Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shamelessly Plagiarizing (Plugging) Kristen Lamb

Not that she needs it…

Kristen Lamb is my new hero. I heard about her and her social marketing book for writers, We Are Not Alone (WANA) on a Bob Mayer online course I recently took (Bob is not too shabby either).

As soon as I bought the book, the buzz started. Or maybe it had already started and I just noticed it. Kristen Lamb this, Kristen Lamb that. Suddenly everyone was talking about Kristen Lamb. And it's no wonder. We Are Not Alone is awesome.

For maybe a year or two (or three) now, I've been baffled by Facebook and Twitter, wondering what I was supposed to do with them and how they could possibly help me my writing career. In WANA, Kristen explains everything I needed to know in an entertaining style that makes it painless and fun.

I was so taken by her approach to social networking, that when Tamara LeBlanc mentioned Kristen's blog, I had to stop by.

So much good stuff!

One of the funniest articles Kristen has written is called, Twitter Tuesday–Twintroverts & Twextroverts.

In this article (as elsewhere), Kristen declares herself to be an ENFP (Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver). Maybe that's why I connect with her. I am an INFP (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver). So close and yet so far.

I won't go into the NFP part, but I must say that I am most definitely a Twintorvert and have been mystwified and even twerrified of Twitter (sorry, Kristen’s post does that to you) for a long time.

Kristen claims, “The beauty of Twitter is that human interaction is on YOUR terms, and I find that often transforms the shyest introvert into a wild Twitter party animal.” I don't know about that.

Remembered the beast in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons? You know, the hairy monster that was so scary until he looked into the camera and said, "People? Awwwww!” And then he ran away and hid?

That's me. Well, I hope not the hairy monster part.

And yet, I need human interaction. Don't we all? The good part is that I've always been better at expressing myself in written form than face-to-face.

So after reading WANA, I held my breath, signed up, logged in, and began socializing with my new friends. And it wasn't that bad. In fact, it was downright fun. It's great reading about everyone's doings, giving encouragement, drooling over pictures of the cutest pets in the world.

And now? I've fallen in love with Facebook, and often get sucked into its time warp. I've even done a bit of Twittering. But I find it hard to keep up both every day, what with writing projects, contests to enter, Petit Fours and Hot Tamales (my wonderful group blog) to keep up with, etc. etc. It isn't easy to carve out the time from the little slice of time I have.

In a recent post, Bob Mayer said the number one key to self publishing success is consistency. Thanks, Bob. Well, I guess he's right. But persistence can lead to consistency, can't it?

One thing we can all be consistent about is getting back up on our horse when we fall off. Whether that's the  social networking horse, or the writing every day horse, or the exercising horse, or any other personal or professional horse, uh, goal, we may have. It doesn't matter if we blunder once in awhile as long as we keep getting back in the game.

Kristen has convinced me that reaching out to others and building a community is well worth the time and effort.

Are you with me? If you are, take the social networking pledge.
Stand up, hold your hands in front of your heart and the sign of the hash tag (#), and repeat after me.

I solemnly swear to do my best to Tweet and Facebook and blog every day without fail. And if I miss a day, I will Tweet and Facebook and blog the next day. And the next after that. And the next after that. So help me, Google.

There's no going back now. Are you ready? Then get ready, get set, network!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to Move Columns in TweetDeck

I'm usually pretty good with software, but social networking often leaves me baffled (read: "feeling like an idiot"). You'd think I'd be used to that after over a decade in the computer field, but no.

After reading Kristen Lamb's terrific book, We Are Not Alone, I got excited and downloaded TweetDeck at the same time I first created my Twitter account.

Yikes! Talk about jumping into the deep end of the pool.

My first mistake was to simply type the word "writing" into one of the Search columns. Holy Moly there's a lot of tweeting about "writing" going on in the world! Freaked me out, so after I figured out how to delete the column, I re-read Kristen's advice and realized I should be using hashtags (#) in my Search columns.

That worked out better. Now I've got a column for #amwriting and #amediting, and of course, #MyWANA. But I still didn't like the way my columns were organized. TweetDeck came with stuff I didn't want in my line of vision when I opened it up. But today while scrutinizing my TweetDeck columns, I came across this link: Patrick Thunstrom's TweetDeck Learning Guide. There's some great stuff in there. Wish I'd started with that!

After reading a few of Patrick's terrific posts, I was emboldened to look around and discovered this neat little icon on the bottom of each column.

See the arrow that points to the left? Just click it and it will move the column over to the left. Voila!

And now my TweetDeck looks like this:

I don't know if anyone else has the TweetDeck issues I've had, but just in case, I thought I'd share. If your TweetDeck columns aren't where you want them, try it out.

If you have any other TweetDeck advice you'd like to share, please leave it in a comment. And check out Patrick's Guide!

Love to All and Happy Networking!