Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Incredibly Valuable Tool(s)

Social media is IT and I confess I am not an expert, more like a tourist in a restaurant where I can’t read the menu. The sites and systems are so counter intuitive (at times) it leaves a reasonably intelligent guy scratching his thinly populated head wondering, “Is it worth the brain damage?” Starting with and ending with Zooppa you will find Twitter, Facebook, Xanga, Goodreads (now Amazonish) and over 190 other international social media sites (GO HERE) to waste your time. And, I ask you,  is it that WAYN seems to be used by only Russian woman? Just asking.

In writer's conferences and conventions we are bombarded in session after session that it will be through social media (insert favorite site here) that will you find an adoring public. So you prostitute yourself into spilling your guts: birthday, home town, dog/cat’s name, relatives, favorite vacation spot, grade school, high school, college, reform school, What are ya reading today?, Who’s your favorite singer? Your opinion on whether Elvis is really dead, etc. Really? All sorts of stuff that a really diligent criminal (or stranger. in need of a life) could spend a few hours and, for all intents, become you. And all you want to do is sell a few books.
We blog, we tweet, we select friends we don’t know, we update our pages daily (I want to thank my nieces for the cute cat pictures), and above all lay confess and open our souls to the world. I doubt the Catholic Church could put together a better confessional. Now here’s an idea Pope Francis, a Catholic confessional site. I would call it, what do you think?

As you can tell I’m rambling (another new site idea,, I’ll start it today or is it already on-line?). All these sites are about connecting and finding others with similar interests, all for the good. But often they seem to create a lot of chaff and confusion and, with millions and billions of registered users, one really does believe he is screaming into the face of a hurricane.

But I have found one small part of a larger animal (like the blind men and the elephant) that seems to find resonance. The animal is LinkedIn and the part (or parts) is their groups. My guess is that most of you readers know LinkedIn and have an account, but how many have you looked at the Groups? According to Wiki there are 1,248,019 with memberships that go from one person to three quarters of a million (probably the Taylor Swift group). But I’m strictly talking to writers here.

There are dozens of groups associated with writers, publishers, editors, and similar affiliations. Some have hundreds of members and others, thousands. Each tends to have their active contributors and most are well behaved (if not, be warned, the site’s manager will publicly stone you for infractions). My favorites are Fiction Writers Guild, Books and Writers, The Pen, and Crime Fiction. But there are dozens, do some investigating and read their posts and comments. Find a few you like, get the hang of them, some are actually very good. I’ve met some excellent writers and editors through these groups and the message is clear, you contribute and add to the group and they will help. Use key words such as writers, publishers, ebooks, editors, and author to find groups you may like. Join, they will only take a small piece of your soul.

More Later . . . . . .

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