Face the Strange

Questions for all of you…

After something like seven years, Alan Robson and I are considering retiring the Thursday Tangents, although we reserve the right to change our minds at any point and do a special feature or more.

Persephohone: Valiant Assistant!

This has me thinking about what other changes I might want to make in how I reach out and talk to you – and you – and you – and you.  Social media is a somewhat one-sided conversation, but I really prefer a conversation to an advertising platform.

I hope you folks do, too.

In the ten years I’ve been doing this blog, a lot has changed.  Some things are minor – for example, Facebook won’t post the smaller pictures I prefer for my blog, so lots of you are missing the photos.  Since I’ve been told by a reliable source that some people tune into the Friday Fragments especially to see which of my cats or guinea pigs are serving as that week’s Super Model, this is a problem.

Maybe I’m just too text oriented, but I don’t like how large photos split the post.  Should I use a larger picture and put it at the top?   Or maybe text first, larger picture at the bottom?  Or am I worrying too much and you really don’t care if you see a picture?

What about content?  When I started the Friday Fragments, people regularly weighed in with what they were reading.   I discovered some books (and sometimes became addicted to a particular author) because of the comments.  Lately, though, folks aren’t sharing.  I’m considering dropping the Friday Fragments entirely, and maybe substituting a short post mentioning one title instead.

What do you think?

Sometimes I have a lot to talk about but when – as now – I’m immersed in creating something, I don’t have a lot to say.  I’m not one of those authors who likes to talk about a work-in-progress.  Until a book is done, it’s between me and the characters.

But I like to touch base at least once a week, if for no other reason than I personally hate when authors I “follow” only seem to appear when they are shouting out about their newest project.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I feel used.

Therefore, I welcome questions or suggestions for topics.  If I don’t have thoughts on a matter or don’t consider myself enough of an expert, I’ll be honest.

So, as David Bowie once put it, this is a time of “Ch-ch-ch-changes.”  I’m facing the strange challenge of finding how to make social media work for me… but equally importantly for you as well.

I hope you’ll let me know what I might do that would be best for you!

12 Responses to “Face the Strange”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    I always enjoy your posts, which I read on Goodreads. I then chick on your site so I can see the photo. I don’t much care about the placement or size of the photo.

  2. Debbie Says:

    Hi Jane: I read your posts in my email and didn’t realize you even posted pictures. I don’t miss them, but it would be fun to see them. I like Friday Fragments, but would be fine with just reading about one book you’re reading (or listening to). I don’t know what to say about Wednesday Wanderings. I struggle finding subjects for my weekly newsletter and I agree with you about authors who only appear when they have something new out. I wouldn’t mind hearing about questions or issues that come up during First Fridays, but I’m not sure about your other readers.

  3. James Mendur Says:

    In the end, it depends on what you want.

    Regarding the Friday Fragments, it’s always interesting to me to see what a writer reads for pleasure, but you could meld that into a Wednesday Wanderings post once a month, or Tweet as you finish a book, or use the #FridayReads hashtag on Twitter or whatever they use on Facebook, etc. Also, here, I used to reply with what I was reading, but I stopped because it felt presumptuous for me to add my reading list to yours. I hadn’t realized you were interested.

    Regarding the Tangents, while the curated version is cool, you and Alan could also have the public discussions on Twitter or Facebook, although you’d end up with quit a bit more noise from the peanut gallery. If you’re tired of performing for us, though, certainly feel free to stop. And again, if your normal conversations with Alan raise something interesting you want to share, you can meld that into an occasional Wednesday Wandering as well.

    Even if you give up on the other blogging, do keep up with the Wednesday Wanderings, though, in any form. I enjoy reading these.

    And as for the creative photos of the pets, well, that can be done any time, any place, and people will show up for it. The internet is like that.

  4. John C Says:

    I don’t comment often, as I’m a bit shy, but I follow your posts assiduously via RSS, and enjoy each in its own way.

    The pictures of your animals are a nice bonus, and I am sorry for your Facebook followers who are missing out. You might try a full-width image at the top of the page so as not to interrupt the text too much, and there may also be some other themes available from WordPress that help with this, as well.

    It hadn’t occurred to me to share my reading in a comment on your Friday Fragments.

    As James writes above, if you can keep only one thing, please keep the Wednesday Wanderings. To that I add: please feel free to call me out personally if you’d like me to comment, respond, or try to offer prompts for your posts. You’ve been a wonderful influence on me, and I would be happy to repay you in some small way.

    Even here, in public, despite my shyness. *grin*

  5. Dawn Says:

    I like seeing the photos, but a larger photo across the top above the text (or in the upper corner, Like today) would be awesome. I sometimes have trouble seeing the detail if they are small.
    I love the Tangents with Alan. I will miss them. But I would look forward to special ones from time to time.
    I like the Friday Fragments too. But if you featured one book a week with more details that would rock!
    Whatever you do I will still check in every week.

  6. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    I enjoy all your posts, just like I’ve enjoyed all your books I’ve read. I’m always looking for new books and new authors and like everyone else, I didn’t know you were interested in what we were reading. Your conversations with Alan are great but if it’s taxing for either/both of you then drop it.
    I read your blog on WordPress and haven’t had any problems with the pictures. I do love them, especially the punny ones.
    I guess my opinion is, do what *you* want to do. I’ll be reading it even if it’s your grocery list because I enjoy your words.

  7. Pelagurg Says:

    Even if I read nothing else you post that week, I always read your Friday Fragments, though I don’t comment, but that’s more of a me quirk. I enjoy seeing what books someone is reading and like someone above said it didn’t occur to me that you’d want your readers sharing what they were reading, too.

    As to the pictures, I don’t really have a preference there. I glance over them, but I’d be lying if I said I really remembered any of them.

    But really, I’d just try to do what you want, what you feel like doing. Try not to make doing something like this feel like a job, I’d say.

  8. Louis Robinson Says:

    Guilty as charged! I did realise that you appreciate responses on Friday, but haven’t made the effort to make one recently. I will do so – who knows, that might pitchfork me into actually finishing some of the many, many books scattered around the house. Just so I actually have something to say, of course 😉 I would like to comment that the Fragments I like best are the ones where you give an impression or opinion, even if it’s only a one-liner.

    Putting a larger photo in the blog would do no harm, IMV, if it makes it easier to match up with Faceplant, but this should remain your primary vehicle. In fact, if you moved your activities to there or Twaddle you’d loose me [which isn’t automatically a bad thing], and I think others as well [which is] – neither is still what it wants people to believe it is. Mind you, they have occupied so much ground that the fact that they seem to be losing it barely shows.

    Off to read something, so I can say so tommorrow

  9. Daniel M Says:

    I have happily read your posts for many years now. The greatest appeals for me have been the diversity of topics and being introduced to new authors and perspectives on a regular basis.

    I have no specific suggestions, just a great appreciation for what you have done and a genuine interest in where you may go in the future.

  10. janelindskold Says:

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I’ve been reading them and mulling over them, and next WW, I’ll talk about what I’m going to do.

    New comments are welcome, but I didn’t want to wait longer to thank those of you who took the time.

  11. CBI Says:

    I pretty much agree with King Ben’s Grandma–well, except for the grocery list–and Pelagurg! Yours is the only author’s blog I check out regularly (although at times I’ve had to put it aside for awhile due to workload).

    I’ve found both WW and TT quite interesting, and appreciate the work you and Alan do. By “interesting”, I mean not only entertaining, but at times leading me on to other research and reading. I’ve gotten book suggestions from FF (I’m on the penultimate of the Aubrey/Maturin series, which I believe you had read). Since I have little time to read for fun–three books in a week is well above average–I’ve had little to contribute.

    In the past few years I’ve cut way back on FaceBook–often go for months without checking–so that’s not something I’d like. In any event, I’ve no recommendation for you: do what you think is best. While my preference is for no change–WW & FF at least–it won’t change my view of you.

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