…..to the Facebook, the Facebook’s connected to the Website and I’m connected to the world…..or so I thought until yesterday morning. I really believed for a middle aged girl trying to navigate her way through cyberspace and build what I just learned is my “thousand true fans” I was doing a fairly good job and compared to where I was- say a year ago I have made great strides. As Larry says “progress not perfection.” There are so many layers to all this and things to learn it’s almost endless.


May 1, 2010by tracey Comments

…..to the Facebook, the Facebook’s connected to the Website and I’m connected to the world…..or so I thought until yesterday morning. I really believed for a middle aged girl trying to navigate her way through cyberspace and build what I just learned is my “thousand true fans” I was doing a fairly good job and compared to where I was say a year ago I have made great strides. As Larry says “progress, not perfection.” There are so many layers to all this and things to learn it’s almost endless.

Around a year ago when I put up the website and started venturing beyond the safety of Facebook (which I learned I was doing all wrong) I made a giant attempt to figure out this whole new way of being in the world.

I did I must say have some help – some major help from a fabulous man called Sree Sreenivasan. Now for those of you who don’t know Sree and I find it impossible that anyone on the planted doesn’t as he is Mr. Connected, he is – well, he is many things; first off he is really handsome, I know have I a thing about that, but he is. He is South Indian, from Chennai and South India produces many great things, two of them being hot guys and the world’s best coffee. Tamil Nadu, where he is from, is sort of the Italy of India. But Sree is also happily married to Roopa, has two kids and is head of the Journalism School at Columbia. Now if that were not enough he is a humanitarian, head of something called Saja – The South Asian Journalist’s Association and he is Mr. Techy. He is so techy he gives courses and symposiums all around the country on how to properly navigate and utilize the net.

Last year while I knew I was trying to be connected and doing it all right, I clearly wasn’t and sort of knew this but was doing little to correct it. It all seemed beyond my skill set. And I thought I was doing the best I could. What I learned like in many places in life I was merely doing the best I was willing to do. They are very different.

Sree could clearly see this as we are Facebook friends and he and Roopa are our friends and one day he sent me an email and said I’m giving a course this week on utilizing the net and how to get the most of it, you might want to take it. It was a nice man’s way of saying you are coming off as doofus online.

I couldn’t take that class but it really appealed to me –so he said if I got a group together, he needs between twelve and twenty to make it worth his while and you have a screen (which I do in my office) he could come one night for very reasonable fee and teach me and some of my technologically challenged friends about Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Well, I filled that class faster than a Tweet. And they hadn’t even seen what he looked like.
So we gathered at my office with wine and cheese, notebooks, a screen and Sree and we all learned the ins and outs of all the various sites and what to do and not to do. And he tells you all this in the kindest, gentlest way.

I’m not going to tell you as some of you should make your own Sree events, and it’s too long and I don’t really understand how to explain it. But it is one of the best two hours a person can spend in 2010.

One thing I learned I was on Linkedin, but not well. I was there mostly because I had received invitations. I m not even sure I understood what it meant or was for. In fact I didn’t and I never bothered to learn. The thing I learned about Linkedin, which is a business-networking tool and not a social site, is you really have to fill it in a professional way or you look positively retarded. My site looked like a six room apartment that had only a folding chair and a beach towel. If I wanted to be Linkedin I had a lot of furnishing to do and I did it and in one month I went from having five connections to two hundred and something. It worked.
Sree tells you that after the class you will walk away having a real sense of how you want to be online; maybe you only want to Twitter or just be Linkedin. But you will get it and you will then do it properly. In true me fashion I wanted it all.

The next morning I got lots of emails from people telling me how much they got out of it, what sites they were going to focus on and a few wondered if Sree had a brother.

So for the last year I bumbled along with my Sree handbook, my amazing team Patricia and Greg of The Kind Company who keep my site running and I could not live without, and Allison who when it all gets too much for me, which it does on many days, understands net world so well she quietly steps in and fixes it all. And she doesn’t bark at me like Lucy does.
This week for instance we beefed up our mailing list. Glenn (the world’s best husband) sent my blog on Cameron Douglas out to seven hundred people, only a few asked never to get it again so we added them to the master list. Allison spent all week making the list a big list and then on Friday when I went to send it Google said no you don’t. They have rules on how many emails you can send out. They were going to shut us down as they thought we were selling black market Viagra.

