Free-For-All Friday – How A Few Kind Words Can Turn Your Day Around

As some of my regular readers probably already know I am currently reading Kristen Lamb’s book ‘We Are Not Alone’. This book is specifically for writers wanting to expand their reach through social media.
Disclaimer – in the following paragraphs I am going to sound a bit negative towards both Kristen and her book, so any of you that only read half of this post are going to leave with the impression that I don’t like the book. Don’t be fooled – this book is great, and I highly recommend it to any and all writers out there. So please… keep reading, this story has a happy ending. Okay, nuff said, let’s get on with it!
So picture this – it is yesterday afternoon and I have found some time to sit and play on my laptop, Son is playing happily with his puzzles, and all is good with the world. I am reading the e-book of ‘We Are Not Alone’ so far I am just over half way through, already I feel like I am an expert in all things social media. This book is highly instructive in nature – that is, it has tasks that it recommends you complete as you are reading the book. So yesterday I reach a section entitled ‘MySpace’. *sigh* The book tells me I MUST sign up (to quote “All new writers must have a MySpace page”) *even bigger sigh*. I am already on Facebook and Twitter (and spend far too much time on both) so adding another time consumer to my repertoire does not sound particularly appealing – but hey what do I know, right? Kristen is the guru, so I will do what Kristen tells me.

I sign up. Not only that but I end up spending the better part of two hours playing around trying to get the background I want (in the end I give up and decide I will do it later; two hours is about my upper limit for patience on a single task, particularly as by this point it is time to pick up Daughter from preschool). 

By the time I get back to my computer kids are now in bed and I decide to try and work out how I am supposed to use this whole MySpace thing, another hour passes, and I still haven’t achieved much (let’s face it other than loading my photo and inputing my high school everything is blank and I still can’t get a background to work!)

Then I notice the friends box – perhaps adding a few friends would make me feel like I am accomplishing something. As I don’t actually know anyone that has a MySpace account I decide to do the only thing I can think of – I search for Kristen Lamb, she wrote the book and is telling me how important it is to have a MySpace page, obviously she must have one herself. And she does. I locate her page – and click the ‘+ friend’ button (or whatever that happens to be called on MySpace) then my eyes naturally gravitate towards her MySpace comments.

Hang on… that can’t be right? Kristen Lamb (who has now spent almost 15 pages of her book telling me how important it is to not only be on MySpace but to also make sure you regularly update it) has not added a new comment (the equivalent of a status update) since sometime last year. I decide I must be mistaken and also check out Bob Mayer’s MySpace page and find a similar result.

By this point in time the steam is quite literally pouring out of my ears, I have wasted hours and hours playing around with MySpace when it is quite clearly not the be-all-and-end-all of all social media outlets (which, quite frankly, I already knew). Not only that, but I have already been onto Kristen’s blog and raved about her book! ARGHHH! Think of how many words I could have added to my novel if I hadn’t been playing around on MySpace… well that will teach me.

About this time is where I would have thrown the book across the room (one of the distinct disavdantages of the e-book age I have to say!) Instead I go to bed angry and swear that I am not even going to bother finishing the book.

So… what changed my mind? Well, Kristen did.

This morning when I logged onto my computer, there in my inbox was an email from Kristen. When I happened to mention on her blog that I was in the process of signing up for MySpace she took the time to email me and tell me (and I hope she doesn’t mind that I am quoting directly) “Just a heads up. MySpace committed digital suicide two weeks after WANA hit shelves. I no longer recommend it as a platform, so don’t worry about it.” The email had alot more in it than just that – and I was honestly quite touched that she had taken the time to email me (if not a little confused as to how she got my email address… but anyway).

Now clearly this doesn’t give me back the 3 hrs that I lost yesterday playing around with a platform that I am never going to use. But I can tell you it makes me feel a hell of a lot better about it. In fact I feel so much better about it that not only am I going to finish reading her book but I am also on here recommending it to others as well (just ignore the section on MySpace 🙂 ) And what is even better is that this is exactly what Kristen is referring to when she says ‘We Are Not Alone’, personal interaction really does make all the difference!

You can find Kristen’s blog here and information about her books and how to find her on various social media sites on her website here.

Have you read We Are Not Alone? Are you on MySpace? Do you like it? Have you had someone completely change your opinion of something with just a few simple words?

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Jody Moller