Category Archives: Social Networking

Annoying Zoom Behaviors

Ah, the age of Corona and Zoom meetings. I think we need to look at our online, face-to-face behaviors. I freely admit I’ve been guilty of many of the behaviors in this list (that’s what got me thinking about making the list!). I’m learning. I try to not be annoying. Here’s a few tips.

Being late. When a meeting is called for 5:00 p.m., log in a couple/few minutes early. Check EST, CST, MST, PST. Nothing bugs me more than “waiting for the late people.”

Trouble logging in. This is new technology for a lot of people, a learning curve for us all. But if you can’t get in successfully within a few minutes, give it up. Don’t make 30 people wait and waste 15 minutes trying to get YOU in. If you are not sure of the technology, ask a few friends to help you with a few dry runs. Practice…muting, unmuting, screen on, screen off, wax on, wax off.

Background noise. If you’re not talking, mute! I don’t need to hear your TV, your radio, the conversation in the kitchen, or your ‘hmm-ing’ or ‘yeah-ing’ every few seconds. Copernicus called – you’re not the center of the universe. So mute yourself.

Background. My background is a Welsh flag, but it’s not flapping in the wind from the highlands. Don’t have lava lamps, blinky-blinky things, or other distracting flappy things.

Your animals and kids. Yeah, they’re cute. We all love cats, we all love dogs, we all love kids. But not when we’re trying to have a meeting. It makes for cute out-takes on the news, but these distractions are not helpful when we are trying to talk and concentrate on serious subjects.

Alignment. Can you align your face in the frame? It’s pretty simple. I would like to see all of your face, not just the top part or the bottom part or half-face. And I prefer not to be looking up your nose. If you need to, prop the monitor/screen/laptop on a few books to look straight into the camera.

Adjustments. If you insist on being seen, stop the constant adjustments. People moving their screens, aligning their phones, repeatedly, moving up down, in out, forward back. Pick an agreeable alignment and leave it. Or pass around the Dramamine.

And here’s a novel idea! If you’re not the main event, why even bother with video? You can turn it off. Try it.

Speak up. On a call about two weeks ago, I had to ask the other person to speak up numerous times (as in about a dozen times, to the point I just gave up. I would have tried to lip read, but I couldn’t see her mouth). Speak clearly, speak slowly, speak up.

The type/chat window. I guess it’s there for chatting, but must it be used constantly? If you have something to say, try this… “I have a question” or “I would like to comment.” And then wait for the facilitator to acknowledge you. The chat window doesn’t mean you have to type/chat throughout the entire meeting.

Getting up, sitting down. Stop it. Sit, pay attention. Stop fidgeting! It’s distracting and annoying. We know you don’t have ants in your pants, because none of us are wearing pants.

Speaking of pants…please, no panty or brief shots. Ga!

Bodily functions. Just no. I don’t need to hear any of these sounds. This ain’t your daddy’s frat party.

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Filed under Personal Articles, Social Networking

Ditching the website, still The Word Shark

Ditching the website

I’ve decided to ditch The Word Shark DOT com (and the cost).

Why?

Because most of my clients come from referrals or my blog, not the website. Most of the traffic on my website comes from “marketing professionals” and “sales professionals” who know the “sure fire way” to turn my site around and make a bigger profit.

Profit margin vs. website cost

Over the last few years, about 95% of the traffic on my website is from scummy, spammy spammers.

100% of my business comes from satisfied customer referrals.

Word of mouth

I don’t need a website. I’ve got a tribe of happy, satisfied clients to plump my pillows at night.

Still Shark

While I won’t be – officially via a website – The Word Shark, I’ll always be YOUR Word Shark.

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Filed under Branding & Platform, Editing & Proofreading, Social Networking

Going with the burn-out flow

IMG_1851About a year and a half ago, I realized I was experiencing social networking burn-out. It just got worse and worse.

I referred to my own blog about this problem, and tried the tips I’d written myself: Avoiding blog burn-out.

I tried more tricks:

Trim the blogs I subscribe to

Don’t blog as much

Don’t get on social networking so much

When on social networking, don’t spend as much time there

I exercised more. Made more art. Stepped outside. Read more. Socialized more.

Nothing helped. I was still burned out, and I couldn’t kick it.

And then, after a recent phone conversation with Elizabeth H. Cottrell of Heartspoken– to discuss my burn-out – it finally occurred to me (can you say, “Duh”?).

My life changed about a year and a half ago, and my energies were being funneled into new and challenging activities.

I started a new job in the summer of 2014. Learning a new job (with about an hour of training from the previous gal) took a toll. I love the job, but it can be exhausting.

I started going to a university class, fall 2014. It was only one class a semester, but it was a lot of work.

Then, the summer of 2015, I started tap dance lessons (yes, at 57 y.o.). Tap was always something I wanted to do, and now I’m doing it.

