Message from Montie

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The Facebook spy and quiet social media networker, is that you?

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Call me a snob. I'm woman enough to take it. But I can't for the life of me figure out why do people send Facebook requests with no personal message to someone they don't know. I guess those who hunger for friends will accept it and just won't care, but I actually want to know who's on my Facebook page, looking at my pics, reading my information and being able to be kept abreast of my activities.

 

Think about it. If the person sending you a Facebook request doesn't even have anything to say when they first send you an add, what in the world are you two going to talk about when they're on your Facebook friends list? I ignored many MySpace and LinkedIn requests for the same reason. When someone is just on your page and never talks to you, that's basically just a spy. Or worse, a MySpace stalker. Then there are the ones I really don't understand--the ones who have social media networking accounts and only log in long enough to sign up and disappear for months at a time. Close the account, dear, please.

 

I also don't understand the folks who join Facebook groups and don't interact with the members or read the posts or even comment on why they came. Maybe I'm taking this Facebook or social media networking thing too seriously, but I've learned time and time again that when you want to network with someone, you must be active.

 

If you go to someone's Web site and read a blog or entry, leave a comment. In the signature line, leave your name or your own Web site. It's a way to promote yourself and support his or her page too. Respond to links and entries from your readers or Facebook friends who comment on your links. You don't have to respond to everything, but if you're clicking on the doggone thing you may as well say what you thought about it.

 

I never understand shy writers or quiet social networkers. They'll post blogs, articles or links, but then they won't go back to respond to questions or interesting comments. When a reader sees that you are active with your site, they are more likely to check your work out again and again. Trust me. I still get comments on articles, blogs and Amazon reviews that I wrote years ago. I've had people buy my novels just from those same articles, blogs and reviews, and because I took the time to talk to them. The first thing readers do (especially the ones who don't agree with me) is start visiting every place I write to see what else they can argue with me about. The best part is the ones who try to argue with me. That's fine with me. That's a paid visit for me and a way for you to express yourself too. Now we both win.

 

This was one of the reasons I used to enjoy The Bulletin King's page and the reason why some celebrity Twitter pages continue to grow. The MySpace Bulletin King didn't just have jokes, he had replies too. When I interviewed child star Brandon Adams, folks were losing their minds when he'd actually reply. *Gasp* "Jimmy Bean/Kevin DeNunez/Jesse Hall just talked to me!" Diddy's Twitter list continues to grow for the same reason. He's always asking questions and interacting with his users. It seems obvious to me. There's a reason that "social" is the first word in "social media networking sites."

 

You reach a large audience by interacting with the people who want to socialize with you. Don't pass up that opportunity by just adding folks to make your list big but not knowing who seventy-five percent of the people are.

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7 Comments

MorningStar said:

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Great post! I have found that the requests I get from people I don't know are people who want to play Mafia Wars. It irritates the heck out of me. They have all been mutual friends with my aunt so far and don't send messages. I asked her, "What's up with your friend?" and she explained. Some people think Facebook was created for Mafia Wars. I was even defriended by my cousin's wife because I wouldn't play. I thought that was pretty funny.

Message from Montie said:

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MorningStar,
Thank you for your comment. In two hours, 58 people have retweeted this entry so it's good to know I'm not alone on this one. These friend requests would be flattering if the people actually talked. This is one of the things that I don't care for on Facebook and MySpace decided to copy (before I left MySpace). I don't need anybody to help me find friends. I'm lucky enough that only one person has invited me to that Mafia Wars stuff. I'm not even interested in finding out what that is. I've heard good things about Farmville, but that's just not what I want to network about. Wow, you got "defriended" for not participating. Oh well. I get friend requests through people I haven't talked to in a decade or so or folks who know somebody I know. That'd be fine with me if we had something to talk about other than "Remember when..."

Dov said:

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I'm guilty of some of the transgressions you've mentioned. But it only looks that way, and you forget that you don't necessarily know the full story because you don't see the private posts and the IM chats, which don't show up on the walls of either the MySpace or Facebook networks.

I originally joined MySpace because it was the only way to keep in touch with a guy who lives in another city in my state. I still talk to him once in a while by private post on MySpace, but I now use MySpace mostly to talk by private post with a 2nd guy from the other side from my state, he's been picking my brain about the process of applying to a college that I myself graduated from years ago, and he frequently posts his pics on his MySpace page, which I enjoy seeing. This 2nd guy is also in my FB network, but so far we've only talked through MySpace, perhaps because he feels much more comfortable with Myspace. Looking in from outside, you would think I wasn't very active on MySpace, but through these private posts I'm actually more active than it looks on MySpace.

The vast majority of my contacts are in my FB network, including all but 3 guys from my MySpace network. I'm more comfortable with FB than MySpace, perhaps because I've been on FB longer. I originally joined because there's nothing to do in my town, my real friends all live at least an hour's drive away. So FB became my portable community. It's much easier to keep in touch through FB than through email, I only have to click on their photo, plus I get more ideas through different parts of their pages that help me to stay in touch. Some of the weaker networks are also slightly more reinforced as a result of FB or MySpace, and I do value that unanticipated effect. I sometimes post on my wall, once every 10 days perhaps, and sometimes post on other walls, but most of my messages are private through private posts or through IM chat on FB. So looking in from outside, my page may look like it's not very active, but again, as with MySpace, I'm more active on FB than it appears.

Message from Montie said:

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Dov,
I wouldn't put you in that category from your message above. You actually are conversing with the FB and MySpace people you add. I didn't mean you had to constantly update and post updates every hour on the hour. I was specifically talking about the folks who send FB or MySpace requests and then do not talk to the person they sent an add request to at all. Or, the only time they talk to that person is if that person sends a message to them. But if you leave them alone for awhile, they'll have nothing to talk about. My whole point is why even bother to add people when you're not going to talk to them. And I definitely don't get the folks who send random requests to folks they don't know, have nothing to talk about, and just wanted to add you because you had friends in common. But still, thanks for dropping by. I'm entertained that 91 people retweeted this.

Dov said:

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BTW, should have added this to my previous post above, I believe we all have a lot to learn in how we can improve the way we make use of these sites and interact with each other, and it'll be posts like yours that help tell us how we can all do better. So, thanks for your post! :-)

Jessica Downey said:

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I completely agree with this! I hate it when I get random adds from people and I have no idea who they are. I pretty much only stick to adding people that I know or have known at some point in my life. Social networking is a fantastic tool as long as you are acutally using it!

Message from Montie said:

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Jessica,
Thanks for visiting. I didn't expect 96 retweets about this blog so it's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks the random tweets are strange. With Twitter, at least you have the option to not follow the person following you or check them out. But the folks on Facebook, I want to know them because I put too much personal information on that page (ex. family photos).

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