My reflections about social media, and why I launch my newsletter
The reflection that you will ead below had started before Elon Musk bought Twitter.
Why would I use « social » media?
When someone has an account on a social media, and when they're followed by interested people, nice interactions can happen : comments, talks... for example. This can be small talks about daily life, or it can help promoting a product or a service. A priori, having an account on social media is useful for sharing new blog posts.
At the time where I used Blogger, I did not used social media : Blogger had an RSS-feed reader (and it still has), and I think that Overblog or Canalblog had the same. Anyway, at that time (2012-2016 for me), when you wanted to know updates about a blog you enjoyed, you would post a link on your own blog, so it was easier to find it later. Instagram just started, and was not as popular as nowadays, and Facebook was slowly beginning what it is now.
2016 was the year I switched my content from posting non-expensive gothic outifts to illustrations. i still was on Blogger, but people who I was interacting with started to go on Facebook or Instagram. The place where I felt a semblance of community was DeviantArt, a website where you can share your illustrations. But i wanted to share my blog posts with my friends, so I ended up opening a Facebook page. Around 6 months later, after reading so many times that Instagram is "a social media of images, perfect for artists", I created an account there.
Late 2018, I created a Twitter account.
In 2019, there is an evolution: I move the blog and I stop using Blogger. I bought a domain name, started this new blog by coding it from scratch, and then I used PluXml. This was also the time when I was in a training to be a web developer, and I discover Framasoft and new free/libre and open source softwares. I discovered the Fediverse. It's like discovering a parrallel world : you mean social media without advertising do exist? For real? With a reverse chronological order in your feed, not popular or curated content? I sign up on Mastodon, a Twitter alternative, and on Diaspora*, a Facebook alternative.
You may see it coming: posting weekly on a blog and make a publication on 5 different social media for promoting this new article was not viable on a long term period.
A little bit is good, too much is not
But another problem was that I was not only posting on these 5 differents websites. I let myself being caught by some of them, by reading or watching all the content I could see on them, and ended up spending too much time on them.
All entrepreneurs (or coachs) will tell you : it's useless and a waste of time and energy to publish AND interact on all existing social media. I didn't believe it at the beginning, but I noticed several things:
- - I spent a lot of time to schedule my posts on "known" social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- - I started feeling like I was wasting this time spent on community management, in adapting my speech to every platform
- - I haven't got many feedback despite the time spent
- - I stoppped enjoying going on all these social media
- - and mostly, some of them caught way too much of my attention by showing me new content continuously (hi Twitter and Instagram)
I was at the point were I started thinking that I should either delegate that social media part that I didn't like, either really reduce it so I could regain time and energy. And also uninstall apps that were litterally stealing my time (a thread on Twitter then another one, a video on Instagram, and another one...) and that were making me unhappy and that drawn my energy.
So I started spending less time on my social media posts, and also started using less the ones that could caught too much my attention and time.
I first used the official app, then I used Frost, an Fdroid app during a while. This app enabled me to sort the Homepage by reverse chronological order, and the ads were hidden. I do not use it anymore now, it's not a social media where I have the urge to go to, and the last time I used it, the ads were back.
I have uninstalled/reinstalled it many times, and also used third-party apps like Fritter, Twidere or Twitlatte, or spent many hours on the website... It's such a time sucker! There no app on my phone anymore, I removed in order not to be trapped in it again.
Same thing for the time stealing part. I haven't unistall the app yet, but I removed it from my shortcuts so I can be less tempted to click on it. Many of my notifications are "this bot has written a comment", "another bot has mentioned you in a post for hoovers or ultra fast-fashion..." Thanks but no thanks. Moreover, the fact that some features are available on the app only and not the web interface makes me grumpy.
Settings or feature, Fedilab, the application I use to go on Mastodon, does not display "push" notifications. No colored chip or number to urge me to look what's going on. It's so much soothing! (Well, I still check it regularly...)
All of this, but for what results?
The first reason why I signed up on new platforms was to be able to show my illustrations, having feedback, discussions, and share my blog posts, which I enjoy shaping the way I like. The place where all of this happens the most, is Mastodon. This is where I feel the best, where I have the most feedbacks, and even where I found my first client for customed illustration. If you also want a custom illustration for your website, profile picture, write me :)
"My neighbour Mastodon" - David Revoy
Whereas on Instagram, the "social media for artists", this happens almost never. And it's worse on Twitter. No one see what I post, unless if I mention someone.
On Facebook, it has become rare that my posts are seen - they make less "'impressions", unless that time where Summer Panda one my illustration was stolen and used on several big Instagram and Facebook pages. They even put their logo on it. My friends were a big support.
It was the first time that I knew that one ofmy illustrations was used on "humor" pages (twice in a few day interval), whose one of them had reached 30,000 "likes" (and many coments) at the end of the day. 30,000 people! 30,000 people have laughed or enjoyed this illustration!
The Instagram page "Madame Connasse" ended up crediting me after my friends commented and after checking their inbox. The Instagram and Facebook pages of "Info couple" were not responding, I had to report them for copyright enfringement. Those "humor" pages like these grow their popularity to the detriment of artists, rarely crediting them unless people recognize the artist.
My use of the « social » media now
I gradually stopped going on Diaspora*, because even if I had had some insteresting talks, I realized I didn't like the "following" system.
Step by step, I also stopped posting on Twitter. Apparently, posting links to external websites decrease the visibility of your tweets (in order to keep users on Twitter), and since I shared my newest blog posts... My tweets were not visible to my followers. I also tried to post only pictures, when my webcomics could fit this format, but it did change anything. Whereas this platform can be useful for tech watch, had brought little in my life, but above all had taken a big amount of time. And now that Elon Musk has bought it, and that the few people I only followed there have created a Mastodon account, I abandon Twitter without regret.
Facebook has the same rule about external links. If in 2016 my followers were seeing my posts, it has becoming more rare now.
Instagram is even more restrictive about external links because links don't work in posts, you can only put one link into your "bio". The Home feed is polluted by ads, by Réels (short videos) made by people you don't follow yet, and by content suggestions. And some people that I know IRL (In Real Life) who follow me, and who follow few people, can't see my posts if they don't go on my profile.
I'll keep posting on Facebook and Instagram for now, since I can do it from the same web interface, and as long as I do spend too much time watching content on Instagram.
I love Drake's meme. IRL as on illustrations, warm colors do not fit my complexion 😂
The « problem »
My favourite social medial is Mastodon now. But what makes social a media, is people. And people I know in real life, who were interested in my illustrations, are not there. These people are either on social media where the quantity is prefered over the quality of posts, either on no social media at all. And even on Mastodon, it's not rare to see toots like this "OK, I shut Masto for now, I'll come back later".
Moreover, I'm French, but I really enjoy writing posts or comics in english (when the puns can be translated). When an article is translated, it is noted on the beginning of the page (there is a flag).
I was looking for a solution that would enable me to share my illustrations, independently of a social media, and directly in a certain language. Emails are good for that.
The solution I found
I'm launching my newsletter! I called it the NewsLutin, because the pun was easy 😊 I even added a custom icon next to social media!
I chose the french tool Mailjet, which offers a free plan, and since it's french, has to respect the GDPR, in order to avoid your data to be taken by shameless companies..
Sign up to the NewsLutin , so you won't miss any article anymore, and you will be able to read it when you have time 😊
But if you don't, it will be less work for me 😁
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