A MESSAGE TO ME FROM LINKEDIN—THEY NOW HAVE 200 MILLIONS MEMBERS! AND I HAVE ONE OF THE TOP 10% MOST VIEWED PROFILES.
MOST CONSIDERATE OF THEM TO LET ME KNOW. BUT MORE TO THE POINT—CONGRATUALATIONS LINKEDIN! AN AWESOME PERFORMANCE.
AND TO THINK I DIDN’T TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY WHEN THEY BEGAN!
The following is the message from LinkedIn I received very recently. It surprised the hell out of me because I doubt I have put as much effort into my LinkedIn entry as I should. Nonetheless, it is hard not to feel pleased—even though I am aware of the tricky ways of marketing people. They want me to feel good so I will pay them money. Yes, it is true. I am still a free member of LinkedIn. Do I think it is worth becoming a paid member? Well, it depends on your circumstances, but—on balance—I do. It is an amazing network—and an excellent service.
You have one of the top 10% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012.
LinkedIn now has 200 million members. Thanks for playing a unique part in our community!
I confess I have had a hard time warming up to Social Media—despite having spent considerable time researching it. In essence, there were my reservations:
- It was inherently distracting—and distraction is arguably a writer’s greatest enemy (exceeded only by despair—a writer must never give up).
- It had the potential to soak up time that would be better spent on writing or writing related work.
- I rather enjoy my privacy.
- My cultural background inclines me against self-promotion. Boasting was the ultimate crime in my youth—yet now if you don’t promote yourself, the world passes you by.
- Many of the remarks made on Facebook in particular seem inane (though maybe not to a loved one—a rather important point).
In fact, I changed my mind about LinkedIn some time ago because all kinds of interesting people I thought I had lost track of began to surface—together with a useful assembly of new contacts. In addition, LinkedIn itself steadily improved to the point where it is now downright impressive.
I have been slower to take to Facebook because I haven’t—s0 far—been able to work out an approach. Still, my marvelous sister, Lucy Ayettey—she of the five beautiful children—uses it with such consistency and skill that I think I have found a role model. Also, nearly lost friends keep surfacing on it—which is most agreeable.
Despite my initial reservations, I decided I would start with blogging because an author—no matter how introverted (and we are mostly a shy bunch) is supposed to have a blog; and blogging bears some resemblance to real writing in that whole sentences are used—and sometimes whole paragraphs! Good grief—what daring!
In truth, I didn’t find blogging easy at first, largely because I couldn’t figure out what to write about. As a consequence, I was inconsistent—which is arguably THE sin in the blogging world. Then I decided I would, quite deliberately, not plan, but just write about whatever came into my mind on the day in question.
Eureka! I was in business—and have now written well over 340 blogs in all, and maintained a daily blog for over five months. Better yet, I thoroughly enjoy the process, and feel it is helping to make me a better writer. It sharpens the mind when you have to think of something different to say day after day.
The next challenge will be to contribute to LinkedIn and Facebook—and after that the mind boggles!
Actually, it will probably Tweet.
A caution: The issue of time allocation remains a cause for concern. Blogging and the Social Media in general are all very well, but the primary task of a book-writing author is to do just that—to write books—and that invaluable resource, creative energy, is limited.