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Clare and Chrissy Dig in Their Heels

Clare and Chrissy: Welcome to the August Post of The Clare and Chrissy Show. We are celebrating our One Year Blogaversary this month! Can you believe it? We are feeling a little giddy, and apologize in advance for any confetti that may get into your coffee. So, in honor of our twelfth post, we're grabbing onto the balloon strings and away we go!

Clare: Wait, watch out for that sign!!

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.
Ellen Glasgow

Clare: With the festivities begun we now return to our regularly scheduled blog. This month’s thoughts are brought to us courtesy of Yahoo Mail and their wonderful insistence on upgrading their users' Yahoo Experience with yet another !NEW! and supposedly !IMPROVED! version.

Chrissy: Pfffffft

Clare: Yes, growing tired of users who repeatedly click past their attention-getting Upgrade Now screens …

Chrissy: We do what??

Clare: … in true draconian fashion, Yahoo has made the switch for us.

Chrissy: Forcing us, despite their not-so-very-helpful what’s changed memos, to spend time allocated to more interesting pursuits in relearning how to use our email, reset our privacy settings, and find our chat screen. Really, I was fine with things the way they were.

Clare: But if that’s the case, then why did they change it? Surely, there must be something better about the program?

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.
Hugh Prather

Chrissy: *rolls eyes* If there is, I’ve not found it yet. Supposedly it’s better, stronger, faster, but other than an option to choose some background coloring, truthfully the upgrade just seemed to be an excuse to add some applications that once again require the user to surrender all privacy and grant unlimited access to various data mining services. Oh, and there’s more and larger blocks of advertising.

Clare: Didn’t we discuss that very same trend with Facebook in a previous post? It seems like every time they make a change I have to go back in and reset my privacy settings. *mutters* Once I find where the privacy setting screen has been moved to.

Chrissy: Yepper. Which leads to our question for the day: is all change really always good or necessary? Whatever happened to the old standard, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.
Ellen Glasgow

Clare: Left in the dust on the information highway, I fear.

Chrissy: Even the word upgrade has been, well, upgraded.

Clare: No way.

Chrissy: Yes way. Or rather - upgrading the Beyonce way.

Clare: Love that comment: "She is absolutely gorgeous. What was she selling?" *mwhahaha*

What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.
Henry Ellis

Chrissy: I hesitate to show any more of my conspiracy theory paranoia than I have to...

Clare: Show and tell, show and tell!
Chrissy: ... but it’s hard not to wonder how much of this constant change in social network platforms or other programs is actually engineered to our benefit, and how much is a way for the marketing and data mining programs to slide something past us?

Clare: A depressing thought, but I agree, it's likely to be modern business practice rather than paranoia. And how are we meant to keep up? It seems like every time we turn around we have an invitation to try another, exciting new product.

Chrissy: Even worse, we get used to a platform or program and then suddenly, they either yank it away or it stops working. Remember out great experiment with Google Docs, at first so promising? At last, so totally refusing to load?

Clare: *arrgh* I know. How about the gradual demise of Google Groups? Of course, we now know that this change was to pave the way for the new Google+ Social Network platform. Frankly, even as a poster child for cross-posting technology (that's cross-POSTING, Chrissy ...), I’m almost too exhausted to even try and place my brand on yet another site.

Chrissy: Where do we want to spend our time? Tumblr or Twitter? Facebook or Google +? Goodreads, Shelfari or Library Thing? Not to mention the myriad and ever-expanding list of individual groups and communities.

Clare: Gawd, someone give me a margarita. Or two.

Chrissy: And this is where we have to wonder. Do we really need another social networking site?

Clare: Well, maybe *we* don’t, but the large companies do.

Chrissy: They need friends?

Clare: They need profit, my dear.

Change before you have to.
Jack Welch

Chrissy: As authors interested in marketing and promoting our work there’s always the fear of falling behind in our online presence. If we don’t jump on the latest and greatest bandwagon will we suddenly be out of touch with our target audience?

