Friday, April 23, 2010


Facebooking may not be an actual word, but it’s what I’m trying to do. Remember yesterday’s post when the literary agent advised that authors should be on “Facebook, Twitter, Red Room, Ning, etc”?

I’m on Twitter, but not the others. (Never even heard of Red Room.) So, I signed up for Facebook. The next morning I couldn’t even find myself (have since figure it out). But others somehow found me. Some I asked to befriend. Some have not befriended me - like my own kids (which is understandable). Some just found me and requested I befriend them. How did I know that? The next morning I opened my email and found two pages of emails from Facebook.

Clearly, I’m a total newbie and have only a few friends - unlike the published author whom I requested to befriend and who emailed back that he couldn’t friend me because he’d reached his limit of 5,000 friends.

I still need to figure out the pages thing and maybe upload some pictures (need to crop them down before that). It seems I also need to create lists, whatever that is.

I’m also working to update the look of this blog and my website. I’m satisfied with the new look of Straight From Hel, but not with my website. I tried to match the colors to those in the new header, but it feels too stark or glaring to me. This is my second attempt at the colors. I think I’ll try softer colors or reverse the bright blue and the green…or something.

If you’re on Facebook, you can find me, hopefully, under my name: Helen Ginger. If there’s a direct link to my home page, I don’t know it. Yet.

What are you doing to promote yourself online? Are you twittering? Red Rooming? Ninging? Facebooking?
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  1. I like Twitter best for finding like-minded strangers. Facebook turned out more fun and family, very little business. Also on LinkedIn-mostly business, less communication. Watch out for all the silly FB apps, ie Farmville, Mafia Wars

  2. Like Linda my FB turned into a friends thing. I created an author's page at Amazon which links to my blog. Have yet to Twitter.

  3. Good going, Helen! My FB is mostly family and friends but it's good if others find you there. I've hidden even family members because of the apps Linda mentioned.
    Have yet to Twit (one thing at a time) and like you I have no idea what about Red Room.

  4. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, a new site called MyOuterSpace, started by William Shatner, Plaxo and LinkedIn, and I have 2 blogs of my own and 2 made by my publisher that I post to. I keep up with none of them, nor do I make any strong attempt to do so. My publisher tries to schedule us for a post every 2-3 weeks, but for the rest, I post like I write, when the spirit moves me. Which means my one thoughtful comment is immediately lost in a sea of trivia since I don't post it repeatedly or live online.

  5. Hi Helen!

    Welcome to FB - I've just sent you a friend request. Ironic, since I've just started my FB account yesterday, too!

  6. I was excited to see you on FB!

    Lists can be used to sort friends. And you can turn off those 3rd party apps like Mafia Wars, too.

    Thanks for being my FB friend!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  7. Just blogging at the moment - Twitter is on my list next though.

  8. I'd all but given up facebook but lately a wagonload of writer friends have friended me and it's becoming a quick and easy way to keep up. I don't post a lot myself, but I like seeing what other people are writing.

    Brain Droppings

  9. MyOuterSpace - that's cute, Author Guy. You're doing a lot of stuff!

    Elizabeth, I don't like the idea that I have to turn OFF apps. Looks like you'd have the option of turning them ON. Sounds like I'll have to watch to make sure apps don't appear on their own.

    Talli, if I haven't responded, I'll check my email this morning and do that.

    Pat, Maribeth and Alex, Twitter is easy. It's one that I started off strong, but have backed off of and don't tweet as much as I used to.

    Linda, if Facebook is more fun than networking, I wonder why the agent rec'd it? Maybe if you really promote your books, you gain readers.

  10. I started out on Facebook just to keep up with my college-age daughter (who didn't friend me for almost 6 months & then she friended me with rules!). It's a quick way to keep up with people but I don't like all the aps either. I'm fairly new to blogging but it's more satisfying as far as creativity goes. Haven't ventured into twitter. I'm moving in baby steps with my writing/teaching but I have met new people both through blogging & FB.

  11. I am on Twitter, Facebook, Shelfari, and (now that you discovered it for me) Red Room. I am looking forward to exploring Red Room--it seems really interesting.

    For me, Facebook started as a way to find old friends--high school ones I had lost touch with, old college boyfriends ;P and the like. Now, I see the benefit in the social networking/PR/bookselling sphere. When I complete my MS and get published, I will start a fan page for that book--or for myself, whicever is more prudent. Of course, by then there will probably be a whole new website to contend with!


  12. Facebook is an interesting place. Thanks for being my FB friend and when you get it figured out, please share. :)

    Thoughts in Progress

  13. I'm on Red Room! When my book trailer was available and posted on YouTube, I looked for other places to post it - and found Red Room.
    I will look for you on Facebook, Helen. Yeah, some of it still doesn't make sense to me. If I hadn't bookmarked my group for The Circle of Friends, I would've never found it again, as there seems no way to pull up one's groups on the profile page.

