Social Media Numbers: How Many Friends and Followers Are Enough?

Many Faces Numbers are everywhere. They count my blog followers, posts viewed, tweets tweeted, and comments made. Social sites record my friendships and display which and how many of my friends like my updates. To find a total calculation of my online worth, I have only to check my klout score. A writer can also count reviews, rankings, and sales figures. Numbers these days sometimes seem more important than people.

Is it just me, or has the entire connecting and networking world collectively reverted to one huge high school popularity contest?

In the Biblical book of 2 Samuel, King David directed that his fighting men be counted. Joab, the army commander, urged him to reconsider. David overruled Joab, even when his army commanders protested, too.  Why did they object? Perhaps they understood David’s motive as pride, the very sin that catapulted Lucifer from heaven.

David would listen to no one, and so 800,000 able-bodied men in Israel and 500,000 in Judah were enumerated. When David received the report, his conscience smote him, but it was too late to take back his sin. In the plague that followed, 70,000 of David’s people died as punishment for his sin and also for Israel’s rebellion against God.

Does this mean that keeping track of statistics is wrong? Yes, and no. Remember that at other times in the Bible, God directed the people to be counted. Knowing your numbers can be a useful tool, but pride in numbers does not please God.  He wants us to look to His strength and not our own. He’s the same God who cut the huge army Gideon gathered down to size just to prove that victory would come not from human might but from the hand of God (Judges 7).

Once my pastor lifted my small daughter into his arms and pointed out to the congregation that it was her birthday and she was now four. She turned an unblinking stare on him. “I am not a number.” Her pronouncement, spoken with conviction, reached to the back of the church. While the congregation laughed, my face heated, and I sank down in my seat. Now I wonder if my preschooler wasn’t onto something many adults fail to understand.

I am not a number, and neither are you.

Advertisements

Spruce Up Your Spring Blogging Wardrobe

Tired of the same old blogging drudgery? Ready to don something light and new? Want to increase the traffic on your site? Here are a few different outfits for you to try on your blog.

VLOGGING

Everyone’s got a blog, but how do you get yours to stand out? Try vlogging. A vlog is simply a video log. Instead of writing the same old, same old blog entry, you simply speak it into a camera.

Before you freak out, read my lips: this doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, I wouldn’t know how to edit if you paid me. I use Photo Booth and do a vlog entry all in one shot. If you want to get fancier, though, you can use things like Microsoft Movie Maker or Apple iMovie to add all kinds of fun effects to your video.

Why should you vlog?

It’s a great way to spice up your usual blog posts. It adds variety. Personally, I choose to post humorous vlogs, but you could make them “how to’s” or even use them for interviews.

Vlogging is a great way to show your readers the human side of you. Your facial expressions, your inflections and intonations, are seen instead of imagined.

The other benefit I’ve noticed is that vlogging bumps up hits. If you’re looking for a way to increase traffic, give this technique a whirl.

It’s not as scary as it seems.

I’m not going to lie. The first time your knees will probably knock a fair amount, but after that, no more noodle legs. If it creeps you out to see your mug up on the screen, then here’s a little tip…just post it. Don’t watch it.

Even if you decide not to continue with vlogging on a regular basis, it’s a great way to perk up your blog once and awhile.

TUMBLR

No, that’s not a typo. Tumblr is a trendy way of shortening the words tumble and log. What gets tumbled? Thoughts, mostly. Think of it as a stream of consciousness, where nothing is lengthy, and randomness rules the day. On Tumblr, you’ll see posts that are as simple as a link, a photo, a quote, sometimes even just a phrase.

Why use Tumblr?

This site facilitates quick and easy posting of single items. If the thought of writing blog entry after blog entry is overwhelming, this might be just the site for you. It’s not a replacement for Blogger or WordPress, but an alternative for less in-depth, editorial pieces.

Plus, it’s super easy to use. Setting up your own page takes about 2 minutes. Literally. Plus you can post from a computer, a smart phone, or yes…drum roll please…even from a text.

How to use Tumblr.

1. Sign up. Go directly to Tumblr.com and follow the directions.

2. Learn the dashboard. Your account will have a private dashboard that only you will see. This is also where you’ll find the different kinds of posts that are available for you to utilize.

3. Customize your page. Make it your own. You can upload background images or use some of the free templates.

4. Start posting. The best way to figure out Tumblr is simply by putting your hands on the steering wheel and hitting the gas pedal. It’s a creative place, so go ahead and run free. Try out new things you’ve maybe never done before, like a vlog, or post a stanza of poetry, or maybe a photo you shot recently.

5. Follow other users, kind of like Twitter. It will get your name out there in Tumblville, and eventually you’ll be pulling in followers of your own.

Even if you’re not quite ready to take the Tumblr plunge by setting up your own page, go ahead and check it out. It’s a fun place to hang around.

Vlogging and Tumblr are just a few ways to zest up your blog. Share the love…what’s one way you’ve discovered to update your spring blogging wardrobe?