Category Archives: Social Networking

Joys of social networking

I’m heading away for the holiday weekend–going camping in Maryland with friends, which means very limited, if any, internet access. I can tweet and answer emails from my cell phone, but that’s about it (and that depends on what the cell phone coverage is like down there, of course).

I like being in touch. The social networking scene is still somewhat of a mystery to me, ie, what I’m “supposed” to be doing, but I’m getting better at it. By following a friend’s advice, I was able to increase Twitter followers to over 1,000 (from around 20) in just over a month. Now that I’ve hit 1,000, I figure that’s good for now, I’ll let it grow naturally and focus on my blog and tweeting something “meaningful.”

My campaign to add followers was work. I had to follow people myself, finding ones who matched my interests (writers, publishers, artsy people, etc.). Then I had to let them know I was following them, and then I had to thank them for following me back. I read other’s tweets on a regular basis and I respond or retweet when something is interesting. I also like to follow links to people’s blogs, and if I have time I will read them and comment on them.

My website is set up so that every time I blog the entry is posted on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’m signed up on Google+ as well, but I haven’t really started exploring it yet and don’t know if it’ll be beneficial. I didn’t like MySpace much when I tried it in the past so my account has been dormant. If someone can convince me I should be using it, I’ll give it another shot. I’ve also heard I “should” be on Tumblr as well. Why I should, and why Tumblr has no “e”, I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll look into that.

I use LinkedIn mostly for business, Twitter for business and personal connections, and Facebook mostly for personal connections–friends and family. Most of my family uses Facebook now.

Social networking is a lot of work, sometimes fun, sometimes tedious. But I do like having followers. Will it mean more work? Time will tell. One big goal to all of this is to eventually draw people to my website and get work as an editor. I consider those I’ve edited for  in the past friends, and I follow them on Twitter. Those of us who know each other tend to retweet the others’ tweets or toss out mentions.

All four of the books I recently edited are coming out in the fall–the first one in September–and I’ll be tweeting a lot about that as the time draws near. I didn’t write these books, obviously, but I feel a part of the process and I’m very excited for everyone, especially my two authors who have never been published before.

Among the followers I don’t know, some stand out; they are funny and interesting and I like getting to know them. It’s a virtual community–we probably will never meet–but it is a community and I like it.


Introducing …

This is my “official” introduction to “Arzooman Editorial Services.” After much contemplation, I have settled on a name for the business and I’ve officially upgraded my blog to a real website.

Further updates will follow. I’ll be offering an initial discount (to the end of August) to those who find me on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I haven’t joined Google+ yet but I expect to soon, and the discount will be available there as well.

I am available for book editing and proofreading, as well as smaller projects such as website corrections, ebook formatting, blogging, and editing articles and papers.

The scary world of networking

Networking. I admit I’m not great at it, as far as meeting new people. I don’t want to bother people, and I always feel like I’d be bothering people if I called to introduce myself.

As far as my existing network, it’s small. The reality is that I left certain jobs in the past where there were personality clashes. My boss and I did not get along. Certain coworkers may have been friendly, but over the years we lost touch.

Now we have Facebook and LinkedIn and you can find these old coworkers and bosses. I might send a LinkedIn connection request to someone I used to work with, if I got along with him or her, but I won’t send a Facebook request. Facebook is more personal to me; that’s for friends and family–although I will probably begin to promote my blog there just to get a little exposure. For old coworkers whom I haven’t talked to in several years, I don’t expect much more than a business relationship. If such a person asked me for a recommendation, or if I knew of an opening that wasn’t right for me but might be right for him or her, I would try to help out. Hopefully, they’d do the same for me.

If I didn’t get along with a previous boss, I would not ask him or her for a reference. But what about the “OK to contact?” box on a job application? If I don’t check the box, it’s obvious there was a problem. If I do click the box, there’s a 50-50 chance that my old supervisor would say something negative. It’s not like I ever did anything heinous like steal from a company, or even call in sick a lot or show up late often. I worked hard. There were just a few jobs where there wasn’t a good fit. But “OK to contact?” Tough call.

My current network is an assortment of friends and family (one friend hooked me up recently with two freelance editing jobs, and a potential third job), a few previous coworkers, and some others that I’ve been getting to know on LinkedIn and Twitter. (If I’m commenting on an editing discussion, in an writers and editors group on LinkedIn, am I “networking”? Or does networking have to mean telling everyone I am looking for work?)

I know meeting people face-to-face is better than just connecting online–I can make a stronger impression. The website Common Good Careers suggests: “Go to every social or professional gathering you can, such as conferences, career fairs, alumni activities, professional association meetings, and fundraisers. Participate in volunteer opportunities at organizations that interest you. You never know when a hiring manager will be volunteering next to you at a soup kitchen or a homebuilding event.”

I don’t think I’m this shy, but here’s some good advice on networking for introverts from the blog “SimplyHired”: “Don’t go to an event with the idea that you’ve got to meet hundreds of people. “Go … with the goal of approaching just one person or staying for just one hour. You will see it’s not so scary and be empowered next time to network even more.”

Facebook no-no’s

From BBC News online: “What you shouldn’t do on Facebook…
The BBC recently came up with a list of things you should perhaps not do when on Facebook, many of which relate to employment.

The five include:

  1. Make friends with people you shouldn’t.
  2. Moan about your boss/customers/constituents.
  3. Upload dodgy photos.
  4. Enjoy your sick leave too much.
  5. Spill secrets.

The June 15th article by Marie Jackson elaborates, in part: “A woman, known only as Lindsay, declared in a (Facebook) status update, “OMG I hate my job!” before launching into a personal attack on her boss. It was a matter of hours before she was reminded that her boss was among her “friends”. He reportedly posted a response telling Lindsay not to bother coming in (the next day).”

Yesterday I was on YouTube with family members, posting links to Springsteen videos featuring sax solos by Clarence Clemens, who died on Saturday. It wasn’t “professional,” but then again it certainly wasn’t controversial and was harmless, with the exception being that a client might think I should have been working at the time I was posting the YouTube links.

But when I’m blogging, that, too, may appear to be a distraction from my work. I keep my own hours and lately I’ve been working pretty hard — I’m editing two books now (finishing up one in the next two days and starting another) — but I do consider blogging to be part of my work life as well. I need to write, so I prioritize; I don’t write when I have an immediate editing deadline looming.

Then there are borderline distractions such as tweeting and updating my status or commenting on LinkedIn. I consider this part of my marketing plan to put my name out there as a freelancer, and so it’s also “working” — depending on what, exactly, I’m tweeting.

I have no privacy. I’m going to be very careful before writing anything negative about a former workplace, or before posting a suggestive or distasteful photo. This may be my life, but it’s also business.