Allison now has to spend another week dealing with Google lists. Thank god for Allison.

So just when I thought Team Tracey online had it all nailed I found out – I so don’t. Not if I want to build my thousand loyal friends.

I only learned this phrase yesterday after spending two hours with the spunky Debbie Stier who is Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher for HarperStudio and Director of Digital Marketing for the rest of HarperCollins.

Part of her job is telling people like me like me what they are doing wrong– or to put a more positive spin on it, what they could be doing better.

And there is so much I have to do.

She told me how I have to make changes to my site. You will see in a week.

She wondered why I called my self Duck4 on Twitter. I did this because when I was first going to sites, my first site was a purse site I spent a year on. I don’t mean I spent a year going on it, I mean if you added up all the time I spent on it it would add up to a year.

I came away with three friends, one of them Becca who I had lunch with yesterday and a deep knowledge of leather. But that is for another blog. The thing I found was I just signed on using my name, TraceyD, but everyone else had fake names, Like DiorDame or Lanvinlady. They were incognito and I was out there for the world to see. Imagine that.

So sometimes I’m not sure do you use your name or a catchy substitute? Of course on Twitter Larry King is Larry King and Anderson Cooper is Anderson Cooper and nobody is Lanvin Lady. But I for some reason was Duck4.

Debbie said if people want to find you and your brand on Twitter you must use your real name.

I also found out I am not on Tumblr. No god please, not another password – total aside but on story – I forgot my Linkedin password in her office.

But Tumblr??? Taylor and all her friends are on Tumblr. “Exactly” she said and it’s a whole different group you reach out to and you then connect your Twitter to your Tumblr to your Facebook to your site and the beat goes on.

Plus in terms of marketing I’m not using Twitter correctly. I actually forget to Tweet. My Tweet on Thursday was “ I always forget to Tweet” I can’t afford to do that. I must Tweet, like a bird, in tree all the time. And I must retweet my heart out.

I was totally fascinated and understood and thought when will I have the time to do all this?

Debbie asked if I had two hours a day to devote to Twitter. NO, I blog, they don’t write themselves and I do spend time on Facebook and I do workout and have a family and three dogs and should be editing the book that we were talking about and Lucky Ducks is back in my life sucking up time and I have personal maintenance, hair, nails, face and body. Two hours a day on Twitter? OK – an hour maybe.

I walked out of her office liking her immensely, with two books on networking to read, pages of notes written down and wondering if I could get by on four hours of sleep instead of eight.

But by the time I reached my office I had changed my Twitter name to TraceyJackson4. Before Becca arrived for lunch I had redesigned my Twitter page with a photo and colorful new fonts and the new name and it looked so much cooler.

Allison is still toiling to prove our authenticity to Google.

Last night I spent five hours on Tumblr. I did get frustrated with Lucy once and we both had meltdowns as I got stuck and she couldn’t get me out of it and she felt like I was upset with her but I was frustrated with me and Tumblr and I really wanted to finish the book I’m reading and Glenn didn’t care as the ball game was on. But Lucy and I cried over Tumlbr together. She had an account so I thought she understood it; she is my link to all things net. But she admitted she closed her account, as it was too complicated.

So we hugged and I told her if I was going out there to make my thousand loyal fans I had better learn to do it on my own. She went off happily to ABC Family….

And I stuck with Tumblr until I figured it out. And I did- sort of. There are still glitches.

Now I have a question what is Flickr and do I need that too?

SAJA – worth checking out.



Debbie’s site. You can just look at it and learn a lot.


My Tumblr – I still have soooo much go learn. But I will!

And if you want Sree to come and teach you and your friends how to use the net send me a personal email and I will pass it on to him. He teaches internet manners too. Don’t go handing out others’ email addresses willy-nilly!