Thursday, February 12, 2009
To blog, to comment, to friend, to tweet
Ever notice how one’s to do list has gotten a lot longer these days? In addition to the usual (go to work, pay bills, hit the gym) there is a whole new list of stuff to keep up with regarding one’s internet identity.
My first internet love and still my strongest interest is right here at Wine Lover’s Journal. Through this blog, I’ve developed my writing style and expressed my views about wine, travel, dining, classes and events. I’ve advertised the classes I’ve taught and cross-marketed my travel writing on the web. For a long time, this was all that existed of me online.
Then last spring I joined Open Wine Consortium, which has been a terrifically beneficial social networking group. Through this forum, I’ve made friends around the world, from Bordeaux to Barcelona to Santa Barbara. In the beginning it was a wee little group and we all knew each other, but it quickly mushroomed. Now it takes more work than I’m able to put into it to be a real presence. That was my only network for the past year, but lately I’ve joined LinkedIn and Facebook, too. While LinkedIn has been more static, Facebook has been an entertaining, but slightly demanding addition to my life. What am I doing that is post-worthy? Since I view my profile as a professional networking opportunity, watching Seinfeld re-runs does not qualify!
To Friend or Not to Friend?
Once sucked into Facebook, I quickly added my blog posts and started collecting friends. But which friends—my college pals, family members, and all the assorted people in my life? Or just professional contacts? Well, I have a bit of both now, so my “wall” is covered with wine professionals discussing business and friends talking nonsense. A strange mix for sure.
Part of the mechanics of the blogosphere is that when you comment on other people’s blogs, they’ll come and comment on yours. That’s fine until your realize how many, many blogs there are to read that relate to you. Keeping up with the top 20 wine blogs alone would suck away a couple of hours a day that I just don’t have! Yet I try to read and respond when I can—still feeling like it’s never enough.
I had two intense conversations about Twitter last week. Then on Saturday at the NY Times Travel Show, I heard a panel of travel writers espouse its virtues. Enough! I got with the program and am starting to follow some writers, editors, and wine bloggers. This begs the what-to-post question once again. If it’s hard to think of a few Facebook-worthy posts a week, the pressure to be interesting at least once a day that I feel on Twitter is worse.
Here’s the good part. Once I joined Facebook, I saw all the interaction I’ve been missing. Having only a blog was way too one-dimensional and I love the updates I’m seeing and posting. Now that I’m on Twitter, I feel like developing relationships with important contacts all around the world will be much, much easier. I’ll use it to promote my blog and just become part of the always-on conversation of the Twitterstream. I’m enjoying it all—but have to acknowledge that my virtual to do list just got a lot longer.
If you want to follow me on Twitter I’m at Diane_Letulle.