If you've been following the debate this week then you'll know I've been putting in my two pennies worth. From time saving tips with apps like tweetdeck.com, marketing ideas such as email footers, advising you to think before you "speak" to achieve maximum effect, and the greatest tool ever invented - scheduling - available on blogger.com, tweetdeck.com and another time saving tool socialoomph.com.
I've had some fantastic responses to the TO BE OR NOT TO BE a writer debate on the subject of Social Networking. This week has been fun for me, as host, to see how people have interacted on the bloggosphere, especially because I've just started studying a degree which specialises in digital communications. Maybe its my fresh new look on the world as a 1st year student but I wanted to open your eyes to the differences between the way we communicate online. It really is a whole new world.
I hear people saying all the time "I don't get twitter" I didn't understand twitter either. It was a free for all and everyone could see everything and the character limit made life very difficult. I did very little tweeting. Then one day someone wrote #amwriting and I replied "what's #amwriting?" my dearest friend from across the pond, Lanetta, replied. All of a sudden I discovered a whole writing community on twitter that I never knew existed. # Hashtags are the best way to find a topic on twitter.
Professionally, we use social networking as a means for promoting ourselves and our products. I said before to think before you 'speak'. If you're tweeting "lost my car keys" ... why? think need to know basis. If you're trying to sell something then you have to make people understand what it is that there getting for their money. What does "lost car keys" present to the outside world. .... On the other hand ... if said lost car key inspired a fantastic poem, short story or chapter in a novel then capitalise on it.
But how do you draw people in when simply asking doesn't always work in the cyberworld?
Again its a matter of thinking before speaking ... "Learn how I lost my car keys & found a new chapter in latest novel ... ", "Is Romance Dead?....", "Wanted: Honest Feedback ... ",
We weren't born with innate marketing skills or even the ability to communicate digitally, at the end of the day it goes against the grain of everything were ever taught in school about the nature of the English language from spelling and grammar to proper etiquette and manners. But Social Networking is vital in every way possible for an aspiring writer, personally and professionally. Without the friends I have made on twitter I would never have discovered the friends I have in writing communities on Facebook. Without these people I wouldn't have learned half of what I know today.