Clare: How long do we have to learn how to fully utilize a site before the thrill is gone and our fickle public decides it’s time to move on to something new?

Chrissy: And how do we tell what’s going to be fab and what’s going to be a fad?

Clare: Just look at how quickly MySpace dropped off the face of the earth. If that had been our main platform we would now be practically invisible on the web. Of course, that’s another good reason to have a main author website that’s updated regularly and independent of a social network.

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
Harold Wilson

Chrissy: It would be easy to feel out of control and at the mercy of the web world with its ever-changing whims.

Clare: But despite our title, the answer isn’t to dig in our heels, bury our heads, and refuse to flow along with the mainstream.

Chrissy: Are you sure? That works so well for me.

Clare: Chrissy ...

Chrissy: The trick is to find a way to make the inconstant web work for us. Set up our main website hub and then spend our time at a group or two that we actually enjoy being a part of.

Clare: And with judicious use of the networking options available to us learn to let our audience come to us, instead of vainly chasing after them.

You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.
Denis Waitley

Clare and Chrissy: So how do you view change in our online world? Do you have whiplash from trying to keep up with the latest and greatest? Do you feel burnt-out, and sometimes just wish the world would slow down and let things be or are you ahead of the pack when it comes to the new and improved? Which of the quotes above best express your feelings when it comes to change?

To celebrate our Blogaversary EVERYONE gets a chance to score our glittery swag. Just email Chrissy at Chrissymunder@yahoo.com and give her your mailing address. Comment on this month's post you'll automatically be entered in a random drawing to win your choice of an ebook download from either of our backlists. Winner to be announced at our next monthly blog post.

For more helpful tips on online marketing for authors and helping the web to work for you, please visit Clare's Website and read the text version of her recent talk given at the UK Meet 2011.

JULY Winner: josephine_myles - Congratulations! Please email your mailing address to Clare at clarelondon11@yahoo.uk.com for your festive Clare and Chrissy Swag.

Missed any of our posts? Follow the 'sticky' post for these rambles of ours HERE.

Here's Chrissy! website // blog.

Here's Clare! website // blog.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
Happy Anniversary!!!!

I tend to be pretty go with the flow, especially with regard to social networking. When Twitter or Facebook change I'm kind of "whatever". My job requires me to roll with the punches (sometimes they feel rather realistic rather than metaphorical) so I don't tend to get too in a snit.

I use social networking for different purposes and never the many shall meet. I don't cross-post (or cross dress, although I suppose for a girl jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers could be considered so).

Facebook is used for keeping track of family and for a group of us who mostly use it when we want to tell everyone something all at once. Rather than send bulk e-mail we do it on Facebook. Seems easier. It's also handy to follow things like "It's okay to be Takei" and other issue oriented organizations. My kid and I also use it to communicate. LOL When we're in the same room. Sigh.

Twitter is more random, no family on Twitter. I rarely do any updates on Facebook now.

Tumblr is for pics of naked boys and other random stuff I find amusing. It's not interactive.

LiveJournal is only because I need it for some other stuff. I don't really care for it as an interface.

MySpace - never been

GooglePlus - I "signed up" but I've only been there twice. LOL Seems pretty much the same concept as Facebook so....

Googledocs works for what we use it for. Hosting a spreadsheet everyone can access. That's all.

Yahoo, ummm. No clue what you're talking about. I get mail there. End of story. Yahoo groups I dislike as a rule. I've joined some but tend to fall off after awhile.

Oh and two blogs. Yeah.

So yeah, I'm spread around but each site seems to serve a separate purpose. I don't try and put the same thing everywhere, so when I'm on Twitter it's for one reason, when I'm on LJ it's for another, etc. It seems to work and I don't feel overwhelmed ... yet.

Aug. 17th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
Holy freaking long comment. Sorry. LOL
Aug. 17th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
No, no, it's a great comment. It's interesting hearing how other people utilize this slew of services out there, and you've hit on a system that works for you both personally and otherwise.

