Facebook

Community needs its own CxO level representation at social tool companies

https://twitter.com/AnastasiaAshman/status/617350986508558336 https://twitter.com/_danilo/status/617131584349560832

https://twitter.com/_danilo/status/617132655025393665 https://twitter.com/AnastasiaAshman/status/617365827243765760 https://twitter.com/sarahjeong/status/616483621495554048

https://twitter.com/_danilo/status/617041935044247552

Facebook As Ferguson Firewall

When protests were erupting in Ferguson, Missouri (and in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Washington DC and Seattle) after the Darren Wilson Grand Jury ruling in his fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, my Twitter timeline was nothing but Ferguson. (I also had Ferguson-devoted Twitter lists to dip into.) But same as in August, when the shooting spurred protests which were met by a disproportionate show of force from a militarized local police, my Facebook timeline was animal videos.

In his reply, Tobin Davis is referring to the Orwellian scrubbing of the media that occurs in the Facebook newsfeed algorithm, which controls 30% of the news accessed by more than a billion people: 

“As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in it’s stead. This process of continuation alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to be correct; nor was any item of news, or expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to be on record.”…George Orwell, “1984″

And it's Facebook's declared intention to become "'the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world'." 

Technosociologist Zeynep Tufekci writes: "algorithms have consequences."

How To Become Your Own North Star On The Internet

We're all digital strategists now.

 

In fact, if you aren't thinking deeply about how and where and with whom you appear and interact on the web, you need to start.

Today. You can and should be using your online presence as a 21st century life & work skill to connect with relevant people, information you need and enriching opportunities. I'm going to help, so you can get started today. (And the resources I'm sharing with you are completely free, so if you want to buy something you'll have to go find a different post.) I've been saying all of this for years. Doing it for years. As a content and digital publishing specialist, I've been showing people how to use their own content to connect purpose and action in digital spaces, for 5 years, both in private and group coaching environments. Along with Tara Agacayak and Tanya Monsef Bunger, I built a curriculum at GlobalNiche, a social web training company that's now shifting into an empowered digital life movement, so you can do it on your own, or in groups, wherever you are and whoever you are and whatever you do. If you are a person active online, this training will ask you the strategic questions you need to be thinking about. If you're not yet active or don't love being online, this will help you figure out what makes sense for you. Our combined 25 years of experience, including major expatriate life and work challenges, forced us to tap our backgrounds in culture, info tech, media & psychology to create this network-activating system using the backbone of the social web. We've used this method to survive. No matter who or where you are, you can use it to thrive.

I'm now making that training perfectly free, so you can take advantage of all our guidance immediately.

 

Want to learn how? It's my gift to you! Start by downloading the handbook

 

  When you download this powerful free handbook you're going to start to transform what you do, how you do it and with whom. This repeatable, dynamic six-step method will help you become your own North Star on the Internet and bring you closer to the people and things you care about. You'll emerge with inspiration, direction and confidence:

    • a vision that lights you up and goals you can measure
  • a do-able plan and digital skills you need
  • and a practice and peer group you can rely on to keep going

 

 

Here's what people who've done it say:

    • "I felt I couldn’t catch up. The way GlobalNiche describes social media – it’s about using technology to communicate naturally – clicked for me." ~ paralegal
  • “Opened my eyes to my own assets. It has given me the confidence to bet on myself.” ~ work-at-home parent
  • “I doubled my Twitter presence just by learning about good Twitter etiquette.” ~ scriptwriter
  • “I’m blown away by the possibilities. I now have an action plan. I feel a huge shift in my life." ~ academic
  • "For people who are wondering if what they have to say is valuable.” ~ financial officer
  • "Helped me to recognize and own how I am being virtually “seen” and make positive and educated changes." ~ landscape contractor

 

With this non-dogmatic foundational method you'll:

    • uncover the real value you've already created: by taking inventory of what you've been doing, detecting the patterns in your activities, gaining insight into what you're drawn to
  • put your mountain of natural resources to work for you: by acknowledging all that you’ve created and use it to gain insight into who you are and who you want to be
  • show the world how you make sense: by linking what you've done in the past & are doing today with your wider goals
  • recognize that you need to become visible to meet people you want to collaborate with, work for, hire
  • combine who you are and where you want to go with the tools available to express yourself
  • make empowered, focused decisions about how to operate online
  • go beyond managing your reputation online to using social media to represent your best self
  • meet and enter conversations with your peers, mentors and customers on the web
  • get recognized by authorities & peers in your field, recruiters, the media
  • identify how to use existing materials as building blocks for future projects
  • identify new ways to use social media, which platforms work for you (and which do not), and how to use those platforms to your advantage
  • express yourself with the best social web tools available, including how to use Google+, Quora, ScoopIt and Storify to your benefit
  • gain a new understanding of the best social media and content management and strategy tools, formats, methods to try
  • establish an interactive calling card at a site like About.me
  • learn best practices for blogging frameworks like WordPress and Thesis, blogging services like Twitter and Tumblr, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • learn best uses of video and slideshow sites like Animoto, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, email service providers
  • grasp a new perspective on yourself as a content creator, realize the energy you generate around your interests IS content
  • publish, record, remix, repackage, reformat your content
  • design and implement a do-able plan with small steps to get your creations into global circulation in alignment with your larger goals

 

Want more?

