Oprah and The Social Media Ocean

A few weeks ago Oprah tweeted to all of her followers a request to tune into her programming, especially if they had a Nielson box that affects the television ratings. The hoopla over her tweet was enormous. Her undeniable power to move the masses caused twitterers to both tune in and tune out. Many balked at the nature of her tweet. How dare she beg for watchers? With all of her power, was this unethical?

As I continue to dip my big toe into the great pool of social media I find myself on both sides of the fence. Blogging, tweeting, and pinning are great if your goal is to share and it’s purely out of a desire to express oneself. It’s pretty well-known that if you blog to make money, it is very unlikely to succeed. Or is it?

And how does one succeed in an area that is so saturated with like-minded individuals; most just as talented as the next? Should bloggers be more like Oprah or is it distasteful for mere mortals to ask to be liked?

My blog began with the most innocent of intentions. It was a way for me to practice my writing and tap into that part of my soul, which needs to share with words. I used marathon training as the driving force, but received feedback on so many of my posts that were non-running related that the personal importance of it grew.

Last week I entered Twitterland in an effort to see what was next on the horizon. I joined Pinterest, but have not yet pinned. What am I waiting for?

The truth is that I am nervous, because failure is not an option. I know what I have to offer. I know that I can do anything if I put my mind to it, this marathon has reinforced that fact. I know I need to write and must somehow find a way to parlay my love into an actual future where I have something to offer my family.

I am lucky to have a husband that provides for us, which allows me to have had this experience at all. But as our children grow I want them to see that their mothers’ work has value, too. And let’s be realistic, nice comments and higher daily bar graphs won’t pay for private schools and dream weddings.

But they can and there are plenty of bloggers who have made it happen.

What would Oprah say?

I am certain she would tell me to be authentic and to keep on working.

That little voice in the back of my head says the same thing, though without as much force and certainty.

There may never be more to my social media experiment than what it is right now. I might have to be okay with twenty-three people liking my facebook page and fifty-three followers on Twitter. I am grateful for each and every click.

I’ve never been the kind of girl to ask to be liked. It leaves too sour a taste in my mouth, so I’ll continue to let the work speak for itself.

The reality of the situation is that I’ve already taken the big leap by starting the blog at all. More than just my big toe is making circles in the social media pool.

In fact, social media is much bigger than a pool with heated water and a smooth tiled bottom. It’s more like an ocean full of unknown and undiscovered entities, fierce and angry sometimes, smooth and beautiful, too. I am currently immersed in the social media ocean and am carefully treading water (using all of my skills as a flotation device).

Now, it’s just sink or swim.

I suppose I needed to write this post as a reminder to myself of something I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned.

I’ve always been a very good swimmer.

Grace and the ocean. One of my very favorite pictures!
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