The Social Self As A Business

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To mark this post historically, this was posted the day Tumblr decided to cut out some adult content (it’s hard to tell exactly what they meant, it got weird)  This was quickly followed by an algorithm that clearly was terrible not doing it’s job, and leaving people to discuss leaving.  When you can’t exactly spell out a vision for what you want to do, that vision seems to be “stop some nudity”, and your system is bad, yeah people are going to leave.

This doesn’t entirely surprise me, an old hand at watching internet companies shoot themselves in the food.  I’ve seen sites and services appear and vanish, sometimes quite sadly.  This has led me to an important but unpleasant truth.

You have to run your social media presence like a business.

What do I mean by this?  Simple

  1. Social media is vital to our lives (for some of us more than others)
  2. Social media companies rise, fall, and change.
  3. To reach your social media goals, you have to consider your vision, make a plan, and have expenses – just like a business.

For me, a writer, this is more vital – but also as my writing is a hobby, it’s almost more effort.  I mean it’s hard to disentangle my audience, my fellow authors, and my sarcastic video game posts.

But it still comes down to this – business decisions affect social media, social media is connected to our lives, so we have to run that part of it like a business.

No, I don’t like it.

I don’t like knowing something may vanish the next week because of a merger.  I don’t like seeing people leave a site due to some weird policy change.  I dislike wondering who’s harvesting my data.  It’s tiring and it’s exhausting, and annoying, not to mention a bit dehumanizing.

But this is where we are now, when business decisions affect where you post recipes and if you repeat an Overwatch meme about Hanzo’s shirts.

Maybe in time we can build more humanized platforms.  Maybe we can get others to evolve.  But until them your social media life has to be run like a business, especially if you have any large groups, complex plans, side businesses, media presence, etc.

If it helps, what I do is actually review my social plans once a month – who’s planned what, do I want to host an event, etc.  I’ve had to work my social media reviews into that, along with my marketing reviews for my books.  It helps, but it’s annoying.

And again, I don’t like it either.

Steven Savage