If you want more guidance, get the free multimedia curriculum which expands on the handbook with video coaching and other materials. You'll have lifetime access to the self-paced course, 24/7, on all your devices. I'm making that entire program perfectly free for you, so join with a friend and do it together! 4,700 people already cashed in this free coupon to get connected & effective. Did you? Let me know how you're liking it!

Curating My Influences On Entrepreneurship, Global Women Entrepreneurs, & Future Of Work

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.38.28 PMJust started this curation topic at Scoop.it and I've already got more 100 links of evergreen value and cutting-edge thinking.

I've been harvesting all the links I've been discovering, sharing, posting and discussing for the last couple of years in the dark social of email and private (and some now defunct) discussion settings.

That includes material I discovered and shared over the past four years at my LinkedIn GlobalNiche group, my Facebook Creative Entrepreneurs group, my Facebook GlobalNiche graduates group. I'm also posting my original comments on each of those shares.

Expect more as I pull links from more than a year's worth of postings at Basecamp, a collaborative service I've been using to discuss entrepreneurial issues with my GlobalNiche team members.

If you're interested in these topics and the thinking from around the web that has most influenced me, it's easy to subscribe to the collection in one click over at Scoop.it.

A Simple Strategy For Building A Global Network Isn't About You. Your Plan Has To Make The Network A No-Brainer For Its Users -- Not Its Builder

Which one of these is a 'simple' strategy for building a global network of people who have a range of digital abilities: a pervasive, cohesive presence with many online doors -- or one room in graveyard of the web?

Which one of these is a ‘simple’ digital strategy (true story!) of an organization that aims to build a global network from a millions-strong list of women it’s loosely associated with:

  • a pervasive, cohesive presence across multiple social networking services, a community with free flow of information -- with windows into other related rooms of your peers and corridors you can go down if and when you are ready, willing, able, that is, when are you motivated and enabled to connect and pursue what appeals to you about this gathered community,
  • OR, one room on a service known for not-loving its group functionality, a service littered with the skeletons of well-intentioned groups, a room that is 'easy' to open?

When you find yourself looking for a simple strategy to connect all your important people so they can finally get off an inert list of names and start to build closer ties, so you can ambiently be aware of your peers on a consistent basis, so you all can see each other and learn what everyone is up to, so you recognize your commonalities and your opportunities to collaborate, and so you can TAKE ACTION on your shared goals using the cost-effective, labor-saving, reach-amplifying online communication tools available in 2013, ask yourself this.

Simple for whom?

Is your plan simple for you, the community builder? Or is it simple for the community waiting to happen?

Becoming Media Literate

Saw someone on Facebook bemoaning how "the entire internet" fell for the claim that the Turkish government was using "agent orange" against its citizens in the Gezi Park uprising.

The spread of mistruths is not a reason to distrust everything you see reported on social media (nor to decry it as a "menace to society"). It's a reason to do better about parsing the information and its sources.

Just like threatening chain letters and Bigfoot hoaxes, we're supposed to grow out of this kind of dupedom.

I see the growth taking place before my eyes in the Turkish use of social media. It helps to have skillful journalistic people covering the news. (Here's a new Twitter list of English language tweeters on Turkish current events by cultural journalist Robyn Eckhardt for a one-click follow of 20+ accounts. Here's my Turkey protests Twitter list with more than 80.)

The first mention of agent orange I saw was associated with the debunking of that claim, on the twitter feed of NPR's Andy Carvin.

Becoming (social) media literate is a process, and especially messy in a crisis.

But many people have already been through major crises while using social media (for instance, Carvin pioneered the crowdsourcing of citizen journalism during the Arab Spring as I, Jillian York of Global Voices and TIME pointed out in April 2011), so to portray us all as rubes -- and social media as "untrustworthy" -- is inaccurate.

Social media is a tool. It's up to us to use it wisely. As web anthropologist Stowe Boyd says, "The single most important decision we make in a connected world is who to follow."

 

Turkish Unrest Makes My Facebook Timeline A True Interest Graph

My Facebook timeline has in past 8 months become full of irrelevant sponsored posts and ads but before that was not an activated global neighborhood posting on interrelated topics.

What's happening in Istanbul and Turkey and the Turkish diaspora around the world this week has made my Facebook timeline suddenly a relevant, activated global neighborhood.

 

  • I am seeing posts this week from contacts whose posts I have never seen in my TL. (Turks were early and enthusiastic adopters of FB so many connected with me back in 2007 as I told Intel Free Press here.)
  • I am seeing posts from people who are saying they never have posted on this topic before.
  • I am seeing groups of people I know from different locations, settings and times actively share and comment on a related set of posts.
  • I am seeing people from my high school trying to parse a topic that other people in my feed (people I've met over more than 10 years, some I worked with, others I spoke to their class, others I know socially, etc) know about intimately and are reporting first hand.

This week has been what Facebook should and could be to make it a place I want to go in the age of Twitter, but so far never has been.

This phenomenon is due to the severity of the news, and the fact that my network is seeded with a majority of people who care about that type of news.

If Facebook has been making the shift from social graph to the more valuable (commercially, and for readers) interest graph, this week my TL made that shift on its own.

