An Informal Survey and a Giveaway of Bonnet Strings

First I would like to announce a giveaway of Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds. Please read down through this post to find out how to enter.

The team at Herald Press and I are in the countdown… there are sixteen days left until Bonnet Strings is launched. Last week it felt like a long time, and this week it feels like it is no time at all.

And of course the day after my book launches, the PBS documentary “The Amish: Shunned” will air on American Experience. I’m sure that will intensify things.
Already there are so many things to think about. There are speeches to prepare, a cross-country book tour to organize, props to prepare for speaking events, keeping up with email correspondence, Facebook, Goodreads, this blog, and interviews to prepare for, and soon there will be many books to sign.

That calm I mentioned last week ended quite abruptly on Tuesday when my email account was hijacked. Someone sent out “an important newsletter” from Google docs. I tried sending an email to everyone in my contact list to let them know not to open the newsletter, that this document was not sent by me. Then I realized that most of my contacts were expunged from my lists. I had several groups set up in my gmail, and those were all empty. Only a fraction of my contacts remained. So my apologies if any of you out there ended up receiving the phishing email sent out from my account. My advice is the same as everyone else’s out there… make sure you change your password.

I never thought this would happen to me. I use a Mac. I use secure passwords. I don’t visit risky sites. I don’t open documents that look the least bit suspicious. And yet it did happen to me. In my “recent activity” I could tell exactly what time my account was hacked, what computer system and browser this person was using, the area where it was done, and even the IP address. And yet there is no one to report it to, and therefore no consequences for the actions. It makes me realize the Amish are on to something in thinking carefully about the technologies they adopt.

This has added to my feeling that there is so much to do. I have been researching secure email systems and coming up with little.

I’m thinking I will need to let go of something when the book launches and the film airs. Social media comes to mind. And that is where you come into the picture, my dear and loyal readers. To enter the contest for a free giveaway of Bonnet Strings, please leave a comment to answer this question:

If I decided I could not maintain both this blog and Facebook, which would you want me to continue?

When you cast your vote in this informal survey, I will enter your name into the drawing. I will choose a winner on Sunday, January 26.

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63 thoughts on “An Informal Survey and a Giveaway of Bonnet Strings”

  1. I know blogging is really great. Yet, I rarely get to the sites. I do visit facebook regularly. So, I think if you want to reach the most people possible Facebook is the easiest. Not sure about its security. I recently got some “condit” snapdo thing. I am still trying to get it off my computer. No banking till it goes to the doc. All those words to say.
    Facebook! :-)

  2. Oh my–sorry you were hacked. I had my email stolen and another person took my identity for the account. Thankfully, it was not an account I used at all, but it was still annoying and a bit scary to see how easily people can do this sort of thing. I hope it’s smooth sailing for you from now until your book launch. :)

    As a fellow author, I would guess Facebook would be the most effective way to get messages and news out quickly to your readers. But a blog has more control. (Wow–not a very helpful answer!)

    I hope your book launch is a great success!

  3. Saloma, I”m so sorry for all the trouble you went through. I am on FB but I enjoy your blog so much and feel it gives us much more insight than FB. Please keep blogging. May the week ahead be a good one for you!

  4. I prefer the blog over facebook. I have a regular list of blogs that I visit and yours was added to the daily list when I recently found your site. Thanks for all you do to keep the English world informed of the realities in an Amish life. Rebekah

  5. Dear Saloma. Ever since I found you online I have enjoyed and look forward to reading about you. Please keep going if you can. So sorry to hear about your computer troubles!

  6. Hello Christine,

    Thank you for the positive feedback. It is always gratifying to know when people find one’s writing meaningful.

    I intend to keep going one way or another — in which social media is the question. If you have a preference, I’d love to know.

    Would you like your name entered in the drawing?

  7. I would choose the blog. Facebook can be time consuming with less impact. Blogging I think would be a better tool in the long run. Thank you, I can not imagine how hard it is to keep up with all that you do

  8. Keep the Blog. I go there when I can and catch up if I missed one or two. Can’t do that easily on FB as a post there has about a 24 hour cycle. Your blog posts are more developed than FB posts tend to be. You already know my opinion on steady FB blasts!

  9. Oops! Forgot to answer the question!! I prefer the blog because I think you will be able to really address a topic or share a story instead of a short posting on Facebook.

    1. Nancy, if I know how to give the Name or URL option, I would. If you know how, please send me another email and I will add it. In either case, I will enter your name in the drawing. Thank you for your vote!

  10. Hello Saloma. So sorry that you were hacked. One bit of advice I can offer, is to not have your email address on your blog or website. Even though it is not a direct link, people can still see it, good as well as bad people. There are places to get free contact forms that do not reveal your email address. I use these. My vote would be to keep the blog. I do use Face Book, but with much caution. (Check there also to see that your personal email address is not being displayed, as well as all other online places that you are present).

    1. Thank you, Danice. I am slowly finding those places where my email is displayed and trying to get it off the internet. But social media is so pervasive… and the default is normally TO display it.

      Thank you for your vote and I’ll place your name in the drawing.

  11. Lynne Shapiro wrote to me on Facebook:

    Saloma, I want to reply to your question but it seemed to require me to register or some such in order to do so on your blog page. I really think you should keep both the blog and Facebook. The blog is deeper, more serious, better. But I rely on your Facebook postings to tell me there’s something new on the blog. It is possible to be on Facebook but not spend much time on it. (I don’t care if I’m registered to win the book or not.)

    1. Lynne, of course I will enter your name in the drawing. Thank you for taking the time to send me your thoughts. I am looking into setting up a Facebook author page. That way it is a focused discussion, and I can notify people when there is a new blog post.

      See you at Scrabble!

  12. What a shame about the hacking, and I hope you’re able to fend off any future attacks.

    I definitely would prefer you continue the blog, since I am NOT on Facebook. I don’t need something else tempting me to spend way too much time online (instead of in REAL life), and I also don’t like the infringements Facebook seems to make on even the concept of privacy. How old fashioned of me!

    1. Hamanda, thank you for your empathy about the hacking… it’s not fun.

      Old-fashioned is good! As I mentioned, I sometimes remind myself of what was good in my Amish life.

      Many thanks for your comments. I will enter your name in the drawing.

  13. Saloma, I love your blog and it can be accessed any time without a special account; but I have to say it has been fun seeing you pop up in my news feed on Facebook :-) What I like about Facebook is that you can keep it as private as you want and use it as often or as little as you want. I especially like it for pictures. I have already ordered your book, so no need to enter my name (giving others a better chance to win) but thank you for your generous offer!

    1. Peggy, thank you for your feedback and I’m so glad you are enjoying my FB posts. I am still learning the ropes.

      You are so kind to offer the book to someone else. If you want to put your name in for a possibility of owning a second copy, please let me know.

  14. Hi Saloma, having just re-discovered your blog, I would enjoy reading and seeing more blog posts. They are richer and offer a more complete picture. And cant you have facebook do automatic updates from the blog?! maybe? I have a feeling you would know more about this than me! ;o) ;o) Thanks always for sharing your life stories!

    1. Thank you, MF, for your suggestions. If there is a way to automatically update my FB when there is a blog post, I don’t have a clue how to do it. I’ve been blogging for more than 4 years, but I am fairly new to FB.

      I will enter your name (which is a hoot) into the bonnet.

  15. Hi Saloma, I would like to see you continue with your blog. I enjoy reading it when I have the time to sit and read and have learned so much about the Amish culture from you.



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