So I gotta ask a question of my fellow bloggers...I know there's a lot of you out there... Outside of writing your blog, do you really enjoy the social media part of blogging?
I don't. And I haven't for some time.
Look, I dig writing a blog. It started as a place to post pictures of fish and my kid, but turned into a creative outlet. I work a desk job concocting spreadsheets and negotiating prices all day, so that release is not only welcomed, but needed.
But I'm at a point in my life where I'm really starting to detest Facebook. I think I'm turning into an (almost) 37 year old curmudgeon. I honestly believe it's a total time drain and other than maintaining about 40 or so actual "friendships" from afar it's something I could definitely do without. Plus you'll go blind if you do it too much...
Fortunately(?), I've already all but given up on Twitter. I once found some value there, but not so much anymore. Life is so much more than 140 characters. Those last 3 sentences were 157.
I never really embraced Instagram or Pinterest. Pictures are cool, but everyone cross promotes their Instagram pics on Facebook. I don't give a crap about any of the "next gen" social networks out there. Is Snapchat yet another method one can use to distribute inappropriate pictures of their junk?
For some reason I'm like one of the 7 dudes who sort of enjoys the quirkiness of Google+, but even that is becoming nothing more than a collection of people running around taking pictures of absolutely nothing with their Google Glass cyborg eyewear and cloud-created "Auto Awesome" animated GIFs. Hey Google+, not every winter picture needs animated snowflakes added to it...
I think the only reason why I actually still do social media (outside of writing the blog) is due to some sick sense of obligation I have to feed content to my roundabout 1000+ Followers, Likers, Circlers, or whatevers. The sad thing none of us probably want to admit is that if we don't post something new to Facebook (or insert social network of choice), the followers won't miss us at all. They'll just scroll down to the next picture of their friend's adorable baby or the Russian dash-cam car wreck video or the photo of their friend's half drunken bottle of IPA in their news feed.
But wait a second, one of the first things you're told...or you read...or whatever...as an impressionable blogger is that you should promote your writing to expand your audience. Everybody consumes content differently, so it's incredibly important to post your crap on Facebook, Twitter, and places like that... It's a necessary evil, right?
Eh...Google Analytics tells me that over the last 365 days only 8.8% of my blog's visits came from social media referrals. And half of the 8.8% came from Blogger referrals (i.e. blogrolls), not Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc... So is 4.4% of my traffic all that important, especially if the process of acquiring it isn't all that enjoyable? Heck, I'm probably doing it wrong anyway.
As I'm re-reading this in closing I'm not exactly sure where I was going with this whole post...but I'm in too deep to just toss it aside.
Look, I still enjoy blogging. It's fun, and I value all of the friendships I've made along the way. Perhaps this is just my way of saying that if I'm quite a bit less active on social (other than syndicated blog posts that Facebook will probably not let you see unless I pay them for the honor), it's intentional, but nothing personal. I'm just making better use of my time. Maybe even out fishing...
The incredible irony of this post is that it was inspired by a instant message exchange with Jason Tucker on...you guessed it...Facebook.