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Tying the Threads Together

You are the spider at the centre of your web


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Ben Shelley

2 years ago | 4 min read

Uploaded by Timothy on Unsplash

It’s very easy to copy content across the board, yet is there any real value in this?

Our lives are complicated. Sets of friends spread across the world, connected from travels, university, school and random chance. Bringing them all together at any one time is a challenge. In most cases, it is an impossibility and so we settle for corresponding with them via multiple channels in subgroups. The same can be said for the online world of writing.

There is Medium, SubStack, Quora, TealFeed, Blogger, Vocal and personal spaces. More are available, I know, yet the point is made with these. Tying them all together to ensure that they flow into and complement each other is the challenge.

It’s very easy to copy content across the board, yet is there any real value in this?

The Spider at the Centre of Your Web

…there will be many who hate what I write…and you know what, that’s okay.

You are a spider. Spinning your threads across the world as you move. Connecting to those that you find interesting or funny. You absorb those that you consider to have value and forget about the rest. A spider eats when it is hungry and forgets about that which it cannot catch. You should do the same.

I find that connecting with everyone and everything is nonsensical. All you end up with through this process is a list of people that you have no interest in hearing from. Something which is said with all respect in the world as there will be many who hate what I write…and you know what, that’s okay.

We all have our opinions and share them, discussing them with our audience of peers is how we prove their stability. Will they break as easily as a spider’s web or cling on?

What Platforms Should you be on?

…if I connected to everyone then all I would have is the feeling that I was voyeuristically stalking my connections.

That is entirely down to your preference. I dislike Facebook. I consider it to be a shameless self-promotion tool that is full of superfluous information. I am on the platform only because I needed the account to set up a page through work. I post once or twice a year when my wife forces me to.

Many others do love the platform. She has hundreds of ‘friends’ on there whilst I have less than 60, keeping only those that I speak with regularly connected to me. The reason for this is that if I connected to everyone then all I would have is the feeling that I was voyeuristically stalking my connections.

I have met hundreds of people throughout my life and will most likely meet hundreds more. Of those hundreds, I speak to around 10% of them on a regular basis. To keep the rest connected to me would serve no purpose as all I would be doing is liking their photos from a distance (sounds creepy, right?).

The choice of platform is very much down to you. Many stories will appear about the latest and greatest platform to emerge from Silicon Valley’s gold behind, but that doesn’t mean that they are suitable for your brand. You choose the platforms relevant to you, for example, a beauty brand should be on Instagram as it lends itself to that market perfectly.

How do you Tie Everything Together?

That is the key question and something that I am still discovering. If you are on Medium, then you know that I have a presence here. I am also on Vocal and Blogger, with Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts (plus Facebook but not through choice).

I use Medium as my main outlet with Vocal being the experiment and great for challenges. Blogger then becomes my personal blog for life events such as great cake. The socials are due to the consideration that LinkedIn showcases the professional me, Twitter is the distribution and Instagram the personal.

How do I tie it all together? The question that I continue to return to and is one that I do not really have an answer to. My latest thought is that I should create a personal portfolio website. An online domain that presents to the world everything that is Ben Shelley.

What are your thoughts?

People are interested in you

People are interested in what you have to say, you simply need to get off your bum and find them.

Medium is frustrating at the moment. If you are anything like me then you have seen your stats reduce. It is no longer the consideration that you can write and then leave the algorithm to do the hard work, you need to self promote and connect with other writers.

Saying that out loud really puts it into perspective. Maybe we were all being a little lazy, sitting back and leaving the heavy lifting for the AI, when writers have for years been responsible for their own hype. It is therefore a challenge now to find your audience, read articles and connect to those with similar tastes. This is Medium in 2021, not your parents doing the heavy lifting.

People are interested in what you have to say, you simply need to get off your bum and find them. They will not be drawn to you as they once were. Publications are great for finding new connections, and those that subscribe to you from this will be interested in what you have to say, rather than tricking the algorithm.

A Final Thought

You are a spider. A beautiful, yet terrifying creature with a web of influence that stretches across countries and creates a unique human being. You are a writer also, which is perfect for sharing your thoughts and feelings with the world. You are however stuck right now with moving beyond the crowd in order to be heard.

There are so many platforms to choose from that we can get lost and I am struggling with this also. The question of how to connect all of my threads together in order to connect with my audience. Is it via a personal portfolio website or keeping everything separate?

I still believe that there is a place for Medium in this world. The question is are you willing to work for it and the changes that have occurred, or would you rather find another ‘easy ship’ to the board?

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Ben Shelley

#husband #marketer #writer #runner #reader #travel


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