Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Celebration and Social Media

Usually my Wednesday’s post is about Writing and Publishing and all that goes with it, particularly Social Media. But I’m still giddy over the fact that there’s a book cover with my name on it! (Seriously giddy – you know that uninhibited look in a child’s face when they’re seeing Christmas presents? That’s me all over the place. Just one overgrown, middle-aged toddler with sparkles in her eyes.) Continue reading


Careful Facebooking – 3 Things You Should Know

Neighborhood kidsIf Twitter is a cocktail party (see my posting) then Facebook is the front yard, or the grocery store, or the church foyer. For Twitter, I step in, make a statement. I might comment on something someone else says or retweet it. I’ll hit a few links and possibly share them. Then I’ll move on.

On Facebook, I don’t just post. I stop by and engage with others who are online. Unworried about hogging the feed, I’ll chat in messaging or just comment back and forth on different posts or pictures.

And I find I check back in several times a day.

But care is needed with Facebooking. Had to chat with my Precious Redhead about this the other day. Anticipation, celebration, and depression can cause faux pas posting, danger, and trouble.

1. Anticipatory posts are those items that you’re going to do! Can’t wait! Gonna have so much fun! But a teenage girl doesn’t need to tell the world that she’s going to be in such-in-such a place at such-in-such a time. It’s just plain dangerous. And while posts like that will 90% of the time result in nothing, those types have ended in kidnapping and various other forms of stalking trouble.

Anticipatory posts are also trouble for travelers. “Can’t wait to spend the weekend on the coast. It’s going to feel good to get out of the house.” I know these types of posts are only supposed to go out to your friends and possibly your friends’ friends, but what if your friend’s friend is a thief? It’s like putting up a sign in your front yard.

Empty House
Come One, Come All

That doesn’t mean you can’t revel in the enthusiasm after you travel. Or do the check-ins. Lurkers can’t act ahead of time when you’re already there. And check-ins can be fun. We were at dinner with my brother and his family a few months ago. My sis-in-law checked in at the place and immediatedly got an instant message from an old high school buddy who also was there.

2. Another thing to beware of is Celebratory Excitement. At our wedding rehearsal, one of my sweet hubby’s roommates (socially … uh … challenged, but very sweet) came to the dinner with a paper pinned to his back stating the salary of the job he had just secured. Oh yeah. That really happened. And he sincerely had no clue.

But I’ve seen the same type of effects from my dear son (is it a guy thing?) who will post his reactions to things without thinking how obnoxious he sounds. In his jubilation or victory or whatever, he just hits the post button.

This type of posting can look bad. Not the celebration itself. By all means share it. There’s enough conflict and sadness in the world. Spread the smiles. But at least read your post before hitting the button. Are you giving an “in your face” type of message? It’s something to watch out for. Because folks look at your facebook. No really. Future employers, agents, editors, and people in authority over you will look through your timeline carefully to get a feel for what kind of person you are. Arrogant posts can make a difference.

3. And in the same vein are the Emotional, Moody Posts. “I hate my life. What’s the use? I can’t do anything right.” Makes me think of the mother in Bye Bye Birdie. “I’ll just go stick my head in the oven.”

Everyone feels this way sometimes. Emotions, by their very nature, are fickle and then add a shot of hormones. Yikes! But posts like these, while journal-worthy, aren’t Facebook-worthy unless you’re feeling suicidal. (Then by all means post and let your friends get you help! Don’t try to swim that lake alone.)

Posts like these scream at needing attention. And again, future employers will look. Do you really want to look so high-maintenance?

The trick is to be true to yourself while being aware of who might be watching.

Your turn: Any other tips and tidbits of which to be careful when Facebooking?


Facebook: Profiles vs. Pages and the ART of Giving Back

The Facebook situation is fun if your just doing the social thing, but for writers and business folks, Facebook provides opportunity to share a message. And used well, it can stir a great following for that message.

But first and foremost, Facebook is social.


That’s why anyone using it must have a profile. (Only one to a customer, please.) The profile is the social face of the person. And that section has benefits and rules connected to it.

For instance, on a profile, a person “friends” other people. You friend them and they accept you. So you have a little community of happily cohabitating friends that connect with others as well as each other. When you take a picture of one of these friends, you can “tag” them in it and a notice goes up on their board that you did. They stop whatever they are doing and run over to your wall to check out the picture you took of them.

Cute. Studly. What’s that thing hanging out of your nose?

Anyway. I digress. The point is, you can make a status report or post a note or photo and tag your friends to inform then that it is there and includes them. They’ll come look. No really. They will.


Pages are different. Being for businesses, nobody can friend them. Sad and lonely place to be. They can be liked though and a whole lot more than just the profiles. See profiles can only add 5,000 friends, but page likes go up and and up. I’m not even sure they have a limit. So as your business grows, so can your outreach.