I admire your zen when it comes to change - although I'm now making up various career options for you in my head.

Aug. 18th, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
Marvellous comment, I'd say :).

I think it's only when you get right IN to these things you find out what each one is best for. I like LJ/blogging for interaction and information, I like the format and the control you have over how much and when. And I can quickly see and respond to people.

My family all uses FB for keeping up in contact and it works much better (they say) than email or even phone calls! My son says it's his online address book :).

Good for you, not to get caught in the w8nk-ery of it all ^_^.
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
This is very interesting and rather scary. There's just too much choice out there.

I'm juggling two of 'me' at the moment. There's the me that has been blogging on LJ for ages, uses Facebook to keep in touch with one particular friend who won't use anything else, has about a million words of fiction stored on Gdocs [which works fine as long as the doc isn't longer than 35K words], tweets when she feels like it and uses Myspace to listen to music [it's great for that]. Then there's the me that is taking her first baby steps toward the state of authordom. Keeping the two separate is difficult but essential.

On the whole I go along with Jack Welch. Having to change at the last minute is painful and awkward. much better to sign up, mess about to see what works and what doesn't, then keep the log in details handy just in case.

But Google + won't be much of a success until it allow pen names etc. One sometimes needs that little bit of anonymity.
Aug. 17th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
Hi Elin, thanks for commenting. You're right - the choice of platforms is rather staggering when laid out like this. I am impressed by the way you have a plan already in place to keep your personal and professional selves separate. Smart!

And do you suppose we are still working toward (and have yet to see) the end result of all of this? That one huge social media platform that will combine all the features of everything else and ultimately reign supreme?
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:12 am (UTC)
Wow, I didn;t realise it didn't allow pen names. That's too much like exposing your real self online - I think that's for other reasons than just social interaction. Like Linked In that I keep getting requests for?!

I'm still dabbling in WP, on that "Jack Welch" approach - getting to grips with it for the day LJ and/or my website explodes on me again :).

Chrissy, I don't think there ever will be ONE platform. I don't think any system would be up to the job, to say nothing of the fact it's the corporations' commercial interests that keep giving us new options, NOT because we ask for them LOL.

Though maybe a combination of MS, Tesco and Amazon may one day rule the world *mwahahaha*.
Aug. 17th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
Happy Blogaversary!

I fail badly at keeping up with any more social networking sites than LJ and a couple of places specific to my Day Job stuff. I need to work on getting a blog or three together come October, though.
Aug. 17th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Stevie! Lovely icon! A blog or three? That sounds interesting...

Without the ability to xpost from LJ to FB & Twitter (and choose what I xpost) I doubt I would have any updates on the other sites at all. :)
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:14 am (UTC)
Thanks for the lovely icon and best wishes :).

Well, I'm not sure you need to add more if what you have is working well. That's why feeds are so brilliant, I must say.

But a website/blog is always a good idea! *smirks at repeating herself ad nauseam*
Aug. 17th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I won! Marvellous :D

Erm, social networking... I've just decided to stick to what I like using. Seeing as how I hate facebook with a passion, I keep my involvement there really minimal. I think eventually I'll just go down to a Facebook Author Page and update with essential news only.

I've avoided Twitter because if I hate facebook, how much more am I going to hate Twitter?

What I like is blogging. I'm just going to stick to that. It works for me. If I spend any more time social networking I lose out on time to write, and that's no good. I am, however, moving over from LJ to the blog on my website, because having the one hub makes perfect sense. Readers who want to will come to me. I'm not going to chase them in case I scare them off (I am a scary sight at times - especially first thing in the morning) Overexposure is just annoying, and I can think of several "LOOK AT ME!!!" authors who seem to be all over the place and it irritates me. Doesn't make me want to buy their books - quite the reverse. I think it makes them look desperate.

I say stick to what you enjoy and be cautious about buying in to the latest craze. This is from a woman who owns a minidisc player, of course...
Aug. 17th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
LOL - yes, you won!! Congrats.

