Personal Update 201812 | 28 Dec 2018 | Friday
I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my December update.
As humans, there are many ways we reach out to have a voice in the world, to be heard, to be understood, to find connection. Social media makes that more possible. Whether art, music, writing, or some other form of expression, people are eager to have their message reach an interested audience. I was visiting with someone this past week who told me they go every week to perform their music on open mic night at a local club in town. I think that’s a similar effort to be heard.
In the past, I would use Facebook to post links to my content and that of others. My use of Facebook is diminishing because for me its effectiveness is diminishing. In the past, a post to Facebook would almost always get 5-10 likes. Now it’s rare to get a single like. I think this is because fewer people are using Facebook, and they are using it less often. Also, Facebook knows that in the past I’ve ‘boosted’ posts and paid for advertising. So, they are less likely to give me something for free that I’ve been willing to pay for. So, all my friends who I brought to the Facebook platform over the years, who I could communicate for free with in the past, are now only accessible to me if I pay Facebook to ‘rent’ temporary access to their feed. The more I pay, the more I have access to communicate with friends and family.
I’ve tried using services like Mail Chimp to reach people. The delivery reports indicate about 10-20% success at reaching people, which is considered much better that average according to Mail Chimp.
Sending emails directly to individuals rather than groups can have better results, but often doesn’t generate a response from people. When I first started using email, it was a novelty. People were excited to get an email back then. Today people are overwhelmed with the flood of email and poorly equipped to handle it without a full-time staff.
I’ve recently returned to sending out handwritten cards and letters to communicate with people. This week I sent out 2019 calendars to friends, family, and some clients from this past year. I’ve already heard back from people by text message, email, and in-person who thanked me for the calendars.
With handwritten cards and letters I’m more assured that they will get read. They are today a novelty and something special in the same way that email had been 25 years ago. I have been drawing and painting digitally on my iPad using the Apple Pencil as a paint brush. The ‘Sketches’ app that I use reproduces the experience of painting even making accurate watercolor splats with random accuracy. I can print unique and personalized postcards with these paintings or with some of my photography.
About 12 years ago I started sharing videos on YouTube. Some of the older videos now have over 100,000 views each. A recent video about our vacuum cleaner has had over 3,000 views with plenty of positive comments and appreciative feedback. So posting videos to YouTube seems like a much more effective way to reach people. Facebook by comparison produces very little in return. Posts on Facebook quickly ‘evaporate’ before people see them. With YouTube, I don’t need to pay to reach an audience. You can view my videos and subscribe here YouTube.com/resourcesforlife
My personal website hosted with WordPress.com has become the most effective way to give people an organized, simple, and easy to navigate portal to everything I’d like to share — photos, music, art, writings, and more — all in one place.
Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.
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Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 18 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.