A Facebook Wall or Fan page and a Twitter or Google+ stream is a kind of online home page, in ways that basic online homepage can only approach by including apps to social media.
Usually interacting on social media is fun and interesting. Twitter, Facebook, Twitter and other sites have coding that allows for responses that can develop into fascinating conversations to contribute in or simply quietly lurk.
I lurk a lot because I enjoy learning. There are wonderfully learned, creative and eager to share expertise and knowledge. Some of these people are world famous who share their lives and best advice, while others are relatively unknown but successful people who have expertise in their field, such as a mom who tweets about a new toy that is helping her child one master a skill. Other non-commercial people on social media find and share off the beaten path news and information from reputable sources. And then there are the other people I follow who simply share their humanity and friendship, showing images of their lives, including cell phone photos of glorious sunsets. Of course there are commercial or business only members on social media, including off-line media such as TV, radio and print magazines and newspapers, which also usually freely share information and links to fuller stories.
If I post on your Facebook wall or if you follow my account so my messages show up in your Twitter or Google+ stream I do this only as your guest. No one owes me the right to make them read my tweets or post to their Facebook wall. My posts are always those of a guest.
In social media and in life, guests who are polite, interesting and even kind are invited back. On social media I am “invited back” every time someone continues to follow or friend me.
As a fine artist, a painter who also used her hand made images to create new digital images by combining images into new original works (sometimes my process is referred to as tradigital art), I have many, many original images that I can and do share online. Yet, I do not share my own unique original images on other people’s Facebook walls (although the ones on my wall and page can or have been shared by other people on their own walls). I watch as other artists share images of their own works on the pages and walls of other artists, art critics or advisers. And yet, I will not do it. I will not even share a link to one of my blogs on someone’s wall or page. Why? For the same reason that I do not walk into a friend’s dinner party and without invitation open up a portfolio of my work. It is just so glaringly, aggressive and even bullying.
Talk television shows are generally set up to resemble a kind of living or dining room with plus seating and even tables where the guests and host(s) gather. However the guests on these shows are specifically invited onto the show with the clear understanding that the guest will be “plugging” a new movie, book, TV show or event. I have certainly been invited onto blogs, pod-casts, and had my works shared on social media, and sure I too plugged my work or event within the context of the subject of the show. Yet, I was invited to do this. I am almost always happy to allow one of my art works to be used to illustrate or decorate others’ blogs or magazines, as long as I am credited as the artist, the name of the work is shown and there is a link to my website. I often tweet and post links myself to online sites where my works are shown with permission, but, again, in each case, the work appears by invitation.
A Facebook wall or Twitter or Google+ stream can also be understood as one’s own channel, much like a TV or radio channel out to the world. Finding great stuff to share or RT is a boon – I see this as programming I get for free.
However, even with disclaimers people (including myself) tend to see a RT or share as a kind of endorsement, so I am careful as to who my sources are for the “free” programming materials. On Twitter, I RT a lot, especially about art (I am kind of known for this), and people thank me publicly. Yet, I always think that the thanks should go the other way because that source freely gave me valuable programming to share!
On my own Facebook wall and also in the comments posted to my blogs, I take responsibility for what occurs just the way I do in my own home as to what goes on in my home or studio. People who try to use my wall to sell their products find that their post is removed and they are no longer friended by me (unless they were previously asked to share their event or work, which has happened) While comments and discussions are enjoyed, negative name calling or bullying is not, and those comments are deleted, although comments that indicate disagreement, and hopefully even have or link to outside source facts are greatly welcomed.
Finally, a kind of pet peeve that often gives me a chuckle. It is not that is seems impossible to me that people can be so selfish and dumb, especially if they believe they have a real and good cause or idea. At least several times a week people aim a tweet at me that asks me to ReTweet their tweet that promotes their cause or product. The tweet invariably goes something like “@judyrey Check out the benefits of XYZ now on sale at http:link Please RT”. In other words, I am being asked to use my channel to give this person free advertising for something I know nothing about. Yet, that alone is not what peeves me, or rather astounds me. The kicker is that almost always, conservatively 98% of the time, the tweeter asking for the favor has never had any interaction with me, does not follow me on Twitter or anywhere else. Often they follow almost no one, but have a stream of initiated tweets that are identical to the one I receive aimed at other Twitter members. I can only assume these tweeters are aiming to win the Darwin award for spamming.
To everyone who follows me on Twitter or Google+ or Pinterest, is my friend on Facebook or LinkedIn, that you for inviting me into your social media homes, and thank you for sharing your life happenings, ideas, finds, news and comments with me in my social media homes.