Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Raise My Fist at The Tech Gods

My Adventures Into Disappearing Text, and Social Media Faux Pas

Cowgirl and I feel the same way when it comes to making social blunders.
Okay, I'm not tech savvy. Some of my ignorance is my own fault--I have the dreaded never-read-the-manual-itis. Yup, I'll buy a phone, or a laptop, turn it on, and just start using it. Same with the blog. And facebook and twitter and... you get the point.

We'll say that I'm a hands-on learner. :)

As you can imagine, sometimes mishaps happen. So, my friend Jon and I decided that we would dedicate some blog time toward figuring out the ins and outs of social media and the technology behind it.

We need to figure out what we need to know to make social media work for us. And how to prevent the crashes and blunders and whatnots from happening.

For instance:

A few days ago, I wanted to figure out the goodreads thing. Simply because I wanted to review a great book. A clear way to support a writer is by giving them an honest rating on sites like amazon, smashwords, and goodreads. I want to do more of this.

So. I signed up. In the process, goodreads asked me something. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but I interpreted it (yup, red flag) as "do you want to see what you friends are reading and rating?". I clicked the 'sure thing' box. Unfortunately, my answer prompted goodreads to send an email to everybody in my address book asking if they wanted to be my "friend" on goodreads.

CTRL-Z, damn it. (Wouldn't that be great if it worked outside of the word document?)

I raise my fist at the tech gods.

Serious faux pas.

I don't know how you feel about those emails, but I was embarrassed, even more so since I hadn't intended to do it. By the way, it ranks number three on this list of the 'don'ts' in social networking etiquette.

Worse: the only way to fix it was to apologize, you know, by sending another email to everyone in my address book. Which felt like another invasion. So I just let it go. And hoped that people understood: I'm a tech moron, who can't follow simple directions. :)

What social media faux pas have you blundered through recently? What do you think about the "friend me" feature on these sites? What's your number one social networking etiquette rule? And--do you let a friend know when they are committing a faux pas?

Oh, and feel free to ask me out on goodreads. I'd love to be your friend. :)


  1. And there I was thinking, "YAY, Heather wants to follow my lists and reviews on Gooddreads - it must be because I have amazing tastes." Now I know it was just a little blunder ;)

    I make social media faux pas all the time - especially on Twitter. I am always @replying to no one, so everyone can read it and it usually makes no sense. I also @reply the wrong people and they're like, "Whaaaa?" I'm sure I come across as crazy. :)

  2. Marisa--I totally do want to follow your lists--I just didn't want to make you have to do something so I could. I absolutely want to know what my friends are loving. I just want to do so in a non-intrusive kind of way!!

    Oh, twitter. At least those blunders only have a 5 minute life! I feel your pain--I do the same things!!

  3. I'm sure people are forgiving that way. And be sure to friend me on Goodreads! :)

    My number one is to not share anything too personal and do unto others.

  4. i lack any social etiquette. i'm a total heathen. ;)

  5. Marisa's comment had me spitting coffee this time!!

    At least you sent out invited for Goodreads and not some random site about cooking or whatever.

    You set the bar high for my post.

  6. Laura--I checked--you are my friend, for a moment, I was feeling like you got left out of my debacle--another faux pas!

    Amie--LOL. If everyone followed your #4 from your monday post ( the blogosphere would run very smoothly. Love your take on etiquette!

    J--Love Marisa's comment! I know, at least it made some sense. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  7. LOL! I find Goodreads a little bit hard to use because of all the built in promo they do. They are pretty tricksie about getting you to inadvertently email people. It isn't spam, exactly, but I'm with you. I don't like to intrude; I'd rather leave people the option to opt in to what I'm doing than put them in a position to say "No, thanks." Or put up with unwanted correspondence.

    I came from a job that was very email heavy, average 100+ emails a day so I'm hypersensitive to unnecessary messaging and "Reply All".

