Wednesday, 29 September 2010

To tweet or not to tweet, and such like stuff

We are moving up a gear on IT. The plan is that by Christmas we will know what we are doing and be able to do it better. Lois and I are going to do a term’s course with the OU on making web sites and I’ve been to two one-day courses on stuff to do with marketing through social media. The first social media session was somewhat disrupted by me getting at attack of Meniere’s disease and having to retreat to the gents in order to be sick for ten minutes. I’m sure it was the Meniere’s not the lecturer.

Meanwhile Lois is selling stuff on e-bay, as part of developing a new skill set. Also a means of removing a lot of the stuff that fills the house – better that someone else should have it, than it sit around here not being used. I don’t know what set off this spasm of de-cluttering, possibly it was a side effect of Lois having some virus and lying on a sofa in front of daytime TV for a week. All those makeover programmes can’t be good for you.

The past comes back at us in strange ways. I spent three years living in a flat in London in the week and being at home in Worcestershire at the weekends. As a result I ended up with two pairs of black shoes, two pairs of brown shoes, etc. etc. If Lois keeps up the e-bay work I will be down to one of everything before long.

I’m not sure of the ethics of marketing through social networks. Take it out of the Internet context for a moment and think about how you would feel if someone you invited to a party tried to sell stuff to everyone else that attended. It seems to me that spamming your friends on Facebook is pretty much the same thing, whether you are trying to get them all to follow your blog or buy your book. The thing about online relationships is that these social lines are not firmly in place; ethics and manners and social customs can barely keep up – or maybe I’m just not reading the right stuff.

One result of all this course work is that I have finally got to grips with Google Reader and have linked up all the blogs I follow. It does work. At a glance I can spot new posts and save some time from bouncing through bookmarks, opening and closing windows, tabs etc. There is the added benefit that I feel very slightly more modern and on the ball, but where that might lead I can’t imagine.

I’m still left with the problem of Twitter – to tweet or not to tweet, that is the question - whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to sound off in 140 characters or waffle forever in a blog. Who knows?

Friday, 10 September 2010

I sold a book

Hey I sold a book. Actually two ebooks, one on Amazon and one on Smashwords. I had a spell of making it free, as a sort of special offer. That resulted in fifty or more downloads of the whole book. Then I put the price back on, a mere $2.99, of which I might end up with about one dollar I think.

It’s not exactly the most brilliant marketing plan, but the theory was that maybe if some people got it for free and liked it then they might tell a friend, and $2.99 is not exactly expensive. At the moment anyone can get it for that sort of amount on Smashwords, Apple or Amazon Kindle store.

OK enough celebrating, back to writing the next one.