Jan 9, 2013


by Michelle Douglas

I’ve been Facebooked!

Last Wednesday I finally kept my New Year’s resolution from 2012—I joined Facebook. A year later than I’d promised myself, mind, but better late than never, right?

By the end of my first day I had 50 friends. By the end of my second day I had 90. I felt like the most popular girl in school! And I’m having fun navigating the waters and reading everyone’s thoughts and updates. I’ve even made the odd comment myself. So why has it taken me so long to dip my toes into these particular waters?

Well...there's one reason in particular...

We writers are told A LOT that we should be taking advantage of social media to promote our books. It makes my head want to explode. Talk about contrived and phony! The truth is, I think my readers are a lot like me—if they want to find when an author’s new release is due out they'll go to that author’s website and/or sign up for the author’s newsletter. They don’t need that kind of info force fed to them on Facebook (feel free to correct me if you don’t agree with me, mind).

So, till now, Facebook and I had been having a bit of a standoff.

All I want is to have a chat at the end of a long, hard day -- or perhaps in the middle of it. I might show off my new covers when they arrive because I’m always excited when I get them and usually email them to my friends anyway, but other than that I just want to chat and keep up with everyone. Cue sudden epiphany -- I can use Facebook however I choose to. And cue instant relief. :-)

So there you have it. I'm in control of technology, not the other way around. Not that you'd believe that if you saw me wrestling with my printer on occasion, though.

So what I want to ask you is -- do any of you have hints or tips as to how I should use Facebook? Is there etiquette I’m completely ignorant of? For example, some people have “liked” some of my comments—which is really nice—but should I like all the comments others make on something I post (and is it even called posting on FB?)? Should I respond to every comment others make about something I post? Is there’s anything in particular I should chat about…or not chat about? And here’s one that has me completely stumped—what view should I be in “top stories” or “most recent”?

Yes, I know, I’m completely clueless. Is there a book out there I should read? All help gratefully received. :-)


  1. I'm your friend on Facebook! Thanks for the invite =))
    I never got into the Facebook thing. Partly time, partly not having anything, which I would deem, interesting to say. Then feeling guilty over not liking enough or responding enough.
    But I do think it's a great tool for people keeping in touch or reconnecting. And it's a great promotional tool if you can negotiate those waters.
    I like Twitter coz it's quick and not so personal. But I haven't even been doing that for a couple of months.
    Don't remind me about that partial that was due a month ago!

  2. Thanks for "friending" me Robbie! I haven't actually posted anything myself yet on FB -- just commented on other people's bits and pieces. Just waiting to see what might be fun (and not boring or plain silly).

    One thing I have found useful is joining a group (the 5:2 Diet group, and that topic is a blog for a whole new day). The support and reaching for a common goal (weight loss and healthier lifestyle) has been eye opening and welcome! Later in the year I mean to join one about sewing. :-)

    Twitter? Hmm, not sure I could ever keep my messages to the required length.

  3. I've never thought about the groups! Might go check it out =)

  4. Welcome to FB, Michelle! 'Twas lovely to friend you there. I've been on FB in a private capacity for AGES and love seeing people's updates (coz I'm just a nosey parker at heart) I don't post a lot but do like to share things. I have an author page that is just for writing things and I really like the interaction on there. I usually click MOST RECENT and I do think it's nice to acknowledge someone's reply with a LIKE.

    I like twitter too as it's so immediate but with both I just dip in when and if I have time. It's SO easy to let Social Media take away writing time.

    I'll be waiting for you first post!!

  5. Oh, Barb, I hear you on the fact that it can become very time consuming because I'm a nosy parker at heart too. I can see how it could become addictive. :-)

    Ah, good to know that you think it's nice to LIKE someone's reply. I figured it'd be polite.

    Looking forward to seeing you on FB!

  6. Robbie, I hope you find the groups useful!

  7. Hi Michelle!

    Lovely to see your smiling face on Facebook! I'm a facebook and twitter addict and I love having conversations with people about random things. I do have to be careful, though, because I tend to spend more time on there than writing!

    I prefer being friends with people who have things to say about what they're doing/ think etc rather than listen to them relentlessly plugging their books/blog tours. I try to minimize my 'sell' as much as possible and do posts about my life etc because I think people are more interested in that- and beware those that only friend you so they can plug their stuff on your page!!

