I do have a slight problem in that I can’t finish something in the middle.

In case this makes me sound like a goal-oriented super over-achiever, what I mean is that I can’t finish a box set without getting to the end. This means that I have spent Christmas ignoring my family and friends as I plow through seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Prison Break.

The same thing has happened with Sons Of Anarchy. Even though I am secretly not enjoying them, or in the case of Prison Break, loudly and vocally not enjoying them, I simply cannot stop.

So, on the face of it Twitter and Facebook seemed like ideal choices for me. A regular (but oh, so slowly!) updating number keeps me ticking over. How many likes? How many followers? How many re-tweets? It was all so marvellous. But….but there is something missing. And I don’t mean the number of followers.

When I started this site I never had the intention of becoming  a super blogger like Fiona Millar (@schooltruth) or Kevin Honeycutt  (@kevinhoneycutt). I knew I wasn’t going to be the sort of blogger who gathered hundreds of thousands of followers, but somehow the obsession with those numbers became all encompassing.

I dowloaded TeetDeck for my iPhone and read endless posts about how to increase the amount of followers on Twitter. I even explored buying followers. I didn’t of course, as you can see by checking out @edubabbler! (Of course I know why I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter or Page Likes on Facebook and that is because I don’t blog enough. Though that’s my New Year’s resolution sorted!)

I began to check my phone every day, then every couple of hours and then more frequently than that! I used to ask why were’t my followers increasing? And then, worse, I started to lose them.  It was like a deliberate and very public snub. I could understand someone not choosing to follow me, but to actively unfollow me? That was as bad as someone coming up to me in the street and saying, “You know what? I simply don’t like you.”

But then one follower on Facebook changed my whole perception about what was happening. Gary Mitchell started liking, sharing and commenting on Posts over on my Facebook page. Then he started to share the posts on other people’s pages and I started to get a warm fuzzy glow. Because what was happening was what the actual point of Twitter and Facebook are. And that is to build a community, a community of like minded people, with similar interests who share things with each other. Then colleagues started quoting posts that I had put on the pages and referring to them in meetings that I was in.

I know one or two people doesn’t really count as a huge community, but it’s a start. So I stopped worrying about numbers, I stopped worrying about who was following or why they had stopped and started looking at engagement.

And that became a performance metric that I actually cared out.

I can’t pretend that I don’t still look at the @edubabbler‘s figures, or that I look with undisguised envy at the follower counts of people in my network, but what makes me smile is every time Gary likes, shares or recommends.

Happy Christmas Gary and thanks for reminding me what is important about all this business.




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