Yes, it is Tuesday. Yes, I am late in posting this blog. Yes, I owe my sanity to the digital divas I work with at Swenson Book Development, LLC. Like many authors, I just want to write. When things go awry, I want to cry.
In the last 10 days, the email server went down, my webhost crashed its system, my company email account popped its POP, new code errors introduced by updates had me diddling, my cellular phone had no reception, and the physical stress induced by technical glitches exhausted all my patience. Reduced to tears? Yeah.
For a minute. Tell me YOU haven’t wanted to pull out your hair or scream real loud when you try to accomplish a simple technical task and you get stymied by technology.
Panic now and freak out? Chill out and carry on? Two ways to respond. Unfortunately neither emotional response solves the technological problems.
So here’s some strategy for surviving the glitches you’ll encounter along the way to building an audience platform with social media technology.
1. Only work at this assignment of social media engagement 15 minutes a day. You’ll learn one new thing each day and gain a sense of mastery. Small steps and a steady commitment. Don’t overdo it initially.
2. When you hit a wall and can’t figure out why something isn’t working, stop what you’re doing and logoff. Get away from the computer for at least an hour. Do something else and don’t obsess about it. When you’ve cleared your head, start again.
3. If you get an error message and it might as well be written in Sanskrit, copy it exactly. Then Google it. Put the message into the search bar and you may discover some resources to solve the technical matter very quickly and easily.
4. Breathe. Again. Think about how you accomplished this goal before you had this technological solution that’s turned upside down and become a problem. Would the old way of doing things still work?
5. Try it one more time, following the instructions precisely, without any typographical errors.
6. Have you already called your Tech Support or used the Chat Help features by those whose applications, programs, and services you use?
7. If Tech Support can’t help you, it might help them if you write down what you are trying to do, what happened or failed to happen that is a problem and what remedies you’ve already without success. If you write down the transcript of your difficulty you may find the solution in your reflective examination.
8. Always backup everything on your computer. This includes your email file and folders. Should anything happen, you can rest easy knowing you have everything safely stored.
9. Remember: there are no ghosts in the machine, don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know, keep your passwords secure, and avoid the temptation to click on those links that suggest people are talking about you behind their back or your ex-spouse is circulating dirty pictures of you. Spam is for suckers. Trust, but verify.
10. Don’t be a tool. Use social media technology, but don’t let the tools use you.
For the love of books!