In the “voice” of your page, you can post on your own page. You can “like” other people’s pages. You can even post on those pages you’ve liked. However, you can’t friend anyone. So you can’t post to anyone’s profile, even if they like your page. You can’t comment on any profile at all.

One is the loneliest number …

There are benefits to pages though. A page establishes a writer as professional. Once published, those books can become part of the timeline and also tabs on the front page. Second, pages offer statistics that you can’t get with your profile. I can see at a glance how many people have liked me, how many have visited my page, and how many have liked or commented on anything I’ve said.

The other stat that I’ve recently noticed makes it clear that Facebook isn’t showing all of my page postings to all of those who liked my page. For instance, the last post on my page was an announcement of yesterday’s blog. Only 20 people saw it. Not that 20 people visited the link. The post only showed up on the feeds of 20 of those who have liked my page. The other 147 went along without knowing that I posted anything.


Typing on a computer keyboardSo here is some Über-important things you can do, for me and any of your Facebook paging buddies.

  • Like their page. A page-owner can only invite you once. If you choose not to like their page, you withhold essential encouragement for no good reason. Liking doesn’t hurt. Doesn’t cost. Doesn’t fill your feed with spam. It just encourages your friend.
  • Like any posts that you see from their page. Again, unless it disagrees with your moral fiber – and I totally get that and won’t chat about politics for that very reason! Yikes! – there’s no good reason to deny your friend the little click of a mouse key. And what do they get when you like a post. BIG! It doubles the amount of people who see the post, giving them a better chance of getting out their message.
  • Really want to be a good friend? Share their posts. Sharing the ones they post from their profile is fun, but it doesn’t help their business. Sharing posts from their page means SO MUCH! When a page owner has their posts shared, Facebook decides they deserve more attention and shares their following posts with more people.

Didn’t realize you had such power at the tips of your fingers did you? Use the power for good, Luke!

By the way, you can find me at

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Why You Need a Facebook Page

I met a few folks today who don’t do Facebook. I can totally understand their avoidance since they’ve never tried it out. But I’m so glad to have the connections that Facebook provides for me. School friends, former neighbors, folks I used to know from my old church. For me, it gives connections to folks with whom I no longer get to personally interact.

It also keeps me up-to-date with my family that are in various places, helps me build relationships with new acquantances, and allows me to support other businesses and author friends.

When I began my new writing career, my needs changed. I needed to promote my new focus, my stories, and my new pen name.

Unfortunately, I had few mentors when I first started. The advice I did get included always using my pen name in every URL and web title. Good advice, and logical. It stems from the fact that when people do buy my books, they will know my name. It’s my website, my blog, my twitter ID. But it wasn’t my Facebook profile.

No problem. I’d just make a new profile for my new name. Except that duplicate profiles aren’t allowed in Facebook. One person, one profile. And Facebook can actually ban people who don’t follow the rule. Okay that’s a problem.

Then I learned about pages. 🙂 What a dream. I set one up but left it unpublished for months because I thought I needed something to sell before I could use it. Balderdash.

Now I know better and have linked my blog to it, posting both announcements and full articles at a tab. I usually share an idea there a couple of times a day. Usually writing related, I post comments about things I’ve read or experiences I’ve had as they relate to my stories or writing in general, too. I share pictures of my critique buds and their books along with writing inspiration. And I follow a lot of other writing buds using my page voice to hopefully show up on their feeds as well.

Essentially, my profile gets posts of a personal nature. Check-ins, family items, random inspiration or goofiness. I send birthday wishes and share snatches of songs or sermons that hit me just right.

I think both are essential. I don’t have a problem being myself on my page, even if I’m not always incredibly professional. But I do want to keep my profile limited to folks I feel like I know. Separating the two allows me to make my page public while keeping my profile circled around friends and family only.


First Friday Off

My first Friday without a post. I don’t think I can stand it. Sorry Sweet Hubby. I tried to stay away, but I just CAN’T!

Here is my new Facebook page. Had so much fun building! It would make my day if you hopped over and liked it. (I mean you don’t have to “like” it if you don’t like it, but you won’t know until you visit right?) See it HERE!

Speaking of “like.” I grew up in the 70s. That was the word we used when we were crushing on a boy. Using it for my Facebook page just makes me want to giggle – or maybe it’s because I’m posting this at 1 AM? I’d laugh right out loud, but I’d wake Sweet Hubby.

Sweet Hubby and I along with my bro and sis-in-law will still get slap-silly over perfectly good words just because of long forgotten jokes that were made about them. What normal words or phrases hold goofy meanings for you?