Dec 182012

Today, something quite unusual happened.

I received a friend request on Facebook ~which was preceded by an introduction message~.

I imagine some of you are cocking your head like “what’s that?”, right? I have two Facebook accounts, as many of us bloggers do – a “real life” or vanilla account where we use our real names and connect with family members and people from high school we’d like to forget; and then there’s our “blog-version” Facebook accounts where many of us do the majority of our social media networking and sharing albeit under a pseudonym. On my vanilla account, I tend to mostly play those stupid Zynga games because many are perfect ADD-fodder: your activity is limited to 5-minute bits, perfect for my waning attention span. So it’s not 100% uncommon for me to get friend requests from people I do not know simply because we have friends in common – for these goddamn addicting games require that you have many “neighbors” who also play, so we suckers look for other suckers so that we stop harassing our actual friends with requests for help. But I still make it known on my bare public profile that I don’t tolerate silent requests and I’d like a message first. Most comply.

Yesterday, I finally cleared out 25 friend requests on my blog-Facebook. Not a single one of those people sent me a message first. I am treated completely different; the respect is gone out the window. Half of those people shared mutual friends, half I presume are foreign readers of my blog. Since I tend to reveal personal life details sometimes on Twitter and Facebook, I have privacy settings up on both and I don’t accept just any request. I have allowed subscriptions on Facebook, but most people do not subscribe to my public updates first, they just send a blind “friend” request. I accept maybe 1/2 of these because I feel as if I should network and use it to gain readers. Also, because I’m apparently part British and didn’t know it.  In fact…I don’t think I’ve ever received an introduction message along with a friend request on blog-me’s Facebook.

Today, though, I did. And it shocked me (quite clearly, as here I am writing about it). It was a simple message, stating that we have numerous sex-positive friends in common and I seem like his cup of tea. Simple! Non threatening, not at all creepy…just friendly. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH?? SO much more appropriate and polite than “Nice pic Liily! Nice girls!” or asking “where are you from? live in nyc” of an anonymous blogger.

Now, I understand if the profile is of a fellow community member where Twitter discussions have already happened or blog interactions. But even if you’re just someone in the sex industry, just because I’m a sex blogger, does that mean manners are exempt? I’ve had a few adult performers send friend requests and it’s fairly clear that their Facebook profiles are another facet of marketing; the request wasn’t devoid of common friends, but still. We have no interaction anywhere. The request seems more like “networking” than anything else and I don’t need that or want to be bombarded with that in my feed.

I have sent a few Facebook friend requests to fellow bloggers that I already know and have even met in person, only to get a canned response saying that this is their personal Facebook account (and I didn’t stalk them, we had many common friends) and they’d rather I just go “like” their persona page. While I am not a published author or famous educator, I contemplate doing that same thing to people I do not know. But I’d feel way too weird doing it to people I’ve actually met or interacted with, like I think I’m some bigshot or something – good lord I’m so not!!  I’m thinking I’ll just remove the option for people who have no mutual connections to send me a friend request. That will only take care of part of it, though.

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Related-ish topic….I’ve read countless posts in the last few years about how commenting is “down” on blogs, too many people are just reading and not interacting thanks to Twitter and Facebook accounts. Or we’re just lazy. Who the hell knows.

I think it’s an important aspect, though, and not at all in an ego-stroking attention-seeking way. Feedback is good, continuing conversations is even better. I’m not talking about comments on photos or erotic pieces, I’m talking about the sort of blogging I’ve moved on to. I’m very guilty of not commenting; I read my stuff via RSS and just move on assuming that the other person could give a shit what I have to say. But I need to stop assuming that. If they don’t care about my opinion then they’ll keep on ignoring me and that’s fine, that’s their choice. But I’m going to make the effort anyways to get back into commenting when I have something valid to add or feel that the post needs a “commendation” of some sort.

I’ve also not interacted much with many people on Twitter for a few months now. I need to get better about that before I bitch about being ignored ;) But also I need to get back into interacting before I make any more decisions on stepping down from anything else.

  3 Responses to “Manners, Community and Blogging”

  1. With your closing about commenting, I feel I should say something after reading this :) Facebook is a weird topic for sex bloggers it seems, since everyone has a different level of anonymity. I don’t really have this issue since I’ve only interacted with a couple of bloggers in person, and I’m not sure how I would react if I knew more people and was in your situation. I can understand bloggers who don’t want to add people for privacy reasons, but it also seems sort of rude and “better than thou” if you’ve met, interacted, and got along.

    What I’m really curious about is this: Do you think this is something unique to sex bloggers, or is this just a general blogger anonymity/I don’t know you that well thing? My first reaction was woe is us sex bloggers having to hide, but then again it could just be a “personal space” on the Internet type of thing…

    ~I’ve never really been any other type of blogger so I can’t really weigh in very well on that last bit but I think it’s likely a bit of both. Many sex bloggers can be looked upon as a sexual object and often times that perceived connection by readers can result in them wanting/needing to know more than we are comfortable sharing. Those who are anon keep that anonymity close because of the stigma around our type of work/words. But for those who are not anon….if they want to keep a “friends and family” only account, then it should be hidden to the public, I think.

  2. I’ve never had anyone send an intro with any FB friend request. It’s not the norm. I wouldn’t expect it. I’d be shocked to get one period.

    I would definitely not friend request someone as my sex blogger self on Facebook, but I did make a good friend and we’re not real friends on Facebook.

    As for commenting, it’s really gone out the window with Facebook. On my regular identity, people comment on Facebook posts linking to blog updates when they should be doing so on the blog itself. Ugh.

  3. If there’s one thing I’m noticing lately is that it does take a bit of effort to maintain the community. It feels at times like paying it forward, without necessarily receiving anything in return. Which is unfortunate and can be tough.

    I debate recreating a blogger-anon-fb account again. It seems I left it before it was getting big.

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