#333: Social Media

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RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale
#333: Social Media

“Social media”, as they call it today, is nothing new.  Before Twitter there was Facebook.  Before Facebook there was MySpace.  Before MySpace there was Friendster, and so on.  What has changed is the degree to which we have included social media sites into our lives.  They’re already integrated into our phones and software, making it easy to dive in.  Some have shunned all social media, and who can blame them?  It’s not for everybody to put your life out there, or to see these endless streams of useless info pouring in.  If you only have “x” amount of online time a day, it’s easy enough to waste it all on Facebook.

Social media has its ups and downs.  Obviously we can now see breaking news all over the world as it happens.  We can also see false rumours start like fires, with “re-tweets” and “shares”.  You know this and I know this, so I won’t spend too much time commenting on it.  Social media can be a brain-killer.  It can reduce our teens to near illiteracy, as they spout their “urs” and “lols”.  (“Ur” drives me nuts.  Is it so hard to type “your”?)  Social media must be used wisely, if you choose to partake.  To the ignorant, it can have devastating results.

I believe in using social media for myself, but wisely.  Here are some positive things that have come from social media:

IMG_20141028_1715151. Direct contact with the stars.

The one time I received a message from Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row) regarding something I wrote on MySpace about Helix was pretty exciting to me.  Now, you can tweet your own thoughts to your rock star heroes, and some of them actually read them!  Our good friend Heavy Metal OverloRd received a direct response from David Coverdale of Whitesnake, to his suggestion for a future Whitesnake DVD release.  I’ve been thanked or complimented for my reviews and stories by members of Helix, Killer Dwarfs, Harem Scarem and Judas Priest.  Dave Bidini liked that my reviews are “different” from the mainstream, and that comment really made me feel great!

The kind of interaction we can have today with our rock heroes is unprecedented.  I don’t mean the types who hire a social media guru to do all their online posts.  I mean the kind who are hands-on with their accounts.  I enjoy having the chance to say to somebody, “I really liked that song.”  Music is about communication and it’s nice to have another avenue of feedback.

2. Creating your own social groups.

Here on WordPress, there is a strong, supportive community of writers.  Some of us are pros, most of us are not.  Quite organically, many of us have grouped together to read, support, and offer feedback.  There’s no organization to it, it’s just a bunch of us here who have similar interests and comment regularly.  There’s no exclusion.  It’s just writers who read and enjoy each other’s work.  It’s a great, positive atmosphere that I believe has made us all better writers.  Very little negativity seems to happen here.

3. Surprise “follows”.

I’m fascinated by the people who follow me on Twitter.  Even though I’d never contacted her, followed her, or reviewed any of her music, Serena Ryder follows me.  I don’t know why, but I still think that’s pretty cool.  Other surprise followers included Olivia Black of Pawn Stars fame.  Leatherwolf followed me, and I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time.  Then, I was followed by local cosmetic surgeon Dr. Takhar. I assume she heard me on the radio, rather than thinking I need some work done…but I could be wrong!

Best for me though, a couple writers I really admire have read some of my stuff, and have left positive comments.  That means more than any Pawn Star or plastic surgeon.  I really looked up to those two guys when I was starting to write.

SERENA RYDER FOLLOWS ME


There have also been some drawbacks to social media.

1. Too much music.

For every band that I love who has followed me, such as the aforementioned Helix and Killer Dwarfs, there are plenty that I’ve never heard of.  Some turned out to be pretty good!  But each one would probably like if I had a chance to listen to their music and review it.  I only wish I had the time!  I have a home life, and I work full time.  Mikeladano.com is something I do in my spare time, and it’s something I love doing.  I love listening to and talking about music.  I wish there were enough hours in the day to listen to everyone.  I guess there is such a thing as “too much music”.

2. Haters gonna hate.

You’re going to encounter haters online.  Geoff Tate fans, for example, have made a nuisance of themselves here in the past.  Worst for me personally were the Record Store Tales haters.  Social media meant it was inevitable that Record Store Tales would be read by people who didn’t like what I wrote, or that I wrote anything at all!


Regardless of the drawbacks, I don’t regret using social media to promote mikeladano.com.  I’ve made readers out of people who only knew me as “LeBrain” on the radio, and that’s what I was going for in the first place.

If you don’t like social media, I get that.  I support your decision to use it or not.  Aside from a few bumps in the road, it’s worked well for me to get my stories and reviews out there.  It’s part of the online landscape now, like it or not!

33 comments

  1. How interesting Mike. I don’t do any social media at all apart from WP, partly for time reasons but also because I don’t want too much of me out there.

    Big fanboy that I am, I love it when someone you admire contacts you. That really rocks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool stuff, Mike. I lean more in Mr. 1537’s direction in regard to social media. I don’t really want much of my personal life out there. For no real reason other than I just like my privacy. I do the WP stuff and then started up on Twitter cause it seemed like a nice add-on to that. But even then it’s mostly all blog-related apart from the occasional interesting lunch that I want to share!