 

 

Migrating My 2-Year Old Creative Entrepreneurs Facebook Page & LinkedIn Group To GlobalNiche

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 2.26.23 PMAfter two years, Tara and I are closing our Creative Entrepreneurs Facebook page. Members of this group are scattered all over the globe. We are working in a variety of areas and are hybrids of some sort. We identify with being suspended between multiple worlds and find ourselves challenged by culture, geography, language and time zone. But we believe that limbo state is our secret weapon.

We are looking forward to more discussions about how you turn disadvantages into springboards, and how you flourish in the niche you create for yourself.

What we've been doing here and at our LinkedIn group we've been taking to the next level at our GlobalNiche page for more than six months. Come join us there and keep evolving your creative enterprise...

Our mission at this page and at LinkedIn since 2009 is to aid creative entrepreneurs poised to maximize the benefits of social networks by actively connecting with each other and pooling resources and inspiration.

Creative entrepreneurs tap into their own skills, talents and circumstances to develop work tailor-made to their interests and lifestyle.

Social media provides creative professionals the ability and opportunity to leverage web technologies to build and grow their projects and businesses.

 

How Pinterest Is More Like Twitter And Less Like Facebook

A fellow transmedia storyteller I encouraged to try Pinterest just let me know I am "flooding her stream so she has to unfollow".

I imagine an active bout of pinning by anyone you follow will put a flood of images into your timeline. That's the nature of the beast.

If you follow too few people or too few boards, you'll probably be like this woman, wanting people to post less so you don't suddenly see a ton of images of one topic or from one pinner if what you want is more variety in your timeline. (Algorithmically, perhaps, like you might expect at Facebook.)

But the beauty of Pinterest is the customizability (for instance, you can follow a pinner's specific pinboard rather than all of that pinner's activity).

And this isn't Facebook where one might be right to worry you're becoming a nuisance (to the limited numbers and strong tie relationships of most people's Facebook accounts) by posting every five minutes.

The reason we're on Pinterest is to pursue our interests -- it's a network of weak ties based on interests -- it's not connect to people we happen to know (nor are we concerned on Pinterest with making people we happen to know think we are behaving non-annoyingly on Pinterest).

The reputation I generate on Twitter or Pinterest is going to be about the quality and subject matter of what I share and interact with. I'm much less inclined at those services than at Facebook about whether what I pin or share pleases the people who follow me. That's for them to decide and adjust as necessary. But telling me not to do it, or do it less, however indirectly? Nope. Just go.

This is the exploration of my interests. You can come along if you want, but I won't be curtailing my pinning because someone who follows me can't figure out how to handle it.

Much like at Twitter, at Pinterest I usually favorite images at a fast pace then add them to my boards/share them with my followers at a much slower rate. And I consume much more than I produce. I still may post more than you can handle. At Twitter, I put high volume accounts on a list I can dip into so they don't overwhelm my feed. Pinterest could certainly use more flexibility in this area.

A Facebook Connection is Not An Email Subscription

A very sweet email I received from a new connection included these lines: "I wanted to let you know that you're receiving this email because I lovingly friended you via Facebook and was hoping you wouldn't mind if I occasionally sent you what I was up to. If not, it's totally cool, you're welcome to unsubscribe below and my feelings won't be hurt one bit."

I'm glad I'm not going to be hurting someone's feelings if I choose to stop receiving something I never asked to receive and didn't know existed.

 

Unfortunately, sending me email I must to choose to stop receiving amounts to an automatic email subscription when the current standard for list subscription is the double opt-in.

The added twist of piling a list subscription onto a Facebook connection muddies the water even further.

Maybe I just wanted to connect in an ambient way.

Maybe I use Facebook and other social media services as my new contact book. (That's exactly what I do!)

Maybe I don't know yet if I want to receive news from you in my in-box, the most intimate of social medias.

Give me a chance to figure it out without making me reject you first.

What might work better: posting about the list existence on Facebook, where I can see it and decide to take action.

Even better:

Post on Facebook things I'm going to want to know more about. Things I'm going to start wanting to be sure I don't miss. Then I'm primed to get on your list, and I will.

On Pro Networks At Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus And Diaspora

In a discussion at the GlobalNiche LinkedIn group about BranchOut, here's what I had to say: BranchOut hopes to be the LinkedIn of Facebook -- we're getting that meta now -- but I have to say I've heard a lot of complaints about the way it works (and auto-posts things for you). I joined a while ago, did nothing with it. Not sure I'll need it either. But if it fills a gap in the way Facebook pro connections work, then it may be useful since Facebook is increasingly my contact book.

And, if it at the same time fills a gap in the way that LinkedIn works, then great. Those kind of solutions are really interesting to me.

I try things and see if they are useful. Plenty of things haven't been, other things were useful for the time I used them and then I was done. Still other apps have yet to show me what I might do with them.

In the end we have to use the networks that provide what we're looking for.

Personally, I am working on developing my weak ties and creating a diverse network that will not only help spread my content to their own groups, but also supply guidance and info and perspective that perhaps my stronger ties/morelikeminded contacts cannot. I don't know that I will spend even a minute on BranchOut, but it's not a random network (it's Facebook!) and for that reason worth it for me to be part of in whatever limited way.