It seems most of the authors I chat with prefer to blog over anything else. I know I like the more intimate feeling I get on my blog/LJ. There is a blog attached to my website which I use as a "mirror" of my LJ merely because I received so many requests from people who used the platform themselves, but I prefer the LJ options and look so much better.
Aug. 18th, 2011 06:10 am (UTC)
I can certainly understand why people prefer LJ for blogging - it's like a cross between a social network site and a blog, but crossposting and maintaining both was taking up more time than I was happy with, plus the recent frustrations with the DDOS attacks combined with continuing problems posting pictures via LiveWriter was starting to really get on my nerves. Also, my WordPress blog is more customisable than LJ. You don't get all those userpics, though :(

I feel much happier knowing I'll just be looking after the website blog from now on. There's no one size fits all solution for promo, and I get annoyed when I'm told I "must" do something or lose sales. I'd rather concentrate on writing a good book, ta very much.
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
Well said :):).

(hope my talk didn't give the message "you must do this or sink without trace"....*g*)
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:18 am (UTC)
Hurrah for the winning, and also for the vote for blogging :). You sum up exactly why I like it best. I'm also keen on the "mirroring" issue. Just one effort of posting - or bless me, I'll start to repeat myself! - but maximum exposure and easier access for anyone who's interested.

Yay! for minidisc or equivalent old-fasioned-but-familiar stuff. iTunes crashed my laptop last night and I'm still nursing it back to health *grump*.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 18th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Hi synthrax, thank you for the well wishes!

Isn't that Mona freaky? I give Clare all the credit for her graphic finding skillz.

You've touched on one of the sad aspects of networking - what happens when the network/people in it disappear? Way back I used to belong to some forums (personal rather than professional) that were bought out or shut down and it was only with luck several of us were able to connect before the plug was pulled and pass on other contact info. You are right, it's very frustrating.

I imagine the same thing could happen now if FB, etc. decides someone is breaking TOS. They can just lock out your user name and so much for all those hundreds of friend connections you might have there. I guess that's where the multiple platforms comes in handy - people will know where to find you.
Aug. 19th, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
*smirk* for the creepy Mona Lisa LOL. I'm intrigued by that idea of it being seasonal, and I know exactly what you mean. I have bursts of activity, then something else distracts me in life and I have to let things slip.

Without being too gloomy, I admit I do get worried that social media "friends" can drop off the face of the earth (or platform) and I never know why or where they are now. It's happened to me a few times.

You highlight an important thing, though, that social media allows people to connect all over the world. I find it fascinating that I now have friends on all continents, it's definitely enriched my life in that way :).
Aug. 19th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
I have drawn my virtual line in the virtual sand. Virtually. Of course.

I feel like I'm already teetering on the ragged edge of disaster and information overload, so I've decided to say no to Twitter and Facebook and Google+. I have my blog. I follow a lot of blogs. I keep my books updated on Goodreads and LibraryThing... and LibraryThing is utterly dead from an m/m romance perspective, as far as I can tell. I'm just holding out because I'm stubborn and because I like how LT lets me manipulate my book data. I don't text. And I don't use IM outside of work.

If I didn't set up my communication/connectedness boundaries, I would be completely overwhelmed.
Aug. 19th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
D'oh! Happy blogiversary!
Aug. 19th, 2011 10:49 am (UTC)
Wise woman you are :). It's true of course. These platforms don't necessarily add more value - they just add alternatives. You'd have to be cloned to keep up with them all at the same pace :).

I think I may have found my level too, with my website, my blog, a blog feed for other incoming blogs, and automatic feeds to other sites. If I *do* dip in independently to the other places, I inevitably feel embarrassed and demotivated because I can't keep it up. I'd rather people thought I was quiet than I was flaky :).
Aug. 19th, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
LOL - Wonderful written description of your virtual stand.

And btw, I like Library Thing as well. As far as overload - because my involvement in most of this technology came on a professional level I seem to have no time/desire to poke at it on a personal one. It drives my friends nuts.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )