Friday, September 16, 2011

Facebook: Page vs Profile

I love Facebook. I really do. I love the opportunity it gives me to interact with others. In our house we use it to keep up with family, coordinate babysitting jobs, get homework assignments from friends, chat with people who live across the world or in the very next room. Yes, I have been known to chat with my daughters while we're each doing homework. Uh...supposed to be doing homework. :) There are some really cool animals you can make on chat btw. But I digress...

So I've seen one question come up a lot this month and the great debate over pages versus profiles for writers. Despite my love of social media I found that there is only so much time, and deciding where and when to use it is important to know.

So let's break it down.

The Profile:

  • Full interaction with pages, people, profiles, and applications.
  • I can catch up with people at a click of a mouse and post content for others at any time of day.
  • It's easy to like or comment on someone's post. Instant validation!
  • The new upgrades also mimic GooglePlus and the ability to post to only specific people. Or leave some out of the loop completely. Sorry people, but would have a field day with my attempts at birthday cakes.
  • Speaking of which, I got wished Happy Birthday by no less than 90 people, including their personal thoughts of what I mean to them. That's a lot of "birthday cards" folks. I felt like a queen on Facebook, if just for one day. :)
  • Can post to and from Twitter.

  • Limit on number of friends you can have. You can't have more than 5,000 friends and believe me I know people who are pushing that number. They've considered starting a page [hence today's discussion].
  • Mixing of personal and professional life (if you also use this to communicate with family). Which also means less privacy when interacting with friends or making comments on others' walls.
  • The occasional security breach.
  • Not everyone is a "friend" per se. Maybe this isn't a pro or a con. But often one's profile has a mix of acquaintances, fans, or fans who want to be friends. This can be GREAT of course, but only now that Facebook has implemented ways to be able to share some things with just family (which is what I was using it for before).

The Page:

  • Unlimited number of friends/fans
  • Wall postings, picture sharing.
  • Purpose for page is defined by its existence. You're here to chat with me or see updates. We may or may not know each other, but that doesn't matter.
  • Private. Administrator does not have to be divulged. Great for bands, businesses, or those with pen names.
  • Can post to and from Twitter.
  • Can't post to others' profiles from your page, only other pages.
  • Double the work in maintaining when you have a profile and a page.
  • Friends of both profile and page may get double posting updates.
  • Can't add flair application to my page. Drat! I have some hilarious ones I'd like to share, but can't unless I put them in a picture file...hey, that's a PRO! :)
So how do you use YOUR Facebook page/profile? Are you friends with people you've never met? Are you listed amongst an author's friends? How does it make you feel to be a friend versus a fan?

All comments are welcome! You can leave a thought here or on my page. :)

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day to Remember

I've thought about this day a lot over the years. In fact, before it was 9/11 it was September 11th. My husband's birthday. Still is in fact, only it's a bittersweet celebration now. It's hard to be so happy on a day where I know others are suffering. Only, it's also a reminder that life does go on and that those who've lost loved ones can have a renewed sense of hope. My own tragic loss last year tells me it is possible.

Love you Mom. Miss you.

10 years ago today I was still in the mode of watching the morning news and was woken up to the startling reality that became a part of the world's history. Only the first plane had struck when I turned on the news. I called my husband first, who quickly found a tv at work. I called my parents next, because that's what I do. Family is so critical in my life.

Then the second plane. Then the collapse. Then I knew my husband's birthday would be forever changed. While I had looked forward to celebrating his entrance into the world, others were suddenly mourning their loved ones leaving it. I was stunned. I cried. I called my sister in Washington DC to see if she was all right. I don't even remember if I got through or not. In the end she was all right. That much I remember.

I was glued to the tv the entire day and was grateful I chose to leave my children safely tucked away at school while I thought of what I would say to them later. Because I would have to say something, in attempts to explain what had happened. Why someone would do this?

I got a call mid-day from one of my brothers, telling me that he and his fellow Air Force buddy had been stranded at the airport. Could we come get them and let them stay with us until the airport reopened?

Heck, yeah! My nationalism surged ten fold in that moment as I proudly took in two honorable service men and prayed for the others who were defending our great nation. And would continue to do so in the coming years. My husband came home via the airport while I went shopping for food and a birthday cake, thinking how ridiculous it was to do something so normal. This day was anything BUT.

We transformed the birthday cake into an American flag. We would celebrate the unity of our great nation and the strength of people and families who cared.

We had hope. And prayer. And a loving family. We would gather around each other that night and for the days to come, determined to stay happy in these troubling times. Because not all the world was cruel. We knew that. The outpouring of love from those who worked to rescue so many could only be matched by the outpouring of love that followed for those who didn't survive. Where there is humanity there is hope. Where there is hope, there is love.

Never stop loving. Never forget. Here's to hope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What do English Degrees and Teaching Have in Common?

It's the same conversation over and over and over again...

Friend: So how is it with all the kids in school now? Enjoying your free time?
Me: *Maniacal laughter* I'm a Senior in college.
Friend: Ooooo how wonderful. What are you studying?
Me: English and Creative Writing.
Friend: So are you going to be a teacher?
Me: O.o

Next day. Different friend. Same. Exact. Conversation.

Can someone please explain to me why people always come to this conclusion? When I ask my teacher friends what they majored in, they didn't say English. And certainly not creative writing (except my Creative Writing professors). :)

They majored in Education. Or Early childhood education. Yes, there's an actual college for those studying to become teachers. Yes, I know a few English majors that plan on becoming certified to teach. My dear beloved sister is one of them. But she didn't always plan on being a teacher. She loves to write. Now she just wants to teach kids how to do the same thing. And my own husband got his PhD in Chemical Engineering so he could do research and one day teach.

I have so much love and respect for teachers. In fact, I've taught many a Sunday School class over the last 20+ years, and appreciate the heavy responsibility for a classroom of students. But I haven't taken on the beautiful task of molding and shaping them each and everyday, taking very little pay for so much work.

Unless you count motherhood. In which case, I have the best teaching job in the world!

So what I'm wondering I guess, is what do I say? Do I say, "Thank you so much for the compliment, but I'm not strong enough to do what you do"? Or do I continue to laugh politely as I have done and say, "No, I'm studying Creative Writing," in which I get the O.o response back.

"So you want to...write? As in..."
"Books," I answer.
"Oh. How exciting!"

Only some don't sound very excited. More like they're still trying to reason out the long toiling hours for even less pay! :) But yeah, I kind of thought it was exciting, too. That's why I'm majoring in English and Creative Writing. Maybe I'll just say the Creative Writing part from now on. Though someone is likely to misunderstand me again and ask me what kind of creative riding I do. Motorcycle? Horses?


What about you? What response do you get from others when they hear that you're a writer?