Add comment July 1st, 2011
Social media have taken a turn.
But I get ahead of myself.
First I should say, “Welcome back!” I realize it’s not likely that readers have gone anywhere, as I haven’t put anything up on this blog in a dog’s age. I guess, then, I should address myself in a mirror with that “Welcome back!”
What happened, of course, was that I got very busy with work—finishing up two book projects, actually, while plodding along with a third that’s still not finished (I get textfiles only sporadically on this last book). By the time space opened in my workday, I found myself out of the habit of blogging, with nothing I wanted to say. More accurately, with nothing to say that inspired enough enthusiasm so that I felt like writing.
I am sure that’s one of the main hazards of not being essentially a writer. A real writer, I imagine, regards the act of writing as work, a job, and not some romantic activity to engage in when some airy-fairy energy surfaces and compels one to write. (I went through this in college, years ago, when nearly everyone—in introducing themselves in a creative writing class—spoke about how they loved to write, dreamt of being a published writer, did it because they needed to express themselves. I said I just had things to say that festered and annoyed me if I didn’t write about them. Must have been true, because once I ran out of things I “needed” to say, the urge to write subsided.)
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So, as I started to say, social media have taken a turn. And this matters to me, because as a freelance book designer, most of my promotion, after having a website and this blog, rests on my presence on various social media platforms.
I think I have said here before that LinkedIn was initially a disappointment to me. Although billed as the go-to site for professionals seeking to network and find work, I found it to be mostly a collection of H.R. types looking to fill out their rolodexes. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it was not what I wanted when I joined. (I should add that over the last year or so I have found a lot more publishing professionals and “book types” on LinkedIn … and a lot more discussions on making books.)
After resisting Twitter—I bought into the rumor that Twitter was just mostly people announcing what they had just eaten for lunch—I joined and was immediately rewarded with worthwhile conversations and professional contacts. Paying projects resulted.
I came to Facebook later still, intending to use it just for connecting with childhood friends, when I noticed a whole crew of them on Facebook. But professional concerns have bled through there, too. What it comes down to, I realize, is that anyone is potentially a self-publishing author nowadays. While I’ve heard all kinds of accounts of how traditional publishers are suffering, over the last two years my roster of self-publishers has grown to the point where I’ve been busier than ever before.
Google has just announced something called Google+, which sounds as if it is meant to be a Facebook-killer. I don’t like how all-everything Google has become; and I certainly don’t want anything valuable to me out on “the cloud.”
So the latest piece in the social media mosaic that I haven gotten involved in is something called “EmpireAvenue.” It combines the game quality of a stock market simulation—you, the player, are the stock—with social media underpinnings. I, for instance, initially gravitated toward “shares” with publishing and writer backgrounds. But as I always wind up thinking, everyone is potentially a self-publishing author. EmpireAvenue seems to be growing quickly. It’s worth a look-see for anyone interested in reaching new audiences who also has an interest in game environments.