I’ve gone and done it now.
Over the course of the past week, I joined (one of?) the newest social media network(s) on the internet, Tsu. To be honest with you, I hadn’t even heard about it until somebody that I respect posted about it on her Facebook group page and invited people to join. So I filed it away in the back of my mind and looked into it before signing up myself.
From what I read, Tsu is gaining popularity, especially with the author crowd, because it’s a cross between Facebook and Twitter. Face it – most of us are on both anyway. From my first impressions, it reminds me slightly more of Facebook, with one big plus: those who friend or follow you actually have the stuff you post show up in their newsfeed. No more 2-6% of the people who’ve liked your page getting your message; everyone who’s connected to you does. How awesome is that?
You probably noticed the terminology “friend or follow” because you have options. “Friend” is what it means on Facebook, a mutual acknowledgment of each other on the network. Your friends see all of your posts, just like you see theirs. You can also “follow” someone, meaning you can see their posts, but they don’t see yours. You don’t need to do both, so if a person that you’re following eventually sends you a friend request, or accepts yours, you’ll want to stop following them because your number of follows is limited to 1,000.
I kind of like the differentiation between friending and following. One of the caveats to Twitter is your following to followers ratio, which makes a lot of people think twice before following celebrities or other “names” that you know will never follow you back. Personally, I’m using my follows for book blogs and the like. In my limited time on Tsu, I have one-clicked so many new books that have been on sale that it’s ridiculous. Good thing I read quickly.
You can also search for posts by other members who you’re not connected to by using hashtags. So yes, you can get visibility by posting content with #author or #romance or whatever, and maybe even find some new friends or followers that way.
But with any new network, it’s got its critics. The most vocal ones are shouting that it’s a scam, or at the very least a social media Ponzi scheme. Yes, there is a monetary side to Tsu, which promises that users will share in the profits from their postings, unlike what happens over at Facebook. And there’s a sort of convoluted family tree thing that comes into play, too. In order to sign up for the network, you have to be “invited”, which really isn’t as exclusive as it sounds. It means you have to click on someone’s link who is already a member. Then you register for your own account and they become your “parent”. Likewise, any people that sign up using your link become your “children” and so on down the line. Eventually, the idea is that if you are sitting on top of a big network, you will end up making (a very small amount of) money off of everyone in your network’s posts and shares.
Me, I don’t expect to see a dime from posting on Tsu, so that’s not why I’m there. I’m not about the hard sell, so I’ve nicely asked people to join that are already connected to me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and have gotten absolutely no results. Yes, according to Tsu, I’m pretty much completely barren. You’ll notice my friends and followers list is nothing to brag about either – certainly not like the person who gloated that after three days on the network, he had 500 friends. Considering that I can’t convince my in-laws or some of my beta readers to like my page on Facebook, my experience with Tsu is exactly what I expected. (I still love you guys, though!) But don’t think that I’m crying in my Vanilla Coke; my first Tsu friendship came about 30 seconds after I joined and was to a book blogger who I don’t recall meeting anywhere else.
From there, I’ve slowly been looking up people that I know from Twitter and Facebook, and if we already have a connection, I’ve been sending them friend requests. But I’m not expecting this to be the magical balm that will propel me into superstardom. At the same time, I can’t ignore getting in on the ground floor of something with good potential. So I’ll play around with this and market on Tsu, Twitter and Facebook and see where it takes me. But the main focus in this writer’s life is always going to be on creating the next book, as I think it should be.
So if you’re already lingering around Tsu and want to hook up, or if you have an urge to try it out, here’s my link. We’ll be newbies together!