Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Winds of Change on Social Networking

I've been waiting to see which way the wind blows when it comes to social networking. The wait-and-see attitude has worked pretty well for me in the past. I've never seen a movie the first day of release. After trusted reviews I invest only in those I'm sure to enjoy. I've never been eager to get the newest, latest, greatest version of computers, but then I didn't get stuck with a version of Windows that had more bugs than a patio in summer.

I've also been dragging my feet on the social media frontier. I've been hoping that the whirlwind of offerings would settle to a Best of the Best that I would implement. I don't think that is going to happen for a few years as Pinterest and others continue to be added to the Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube that already exist. Who knows where it will end?

Mashable predicts social media use will continue to rise, but sharing will decrease, except in regard to personal achievement. I think we've already seen this. Hoosier Ink blogs average 80 hits, yet comments may be two or three. Has blogging become the equivalent of newsprint in that what's read will be shared with people in real time, but a letter to the editor is rarely posted?

Online offerings are overwhelming, but as with hard print, those products that have both quality and keen promotion will survive. That's hard reality for those hoping to garner an audience. Why bother?

We are social beings and social media connects us with those we know and with those of similar interests whom we would never have known in real life. It provides a platform to announce our achievements and a way to track responses to what we do. Its profound impact is that we can more immediately relate to a wider range of people.

Social media is here to stay and may soon be as standard as electricity or running water. Waiting to engage can be detrimental to a writing career. Like it or not, it's time. I feel like Hansel and Gretel entering the woods knowing breadcrumbs aren't going to lead me home. So I appeal to you. Which social media platforms have helped you? What experiences do you regret? What would you do differently? What do you wish it could do for you that it doesn't already?

Do you suppose if instead of good morning or good night the standard greeting will ever be, "How many hits have you had today?"


  1. I like Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook. I use all the other ones, but those usually do not keep my interest.

    My latest board in Pinterest is Hoosier Authors and Books--I just pinned Hoosier Ink there. I think some of the things that Rachelle Gardner has said about social networking is valuable and how I think, as well. Blogging also is interesting to me, but takes more time in my opinion.

    And I don't really think we have to do them all. I think everyone is wired differently and you go to your strengths.

    The internet itself is a monstrosity. And to think--it wasn't that many years that we didn't even know what an internet was and a computer filled an entire room!

  2. I know that promotion and keeping in touch with other writers are both important, but none of that means anything unless I also have time to write. That means picking and choosing a small number of the more effective social media rather than trying to do them all. Right now I have a website, a blog, and do Facebook. And I'll probably have to give in and join the Twitter crowd soon. But until other methods become more prominent and allow me to replace (rather than add to) one of my current methods, this is all I can do without going into social media overload.

  3. Thanks Crystal and Kathryn. I know like the Borg, resistance is futile. I've quit kicking and screaming and am ready to acquiesce, so your comments are helpful.

  4. The easiest way for me to network is to hook up my Facebook account with twitter, my blog, my web columns and Pinterest. Therefore, every time I post anywhere across the four platforms, they automatically post to other platforms. It saves me a lot of time.

  5. Mary,

    I relate to you. My wife and I didn't get our first CD player until the 2000s. A year ago we didn't have a cell phone.

    As far as social media, I like MySpace better than Facebook. Currently, as an unpublished writer, I use Facebook more for connecting with old friends than with publicity. I've been debating all year about starting my own blogspot page -- I used to blog a bit on MySpace, though that can be a brutal environment if you deal with controversial subjects like I do. And refereeing the comments did take time from writing. I have ShoutLife and Linked In accounts but never use them. I did sign up for Pinterest.

    Jeff Reynolds

  6. Good idea, Karla, I'll look into that. Jeff, thanks for your comments. I've used Facebook for personal contacts, and as a jumping off spot. I figure if I kept up with it, it would be easier to add on others.