  14. I'm only blogging right now, along with having a web site. I'm reluctant to give more time to the internet, so I just stay focused on those two avenues for the timebeing.

  15. Dawn, so there's hope for me that one of my kids will befriend me!

    With every new thing you sign up for, you end up with twenty things that you have to do or be aware of. And then something even newer comes on scene!

  16. I have blogged for two years and have mixed feelings about Twitter results. (One has to filter through all the spammers.) This post is timely because so many recommend to be on Facebook, but I don't know. It would just compound all of my associations.

  17. I love the new photo. So Texas. I like the green, too, but I nearly always like green. Unless it looks like toothpaste.

    I blog, but that's it. One day, maybe, I'll venture into more.

  18. Everyone tells me that Facebook is a total time-suck, so I've managed to avoid it so far.

  19. I'm on Facebook -thanks for friending me. I'm still on Twitter, but don't do it. I'm listed in Red Room, but don't go there much. And LinkedIn, but never use it. The only two things I do consistently are Facebook and blog.

  20. Helen I found you on FB and added you. I'm an addict.

  21. I'm on FB but with only a few friends. I do link to my blog and my business web there...but I feel like I run out of time for FB.

  22. Paul, if you use Twitter via Tweetdeck, I believe you can do some filtering of the tweets.

    Once you start, Carol, it's hard to stop!

    I'll let you know bermudaonion, although I don't plan to spend a lot of time on it.

    Liza, that's the worry - time suck!

    Okay, Karen, you're gonna have to explain what the Red Room is.

    And Lauri, you FB addict, you can tell me what I'm doing wrong on FB.

  23. Facebook definintely,I love Facebook. Red Room too but haven't had the time to do much with it and YOU were the one that taught me about twitter, lol! haven't really gotten into ning yet. When I get some extra time--anyone know where I find that?--I'll check it out. lolol!

    I'll send you a request on FB

  24. I've been on Facebook for ages (even have a long-neglected MySpace) but on FB I have two profiles--one for 'friends and family'-on which I do any deep silliness I feel I need to get up to and post pictures of my children (and friend them and their friends) and then the writer profile which (being me) is still silly from time to time, but I don't have ANY of those extra applications going, and which is where I stick to writing related topics and friend a lot of OTHER writing interested folks that I don't necessarily know in person (personal profile is ALL people I know--you know, because of my kids, mostly).

    FB, compared to blogging, is quicker, sillier, but I find it a great way to find people with compatible humor and such. Blogging has more DEPTH, but that means a definite investment of time getting to know people, so it's significantly SLOWER to expand.

    Twitter-I am there, but inefficient... mostly use it to share links.

    I still though, feel like the blogging has been most beneficial--largely BECAUSE there is actual information exchanged, you can tell personalities from people's writing--there is more of a sense of KNOWING people. Red Room, what? Ning I've heard of, but no clue... other recommendations include Goodreads and linked in, both of which I signed up for and never returned to...

  25. I twitter and do my blog, and for me that seems to be enough. I just can't dedicate more time to the cyber world. I know I could, but I've got to cut myself off because every time I hear of some new, Red room outerspacey thing I've got to go check it out. Going there now. More guilt for not writing!

  26. Someone's gonna have to tell me about Red Room or I'll have to go investigate.

    Watery Tart, I did that same thing. I signed on to Goodreads, and have done nothing with it. FB does seem quick. I signed on today, and there was a whole stream of different "conversations" on my home page. It seems like you'd have to stay on them live to keep up.

    jd, you had me laughing. If you do go check out the Red room outerspacey thing, let us know.

  27. Facebook is great. If it didn't have so many virus-laced messages, it'd be even better.

    Twitter is okay. I'm not addicted, though.

    I have a writers blog and also post on other people's blogs. For the most part, just keeping up with these (plus my regular writing schedule) consumes my time.

  28. I have really slacked off on Twitter. Some days I forget to tweet anything.

    Ooh, I hate things with viruses. If I encounter any on FB, I hope they stay there and don't invade computers.

    Thanks Alyson.

  29. I am on Facebook, Twitter and Zanga. Also joined Goodreads, but I haven't done much there. All of this can get too time consuming, especially with blogging and visiting other blogs. For most of us, that creates a real tension between writing time and business time. I vote for more writing time.

  30. Facebook has a friend limit? I wonder if you'd be better off with a page where people can be fans, not friends.

    Have fun on Facebook! If I ever start a pro page, I'll look you up for sure :)

  31. I personally find Facebook not that useful, unless you just want to socialise. I do use a FB page for the Writing Adventure Group I host on my blog, but I don't try to make friends just to promote my blog or whatever. Twitter is probably the most useful, IMO, especially if you look at the time v. value ratio.

  32. I facebook for family. I Twitter for writer buddies.
    I think I would run out of writing time, if I mixed the two.

    I have not heard of the others.


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