Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Welcome to another month of The Clare and Chrissy Show. A great big thank you to everyone who chimed in with such enthusiasm to our inaugural post. This month we’re chatting about the two giants of social networking, MySpace, and Facebook, and how we feel about them.

Rumors of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated - or MySpace vs. Facebook, Let's Talk

Clare: Let me start by once again thanking our amazing banner maker.

Chrissy: I'm still trying to figure out which one of us is which in the banner.

Clare: Focus, Chrissy. Focus. It’s not enough that an author needs to stay busy writing, editing and promoting their latest published work and works in progress. We are also told we now need a “web presence”.

Chrissy: It may sound cool, and it can be. Technology has narrowed the distance between writer and reader and made us all more accessible than ever. It can also be a major time suck and an absolute pain in the butt if we are really going to be truthful.

Clare: That’s because this “presence” is more than just a website, a storefront where we can put up all our shiny covers and lure our readers in with seductive buy links.

Chrissy: A skill at which you have always exceeded. Your seductive buy links are some of the best I’ve ever clicked.

Clare: So call me Ms. Hot Button, albeit a little on the TMI side. But it’s more than posting alluring links, right? Now there’s a certain amount of interaction required when out on the web.

Chrissy: Is it required, or requested? How about expected? Just what do you as a reader want to see from us?

Clare: The basic fact is we need - or are encouraged - to put ourselves out there and be accessible to our readers.

Chrissy: Bram Stoker never had to worry about this kind of thing. Just look at him, all smug and happy he wrote the ultimate vampire novel.

Clare: Bram Stoker lived in net-less times. Technology has evolved in this area by leaps and bounds. The moving finger writes, and having writ...surfs.

Chrissy: All hail the great gods of technology. They’ve given us opportunity - it’s up to us to decide just how accessible we choose to be. But, really - that’s a whole ‘nother blog post we won’t delve into right now.

Clare: Nod. When we took our first baby steps on to the web we started our author websites. Then we added a blog, perhaps at LiveJournal, Wordpress or Blogger. It seemed as if new blogging sites were popping up every month - and no one site wanted to play nice with another.

Chrissy: I can remember receiving emails from readers wanting to know why I didn’t use this blog program so they could follow me, or that one. It always seemed to be one I wasn’t using at the time. I felt I was losing readers’ interest by making them venture out of their comfort zone if they wanted to find me. In the end I compromised by creating mirrored sites on multiple platforms so everyone could play happy and still stay in their favorite sandbox.

Clare: Wasn’t that a lot of work? Having to update them all the time? (sez Clare, who remembers asking someone exactly what ‘blog’ meant...)

Chrissy: It really was. Then I started playing around with software that would post to several sites at once. Three cheers, a margarita and my everlasting thanks to those software geeks.

Clare: Count me in on that margarita. But there was a certain amount of formal distance with these options. You could receive an email, an entry in your guestbook, or a comment, but there was still a separation between reader and writer. I liked the option of whether to answer immediately, at my leisure (whenever that arrives), or...possibly not at all.

Chrissy: Ah yes, the days when there was still some mystery to be found. Rather like the movie stars of old, before their personal lives hit the tabloids every time you turned around.

Clare: Big Blogger is watching YOU...

Chrissy: Thank God there’s no one following me about with a camera trying to see if I’m wearing clean undies.

Clare: TMI, my dear. Though wouldn’t that be an interesting piece of web promo for your next book? A day in the life of a writer? Live Streaming Chrissy?

Chrissy: Only if I get to wear my footed flannel jammies. (Pssst: Need your own pair? Click on the image to go to their website.)

Clare: Chrissy’s Secret launches the Delightful Donald range ... Okay, maybe not.

Chrissy: Coward. Actually, it does sound vaguely pornographic and thus guaranteed to attract my attention. Could I charge for it? Does this mean I should just forget writing and start up my live webcam business? I used to do performance art you know, I could totally rock a webcam.

Clare: Down girl. Them duck print jammies aren’t that enticing. To continue, do you remember when the social networking boom began? Everyone I knew had a MySpace page and if you didn’t, well, shame on you. Lately it seems that Facebook has become the big winner in the networking war. But, how do we feel about that?

Chrissy: As a matter of personal preference I have to say I enjoyed MySpace more than I do Facebook. There’s a lot more room for personal expression on MySpace. I love the different control modules and add-ins. Ooooh, and the music – I love being able to setup a personal playlist for anyone who visits my page. The pop-out music player is a big hit with me as well. I can choose my favorite mood music, set up a playlist, pop it out and let it play while I write. Amazing.

