Six Months’ Silence

ImageTo those few of you who might have noticed, this is the first blog posting I have done in almost six months. I decided to take a “sabbatical” from the blog in order to spend more time with another social medium- Twitter. As a teacher of PR students, I needed to understand how it was used, and that meant using it. So, like a guilty adulterer, I have been cheating on my blog to satisfy another love.

I didn’t start out that way. Like someone you initially dislike but grow to love, Twitter had to work at capturing my affections. I have had a twitter account for ages, but was like millions of other people who sign up but then aren’t active, I had just been using it to promote my blog postings to my students and other followers. I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to be a positive experience- my few forays into the twittersphere had been unproductive. At first glance, a lot of the content on twitter seemed banal beyond belief or, even worse, full of hashtag jargon and totally unintelligible.  

Six months on, and I am in love. I have discovered loads of useful content for PR students and practitioners, and made new friends, extended my network of contacts and had some fun along the way. Above all else, I found it meant that I could connect in a direct way with students who had been rather shy about commenting on a blog.  Fewer characters mean fewer inhibitions, it would appear. I’ve also realised that people expect a persona to be more evident in your Tweets than they do in a blog, so I have decided it is OK to share some personal stuff, if it makes the point that I am listening to what they are tweeting (reassurance to the occasional dissertation students in serious melt-down, for example). The immediacy and reach of Twitter is an added bonus.

The challenge now is to avoid serial monogamy. If I go back to the blog, am I just whistling in the dark? Is anyone out there listening? What are your experiences? If I have to choose between them, which do you think I should go for?


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About catherinesweet
Academic, professional, communicator, stakeholder in a dozen different disguises

3 Responses to Six Months’ Silence

  1. mattlanyon says:

    I think it is important to use both. Cutting yourself off from one means cutting yourself off from part of your audience. I would suggest using Twitter to drive traffic to your blog and that way you can get an even bigger audience reading your blogs, but at the same time use Twitter like you do at the moment.

  2. I agree with Matt! Twitter is too useful and might I add too fun of a tool to simply ignore.
    I opt for a polygamous relationship!

    Personally I find it harder to get a following on blog without using tools such as Twitter or Pinterest – they do such a good job at driving traffic and like you said in today’s lecture the use of hashtag’s allow you to reach the right people without even having known them; allowing the right people for the right content.

  3. Agree with both Matt and Stephanie. Particularly when it comes to blogging – I know exactly who to direct my blogs towards on Twitter if I want an increased readership and engagement (That’s right – I know my key influencer by name). I sometimes use Facebook to promote my blogs, too – but this is mostly out of vanity, and it rarely boosts my vital stats.

    I think the beautiful thing about social media is the ability to use different sites to effectively fragment your audiences. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be an advantage, but by maintaining a presence on WP, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (my ‘professional’ site is almost ready) I know when to post, and who to post to.

    I took a similar sabbatical from blogging between October and January, but I’ve emerged from it with an increased following, and more comments, likes and shares. This is mostly down to learning about Social Media for brands from Matt (although I also need to refine my ‘tagging’ technique).

    Although some social media is more about vanity than it is about engaging, I regularly use Twitter to source stories and opinions. The subsequent blogs often attract a higher readership, etc.

    I’m still not convinced by the hash-tag trend though – I often find them to be pointless (excl. #Loveyourbin, of course). I prefer setting up a search on TweetDeck, which I can scroll through at the end of the day.

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