Blogging strategy when you feel fear: How To Make Wiser Publishing Decisions
I haven't posted in awhile, or posted regularly. There are lots of reasons for it, but there's one that stands out: Fear.
(Well, fear and a deep annoyance at the internet. At least a few times weekly these days, I think we need to turn off the internet completely. So annoyed, sometimes deeply troubled, at the lies, the hate, the loss of an essential part of our humanity, a loss amplified by the internet.)
Do we admit this publicly? We're not supposed to be fearful, right? We're supposed to be bossy, lean in, take charge, and inspire others with some risk taking.
I'm all for those things.
But there are these facts: Publishing on the internet has changed since the first days of blogging. It's changed a LOT for women, especially in the last couple of years.
Despite claims of internet dating sites, the web isn't a great place to engage with people unless you're on a site with engaged, active moderators with very good judgment who have and enforce rules that keep everyone acting human. I've been on the internet since 1995 and have been part of exactly two communities that did this and did it well.
To really know a person, social media is about as useful as a stick figure drawing of that person. You get a general sense, but.
Knowing that engaging on social media means trying to have conversations we deeply care about while avoiding trolls, bots, and worse, I realized that I want to be strategic about what I post, and where I post it. I think about how public the platform is, and who the specific audience is for the post.
That means highly curating my thoughts and being very careful about words, impacts, and consequences, now more than ever.
Here's the basic flowchart I go through to ensure I'm setting the right boundaries and making a wise decision before I post anything anywhere:
* EMOTION OR FACT
- Is it based in emotion or based in fact? If in emotion, is it better shared in person, as a face to face conversation, over the phone?
If in fact, is it true? Check again. Check one more time with another source if possible.
* TIMELY OR TIMELESS
- Is it something that should be ephemeral, or should last in perpetuity? Why?
* AUDIENCE CHOICE
- Do I have a specific audience in mind? If yes, are those people actually going to see what I post? Are they the only ones? Am I OK with others seeing -- and responding? Do I have time, energy, and desire to respond to them? What platform should I choose to ensure the right audience sees what I share? What platform do I want to engage with?
MORE ON PLATFORM
That platform decision itself can make or break a published piece. Choice of platform affects whether the piece can be republished elsewhere, as well.
So as we move forward as a nation (I'm in the US), and as a worldwide community of internet users, I'm going to continue curating carefully my own words. Not publishing everything I think, not everywhere. Sharing some things widely, seeking conversations in some places and not others.
Planting our words in the right soil, with the right attention, will ensure they survive and thrive. That's my goal.