    Being contacted by musicians/writers you admire is fun though! Got a nice message from Kip Winger back in the MySpace days too. And Gerry Laffy of Girl fame. Ross the Boss follows me on Twitter. It’s not going to get any cooler than that. For anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ross the Boss and Kip Winger, that’s cool. That probably trumps my Serena Ryder!

      I don’t blame you guys for not wanting your stuff too much up there. I’d like to think that what I put out there is of zero interest to anyone except music fans. I hope that’s the case. Obviously the Record Store Tales were the exception to that.

      Like

      1. I have to say, Ross the Boss trumps everybody! Anyone that has ever been in Manowar occupies a top-tier level of humanity.

        I do like Twitter occasionally like I say. Don’t really see it as promotion or anything. It’s just a bonus to my blog really. I can mention what I’m listening to and put photos up etc… just a bit of extra fun/interaction for me. But if it wasn’t for the music aspect I just wouldn’t be doing anything like this.

        But the interesting thing is that I’ve met more people and had a better time socially doing it like this than I ever did when I tried Facebook or Myspace. Being on the internet as “myself” was mostly just a bore and a chore!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I used to talk about politics and so on, online, but that’s only a path to grief. I decided the only thing really worth sharing was my opinion on music and movies. As you say, it’s easier for me to be “LeBrain” rather than Mike, and much more fun.

          I think David Coverdale is the best online contact you’ve had, personally. Mr. Snake Eye.

          Like

  3. Two years ago I was involved in every popular social media product, including FB, Twitter and G+ as an experiement. Well, no good came of it. FB actually got me into hot water at work for a status update I posted that I thought was benign, but my workplace didn’t think so. Anyway, that incident was a real reset button for me. Now, I am hardly on FB, and sometimes I am on twitter (K’s camp of friends try to reel me in), but honestly WP is my concentration these days. FB has become boring, and Twitter just stresses me out, frankly.

    Using social media to promote blogs? When I had my knitting blog on blogger, I also had a FB page and twitter. It was completely useless and soul crushing. Hardly none of my FB friends liked the page to follow. I got hardly any traffic from FB if I posted to my wall even. I have discovered today with Caught Me Gaming that even pushing my blog to FB is completely a waste of time with FB’s algorythm. I’m sure that most of my friends don’t see my status updates or posts anyway thanks to FB. So I just don’t bother with it.

    I will push my blogposts to twitter from time to time, just to keep the account active, but I hardly tweet or update on my personal life anymore.

    Like

    1. Yeah, as a general rule, never post anything no matter how benign about your current work. I have that rule that I have stuck to.

      I would even go as far to say as don’t do what I did, and don’t even post stories about OLD jobs, because the Record Store Tales H8trs somehow care what I think about events that happened 10 years ago, even though they had 0% knowledge or involvement in said events. Lesson learned.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, leave work out of it. Waaay out of it. As for old things, I said before, it’s been so long since you left that old job, if they’re still getting their knickers in a knot about it, it’s their lookout.

        Haha you dislike ‘ur’ but you used ‘h8trs?’ How hard is it to type an ‘a?’ :) Hahaha

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Argh! I left myself open for that one didn’t I?

          I’m disappointed that people I considered friends can’t let events of 10 years ago that had nothing to do with them slide. But c’est la vie, right? Life goes on. I hadn’t seen either of those two guys in years anyway.

          Like

        2. h8ters gonna h8te…I personally don’t mind all the shortcuts, and if I’m txting, ur is faster than typing YOUR, but whatevs. I used to get bothered by it, but, when in Rome…

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Too much music? Is that a thing? I had no idea!

    I don’t have have any social media accounts. No Facebooks, no Twittering, no nothing. Just a blog, shared with James, where I do all of the blabbering and he does all of the awesome.

    I know that lives are made, destroyed, and generally wasted on those sites. So I just don’t go. My lovely wife has an account on the Facebooks, but I don’t think she’s on there much. Certainly no personal information about our lives, I think it’s just to keep in touch with friends far away (we’ve lived several places, by now) since it’s the easiest way to reach them.

    As for getting noticed by the people who make the things I like, I once got a reply from Leonard Cohen. Or, at least, someone purporting to be Leonard Cohen though it sounded like him and came from his official thing he did on Canoe one time. But most of the stuff I get like that comes in the snail mail, when I direct-order CDs from artists’ web pages.

    Though I’ve ranted before, minimal levels of morning coffee just now only allow me to say that I really dislike all of that crap, social media and the like. I see the utility, and if you are of a mind to go and promote yourself well then for the next ten minutes (until everyone migrates to something else) those sites will be the way to do it. Me, I don’t need to promote or sell myself, I don’t have anything emotionally invested in trying to make people like my blog in any way that makes me need to slather it all over everywhere, so again I don’t go. Power to those who do, and fair warning as well.

    It is a part of the landscape, as you say, and I’m more ‘not’ than ‘like it.’ I have better things to do with my non-refundable life hours. Like listening to more music. And writing really long (and probably rambling) replies to your blog posts, apparently.

