Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Welcome to the Shiny Happy Digital Age*

by Mindy Friddle

* This title is not ironic. I really believe our new digital age is full of opportunity.

A few years ago, it was considered "quaint" for an author to have a website. Now, it's a must. The "planks" of our author platforms aren't just our published works, newspaper columns, radio gigs--they're Facebook, Twitter, blogs...social networking.

Take Twitter, for example. Yeah, I hear you groaning. Some of you, anyway. Twitter is a little hard to get used to at first. "Why should I Tweet that I just ordered a pizza?" a friend of mine asked. "Who cares?" Well, nobody. But if your Tweet is "The pizza delivery guy is a dead ringer for Brad Pitt. The green mohawk is a poor disguise." That's a little more interesting.

If you're not convinced, read this guest blog post, "Why Writers Should Care About Twitter," on Christina Baker Kline's excellent blog, A Writing Life.
And for some intriguing examples of Tweets from writers, visit Jane Friedman's blog, There Are No Rules
She posts the best Tweets for writers every week. Example: What writers should know about Writing Contests @NathanBransford.

And don't think Twitter is going the way of legwarmers and Members Only jackets-- it's here to stay. As David Carr pointed out yesterday in the NYT: "...on Twitter, the elections in Iran outranked Michael Jackson, who came in second...In an age that is ridiculed as chronically unserious, a life-and-death struggle for freedom on the other side of the world is the story that rang the bell on Twitter."

One more thing: Since our topic this month is the future of publishing, I thought it ideal to spread the word about an upcoming event that addresses this very thing:

The Southern Social Networking Summit Wed., Jan. 6, 2010 (starting at 10am) & Thu., Jan. 7 (ending by 3pm)
at the Hyatt Regency Greenville, 220 North Main Street, Greenville, South Carolina. It's sponsored by a range of very forward-thinking folks: Fiction Addiction, The Open Book, The SC Book Festival, The NC Writers Network, and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance [SIBA], just to name a few.

What you'll learn:
  1. How to make time for all the social networks - Facebook, Twitter, Ning, LinkedIn, Glue, Google, Delicious, Wet Paint, Net Galley, Author Buzz, Library Thing, Squidoo, FourSquare, CloudProfile and so many more…
  2. What’s on-line that will feed my work? What’s free and how do I get it? Marketing Partnerships and how to make them work?
  3. What does the research tell us? What trends are coming down the pipe? And how do we manage it all?
  4. Increasing the effectiveness of our combined efforts. How do we move the conversation from insiders to outsiders?

Hope to see you there!

Mindy Friddle is the author of THE GARDEN ANGEL (St. Martin's Press/Picador) and SECRET KEEPERS (St. Martin's Press). Visit www.mindyfriddle.com and her blog, Novel Thoughts: On Reading, Writing & the Earth to read excerpts from her novels, interviews with authors, book reviews, and random musings. Follow her on Twitter @mindyfriddle.


River Jordan said...

I so very much wish I could attend this great SIBA event in Greenville. I'll be back on the radio live and can't leave Nashville that day but - there is a special free for Authors only event on Surviving Social Media in Nashville January 26 that I hope will cover some of this great info!

Mindy said...

How cool. Sounds like the social networking summits and events are popping up everywhere-- going "viral"