Why is it so important to get more friends and followers?
It makes me feel as if I'm back to collecting marbles and seashells -- stamps -- Indian head nickels.
My neighbor has three cartons cluttering her basement-- baseball cards her son used to collect. I don't know if kids still collect them, but no doubt about it -- millions of people are collecting Friends and Followers every day.
I log onto Facebook and Twitter every a.m. -- again in the p.m. i spend two to four hours on this what -- hobby? Obsession?
Why am I doing it? What am I accomplishing?
Am I getting more famous? More successful?
Well, I think I'm getting a larger audience for my blog. If more people "like," approve, retweet, comment, won't it help me sell my published books?
Well, book markets are jammed with books by celebs and semi name guys. I'm just a semi-demi name because I'm married to John Cullum, who's not exactly a celeb, but he's got a name as a Broadway, TV star.
So, okay -- by expressing very carefully my philosophies and politics (not alienating Repubs), merely sharing what's on my mind -- my "art" is perceived by 50 to 150 people a day.
Though I'm not earning money, I'm emerging from the general mass of people tweeting and Facebooking, and therefore, I am actually doing something worthwhile -- more people reading my blog means MORE, which is better than LESS which happens if you're not promoting yourself.
Comforting element: Aggrandizing friends and followers is a measurable activity like losing weight -- you can SEE the numbers changing.
Hey, celebs tweet about daily trivia. Millions follow, and one mill can become five mill, who might buy the celeb's DVD, or tickets for their latest film, , or head for the stadium where they're playing.
Okay. What's the nitty gritty? If you are not famous how do more friends and followers help YOU?
I Googled. (When I'm not sure what's really significant, Googling helps) I found out what the actual monetary value of a friend, and of the follower is.
Two experts -- Brian Ries, a Newsweek researcher, and Susan Payton, President of Egg Marketing and Communications, who published a paper that Facebook and Comtech have quoted -- say friends are worth about $3.50 each. Tweet followers $2.50.
The numbers are based on what your list of friends and list of followers might be worth to a product manufacturer. Value is measured as ROI -- Return On Investment.
Clearly, collecting names keeps me creating smart art -- art that I'm hoping someone will discover and turn into a real McCoy ROI ... .
HOPE is ROI.