Bump in Stats: Social Media Blackout Results

I don’t have a ton of time today, so I won’t be able post a ton of graphs like I wanted to, but I did want to talk about the fact that all of my stats: e-book sales, RSS/web traffic and social media followers (with the exception of Twitter) went up.

  • My RSS feed subscribers increased by twenty percent.
  • My newsletter subscribers increased by fifteen percent.
  • My overall traffic (comparing the same time frame to the previous) went up by ten percent.
  • Book sales for Paths of Storytelling, which was a collaborative work I contributed to, hit a milestone sales status on DriveThruRPG.
  • Book sales for non-new releases like The Queen of Crows continued to trickle in.
  • My Twitter followers decreased overall by 50 followers whereas my Facebook friends increased by 125 (combing personal and the fan page I set up).

Combined, what this data tells me is that the conventional wisdom holds true. Content is valuable and to get more “out of” your content — you need to watch where you put it.

Before I went on this blackout, I said that it’s not a good idea to put content that is archive-worthy on Twitter or Facebook. It’s better to house it on your own website because then, by owning the content, you draw people back to “your house.” You’re not partying in someone else’s mansion with your own crystal. To me, these stats prove that. Content is worth something.

The Twitter followers could have gone down either because I wasn’t engaging people in conversation or Twitter updated their spam filters. I’m assuming Facebook went up because the way their algorithm works? You only see a fraction of the people you’ve friended anyway and you have to keep futzing with the controls to get your view working right. Not to mention, the abandonment of a Facebook friend takes more effort than a simple “unfollow.” In some ways, FB is harder to maintain once you get into it.

The other thing this tells me, is that now when I figure out a cost/benefit analysis for the work it takes into increase social media followers versus website visitors — I can better assess what’s worth the effort and what’s not.

Monitoring, measuring, accessibility and analyzing social media are a few of the hidden costs of being ON social media. (With or without e-mail notifications, you still need to know the trends to stay relevant and sound genuine.) But, like research for an article, it’s a cost that can be taken for granted.

Then add the money statement on top of that: List three reasons why I am using these tools.

Here’s mine BEFORE the blackout:

1) Connect with readers

2) Network/Communicate with industry folk

3) Touch base with family and friends

Here’s mine AFTER the blackout:

1) Be a part of the community

That’s it. Why?

Because no one is “just” one thing. As much as people whine and moan about hearing what someone had to eat or listening to them talk about their illnesses or grandmother’s community or stamp their feet about the so-called rules of engagement… it wouldn’t be social media otherwise. You can’t build networks of people and expect them to follow all of the social rules that typically don’t incur negative results.

Now, if you started charging people for being trolls on the other hand…

I think the interesting thing for many people isn’t figuring out what they want to get out of social media, but how best to interact within the neighborhoods they feel most comfortable in.

By the way… I was curious to see if anything changed, so I was watching my Twitter stream on my second monitor today. Three fails. Oy.

I have to tell you, even though I knew intellectually what was valuable and what wasn’t, I didn’t really feel comfortable sticking with my own advice until I removed the tool I was abusing myself.



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

Want an interview? If you’d like to interview me or request a guest blog post, please connect with me via the contact page, too. Due to time constraints and other communicative concerns, I typically don’t follow up on requests via social media.

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