    I always view in most recent- otherwise I don't know whether I've read something before or not and I like to keep 'current'.

    If someone comments on my comments I try to 'like' their comments just so they know I've read it.

    You'll have lots of fun and meet loads of new people!

  8. Hi Michelle
    Nosy parkers unite!
    I got on facebook to keep up with family and friends far away. Often it's the quickest way to see how much the little ones have grown, and what's going on in their lives. Since I'm not there things are often forgotten when we talk on the phone or email.

    I've also reconnected with some friends that I had lost touch with over the years and it's been wonderful to catch up.

    I'm not a "texter", so facebook is the best way for me to connect.

    I don't post a lot, do comment if I feel strongly about a topic and sometimes share things I find especially touching.

    All I can say is "Have fun with it".

  9. So far I have resisted being on Facebook but more and more authors seem to be going there and no where else. I personally love author's web sites as long as they are kept up to date.

  10. Hi, Louisa! And thanks for "friending" me. :-)

    Ah, so that's two votes for "most recent." I'll definitely be keeping that in mind when I venture out to FB. And you've struck a chord with your "random things" comments. That has been so much fun!

  11. Thanks, Rita, I mean to have as much fun with FB as time will allow. (Have banned myself from turning FB on before I've done my morning pages). I think it can be such a valuable tool for keeping in touch with friends and family who live a long way away. And, yes, I'm loving the photos I wouldn't otherwise see too. :-)

  12. Ah, an up to date website. I'm going to try to do better at this year, Kaelee. My dh has just designed a brand new banner for me (to go with my brand new website when he's finished it) and it's wonderful and evocative. I love it. But you'll all have to wait for the grand unveiling. ;-)

  13. Michelle, it was lovely seeing you pop up on FB!

    I'm afraid I have no real tips as, though I've been there a while, I seem to use the bare minimum of the options available as I'm always short on time. I have found though that I'm less likely to accept friend requests from guys. Not that I have anything against the male sex but a few have turned out to be a bit...unusual, and I figure I'm more likely to have something in common with women who are may have similar interests in reading and other things.

  14. Aww, thanks, Annie.

    Ah, your words of wisdom are certainly carrying weight today. This morning I received a friend request from a guy who then proceeded to describe himself to me and mentioning what he was looking for in a woman. This evening his account has been deleted. Feel vindicated in not friending him. :-)

  15. Hi Michelle - I am a slacker when it comes to Facebook. I prefer to Tweet and don;t do that as much as I should either. I only use my FB page for my work and rarely post anything on my personal page. Would much rather make a phone call :) Some people are enviably awesome at Facebook ..... sigh, and seem to get a lot from it. Will go and Facebook friend you now!

  16. I hear you on preferring phone calls, Helen. It's why I won't text with my friends who live nearby. If you want to talk to me, pick up the phone (I promise to return the favour). :-) I think FB is great for quick connections, but it will never replace coffee and cake with the girls.

  17. I'm not into Facebook at all, so I can't help you, but I hope you have fun with it.

  18. Congratulations on your new FB status, Michelle! I'm your friend too - thanks for asking!

    As for tips... I confess, I don't think I have a deft touch with the FB thing! I'll make a real hog of myself and spend ages and ages on it... and then feel guilty about the time and not go near it for days/weeks. I guess you could call that "binge Facebooking"! Not a balanced way of interacting at all!

    Good luck with finding your balance - and I'll look forward to any tips that you have!

  19. LOL, Sharon. Maybe I should do another post in 12 months time outlining my FB experience and what I've learned.

    Binge Facebooking -- that made me snort my coffee!

    Balance. Sigh. That can be a challenge in more areas of life than just FB methinks. :-)

  20. I have no idea how they decide "top stories" so I always go with most recent. That way you can scan through and know you haven't missed anything. But, yes, it can be time consuming lol. I wouldn't say you have to comment on everything - but to click "like" only takes a second and of course that means you do like the comment lol. Have fun!

  21. Hi, Catslady! Actually I wondered the same thing about "top stories." I think I'll just stay in "most recent" and hope I can keep up. It's true that liking only takes a second. And I like to like things that I like. ;-)

    Thanks for dropping by!