Clare: My NetMeisters i.e. teenage sons, tell me that MySpace is a diary, whereas Facebook is a connection. That’s when they can take time off screen to talk to me. You know, face to face. Remember such retro behavior?

Chrissy: Yet how would *we* have ever connected without web-words?

Clare: Most definitely *sigh*. Personally, I never took to MySpace. Yet Facebook often confuses and overwhelms me. It’s a case of speak now or the moment has flown past. And it *is* just a moment. It’s not so much a conversation as a stream of thumbs up and comments wildly out of chronological order. Keep up, kid! And I would love to get rid of that blue and white theme. Would it kill them to shake things up with a little purple? And maybe some glitter and sparkly stars?

Chrissy: How did I know you would bring up the sparkly?

Clare: I am what I am :).

Chrissy: That said, MySpace takes forever to load and maneuver around. *pouts* I admit to being a victim of the current “I want it now” way of life, but I swear there should be the theme from Jeopardy or some kind of clock ticking in the background while I click and wait. B-O-R-I-N-G. It’s like being on hold and I just want to hang up and move on. Sorry MySpace, that’s a major fail for me.

Clare: See, now they’ll tell us that’s the price we pay for the graphic heavy design, and your oh-so-neato music player. That’s also why those in the know say MySpace is dead, or dying. All the young and hip have moved on to Facebook (cue my NetMeisters rolling their eyes at me). If I want to stay cutting edge I should ask my boys what’s young and hip beyond Facebook.*Sigh* More work.

Chrissy: To better explain our title today, MySpace is swearing that the rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated and are busy unveiling new options and features in its effort to stay viable.

Clare: I’ve seen that. Yet I still get ten requests to friend me on Facebook to every one on MySpace (yes, I am boasting about my 11 “friends”, but who’s counting?).

Chrissy: I just received an email announcing they now allow syncing with Facebook and Twitter. I’ve gone ahead and enabled the Twitter sync, but I hesitated over the Facebook. There’s a screen that comes up and says “Stop, you’re allowing everyone in the world access to everything you have on the web 24/7 if you proceed”.

Clare: Oh really?

Chrissy: Close enough. It just bothered me because the information they wanted to access seems excessive for the information being shared. Am I being picky?

Clare: My lips are sealed.

Chrissy: I’ve also given in and setup the LiveJournal widget for MySpace. This allows my LJ blog to automatically update on my MySpace page instead of having to repost the same entry yet again. I resisted for a while because I didn’t care for the “look”, but now I’m all for saving the time.

Clare: I’ve used that for a while and am pretty happy with it. It all keeps coming back to our time crunch, doesn’t it?

Chrissy: For the last month or so I’ve been using tracking urls as a research tool to see which of my online promos give me the most bang for my buck. I set a different one up for each platform post and then check to see which one gives me the most clicks (and yes, it does distinguish robots). I hate to say that MySpace came in dead last to all my mirrored sites. Surprisingly, Facebook didn’t fare all that well either. The big winner, and I admit I was shocked, was Twitter.

Clare: Ah Twitter, my other favorite time suck I just don’t get the purpose of. That’s like sitting on a train platform and trying to follow a conversation in the dining car of the express passing through.

Chrissy: You don’t think the world is interested in what you had for breakfast this morning?

Clare: Frankly, I’m not interested in what I had for breakfast this morning.

Chrissy: I have mixed feelings about Facebook’s intrusive use of behind the scene controls. Granted, I don’t have a personal page, just a professional one (let me pause so the world can throw stones). But I still feel odd with all the privacy concerns raised in the news and technical reports, and in my own head every time I see their “this is the info we will access warning”.

Clare: Privacy is definitely a valid concern. Those with LiveJournal blog accounts are right in the middle of the new uproar where comments made in LJ, even those friends-locked or personal can be shared via Facebook or Twitter.

Chrissy: That’s all a little freaky to me. I appreciate the post sharing. Anything that makes my life easier when posting a professional entry is welcomed with open arms. I eagerly await the day when one post is sent out to ALL my mirrored sites of choice. But my comments? I don’t understand why anyone would be interested in my comments. And if I did use LJ on a personal level, or had privacy-locked posts I might end up censoring myself. A lot.

