so there's no direct desire from the members to want to add you to begin with in those circumstances.

Sandy Carlson said...

Wow. This is very, very helpful. I have found that limiting the number of contacts is sane and meaningful. A few good blogrolls--Wordless Wednesday and Blog Your Blessings--keep me in touch with like minded folks on a regular basis and remind me to look at what else is out there. Thanks for this post, Sue.

Sueblimely said...

Thanks for your support Saboma, I am the same with you too - I pop by and visit your blog but have not commented much. (Apart from after I wrote the last sentence.) Half an hour later I am back to finish this off. You have such interesting content!

Sueblimely said...

I am glad it is not only me who is finding that social networking is getting to be a chore. It really has been worth it though - I have some lovely and talented people leaving comments on my posts now. Thanks.

Anna said...

Hi Sue - I'm new to this social networking biz but I have to say I am amazed at the amount of time it can take and have very quickly (within a matter of days) decided to stand back and take a breather while I assess how I can best use it. I wouldn't go out in the street and start chatting to everybody I saw. No doubt if I did I would meet great people but... It seems the same thing. I want to reach the women who are most likely to benefit from my blog/our site and, like everybody, my time is limited.

Your site is great -- intelligent, timely, well written. I will be back for this one.

all best wishes
Anna Ross
www.wealthofwomen.com/blog

Sueblimely said...

Hi anna
You have made a very important point. You want to reach readers who are going to benefit most from your blog. I will follow up on this in my series after I have done some more research on the best ways of doing this. Thanks for your input, much appreciated.