So, a long time ago, I registered @katinafrench on Twitter, mainly just to keep anybody else from grabbing it. I have a fairly distinctive name. The last thing I wanted was for some Twitter squatter (which, yes, sounds incredibly silly) to grab it and start tweeting porn spam or something ridiculous.
I’m slowly figuring out how I want to move forward with this whole “web nerd by day, fiction writer by night” thing*. I currently have almost 2500 followers on my primary Twitter account. Which is far fewer than many “cewebrities,” but a lot more than the average. Hey, it got me a Klout score high enough that someone sent me free chocolate in the mail, so it can’t be that bad, right?
I suspect that the reason I don’t have more followers is because I didn’t really make an effort to build a bigger audience or community. As a web strategist, I’m more concerned with building up the following and visibility of my clients and employers. The words “personal brand” sort of makes my skin crawl, especially after working in an environment where I’ve seen what it really takes to make a true brand. I’ve been really uncomfortable about the whole idea of being famous on the internet for being famous on the internet.
This blog has always been more my random brain dumps than anything resembling the kind of strategic content I’d create for a client. It’s actually my work that is why I haven’t made an aggressive effort to promote this blog and my main Twitter and Facebook accounts. I know how much work it takes to build up a following online. It takes a sustained effort over years, unless something as likely as a lightning strike happens. I know how much that kind of work is worth, and I didn’t have a good reason to do it for myself for free.
So the prospect of starting from ground zero, now that I actually have a reason to want people’s attention? GAH. Exhausting.
It tempts me to come back here, to a blog where I have some readers and comments. Or to just start pimping my writing on @katfrench and Facebook.
But there’s a lot of baggage there. This blog, and those social accounts? That’s where the story of a particular part of my life lives. Believe it or not, I’ve already buried virtual selves that told the story of other parts of my life. I’m a bit like a phoenix. Or a cat, with nine lives. I figure I’ve got at least six or seven new iterations of myself left.
I feel like this writing thing? It’s the beginning of a new story. A whole new part of my life. It deserves a clean slate. A fresh, unspoiled notebook to document its progress, missteps and all.
I guess I could have created a pen name. A truly secret identity. But that doesn’t feel like me, either. So for now, That Darn Kat will continue to document the weird and wonderful life of an occasionally witty web nerd, wife, and mom. Person of faith, Bluegrass Hoosier, and chronic overthinker.
My other self, Katina French, has some interesting news this week. If you like steampunk fairy tales or free ebooks, you should click on over and check it out.
*Doesn’t that sound sort of awesome, like Batman? Except without the crime fighting and dead parents.