Clare: Based on the last LJ update they are revisiting the issue since they’ve received so many complaints. It’ll be interesting to see the final outcome.

Chrissy: I do like LiveJournal more than any of my other blogs, especially for ease of use with html and other coding. Don't even get me going about my violent dislike of Wordpress. But, Facebook, ah Facebook. Still so much for me to learn. I have to confess I’m not a good user on Facebook. Especially as an invitee. For everyone that has ever sent me any kind of invitation to join a mafia war, vampire war, build a farm or anything else – sorry. That’s all I can say. I apologize for not playing. I have more than enough time sucks that I spiral off into, I don’t need more. I’m sure some of these are the coolest thing I may ever come across. But, I just don’t have it in me.

Clare: Chrissy, Chrissy, Chrissy. You never learned to play well with others did you?

Chrissy: It doesn’t help when they flash that screen about what you agree to when you accept these applications. In part it comes back to my privacy concerns. Yes, you can question why I use this program and still dig my heels in at its basic functions, but what else do they do other than information mine? Maybe I don’t have personal information on my page, but perhaps someone who friends me does. How do I really know what information these applications (most not written by FB) end up with access to, and what they do with it? Why can't I play their cool game without giving them an open invite to my account?

Clare: And the paranoia grows....made that hat out of tinfoil yet? Better yet, have you sat down and actually read their privacy policy?

Chrissy: *Gasp* The horror! Let’s talk about friends. I’m a crappy Facebook and MySpace (let me bow my head and add LiveJournal) friend because I’m not online enough to catch all the posts. I’ll try to get on once a week, but that really important thing I should have read from you is now four days back on the feed. I lose.

So, I have craftily created a system (rubs hands together with glee). Yes, I now pick two friends every time I log in and click on their wall. Sound good? Well, only if I keep my friends down to about ten. Let’s do some math, if I have 212 friends, and I look at only 2 a log-in to catch-up, that’s how many years between reading posts? Guess what? I lose.

Clare: So I should hold up my hand, extend my thumb and index finger and call out “La-hu-ser”?

Chrissy: Only if you are channeling Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.

Clare: That’s why I’m not a good Twit. Or Tweeter. Or whatever you are supposed to call it. I just can’t keep up with the overload of posting and information. I’m all Twat out, I’d say. Although my cheeky pun seems to bring on apoplexy in the house when I say it aloud.

Chrissy: So this post is less about MySpace and Facebook and more about how we fail at social networking?

Clare: You said it. It all comes back to our juggling act. Each of these platforms when used to their fullest potential can be invaluable for author promotion. But we have to take the time to learn to use them properly and then spend time on them. And - guess what? Time is not elastic. I know, because it regularly springs back and snaps me on the nose.

Chrissy: I think it will be interesting to see what presence the next generation of authors will choose to use on the web.

Clare: We’ve not even touched on the groups aspect of promo; Yahoo, Google, and their ilk.

Chrissy: That’s because this post would go on forever. LOL. We’ll mark that down as another topic.

Clare: What we want to know is how many of our readers still use MySpace? Do you guys think it’s obsolete? Are you tied into Facebook and just can’t get enough news feed about your friends? Do you want to stake Chrissy for not helping you win the Vampire War? Do you really want me to to help you build a homestead or create a cupcake? (you obviously never saw me spring clean or cook in real life...) What do you like - or hate - about Tweeting? And if you’re an author, how the hell do you keep up with it all - and find time to write?!

Let us know what you think! Everyone who comments will be entered in a random drawing with one lucky winner receiving some of our sparkly Clare and Chrissy Swag!

Our abject apologies to our eBook winners from last month's post. We both immediately went into deadlines and got lost along the way. The winners from last month's post are: merith and egret17. Our thanks to Clare's office staff for picking the random numbers. Winners, if you forgive us please choose an eBook from either of our backlists and email clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk. We'll rush them right out.

Here's Chrissy! website // blog.

Here's Clare! website // blog.


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
Hello, ladies! This topic is especially relevant to me since I've just entered a baby toe in the waters of self-promotion. My solution (for now) has been to set up separate networking accounts under my pen name. That way I can still have my personal life without any bleed over. (Hence why I'm replying to this post from this account). ^^ For promo purposes, I love being able to just update my LJ page and have everything magically appear on both Facebook and Twitter. I could never keep up with either separately on a professional basis (heck, it's all I can to do stay current with my personal Facebook f-list, and Twitter, forget it). As for MySpace, never got into it. It just seemed a pointless way to say stuff about yourself without allowing for a lot of interaction. It's the interaction that has recently gotten be addicted to Facebook.

