PERSONAL: Social Media Flurry

Have recently been working to create a decent social media presence lately. It seems to be a key component in creating an online persona beyond the blog. I’ve been Tweeting both at rjlackie, my personal Twitter account, and signal_tv, the account for The Signal. I’ve also been setting up more social media profiles, like at LinkedIn and Zerply.

My main strategy has been about casual, yet consistent, use of Twitter. Previously, I’d tweet in short bursts of ‘why am I doing this?’; not exactly the golden road to success. Recently, I’ve picked certain topics I prefer to tweet about (mostly writing), started engaging in conversation, and discovered how to more easily share links with followers. And its worked, with my account picking up 10 followers since Sunday – after being trapped at 20-ish for ages. Making greater use of my Google Reader and the MobileRSS app I use, to collect and share interesting articles. The stuff I’ve been sharing recently has included a lot of content from the blogs I’ve just started following, like TechCrunch, AllThingsD, The Consumerist and DaSmogBlog, although its also helped spread others I’ve loved for a while, like this ain’t livin’ and Tiger Beatdown.

I don’t consider Facebook to be a platform for social media development, as that’s private amongst friends, but I do have profiles on LinkedIn and a new one on what’s being billed as a LinkedIn for creatives,  Zerply, though I’m still figuring out how I feel about that last one. Neither one is great for regular updates at the career level I’m at right now (sub-zero), but both will hopefully be useful next year once I’ve graduated into the real world. And of course, I’ve got my work here and at The Signal out there.

I’ve considered other platforms, with the most prominent being Tumblr, but none of them seem to be a good fit with my personality and intentions. Tumblr, for example, is more in tune with visuals and pithy remarks, like a cross between blogging and Twitter. And others seem wholly image based, which is entirely not my scene, being a writer writing about writing.

Ultimately, the big negotiation in my mind is how much time to spend on building a social media presence, and how much to actually spend building myself – my writing, my own development – to make it all worth it. Recently, working fulltime, it’s been easier to pop off a few links and comments via social media rather than dig into a script, which is a habit I have to wean myself off of.

What do you feel about the idea of having a social media presence? And what are your strategies for building one up without wasting your time?

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