Hootsuite

All right, you know about my love affair with software. And you know I love exploring new stuff. You also know I hate online versions of most things. I don’t like Google Docs, don’t like online blogging clients (HOORAY for Windows Live Writer, I says!), and generally don’t like online clients for things like Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s an exception: Hootsuite.

Hootsuite is a social networking update dashboard which allows you to update your Twitter, Facebook and other social networking accounts from a single interface. If you’re familiar with Digsby, it’s a similar idea, except in an online format, and doesn’t include a chat client.

Hootsuite lets you update your Twitter account and your Facebook account at the same time with the same message. But its most powerful feature is the ability to update both accounts (or others you’ve added to it) at a future date and time.

As little as five minutes can be used as a buffer, or any time in increments of five minutes. You can also choose a day in advance. For writer buddies, this is useful for tweeting about upcoming book releases and announcements which take place on a specific day. So you can pimp your book release on the release date if you want, and do it on the day you GET the release date. Very cool.

Or, if you know about something happening, you can update your Facebook account status with the information far in advance of knowing it. Very convenient, and this has many business and promotional uses for pro bloggers or web-presences.

The drawbacks include not being able to EDIT the information in a pre-dated tweet or status update. I can’t see any way to delete one once you’ve scheduled it, either. So be careful to make sure the information you’re including for future updates isn’t going to change between when you schedule it and when it actually updates.

Check out Hootsuite and see if it can work for you. I’ve been using it a lot to announce and promote my #FridayFlash pieces. Because of my situation and the limited access to the ‘Net I have right now, Hootsuite works great for me. It lets me update the account(s) I want and I don’t have to be online for more than a few minutes to input a lot of updates for later posting. Very cool.

Hope you had a great weekend!

-JDT-

©DarcKnyt 2010
All rights reserved

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Flash Friday/Friday Flash

I don’t know if the hash tag is #flashfriday, or #fridayflash, and I found both on Twitter, so I didn’t know which to use.  Guess I’ll use ‘em both?

Whatever it’s called, I finally broke inertia a little and wrote something.  I need a special shout-out here for a few folks who’ve helped with critiques over the last week or so.

For one, my buddy Sherri.  Her insights are amazing, which is no surprise because she’s an awesome writer.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Thanks, Sher, you rock.  I appreciate it.  I know this isn’t your favorite piece, but you helped me just the same, and that means a lot to me.  I’ve never failed to grow after you’ve pruned.

Next, another friend and awesome writer pitched in on short notice not once, but twice this week.  He used to go by the handle Dwight Wannabe, but he’s taken down his blog now.  Maybe I can shame him into getting it back up someday.  It was an incredible resource.  DW, I just can’t quit you dude.  Thanks for being there and being willing to not withhold your honesty.  I learned valuable things from this, and I’ll be a better writer for it.  Thank you.

Finally, my amazing, beautiful and wondrous wife, who is always my first, best reader, and without whom fingers would never reach keyboard.  I love you.

So, without further ado, my contribution to this week’s #flashfriday or #fridayflash is at my fiction blog, awaiting your perusal.

Have a great weekend, everyone.  God bless.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Using Social Networking for Gain

Facebook, Inc.

My buddy Sherri has done something sort of interesting over on Facebook recently: she created a fan page for herself.

She’s not boasting about her readership or anything, but she took a step toward the day when she does get published and will have fans.  She can use it to promote her books, and generate interest in future projects, etc.  It was an interesting idea, and I wondered if it was a wise move to have one ahead of time.

See, since FB is one of the social network buzz-word sites, I wondered if you could generate fans there by having a fan page.  You might create some interest in what you’re doing, getting the word out about being an artist, writer, creator, whatever.  Generate some pre-emptive interest in you, your writing (for us writers, at least), and maybe pull in some people who might be potential fans if and when we get published.

Trouble is, I don’t know too much about it.  I don’t know how to promote myself on Facebook or anywhere else, and marketing isn’t my forte.  So I haven’t made the step yet.  Heck, I don’t even have a finished manuscript.  (Still editing, remember?  Yeah, I forgot too.)  So I’m not sure I could use it to good effect, even if I could figure out how to create one (or meet the qualifications if any).

Still, I wondered.  And I often wonder about Twitter too.  I know I’m not using that resource to full effect, and I won’t be able to really get into it until I actually have something I want to do with Twitter to promote myself.  I know plenty of authors don’t get into social networking, but we’re talking about people like Stephen King (who doesn’t involve himself in any social networking of any kind).  For little bums like me, I need all the help I can get.  If social networking is a way to generate some buzz – because my blog only goes so far – I probably need to think about it.

What do you think?  Anyone here on FB who’d be willing to “become a fan” on Facebook?  Are you savvy with how to use that for self-promotion, or have you utilized it to get the word to the world about something you’re doing?  And Sherri, how’s that coming along for you?  What can you do so far with your fan page?

