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?"