I've tried other things like that open source network DIASPORA and no one was there! Great idea, maybe before its own time. Now Google has its own Facebook like network, Google+. Will eventually try that too. If it only amounts to having a profile there, not much trouble for me.

BTW, here's what's what about GOOGLE+ (for writers and publishers, but applicable to creative entrepreneurs): http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/what-publishers-authors-need-to-know-about-google_b33317

If you're on Google+ please connect with me! (So lonely...) Then we can test the group video chat HANGOUTS.

P.S. Here is Chris Brogan on 50 things about Google+ http://www.chrisbrogan.com/googleplus50/

How Can We Maintain Our Web Presence & Data When Social Services Are In Flux?

In our GlobalNiche LinkedIn group, Tara Agacayak asked what we're doing to protect our content. Her blog on Blogger was blocked by court order in Turkey. "Not as in legal protection - but how to you make sure your data doesn't disappear? We've seen what happens when companies like Delicious get acquired and we lose our bookmarks or when Turkish courts ban sites like YouTube and Blogger. What are some things we can do to maintain our web presence when it is constantly in a state of flux?"

Here's my answer:

Redundancy, back-up. And trying out new services to capture your feeds...

Even microblogging sites like Tumblr -- you can set it up to capture your blog posts, your tweets, your bookmarks (at least for Delicious it worked).

Content aggregators -- I'm trying out the beta MemoLane to build a social media timeline with FB, Flickr, Twitter, RSS, vimeo.

Here's an example:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=204181789596377&set=a.187853447895878.54875.180650641949492&theater

Custom Creative: The Making Of An Authentic Indie Life

Happy blizzard -- or dense fog in the morning! We've got entrepreneurial social media life/work things to do in the low-visibility season ahead. BTW here's an overview never before available: If you're at all interested you can now peek behind-the-scenes of my top five cultural producing projects related to but not strictly expat+HAREM. Hint: Family culture clashes! Art historic soap operas of imperial proportion! [link removed, no longer available]

+++++ AT expat+HAREM

Our shiny new Facebook page replaces a group set to retire one random day. Don't want to lose you in the shuffle. Please post on our FB wall any kind of culturati link you're liking today.

Do we look older more experienced? We just celebrated our first full year of bloghood! 23 guest bloggers to thank, we're also grateful for 2300 comments which took us to surprising intersections of culture and identity. Here we all weigh in on the posts which affected us the most.

2011 starts with the editor of Matador Life Leigh Shulman contrasting the peregrinations of a fictional exile with her own rolling stone life. Why do we leave the places we know, and is the melancholy of disconnect any different if it's elective or imposed on us?

YOUR PRO GLOBAL NICHE IS A WEB PLATFORM...

Not just a dreamy concept of world citizenship, your global niche is about "blooming where you're planted" in a holistic way, being creative and entrepreneurial to find happiness, growth and success wherever you are and in all your aspects.

In conjunction with creative biz consultancy Turquoise Poppy, expat+HAREM is excited to lead a January 22 demonstration of how to build your global niche through social media.

Not geographically convenient, or complete newbie? Cultural creatives and mobile progressives everywhere can now start learning the web tools, techniques and technology: our new mailing list will get you started with free tutorials and keep you posted about next steps, like our upcoming mastermind program for creative entrepreneurs.

That's a high-impact online course where a supportive set of your international, creative peers will help you build your global niche on the web. +++++ AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB

We loved Dr. Brene Brown's recent TEDxHouston talk on  wholeheartedness and its root in expressing our vulnerability.

But the blog of longtime expat Diana Baur and majorly creative entrepreneur (the American potter is an innkeeper in Italy) sharpens the point for identity adventurers and global nomads like us. "Wholehearted people don't have an externally-driven directive about living correctly."

To live authentically individual lives we need to embrace the parts of ourselves that don't fit anywhere.

Publication to watch --> BETA is an about-to-be-released quarterly print mag from the global online travel network Matador. All about motion, journey and place, apparently the cheeky thing subtitled the topography of living will be sold at "some of our favorite camel markets and opium dens worldwide."

+++++ YOUR THOUGHTS

In the new year we're looking at where others end and we begin. "What are you redefining?" we asked.

Beth Wettergreen, the new liaison between a private university in Istanbul and U of Maryland, is struggling with the concept of 'private life' in Turkey. "Here, one is almost never unobserved. I have a feeling that the notion of a truly private life is reserved for the upper middle class and upper class."

Meanwhile another expat is facing the boundaries of a life vision at odds with cultural expectations of a woman who 'works' from home yet is not a traditional housewife.

"I risk appearing rude and living up to the stereotypes of the self-centered American in order to further myself along the path that feels right to me - even if others can't see it or understand it."

What creative, custom life/work solution are you looking for?

Masterminding How To Deal With Social Media Anxiety

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). These are my thoughts on a session dealing with social media anxiety.

Successful social media use is ALL ABOUT THE FILTERS. Definitely a good topic for a mastermind because the solutions presented this week have the potential to revolutionize your experience with social media and that is major.

