What’s new in cyberspace?
Well, since I’ve crawled out of my social media hole – the hole I created for myself this winter while everything was so dark, both inside and out – I have developed what I can only say is an incredibly rewarding relationship with my Twitter followers. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart, truly, genuinely.
But let’s look at an overall history of social media with Sara Ramsay…
To start with, I had MySpace. I’m not sure I even remember my password for that site anymore. It became so slow and cumbersome to navigate that I lost patience with it. And that was right about the time that Facebook came along. That being said, MySpace was always a “professional” site for me. In other words, it was about making connections with people I didn’t know, about my music. Thus, I did lose something replacing that with Facebook. Plus, somewhere on MySpace is a Ramsay Family Singers site that I haven’t updated or checked in years. Huh. One more password I don’t remember…
Facebook came along and it became the social media du jour. I made the choice to keep my profile private – just people I actually knew in real life. I still do, to this day. I did have a “Band Page” for my music. But that has change format so many times within Facebook that I haven’t kept up. First it was a group, then it was a page, then it was an event, then it was a page again, then…what is it now? Consequently, the musician side of me doesn’t have much of a presence of FB. I know this is something I should remedy. And I have great plans. Such great plans to do so. One day…
Twitter arrived. I wasn’t sure about it at first. Really? 140 characters was the sum total of the communication you’d have with other people? As time went on, I started using Twitter more and more, and FB less and less. That’s evened back out now, because I use them so differently, but I love me my Twitter. At first I didn’t have a lot in the way of followers. Then some people started figuring out I‘m my brother’s sister. I think he mentioned me in a tweet one time. And my followers jumped exponentially. And I still get daily questions about his middle name or his age or his…you name it. But I do my best to give the guy his privacy. We’re family, I’m not his PR person. So I try to keep my references to him to a minimum. Which hopefully translates into my followers being my followers, not Josh-followers-by-proxy. Those kind can unfollow with all my love, because you won’t get what you’re looking for from me. My Twitter feed contains a lot of inspirational RT’s, chatting with my followers, and funny/inane things from my day. Works for some. For others, there are lots of other people out there to follow. xo
Google+. Yeah, not sure what to say about that. I have it. I haven’t really figured it out yet. (I can’t even figure out how to link to my Google+ profile – which I actually do have.) Clearly I am not a Social Media Mogul.
SoundCloud is my new favourite, although it works quite differently. It’s not really so interactive on an ongoing basis. But it does give me a place where I can post music, now that MySpace is not my jam, and people can hear it and comment on it. I haven’t really fully explored the ins and outs of this one, but it’s definitely got potential. Plus, I have a bunch of musician friends with stuff up on SoundCloud, and I’ve been able to hear their tracks. Awesome.
YouTube. See Google+. Almost as foreign as Google+ is setting up a YouTube channel. When I posted stuff on SoundCloud, I had people asking me if Ii had any YouTube videos. This was an entirely foreign concept to me. I should say here that there are certain areas of technology I am quite adept with. This clearly was not one of them. But, I figured there’s an upside to having a good relationship with your Twitter family. So I threw it out there and just asked, “Anyone want to make a YouTube video or two for me?” I got a response and the work is in progress. We’ll keep you posted. I always say, when in doubt, ask for help!
And then along came Pinterest. Oh my fucknut. I can spend hours pinning things that I like. Planning my dream home. Amassing recipes I will never make. That being said, I have actually tried some projects I have found on there too, so it has not been a total waste of time. It’s good for inspiring creativity. And for getting my hoarding on (digital hoarding) so that I don’t do it physically. I still throw shit out around the house…I just hoard pins on all of my pinboards.
And then there are the blogs…
As you may have noticed, I love to write. I love to write songs. But I also love to write. I love playing with the language. When blogging first came out, I went nowhere near it. It took me a long time to get on that train. But eventually I took a test run. I tried both the Blogger and the WordPress platforms. But all the businessy and webby folks I read kept mentioning WordPress plugins for websites, so off I went to Worpress land.
You’re reading the product of that journey. Break The Surface became my blog. And although I did take a long break from it, my love for writing never changed. My ability to climb out of a hole was the thing that changed.
Recently my Twitter family (we’re working on a name for said family – all suggestions considered) and I were talking about reading and books, and I threw out the suggestion of a book club. And voila, Sara’s Book Club was born. We’re just reading the first book right now, A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Discussion day is May 13 and will take place via Twitter and the blog. I’m working out the logistics as we speak. Why? Because #ReadingIsSexy.
This took me to a non-blogging site, which I kind of love. GoodReads is awesome. Catalogue all your books. Review them. Recommend them. Keep track of shit. (I am slightly OCD.) And this feeds right into the book club premise, so I have started to go to town over yonder…
And then there is the ritual our family adopted from dear family friends. The full story is here. But I started sharing the ritual nightly with my Twitter family with the hashtag #MyFavouriteThingToday. Soon after, I turned it into a blog at Your Favourite Thing Today, and invite readers to share their favourite thing that happened that day too. Simple but amazing ritual. Join us – it’s pretty darn cool. I post on Twitter with #FavouriteThings each evening.
And I think that about sums it up. Do I have enough of a presence? Am I real now?