And this semester I’ll be taking two classes at Minot State University, so I’ll have even less time to social network and blog.IMG_1846

While Elizabeth did give me some great ideas for a new direction for my blog, I’ll tell you right now – I won’t be blogging as much. And I won’t be feeling guilty about it.

I have new priorities, so I took a look at blogging and realized it’s just not a huge priority now. While I will blog occasionally, I just won’t be popping up in your feed as much as I did before.

 

 

Photos by me from Lake Metigoshe, Summer, 2015.

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Filed under Blogging, Personal Articles, Social Networking

21 Steps to Twitter Love, by J. J. Brown

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Elizabeth and JJ at Word Sharks Conference

From Karen…

Back in June, I met with long-time online friends in Newark, DE, for the first-ever Word Sharks Conference. In attendance – J.J. Brown, Elizabeth Cottrell, Pamela Wight, Jessica Pettengill Messinger, and Barbara Forte Abate.

Since then, we have stayed in touch sharing blogs we like, having book discussions, and sharing other resources and insights.

Out of one of those conversations came some fantastic insight into Twitter by J.J. Brown. She shared her philosophy and advice on how she uses Twitter. I thought it was so good, I called “dibs” on sharing it in a blog.

Welcome, J.J.!

* * *

Article by J. J. Brown

I love twitter because it is a free and open conversation that’s so fast-moving. Twitter is quite famous for NOT being a place to sell books or much of anything else. So, I don’t have advice about how to use twitter to sell books.

Being active on twitter is a wonderful way to meet writers and readers, and exchange thoughts on the writing process and story ideas, as well as inspiration. And once in a while I get a tweet asking to review a book of mine, or to be interviewed on a blog, or submit a post for a website, or a story to an anthology, which is fun.

I can’t count the many interesting people I’ve met and shared views with on twitter, and sometimes later in-person as friends (none of whom were creepy).

21 rules I apply loosely, depending on how much time I have are:

How to tweet:

  • Be interesting and super brief; don’t repeat identical tweets.
  • Talk about yourself and the books you’ve written, but not ALL of the time, just sometimes.
  • Post provocative things about writing, about your books, and the news – things people react to.
  • Share other writers, artists, and thinkers works, at a good ratio. Tweeting 5 of others’ things then 1 of yours works well.
  • Use a photo in your original tweet so more people will see it. This magnifies your reach because more people look at pictures than words, even on twitter.
  • Tweet quotes from famous authors or artists who inspire you, just to share the joy.
  • After you tweet something original or important, stay on a few minutes to respond to any replies.
  • Retweet things others post that you think need a broader audience because they’re great, funny, or important.
  • Say something insightful about any link you share on twitter, don’t just hit the Tweet button though it’s tempting.

How to interact:

  • When someone tweets your work or retweets you, thank them via direct message (which is private) or tweet (which is public).
  • When people react to you, tweet back like a conversation. It hurts to be ignored there like in any conversation.
  • Never argue on twitter. Yes, sometimes a person will be mean to you. Ignore them. Praise, or add a new thought, or brood away silently.
  • Use #amwriting (for insights, personal progress) #amreading (for reviews) and other hashtags to enter writer’s conversations, then respond when people join your thought stream.
  • Follow people who follow, retweet, or comment to you, IF you’re interested in their twitter feed.
  • Don’t follow people who offer to buy twitter followers or increase your reach. That is kind of spammy messy stuff I don’t get into at all.
  • Seduce people you’re most interested in on twitter, tastefully, by retweeting and commenting on their tweets.
  • Think of the new contacts as friends and connections, not followers or fans.

How not to drown in the twitter stream:

  • Don’t look at your live stream, it’s a jungle in a thunderstorm.
  • Make lists of groups like writers, editors, publishers, artists to organize your new friends.
  • Do look at your lists’ tweets, your favorite people’s tweets, and any hashtags trending on that day that stimulate you.
  • Keep an eye on the clock. I limit my twitter socializing to about 30 minutes on a free day, 10 minutes on a busy one.

I hope this is helpful. I started on twitter about three years ago, when I started publishing books. At first, I was baffled. Now I love it. But I keep it to short doses. And only log on when I’m in a pretty good mood.

***

JJ BROWNJennifer J. Brown, PhD, is an editor at EverydayHealth.com by day, and writer of books and short stories by night. She completed a PhD in genetics and worked as a research scientist for 20 years before turning to writing. In her fiction writing, she is obsessed with exploring death and the meaning of dreams. Published author of seven books as J.J. Brown, she was born in the Catskill Mountains of New York and lives in New York City.

Find out more about J.J. Brown’s book news at her author website.

Death and the Dream. Short storiesDeathandDreamCover

Vector A Modern Love Story. Novel9780983821137

The Doctor’s Dreams. Novella

Stream and Shale. Coloring bookStreamandShaleFrontCoverFinal

J.J.’s Facebook author page

Twitter 

 

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Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking