Sunday, July 8, 2012

Of authors, the web and Facebook fan pages

My Facebook author page is now live. I admit I’ve been holding off putting one up for a while. Laziness is partly to blame for that. Another reason is... oh, I’ll call it social media overload. Allow me to explain.

Information is plentiful these days and thank the heavens for that. I love being able to obtain any fact, figure or piece of nonsensical trivia the very instant I desire it. It’s an empowering and liberating feeling to know you can suck from the straw of collective knowledge and understanding whenever and however you like. Whether we're talking data, news or entertainment, all of it is there at your command.

Therein lies the rub.

The more you use that proverbial straw, the more seems to try to flow back through it. Whether it is via cross-links or “Related Items” or “You Might Also Like...” interconnections, you can find yourself drawing from that straw many hours after that first drink. Suck, suck, suck, and there’s always more there for you to consume.

Ever notice your first few tastes of something are the most delightful? But keep at it for very long and the appeal drops off significantly, doesn’t it?

Now consider social media in this context. How many blogs, tweets, IMs and newsfeeds are pointed at your straw? How often and for how long are you really able to suck up all that information? Most of all, how much do you really get out of it?

Obviously there are some people who can’t get enough. More power to them. I’m certainly not part of that group. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to sit on the receiving end of that massive stream.

So that’s just in one direction, coming at you. Imagine trying to interact then with all those sources and in some meaningful way, not just tossing off frivolous replies or retweets. Which is an intrinsic value of social media: outreach and connecting via interaction. Build your network. Then, as a writer, you tap it.

Except, a goodly number of writers are doing that or else trying to. A goodly number of readers are probably like me, struggling with how much there is out there to drink up. It’s an overload.

A writer could try to overcome that. Use tactics and various methods to somehow rise above and stand out. I think if you had a marquee author name already or else an endless supply of minions, you might be successful at that. But there’s actually a better way.


Keep producing what people want.

That’s the way to ensure they’ll point their straws at you. OK, bad image, but you get the idea. You win by doing what you’re fundamentally supposed to do as a writer.

So I’ve been in that mindset for a while: more writing, less marketing. Which has delayed me considerably from finishing many outreach type tasks, like my Facebook author page.

But it’s live now so before you point your straw elsewhere on the web, how about popping over and giving me a Like?

Thanks and happy slurping.

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