Over the course of the past several weeks I have attempted to navigate the labyrinth called Social Media Networking as a means of self promotion. Most have this has been via various discussion sites on linkdin. While the process still baffles me, for the most part, I have discovered a couple of things. These groups tend to morph into two main threads.

The first, and for me, only valuable one, deals with the real issues of self promotion and writing. They contain valuable information, willingly and generously shared.  I have discovered some like-minded writers and set up some connections. So thank you to everyone whose support I have garnered.  Some day I hope to be able to return the favours with some insights of my own relevant to the discussion. I have read about the value of blogging (hence this post), the phenomenon of ‘liking’ each other on facebook to create a fan base and list of connections that will grow, and many other hints about increasing my visibility ‘out there’.

The second thread develops when a discussion devolves into the kind of conversation I expect to hear at a coffee shop among friends. While I understand that this can create a sense of camaraderie that may reduce the sense of isolation some writers feel,  I would like these to take place privately.  I have no interest in reading salacious banter, nor do I wish to participate in or read sparring between contributors, especially when it includes name calling and nasty accusations. I believe these have no place in discussion groups. They create disunity and hard feelings, rather than a sense of community. They belong in private chat rooms, if they have a place at all.

So what do the rest of you think? Am I out to lunch or do you agree?  Is there a legitimate ‘middle ground’?