My first thought is *use automating tools* so you can stock your feeds at your convenience, decide when the info goes out and where to, and you don't have to visit the sites to post. Much less overwhelm. I use SOCIAL OOMPH for my twitterfeed. It's free, and dead simple. (I also post extemporaneously, but for purposes of this response on automation, that doesn't matter.) Social Oomph allows me to enter as many posts as I want, choose the time and date. Hashtags. Only thing I can't do is post the same tweet twice or "@" replies. You use Networked Blogs at Facebook, I see, great. Email mailing providers also let you post a link to FB and Twitter. You can hook up LinkedIn to Twitter to post at LI your Tweets. For Twitter if you try a third party app like HootSuite or Seesmic or Tweetdeck you can break your subscriptions into categories and only peruse one category at a time. "Friends", "Photographers". "China." That might help you dip a toe in.

Also, you can create a category based on a search term so you can easily respond to tweets on your favorite topics without having to wade through lots of material. So, my first advice is USE SOME FORM OF AUTOMATION on each platform and alternate it with spontaneous contributions, reactions to others, replies. (There is such a thing as overdoing it, and obviously not being present which makes people feel they are being pushed at by a machine.) On the Twitter site itself you can use "Lists" to group your subscriptions and only peruse what one list is tweeting. Personally I have used lists to expand who I follow without making my main stream 10,000 people strong! Here is a good list of "power twitter tips" from Chris Brogan "in five categories: intent, technical, business, integrated usage, and off-twitter. Here's a post about "How to overcome the concern that social media is a time suck" with tips on strategic following and here's a personal branding checklist for Twitter usage. Someone here mentioned to weed out tweeters who 'don't say thanks'. To me, I'd rather not read tweets solely thanking people -- empty tweets that say "thanks for the RT!" are a last case scenario. Sometimes I do it when I'm falling behind, but it's of little value.

A way to better thank someone is to look thru their stream and RT or react to something of theirs. To engage with them, then it's not about keeping score, but the fact that it becomes natural to be involved with them.

You might like this latest post from TRIBAL WRITER's Justine Musk about building an author platform with social media (whether you're an 'author' or not). She writes that the path comes partly from 'strategy' and partly from following your instinct.  Figuring out why you're driven to write (or whatever else creative thing you're doing) and sharing that "inkling, which will lead to other inklings, which lead the way. You'll promote your own work while you're at it."  Musk also she talks about how your blog is your hub, and all these other sites are spokes where you meet your network. "And those different platforms require different forms of content. But you can take your big content – long blog entries, or ebooks or whitepapers — and break it into smaller chunks and bites and tweets. You can take your small content and explode it into something more in-depth. You can transcribe your podcasts and post on your blog; you can tweet cool quotes from your video interviews; you get the idea. Your content feeds your content feeds your content." In a recent Third Tribe seminar Sonia Simone interviewed Naomi Dunsford who said "scare off the people who aren't interested". That could be by your topic alone, your attention to detail, your tone, your seriousness or flippancy, whatever. But basically, you need your people to gather, and how will they know if they're you're people if you're holding back and trying to please everyone? You mentioned not wanting to break down your blog posts. Here's a list of 40 things you can tweet that aren't derived from your blog postings. Good ideas, show the depth of experience and expertise you can demonstrate.

Masterminding A Writer, Artist & Cultural Curator Platform

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). Once a week someone steps into the center with a case study and asks for feedback and suggestions on their next steps. Here are my thoughts on building out a writing and artist platform:

I use Wordpress and Tumblr (simply as a feed of my blog, microblog and Delicious activities). It seems moving to Tumblr or Posterous might make things much simpler for you as a blogger-- they seem easy/breezy as blogging platforms -- whereas Wordpress's wider capabilities will encourage building a bigger site with more going on. So, since you're talking growth and not just 'make it easier' then I'd say Wordpress.

As for platform building, where are you meeting and engaging with potential readers of your novel (besides Twitter, SheWrites, Facebook, LI, your blog)? Any communities out there specific to the topics in your novel? Taking part in reader-based litchats on Twitter would be another way to start being known as the woman behind the voice that people will be able to read when your book comes out. (Consider posting small excerpts of the book so we know what it's about and grow connected to it?)

Maybe someone here can share leads to artists, writers, cultural curators that you are aware of online -- if you know of them, they're doing something right to get your attention.

As for making the hybrid nature of your work clearer through your platform, I'm reminded of the blog convention of another multifaceted woman: Ruth Harnisch.  She breaks down the different channels of her being and lets that be the structure of her site. "The Maker of Mistakes". "The Philanthropist". "The Catalyst". "The Recovering Journalist". Perhaps something like this might allow you to indulge your interests and help a visitor to your site/blog comprehend your better?

The expatharem site has sold books through its Amazon link -- in the first couple of years of the site. The #s since I relaunched the blog are too tiny to count for anything and that may be a result of the maturity of the book or the fact that I don't push it much on the site, and/or people aren't coming to the blog to buy the book or learn more about it. However, yes, making things available to our interested parties is part of making what we do a business. We have to make the offer. It's relevant. However, I also know being on twitter has sold books. People I met there, people who found out about the book on twitter (like during #litchat on expat lit).

Also: here's a great interview with a 'unmarketing' book author about how he built both a support system and a target audience on Twitter and presold 3,000 copies of his book. Good lessons there about how to engage and when to sell. 

