Every Sunday @AfroBloggers allows one person to manage its Twitter account from 9am to 9pm. I was guest curator for a day and here’s a bit about my experience.
First of all, a great big shout out to the team that curates @afro bloggers on a daily basis. Y’all do a fantastic job. Having been a guest curator for a day, I must admit that I didn’t know that being a curator was so demanding. It’s a full time job!
Secondly, a big shout out to the @afrobloggers community. You guys rock. You’re so responsive and made my job easy. It was fun visiting your blogs and getting to know a bit about you. I admit I didn’t visit all of them, the first few responses to the initial tweet got more attention, but at least I can continue from where I left off.
Now I know where to go for fashion, motivation, amusement, political analysis, travel tips, photography and you name it. I certainly won’t be running out of reading material and ideas anytime soon, and I hope you all feel the same way. Let’s read and support each other. It’s one of the ways we can continue to grow. It would be useful to find out from this awesome community if the exercise was useful though. Did you see an increase in traffic? Would be good to know.
I must confess that when the day started, I was nervous. I didn’t know how it would pan out. I started off knowing one thing for sure though, that if no-one retweeted any of my posts, at least the afro bloggers team would, from their personal accounts, so at least there’d be two likes and retweets at the minimum.
Also, I didn’t want to bore you guys and wasn’t quite sure what would make you tick. At the same time, I needed to maintain a balance between tweeting and interacting without overdoing it. There’s nothing as horrible as a moderator who dominates the conversation, yet one who’s disengaged is equally annoying, balance is crucial.
I must say though, once we got started my worries subsided and gave way to excitement as we engaged. Of course the tweet calling on bloggers to share their links got the most traction. We’re all human right, and if probe are going to participate in something there’s got to be some benefit.
I also learnt #tips4lazybloggers which I’ll certainly apply. Hopefully, we all found them useful.
Beyond that though, my greatest joy would be knowing that people got more visits and followers after sharing their links. Of course we share those links regularly, and we can never overdo it, but I certainly hope last Sunday was one of the days it paid off. I certainly got more traffic than on an average day when I haven’t posted, not only on Sunday but throughout the week. Indeed we all have to invest in promoting our blogs to encourage traffic, and I hope this was just one of the many avenues that led readers your way.
As with every experience, there are always regrets and lessons learnt. What do I regret about the day? Not having planned more for it in advance and not having said a little more – at the risk of bombarding you with tweets. Beyond retweeting and liking the links you shared, I wish I’d had the time to visit every blog and say something to promote it, but that required time. Being currently based in a non-Christian country, Sunday is a working day for me, so I had to juggle work and play. I also regret not being more creative with the posts. And oh yes, the hashtags, I didn’t make enough use of them.
What would I do differently? Given another chance, I’d maintain some of what I did, that is, find another way to promote other bloggers but in a more exciting way this time. Perhaps I’d do the individual blog reviews and promos. I’d also plan for the day well in advance, while still leaving room for sponteneity so we’d have a healthy mix of both. Having taken note of the times people were most actively engaged, I’d be more strategic in scheduling tweets. I’d also have posted more questions and promted more conversation.
Nevertheless, in spite of the highs and lows of the day, I can say with certainty that it was well worth it. I enjoyed curating and was actually heartbroken when it was time to say goodbye. As the clock inched closer to 9pm, I felt the pangs that come with letting go of what you love. I’ve always enjoyed being part of the afro bloggers community but after 12 hours of interaction, one clearly develops some attachment.
Having said that, I’d encourage anyone who can to try the #SundayTakeOver. You won’t regret it, I promise you.
The most immediate benefit was the interaction, but beyond that, if you’re a shy person, it will certainly help you to come out of your shell.
However, beyond the benefits, whether real or imagined, I think we owe it to ourselves to offer our skills and share the responsibility of curating this awesome account. After all, we all have something to offer and since variety is the spice of life, a different curator every week will certainly add a little more flavor plurality of voices.
So, give it a try, go for it.