Any experiences you have, I’d love to hear.  Thanks!

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Sucking at Social Networking

Facebook, Inc.

Yeah, I’m so not good at this social networking thing.

I have an LinkedIn account, and I’m there because it’s supposed to help you make connections with other people who might help you get a job or know someone who might connect you with someone who might know someone who might need someone who does what you do in their industry.  Or something.  I can’t handle it.  You’re supposed to be able to get recommendations from people there on work you’ve done in the past.  But when I ask people for recommendations they run screaming in the other direction.  It’s supposedly has a great job search and posting feature, but I’ve had zero luck with it.  And while I appreciate having the account, I don’t think I’m doing it right somehow and can’t make it work well for me.  I feel like a redneck hayseed who just found a piece of alien technology and is trying to figure out whether it’s a tonsil cleaner, an anal probe or something else altogether.

I have an account with Twitter, too.  Guess what?  I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with Twitter.  I can follow job accounts and I do, but they’re usually pretty generic.  I haven’t found one yet I could actually apply for.  In the meantime the most use I’m getting out of Twitter is monitoring the activities of people I know who actually have lives and do things they can update about.  Me?  Not so much.  I bust out with the occasional #5secfic update because those are fun, but for the most part?  No one cares what I have to say or what I’m doing.  “I’m sitting around imitating a manatee out of water.”  “I’m watching myself gain weight while scouring the Internet job boards and looking for free pr0n sites.”  “I’m about to go to the bathroom and, based on how I feel right now, it might be a while.”  These are not things people want to read, y’know?  Go figure.

I have a Facebook account too.  Initially, I really thought very little of it.  I joined thinking, hey, why not?  Can it hurt?  I tried to connect with my high school buddies at first, then I realized I don’t have any high school buddies, and for the love of Pete I never did.  I knew them; they knew me.  I was a loner in high school, and don’t even go by the same name.  A lot of these people have no frickin’ idea who I am or why I sent them a friend request, but they accepted anyway.  That’s weird.  But I keep (and will keep) my Facebook page because they have some cool games.  What the heck, right?

Yes, I stink at social networking.  I guess it’s because I’m not sociable.  Never have been.  These sorts of things are not for people who are introverts, melancholy and not sanguine.  I don’t fit; I’m the proverbial square peg being shoved into a round hole.  What about you?  How are you at socializing?  Are you outgoing and friendly and energized by contact?  If so, does social networking seem natural to you?  And if you’re more like me (not a hermit, but maybe more shy, reserved, introverted), do you struggle with the idea as much as I do?

Have a great weekend and God bless, all.

-JDT-

Did You Miss Me?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

So, I haven’t been online much today, and I haven’t posted anything to this space until now, and did any of you even notice I was missing?  Hm?  Didja?

Probably not.

Over the weekend my wife kept trying to get me to read a book (read her post from this afternoon for more details).  But we stayed up so late playing computer games Saturday and Sunday I never got around to cracking it open.  Besides that, I have a couple of Stephen King books from the library to read, but I guess I’ll read her recommendation first.

The funny thing is, she wants me to read it and then tells me I’m a better writer than the guy who wrote that book.  Why would I want to read something from someone who’s not as good as I am?  If I want to learn karate, I go study under someone who can kick my butt.  If not, what’s the point?  I’m not there to teach, I’m there to learn.  But she insists it’s for me to know something about my competition.  The book is a paranormal, I assume, and she’s likened it to Ghost Hunters.  So I think I’d better give her wisdom serious consideration and read it.  Besides, could my beloved have said anything nicer about me than what she did?  I don’t think so.

In other news, good things seem to be happening today.  It’s been a while since anything encouraging happened, but today brings some hope and excitement which I haven’t had in a long, long while.  I’ll provide details when I can.

I haven’t written or edited anything for so long I’ve forgotten how.  I have a lot to do with my completed manuscript and I’m hoping I’ll finish it before I die.  I think it’s time to schedule that sort of thing.  If I don’t I’ll never get back into the swing and get this done, and the clock is in serious run-mode now.  I have to do something to get this off my plate; I mean, c’mon … I completed the first draft in November of 2007, for pity’s sake.

Let’s see … anything else?

Not really.  I wrote a bunch of 5secfic (five second fiction) over the weekend for Twitter.  I also made my profile and updates public late last week, and now I’m getting a bunch of people following me whom I don’t know.  It’s a little scary.  I’m always nervous around strangers anyway.

Oh, I haven’t moved my bi0-data crap yet.  I think I’m going to do that, though.  If I thought I could control the search engine tags better, I’d move it to one of those junky free web sites like FreeWebs or something and let it be.  But for now, it’s still here … ‘cause I’m a traffic whore.

How was your weekend?

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.