    Like

    1. LOL! All well said. “Just a blog, shared with James, where I do all of the blabbering and he does all of the awesome.” I respectfully disagree and would argue he offer your own fair share of awesome as well.

      Interesting to me though: Here are some of the people who comment here the most, and I read the most, but I am the only one deeply involved in social media. Just an observation! I knew this post would generate interesting responses.

      Like

      1. Well, thanks, but I would invite you to read any of his and then read mine and tell me who’s gibbering and who’s in control of their words!

        You are deeply involved in social media for your blog because you are deeply invested in getting yourself out there, getting noticed. You want this. So you put it out there every way you can. Whatever your reasons for doing it, you’re doing it.

        Me, for example, not at all. If I didn’t have the blog, I would just be telling my lovely wife and my friends about every album I heard. They are all grateful I have the blog so I’m not always talking their ears off about music.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, I would agree with that statement. I enjoy getting it out there. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, although there wasn’t such a thing as blogging back then. I had something I called “Mike’s Metal Mag” that I printed on a dot matrix printer, and made ONE issue of, sending it out to friends. That was highschool.

          Like

        1. Yes. But you have to remember that FB is the common meeting place for the Dave FM listeners, my Sausagefest group, and my old friends from the store who I still speak to. So that’s a significant number of music fans.

          For example yesterday Craig played a rare David Lee Roth track from my own personal collection, and plugged my review of it in FB. That pushed the DLR review into my current top 10, even though it’s 2 years old.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. It does, it helps a lot. Marko Fox in particular has something of mine on every show. Maybe it’ll be an email or a call-in but he always plays these little ads that I made for his show.

          “Hey it’s LeBrain! What rhymes with ‘rocks’? Marko Fox! On 107.5 Dave FM!”

          I also did one for his context “Name that Scream”. I’ll email that one to you. It’s awesome.

          Like

  5. Years ago when Facebook started I joined and than it became stupid for me as people were sending me those goofy drink icons and crap and people posting about how they’re bummed cuz it’s cloudy outside so I got the fuck off of it until 2 weeks ago! Hahahaha…one of my friends at work said just set up the Arena Rock and take all your profile,stuff off..so I had my wife help me and it’s basically just that the basics and whoever follows me on WordPress I invited them to follow me and for some of them they’re on Facebook more than checking there emails. Oh of course I got Harry Hess and Carl Dixon as friends! Hahahaha….so I broke protocol!…kinda…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harry Hess and Carl Dixon? Cool man! I have Lee Aaron but she never responds to posts. Too bad. Helix do though, all of the guys past and present. You should befriend Brent and Brian. They are cool guys and always posting interesting stuff. Brian posts mostly Helix memories and photos. Brent posts the craziest artwork and stuff. Political articles too. Brent is a smart guy.

      Like

  6. Social media is definitely a double-edged sword. I am a very heavy user of Twitter, and I use it mainly to promote my blog (which itself is a means of promoting my books, but also my other interests). It really takes about 3 years and a lot of sustained effort to become “good” at Twitter, to the extent that you can avoid 90% of the crap and actually make it work for you. I chose to do that but clearly not everyone can or should make that choice. Twitter does drive a lot of my page views and conversations, but some come from other sources too.

    Facebook is pretty useless. I have a public author page as well as a private page for friends, but I don’t spend much time on them (I do post my blog articles to Facebook). I’m convinced Facebook is like nuclear weapons: deep down everyone dislikes it and wishes it would go away, but they feel as long as others have it, they’re better off having it too than not. Google+ is good but there’s a comparatively small crowd of techies that use it.

    I think social media can be great, and an avenue to meeting interesting people and discovering content (and having yours discovered). It can also, in the wrong hands, become a living nightmare too. Generally you get out of it what you put into it. It’s great, but if it went away tomorrow I could easily adapt.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the comment Sean! For me, my experience is reversed: Facebook is the majority of my drive, but I only get a couple from Twitter. But even Facebook is more from my actual “friends” list; very few from the “LeBrain” page. That probably means the majority of my readers are friends, but that’s OK!

      I too have made contact with loads of interesting people by social media. And found PLENTY of new writers and musicians too.

      Like

  7. I use social media much less than most people my age and nerd-level, but I do use it. It is pretty cool. I just don’t need to know about a friend of a friend of a friend’s wedding, or read offensive political rants by someone (I didn’t even really know anyway) back in high-school now that I’ll never meet them again.
    But it can be a huge source of information, humour, entertainment and work/educational benefit too.
    I have an uneasy alliance with it I guess. Getting bands posting things I had written was cool… having old teenage enemies try and reconnect with you was lame. Also, at work, I don’t really want people to know how much I love Batman or Slipknot or whatever, so when your work colleagues try add you there’s that weird tension…

    Like

    1. Yeah I’ve had work colleagues add me, delete me, add me again…I prefer to have limited online involvement with work.

      Just this morning there was a Facebook hoax that MacAuley Culkin had died. It’s like a daily thing that I read something stupid there.

      Liked by 1 person

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