Chrissy, I must ask, why do you hate Wordpress? I'm curious since that's the platform I decided to go with for my webpage blog thingy.

Another great episode! Looking forward to next month! ^____^
Sep. 15th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Good morning! Congratulations again on all the new and exciting. The cross-post feature is a true blessing and leaves cut and paste in the dust. As for Wp, put it down to a buggy version early on and my short attention span. I'll admit I've never taken the time to go back and see if it's any better.

(Stealing Clare's icon for the occasion *cackle*)
(no subject) - pearl_love - Sep. 15th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
I suck at social networking - I freely admit it. I can cope with LJ - I even enjoy LJ, but as for facebook . . . and I've never even attempted Twitter because I like to write proper sentences with grammar and the like (not that you'd know it from this paragraph).

I have an old college lecturer on my personal facebook flist, and he posts every ten minutes or so about what he's eating or thinking or reading. Do I care? No, I only friended him because I wanted to see if he was still as cute as he used to be (then I ran into him down the garden centre and found out that he wasn't!)

I am seriously considering mirroring my blog on other sites, though. Wordpress would be my first choice, although to be honest, it shouldn't be that hard for people to work out how to get RSS feeds of my journal if they were interested. Mind you, I had no idea of what an RSS feed was until a couple of months ago!

Oh, and I'm with you about the pointless and irritating invites to play online games or sign petitions I don't even agree with, let alone all the John Barrowman fan stuff my Facebook friends seem to think I'm going to be interested in!
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Ah, sweet disillusionment - just think if FB existed way back when and you knew then what you've discovered now. LOL. Hmmm, maybe the old saw is right and fantasy is beter than reality.

Twitter has grown on me (although I still am not tweeting more than once a week or so). I think if you want something seen you have to repost it a few times in a day (lightbulb), otherwise it's buried for good. The challenge is in *using* grammar and punctuation and still getting your message across. An exercise in writing *down to the bone*. Not buying it? I tried.

Based on emails I've received mirroring worked better for my readers not because of an issue of difficulty - it was convenience. LOL. Why should they click over or set this up if they didn't have to? Human nature at its finest.

I find the FB crowd fascinating in their wide-spread diversity. (And still wonder at all the Christian readers that friend me - erh...have they read my stuff at all? If so, yay to them!)

(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 07:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - josephine_myles - Sep. 17th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry I missed your inaugural post! I was probably doing something frivolous, like writing. (Well I actually didn't miss it because, you know, everything posted on the 'Net is posted in perpetuum. Erp.)

Interesting discussion! It reminded me that I haven't updated MySpace in months. I did assume Facebook had eclipsed MySpace and MySpace had become the province of adolescent girls who like to pack their pages with inanity and jumpy, sparkly gifs. So it's still viable, huh?

Facebook, however, is utterly confusing to me. I don't understand how it's supposed to work, what it's supposed to accomplish. Hundreds of apps for sending drinks and flowers and playing games -- who has time to fool with all that silliness? I do understand that writers are supposed to use other writers for self-promotion, i.e., "Be my friend...so your page essentally becomes my billboard, whether you want it to be or not!" (My, aren't I the cynical old cow today? *g*) But I'm there, for better or worse, although I doubt it makes any difference. There are just too many people and too much activity to allow for personal connection. It's interaction with readers and other authors that I'm after.

That's why I prefer posting on my blog and visiting other people's blogs and participating in certain Yahoo Group events. They make more sense to me. Games and trivial chatter don't.

Sep. 15th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Hey K.Z. How's it going? Eeeek - my jammies are out there forever now, just like the television commercial for web safety among teens. (Have you seen that one? All these creepy guys comment to this young gal, Sara I think. Things like "what color undies today, Sara?")

Based on the feedback here and in other emails it does appear MySpace is past resuscitation. I have to agree that almost all posts anywhere are quickly lost in the overwhelming outpouring of info and is it the feeling of disconnection that keeps people frantically adding more and more in their efforts to be heard? Perhaps it is different if used personally rather than just professionally.

Looking forward to your next works.
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Social networking...wait...FB is for social networking?!?!? What? If I networked on it, when the hell would I find time to build my homestead?!?!?! The hell you say! lol!

