Thursday, July 16, 2009

Facebooks! and Twitters! and Blogs! Oh my!

If you've been trying to start a business online (or offline), or you're just trying to market yourself, you've probably noticed that you're limited to only......... about 48392038 ways to do it.

Long, long ago (circa 1995) in the land of the World Wide Interwebs, there was simply having a website for yourself.
Remember that? And those silly basic HTML pages??

This is me.
These are my pets!!!
I like frogs!
I listen to the Beatles, and Tom Petty, and Steve Winwood, and Tom Cochrane.
I like Chinese Food and raisins and Indian food and sushi.

Look at all the cool colors and fonts I can do

(Are those old pages still somewhere out there?)

Photo-sharing became pretty popular, too, for obvious reasons.
And then there was Flickr, where you could share photos with friends AND with total strangers, post messages, join groups- it's almost limitless!

Then blogs were the next big thing, and everyone had to have one of those. (Makes sense, it's a great way to keep people updated on your latest news or anything else interesting.)
Then websites like blogger came along, to help those of us who didn't want to pay for web hosting, and/or didn't know enough HTML (or were just too lazy) to lay out and consistently update a blog of our own.

Facebook has been around for a while, and it seems like 99% of the people you talk to have one (or maybe two, one for themselves and one for their business). Facebook is kind of a hub- you can share photos, blog posts, long updates or short updates, and even interact with friends and fans.

And Twitter came along. Twitter was okay, too- quick mini-updates the length of a text message if you don't feel like doing a whole blog; plus, Twitter is more interactive.

However, the more involved you get with trying to promote yourself online (as I can tell, since I'm guilty of having all of the above), the more you find that there are OTHER sites you simply MUST join to get the most out of your promotional experience!

I don't even want to try and come up with a number for how many twitter applications there are...
"Get 1000 followers in a day!" (Noooo-ooo-oooo!)
"Find your target market on Twitter NOW!"
"I have 43000 followers! Follow me and I'll show you how!"
Or the numerous tweets/various forum posts pleading, "Follow me and I'll follow you!"

And if you've got a blog, you start reading about how to find readers and get THE MOST AND BEST out of your blog. You simply MUST be a member of Digg, Technorati, Entrecard....... Hell, I've even got the "share" button on here and don't know what half of the websites do.

With Facebook, you can make yourself a business page, but then you've got to find some fans. You can share it with friends, but you don't want to annoy your friends with promotions or business related events. If you're lucky, some friends might become fans though. And if you're still lucky, some actual fans of your business (art, in my case) might even become fans. But it seems like it's becoming more like Twitter in the "Fan me and I'll fan you back!" mentality.

Is someone who became a fan of my Facebook page, just to get me to fan them back, really going to care at all if I've just started a new drawing or finished and framed a painting?

It seems impossible to keep track of it all, with needing usernames and passwords for each and every one of these (and of course, for security, a different unique password for every site). And how can anyone have time to actively participate in all of the recommended sites?

Are we spreading ourselves too thin?

If you've got an online shop (etsy, 1000 markets, ebay, other?), have any of these sites been useful to you? Or do you feel the same way?

1 comment:

Doris Sturm said...

I have spent way too much time on the computer trying to participate in too many networks in order to get "exposure" and all it's doing is eating my time and getting me frustrated.

I'm on a sabbatical from my online shop (and limit my computer time to checking e-mail and a few blogs) and I'm LOVING it.

Actually I sell more of my work through real people, such as neighbors and friends and locally by word of mouth than online...go figure!

I will definitely invest more time in real life person to person interatction instead of sitting in front of the computer getting a headache.