    Plus, I am not very comfortable reviewing a book unless I thought it was stellar. So if I have a TBR and a Read It list, your book was read but not reviewed, it's a dead giveaway that I didn't like it. Sure, authors should have thick skins and shrug it off, but it still hurts your feelings if someone doesn't like your work.

  8. M--*waving* Hi again!!

    Laurel--I completely understand. I too generally only talk about books when I *love* them. Which is why I'm just getting into goodreads now. I've been hesitant. I don't like to slight people, in any way. But, I think the benefit for new authors is huge--to have a good rating, if they deserve it. It's a tough call. :) I respect people's decisions either way.

  9. I've been on goodreads for a long time--usually just use it as a way to keep track of what I've read. Not really sure how to use all my friends over there. I think I friended you--and I didn't see it as a faux pas at all!

    Yeah, we're all about the tech savvy...

  10. Hi there-- over from Jon's blog. Huh, now I have to wonder if that happend to me too when I joined Goodreads...

  11. I think I got one, and I wasn't bothered at all. It's just a friend request. We're friends, so I accepted.

  12. I totally wanted to see what you were reading on Goodreads.

    I think the worse social media faux pas I've done recently is misspelling someone's Twitter handle and getting a different person entirely.

  13. Kris--After your tweet got repeated by the MC in front of the whole NESCBWI conference, I felt like we should bow to you, Queen of the Tweet. :)

    Christina--Hi! Yeah, I just didn't expect it. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

    Matt--I know, it should be that simple, right? I like how concrete your thought process is around social media. :)

    Alicia. YAY! And I don't think that is called a faux pas, I think that is called networking. LOL Now you have a new friend.

  14. Ha, ha. I knew the invitation to come look at your books was one of those automatically emailed thingies from Goodreads!

    But I've got a question about Google+. Total strangers keep adding me to their circles. Who are these people and how are they getting my name?

  15. I was just like M. Totally excited to see you on goodreads. And also I always feel the same when those things happen to me as they always do. I figure it is just a matter of time until I am desensitized to it. Although this has been going on most of my life...

    Dianne, Ha about those people on Google+. I too want to know who they are and what to do about them.

  16. MARISA is hilarious! I wonder if everyone gets an email every time I post something on Goodreads? Who cares? Maybe they'll think of me and buy my books. Hah! Hmmm...I probably faux pas all the time and don't know it. But I do love the tech world. The way we all "know" each other without ever having seen each other. It's fun and I think you and Jon can conquer it.

  17. I'm glad you e-mailed me to be your Goodreads friend. I don't read the manuals too. I know I could do more with my smart phone but the manual is 200 pages.

    I was lucky that Casey gave me detailed instructions before I started blogging. Otherwise I would not have had a clue.

  18. I haven't joined Goodreads yet. I intend to at some point!
    I'm sure I share TOO much on my blog or Twitter which is probably a faux paus!

  19. I don't read the manuals either. I think I've committed every blunder anyone possibly could. Goodreads did that to me, too. I didn't want to bother people with that, so I only clicked on a few names in my email address, and they sent that email out to everyone anyways, so go figure! I hope everything's okay, Heather. Jon mentioned something about you're dealing with tragedy. Sorry to hear that. I've been out of it as far as keeping up with blogging and Twitter the past couple weeks. Trying to catch up now!

  20. Dianne--I have that same wonder! Google+ is a mystery to me. Even though I use it. LOL

    Tina--I guess as long as we use it, we will blunder with it. How long do we have to trudge up the learning curve?

    Anita--I know, it is pretty amazing that all of us are friends here in this other-world. :)

    Natalie--That's the way to do it--to have someone explain the ropes ahead of time.

    Kelly--I think you are loved for all that you share!

    Lynn--wow, that makes me feel better about the goodreads blunder--that others do it too!

  21. Faux Pas? I'm queen of that when starting a new social anything. I think it's a learning curve regarding social etiquette. I have a steep learning curve. But now I can find you on goodreads. woo hoo! (off to find you)