In response to your question about using your own name as a brand, an SEO specialist I know from ThirdTribe (@CraigFifield) just offered an impromptu SEO consult on Twitter before the end of his workday/workweek. I took the liberty to ask him for an opinion on this, in general terms. Here’re the tweets (which overlap, as Twitter does)....

CF: i have 15min before I quit for the day -- how can I help you with SEO or your Blog?

AA: wd someone's name be a better blog name for SEO than tagline about art and the creative life?

CF: in terms of SEO I would use a keyword that people are searching for. Or, I would go for branding and ignore SEO

AA: that is, are proper names SEO at all? and generally used words and phrases amount to very little in SEO world?

AA: so in researching keywords "creative life" what result would prompt good use of that phrase in blog title?

CF: depends how your audience uses those words. I would do some keyword research to decide. do you have an example?

AA: ok think i got it! (branding with a proper name means SEO considerations unnecessary)

CF: well, unless your brand will eventually be big enough to be searched on :) make your brand name unique to win there

Passion plays: defending our identity and a future that looks like us

Passion fuels the lives we envision for ourselves better than discipline or elbow grease alone. However, a little bit of passion’s dark side -- anger -- may be the best defense of our identity, and a future that looks like us.

Dialogue2010 participant Elmira Bayraslı shared at her "Wonderment Woman" blog the anger that keeps her hybrid. Rather than assimilate or choose one social group to belong to, the daughter of Turkish immigrants in New York ferociously defends her hard-won ability to switch to independent American woman -- and back again.

As an expat I know this righteousness-to-be-hybrid. A defense mechanism not only kicks in but is kept in place by a low level anger about external pressures to live and be a certain way. It’s been a cornerstone of my survival, and for many people living between worlds.

I was reminded exactly how homegrown this righteousness is by a Facebook group of one-line jokes about Berkeley upbringings. How counterculture taboos affected childhood is dizzying:

  • boycotts of table grapes and iceberg lettuce make kids anxious when visiting un-PC families,
  • a sneaked McDonald’s meal draws punishment while smoking weed does not,
  • the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are off-limits (pseudo-military!),
  • while the whitebread Brady Bunch and misogynistic Barbie are what’s wrong with the world.

Free Speech protests witnessed from baby strollers make this group a veritable Red Diaper Baby playdate.

Also glimpsed: the realization that  much of what characterized a Berkeley childhood thirty or forty years ago -- that is, the lifestyle and belief system of an alternative community, the anger that separated it from the rest of the nation -- has now become mainstream in America.

So, my righteous sisters and brothers, what are you going to keep being angry about when it comes to who you are?

Creative Entrepreneurship Through Social Media: The Case Studies of Anastasia Ashman and Tara Lutman Agacayak

From Andrea Martins' ExpatWomen.com Creative Entrepreneurship Through Social Media: The Case Studies of Anastasia Ashman and Tara Lutman Agacayak

Anastasia and Tara are expat women entrepreneurs who have used social media to successfully grow their businesses and online profiles. We asked these two progressive business women to write an article for us, sharing their experiences and tips. 

Interestingly, whilst they both herald from the same part of Northern California and both currently live in Turkey, their paths did not cross until they met on Twitter.  

Creative entrepreneurship means thinking innovatively to both create a business and to promote it.  Expatriate women make ideal creative entrepreneurs because they usually require flexible and fluid work to fit their lifestyle (which typically means that they need to be creative in their business concept) and they are increasingly internet and social media savvy (which means that they are typically more willing to use social media creatively, to promote them themselves and their business).

Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, together with easy-to-use blogging systems remove many of the personal disempowerments far-flung expat women have traditionally experienced.  They can also be powerful professional tools, especially for expat entrepreneurs.  The niche nature and 24/7 cycle of the web can diminish cultural, linguistic, geographic and time zone disadvantages to both career development and entrepreneurial endeavours abroad.

Social media makes it easier to create these one-of-a-kind businesses by helping define and embody your brand, whether you are a writer, a coach, a consultant, a photographer or so on.  Applications and tools such as blogs, Twitter and YouTube enable you to extend your brand across the web and convey your multi-media message in text, video or graphics. You can monitor your brand, see how others connect with it, and evolve it as your expat journey transforms you. Well-curated Tweetdeck and Hootsuite columns and specialized LinkedIn groups provide access to state-of-the-industry practices, trending thought, and leading players in your field of business, as well as the opportunity to become known as the experts that you probably are.

 

How Do We Use Social Media?

The best way to explain how social media might be able to help you and/or your business, is to share with you our own real-life case studies…

Case Study One: Tara Lutman Agacayak

Anastasia: Tara, going online solved your information technology (IT) career disruption after accompanying your husband to a small town in Turkey. How?

Tara: I first started experimenting with online sales by offering trinkets on eBay. Shortly afterward I started Citara's, an online boutique selling handmade Turkish products with my husband. Setting up an independent retail site was entirely different than selling through a hosted site like eBay. Getting our products in front of the right people required a unique set of tactics on the web. In this new attention economy, social networking and content marketing became vital to our online business. Citara’s started as a static website, but the brand has extended to a Twitter handle and Facebook page. We have also partnered with a non-profit called Nest where we donate a portion of sales to their microloan program generating funds for women's craft-based businesses. The work we do is editorialized through our blog and disseminated through channels we have set up on Twitter, Facebook and Kirtsy.

After building an offline network of artisans in Turkey I partnered with my expat friend Figen Cakir to start Behind the Bazaar, a site promoting independent artists and designers in Istanbul. It relies solely on social networking for digital word of mouth marketing. Using our blog as a content hub we offer a unique perspective on the local creative community. Content is then re-broadcast and re-packaged through Twitter, LinkedIn groups, and our Facebook page. We also act as experts on Localyte providing – an alternative view of Istanbul through the eyes of its artists.

Last year, Figen and I also started Intarsia Concept (IC) as a place for people to congregate and share resources for building creative businesses. Many creative entrepreneurs are their own entities. They manage their own PR, define their brand, and handle their own marketing and customer service. We envisioned IC as a supportive and informative environment for those starting their own creative businesses. Using our blog to centralize content we extend conversations out to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and bookmarking sites like Kirtsy and Delicious. I monitor HARO (Help A Reporter Out) requests for press opportunities and respond to questions on LinkedIn and Twitter. I engage in forums and groups on Ladies Who Launch to look for opportunities to collaborate or barter services.

Social networking is not just about getting your message out, but about opening two-way channels of communication and listening as much as you speak. It is the opportunity to learn from the greater community and create win-win opportunities.

Case Study Two: Anastasia Ashman

Tara: Anastasia, your writing and cultural entertainment-producing career is built on the publishing world's "author platform".  What does this mean and how is it related to social media?

Anastasia: I have been location-independent for eleven years, arriving in Istanbul from New York City in 2003, after Southeast Asia in the ‘90s where internet access revolutionized my estranged life. I virtually compiled and edited the book Tales from the Expat Harem with Jennifer Gokmen,  through email with more than 40 people in four different time zones. My second book and cross-media projects like intellectual global nomad salons and screen development of Ottoman and Byzantine princess stories require a vast rebuild of web presence and activity.

The publishing concept for launching a career – the author platform –  is a good model for the globally mobile woman entrepreneur. In order to make sales, land assignments, get project funding, attract collaborators and partners, a professional needs to demonstrate her platform of influence and credibility. She needs to pinpoint her market, get substantial attention, deliver the goods, including: a targeted mailing list; an audience; and alliances with others with similar audiences; access to media outlets (generating her own newsletters, blogs, podcasts); making appearances; and other speaking engagements.

To this end, social media offers opportunities to build a more robust and far-reaching platform with fewer resources. I interact with readers, agents, marketers and publishers in live chats on Twitter, meet peers in networks like SheWrites, TravelBlogExchange and the small business community Biznik, while SocialMention and Google alert me to people discussing my subject matter so I can join the conversation. I share thought leadership with fellow writers, travelers, globalists and culturati by posting favorite web finds to Twitter and Facebook feeds, and bookmarking them at Delicious. I upload presentations to SlideShare, and contribute to LinkedIn groups for: filmmaking; my college alumnae; the expat life; Turkish business; blogging; and digital publishing.

On my main sites I develop my own material, community and skills. I revolve ideas about female identity, history and culture at my individual blog, and foster relationships with my global niche of Turkophiles, intentional travelers and hybrid lifestylers as founder of the expat+HAREM group blog. Technology helps me amplify with syndication to Networked Blogs at Facebook, to Kindle, my LinkedIn profile, and Amazon Author Central. My ultimate goal is to create viral events – a worldwide rave for my most shareable ideas and properties – where my network voluntarily distributes my digital content to their connections, deriving their own meaning and use, telling my story their way. As I locate, interact with and help interested parties across the web, I create my ideal word-of-mouth market worldwide.

 

Anastasia & Tara’s Social Media Tips

 

Do:

  • Present yourself thoughtfully, accurately and honestly;
  • Mind-cast, not life-cast: aim for a high signal versus noise ratio;
  • Provide value: offer your expertise and knowledge, solve problems, be generous, connect people, be authentic; and
  • Monitor who is following you (be aware of who you are congregating with).

Don’t:

  • Allow incriminating words and images to be attached to your name;
  • Believe get-rich-quick and get-followers-fast schemes;
  • Use your birth year or publish information people can use to find your physical location; and
  • Use copyrighted material without permission.

Think Long-Term

 

        • Social media is a way to carve out your niche and congregate with like-minded people. Whilst this can happen quickly, it usually does take time – so think long-term.
        • The good news is that if you are patient, dedicated, committed, giving and authentic, you

will 

          find allies in your field. Your networks

will 

          support and promote you. They

will 

        offer solutions and encouragement and challenge you to be better. And the best part is… just like your own ‘career in a suitcase’, your social media contacts are portable and they will go with you wherever you go.  So good luck and happy connecting!

 

 

Anastasia Ashman aims to further the worldwide cultural conversation, raising the feminine voice on issues of culture and history, self improvement and the struggle for identity – from one family to entire hemispheres.

Tara Lutman Agacayak works with creative entrepreneurs around the world in multiple facets to craft viable and lucrative businesses.

 

January 2010

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

Social Media As Self Actualization: How Has It Launched You?

I'll be speaking with creative entrepreneur Tara Agacayak on a panel about social media for the International Professional Women of Istanbul Network (IPWIN). The happy trends of Web 2.0 online networking, collaborating, and user-generated content seem tailor-made for pro women like us who often face a more difficult career path abroad. Whether "trailing spouses" lacking a local work permit like Jo Parfitt recounts here or in some other way being at a geographic or cultural disadvantage is a common expat woman experience.

IN AN ATTENTION ECONOMY WE'RE NO LONGER OUT OF SIGHT We're used to relying on technology to fill the gaps in our expat operations so social media has the potential to level the playing field for the most far-flung female professionals:

  • Social media works best the way women work best: it's about making and tending personal connections
  • Social media supports and consolidates the spread-out personal networks expats and global citizens have already initiated in their mobile lives
  • Social media provides access to state-of-the-industry practices, trending thought, and leading players in our professions

So, as social networking renders overseas women like us visible and relevant, it's a powerful tool of self-actualization. Our presence online becomes an advance calling card in life and work. We're driven to fine-tune who we say we are, and how we behave, and where we appear online and who we choose to interact with, who our target audience is and how we do business. If we commit to social media, we evolve.

How has social media launched you?

++++

On another network an expat woman writer asked me what the benefit of social media is besides meeting other writers. She also wondered why she might need it before she has a book to sell.

Social media networking is something you can do long before you have something 'to sell' -- in fact, 3 years in advance of a product is the period I hear from the kind of people whose book goes straight to the top of bestseller lists. It takes that long to get a meaningful network in place before you really 'need' it. Building trust, credibility, presenting yourself authentically, being generous and helpful. That takes time.

I agree meeting other writers is an important component of online networking for women like us scattered around the globe, living among people who may not speak, let alone read or write, in our language. However, there are so many more people you can meet. Taking the writing professional as an example: Potential readers, agents and editors and publishers -- and with the massive upheaval in publishing right now being able to follow developments is more important than ever-- people in related fields. Living abroad, we can attend conferences virtually, or take part in live chats on women's issues, cultural concerns, literature, branding, social media, bookselling, marketing, etc. I wrote about many of these issues last April in "How This Author Uses Twitter". Becoming visible to the people in your niche -- finding out who works in your niche, that's priceless legwork.

How it helps me now: Social media has helped bring me up to speed on the trending/cutting edge thought in a variety of areas that affect what I do, as well as put me in touch with people I want to work with. It's like continuing education, cultivating a professional peer group, professional development.

+++

Here's a slideshow based on our presentation, including links to scores of the below resources we discussed during the event:

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

TOP WOMEN IN SOCIAL MEDIA 2008 & 2009

TIPS & TOOLS TO GET STARTEDOPTIMIZE & IMPROVE YOUR PRACTICES

DOs AND DON’TS

BLOGS AND SITES OF PANELISTS ANASTASIA (microblogindividual bloggroup blogFacebook groupLinkedIn profile,Delicious bookmarksNing writers' network)

TARA (individual blogmicroblogLinkedIn profile, Facebook profileLadiesWhoLaunch profile, artisan training site-blog-microblog-Facebook page, bazaar tourssite-blog-microblog-Facebook page, web consulting site-microblog-Facebook page,women's microcredit site)

Who Owns Polish -- And, Is Accessibility Superficial?

Growing up in a countercultural town, the presentation and packaging tactics of Madison Avenue and Hollywood, and the protocol of the diplomatic world seemed like subversive tools of the establishment. I often think of a brilliant local character known as a founding father of California’s rich architectural history who wandered the streets of Berkeley barefoot, his red beard and hair wild, beer belly protruding from a ripped t-shirt. Where might his speaking career -- and wind of Berkeley’s astounding architectural heritage -- have taken him, if he hadn’t appeared to be a vagrant?

Marketing futurist Seth Godin talked about the decisive role of cultural wisdom -- or sophistication -- in business, and asked why we don’t take it more seriously.

Is poor presentation a death sentence for a good idea?

I polled my online contacts.

LinkedIn said yes (66%), to be successful an idea demands professionalism. “Presentation is EVERYTHING!” effused one person.

Facebook was split, debating what professionalism means and the harm of over-marketing, with craftspeople and small business owners shouting “Hell no!” Commitment ranked as the top factor in success. One pragmatic man observed “Professionalism works in dull markets,” while a fellow Berkeleyan admitted we have to ”be able to engage with the status quo enough to be able to transmit a new concept.”

Here at the blog, 50% thought if the idea was winning people would forgive a shaggy package and one respondent likened presentation to the booster rocket that gets the Space Shuttle in to orbit.

Is superficial accessibility superficial? Or are movements we think of as “fringe” on the periphery not just because their beliefs are minorly held, but because they refuse to persuade from within general convention?

Talking To AJ Keen About Facebook Ruining Friendships

My replies to Web 2.0 critic Andrew Keen at FB (facebook ruins friendships on WSJ, becomes ghosttown in NYT) AUG 31 09: bleh, and bleh to the one about FB becoming a ghost town. i kinda like FB these days, and that's after a year on Twitter, which i prefer. different crowd, different use. funny to hear ppl complain that misusing the tech makes it harmful, or a waste of time -- two of the noisiest arguments against FB and Twitter, respectively.