Keeping the conversation going
Anne Welsh, Social Media Lead, writes:
Looking for more information, quotations and conversation about Julian of Norwich? The Friends are active on social media, with 763 followers on Facebook and 172 on Twitter.
The Trustees decided to take Julian’s message into these online spaces as part of the Friends’ primary objective, to ‘increase public awareness and knowledge of the life and writings of Julian of Norwich’ (Constitution). One of the big differences between standard web pages and social media is that whereas sites like julianofnorwich.org enable news and information to be broadcast to anyone who wants to read them, Facebook and Twitter provide opportunities for people to read and interact.
Since June 2021, I’ve had online conversations with musicians recording The Revelations of Divine Love, writers and publishers of books about Julian, and the popular @monknunCofE, who helped us to advertise our annual retreat to their 8,171 followers.
My personal highlight was attending the retreat and meeting a couple of fellow attendees who told me they had heard about it and decided to come along based on the Facebook posts and tweets they had seen. Neither of them knew I was the social media lead – they were just responding to my commonplace conversation starter, “What brings you here today?” I left knowing that although @JuliansShowings is not an influencer on the scale of TV celebrities and climate change activists, it is reaching people who are interested in Julian and want to know more.
What do I mean by ‘more’? Well, on Facebook we post about the activities of the Friends and Companions, including events, new publications and other exciting developments. The release of Sister Wendy’s 1993 recording of The Revelations of Divine Love on CD and Audible was big enough news that I decided to share it not only on our own Twitter and Facebook page, but also on The Julian of Norwich group run by Veronica Mary Rolf. So far, our post there has been liked or loved by over 150 people, some of whom have subsequently followed our own page. So, as well as fulfilling our objective of increasing public awareness, it’s garnered us a few new Facebook friends.
On Twitter, we post even more. Anyone can interact with us there, and we’ve been using hashtags like #JulianOfNorwich, #RevelationsOfDivineLove, #MedievalTwitter, #ManuscriptMonday, and #WednesdayWisdom so that our tweets are seen by people interested in those topics. We tweet at least once a day Monday-Friday, and have shared quotations, artworks, magazine and blog links, as well as highlighting the digital versions of the Long and the Short Texts at the British Library. We’ve also retweeted news and quotations from others, including other members of the Julian Campus, other retreat organisations, Budge the Cathedral cat and Dippy the Dinosaur.
If you’re interested in Julian, other medieval women writers and/or the contemplative life, then Twitter has much to offer. We’d love to e-meet you there!