They always say that the parents who put in all the boring, taken-for-granted time are the very best. That it’s not even about quality time, it’s about persistent time, time spent. I don’t want to compare parenting to social media community development and management but I guess I just did. Folks tend to have the zeal of the newly-converted when they first adopt social media into their communications, sales, and marketing plan; however, the truth of being a “parent” is that you’re responsible for the welfare of an entitled ingrate for not just the first 18-years but for life — and that can be dispiriting. Unless you love it; unless you’re passionate; unless you pace yourself; and unless you truly bond with your beloved. As I have said before, these are human relationships and as such, they require constant gardening. They say that true beauty exists in the flaws and not in the perfection and this is true as well when it comes to the consistency of your relationship with those with whom you’re connected online.
Back in the day, when the social mediasphere was smaller and more intimate — maybe just more new — bloggers would let folks know what was going on.
Bloggers would make sure their readership knew when they would be on vacation, why they took days off, and often would make sure guest bloggers would cover their time away with unique voices and interesting topics — in much the same way that TV and radio show hosts often find guest hosts when they’re on vacation.
Too many social media marketers don’t communicate with their readership in the sort of flawed, open, and honest voice that is more common in radio and on television.
We generally don’t have plan Bs, we generally assume that it really doesn’t matter if we’re there or not, and we often don’t recognize how startling and disorienting it is when your readers and followers and friends don’t really know what’s going on.
So, show your readers your beautiful flaws; let them know why you’re not going to be there next week; and especially let them know why you’ve been MIA for a bunch of weeks. I know it’s not ideal, but I have been really busy and distracted over the last few weeks so what I have decided to do on my blog, while I am not in my ideal blogging mode, is to temporarily convert my blog into a photo blog — a makeshift Tumblr.
While it isn’t ideal, surely, as I said, it is also much better than letting my 13-year-old blog go fallow, becoming yet another abandoned building in yet another social media ghost town. So, no matter what, be persistent — even if every day isn’t bubbling with The Best Day Ever, even if every post isn’t Pure Genius, and even if your blog spends some time being banal, obvious, derivative, and frankly dull. Because if you feel like every engagement online needs to be class A, four-star, Quality Time, then you’ll either burn yourself out and abandon all the work you’ve already done or you’ll end up freezing up with writer’s block and start hating social media, blogging, writing, and the whole ball of wax.
And since you’re now the parent of quite possibly a slew of babies — blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, et al — then you had better prepare to be a good parent and put in the time for the long haul.
About Chris Abraham
A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and advisor to the industries' leading firms. He specializes in Web 2.0 technologies, including content syndication; organize search engine optimization (SEO), online reputation management (ORM), content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.