MySpace...Um...I think I made a page once. Millenia ago. I doubt I could find it now, and i don't think there's anything actually on it.

FB, yes. Twit...sorta. I think it's linked to a few things and tweets show up from goodreads or something...

Livejournal, yes, blogger, reluctantly, but it's linked to my Amazon author page, so I have to add content once in a while. And a headache...er...website.

I think there was a reason I needed all those. Something about promoting something...*yawn* Too tired. There was something i was meant to do today...Something about a boy...meeting a boy...I was supposed to tell their story...
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
LOL. In the end your last sentence *is* the whole point, isn't it? Tell the story and let the rest sort itself out.

There's definitely a theme here among authors.

Thanks for making me laugh.
(no subject) - dontkickmycane - Sep. 15th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
I feel this same pain -- too many platforms and how do you keep up with everyone? Reduces me to tears, I tell you. I don't tweet on general principles.

I actually like Wordpress, very versatile and you only have to be techy-ful if you want to, but different strokes.

Facebook scares me, because they do ask for an awful lot of access for what they give, and even if you lock stuff down of your own, there is that issue of your friends' info on trickledown. It goes back to 'post nothing anywhere that you don't mind the world seeing' which is why we will not discuss my jammies. My Facebook experience did get more pleasant once I discovered you can hide Farmville and Fishville and the like. The creators of those apps are making a mint, though.
Sep. 15th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
I may have to go in and give Wp another try - this time with an open mind. LOL.

If really comes down to picking your battles, doesn't it? Deciding where you will be active and budgeting your time accordingly.

I'm just curious what FB and the apps *do* with all that info. Is it strictly marketing and advertising? I've noticed on LJ that when I search for tires online (compare prices etc) my ads reflect that next time I'm on.

OMG - Clare is *right* They are watching.
(no subject) - pd_singer - Sep. 15th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chrissymunder - Sep. 15th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
more info on data mining
Here's a link to another Wall Street Journal article re: privacy on the web with multiple options/instructions for opting out/changing settings for anyone interested.
Sep. 15th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
I don't have a My Space page. I think I was in the middle of having children when it started so I missed out on all the My Space stuff. Who cares about social networking when you're getting 3 hours sleep and the baby won't stop crying? LOL!

I have two FB accounts. One for private and one as a blogger. I use the private one all the time to keep up with friends, but the blogger one doesn't get used much.

I am a bit addicted to twitter to which I blame Sean Kennedy and M. Jules Aedin, mainly because we use it as a platform to exchange casual insults and poke fun at one another. In fact I rarely have a serious conversation with anyone on twitter, so it provides a contrast to some of the more serious stuff I did/do as a blogger and reviewer.

I agree that all the options for social networking can be bewildering and I applaud you both for trying to keep up with it all. To be honest, I'm happy if an author just keeps their website up to date and writes a blog post every so often, so I'm probably one of the more easy-going readers, lol!
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
*pets the dino icon* Hi Jen,

How did you ever keep up with anything? (kids, hub, reviews, blog, etc.)With two FB accounts Clare and I now know who to ask when we feel lost in the post woods.

I'll make a sweeping statement and say MySpace should just give up the ghost, at least a far as users who visit this LJ seem to say. I don't think can give up my free music and player but that may be the only use left to the platform.
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
Wait, egret17 is me! Oh! *rushes around in excitement*

What I don't like about LJ AT ALL is not being able to subscribe to follow all the comments to a post. Sure, I'll see your responses if you reply to my comment, but I won't see any of the other responses.
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
LOL - it sure is! And we are very, very, sorry about our mix-up.

Hmmm, have you played around with the "track this" button (push pin)? I think if you are logged in and click on the track this on the original post you may (depending on how your notifications are setup) receive emails on all the comments. It's been so long since I've used it I'm not sure but I think so. I'll have to experiment now and see.
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 08:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Sep. 16th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 16th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
I don't stray much beyond LJ and mailing lists -- sorry, Yahoo Groups -- as yet. One day I might. After I finally build an author website.

Edited at 2010-09-16 09:54 pm (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
Hi Stevie, thanks for coming by and commenting. Look at all the fun you have still ahead of you once you get the website going. You could turn out to be a whiz at juggling it all and then you can let us know how you do it. I'm always taking notes.
(no subject) - hardnermys - Feb. 16th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 16th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Благодарю за блог
Well, if Google translate is correct....I'm not sure how to fix the message error for the RSS feed. Good luck!
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )