Debate: Social networking websites, useful for authors?

I can’t seem to open a marketing magazine at the moment without reading about social networking websites. But are they useful for authors? And for what? Networking with potential readers or within the trade? Which are the best sites?

I’m on MySpace, and I’m also a member of asmallworld and pelime, both of which are invitation only to join. Pelime has a specific focus on people working within the creative industries and there are dedicated forums to discuss writing and publishing.

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2 Comments

Filed under books, Debates, marketing, web2.0

2 responses to “Debate: Social networking websites, useful for authors?

  1. Debate: Social networking websites, useful for authors?

    I’ll be outspoken here with my comments.

    I believe most web sites are boring. Not from the artwork or content which has painstakingly gone in to setting them up, but in the fact that they are static animals – dead as dinosaurs in most cases (and I include my own here).
    Personally, I don’t have to know-how to make changes to my website – for that I depend on my son who is doing his own thing in England at the moment – and good luck to him, I say!
    I don’t concern myself too much about it. He set the website up for me and it cost me nothing but I do feel sorry for those who have spent megabucks on setting up a website which people only visit once, and don’t revisit because it never changes.

    I find also that many blogs are boring. Many – not all – are totally self-centred by nature. They reek of the I, I, me, me, complex.
    I can image the people who write them may enjoy reading them, themselves – it’s great for the ego (been there, done that, still do), but apart from the few newsy items, they can be a bore for everyone else.

    Fair enough, you may argue a blog is, in most cases, a personal journal and, as such, is written by one person. It follows therefore that is will have a biased approach in its context and subject matter. In my view, an interesting blog encompasses a variety of things and a variety of ideas – even if they are contrary to the writer’s own views and beliefs.

    Group writing of a blog, to, and for, the benefit of the converted few, to my mind does not attract the attention of the outside world/namely the population at large.

    So what is the main problem?
    That, I believe lies somewhere between the increasing scope of internet based sites for the minions, and the time constraints us minions suffer from in today’s high paced multi-faceted, mega-pixelated world.

    In addressing a question raised on another loop last week about why there is less response to Yahoo postings, I would suggest that the internet is supersaturated with blogs, my-spaces, Squidoo lens, websites etc, etc, etc.
    And God only knows what it will be like in a few more years time!

    Whatever one’s field of endeavour, there is only so much time an individual can devote to extraneous internet activities. Spending time writing ones own sites, checking them out, and updating them – takes time. Belonging to groups (eg Yahoo) and participating in those – takes time. Sending/receiving emails – takes time.
    So how much time does that leave to go looking at other people’s sites? – Answer – very little.

    We all like to think we are doing a great job in promoting and marketing ourselves but in this cyber-savvy world are we really spending time/and money effectively or wasting it?
    No sure!
    I know for one, I will stick with my various sites (and I have possibly more than the average) partially because I enjoy writing them. I find them to be a nice form of escapism and relaxation. But I don’t kid myself that they are a great promotional tool as I don’t believe they are – though there is always that frisson on excitement when you receive a mind blowing contact from across the globe.

    I think anyone setting up websites, blogs, lenses, my-spaces – whatever, must decide what they are hoping to achieve. They must consider the expense of setting up and consider the time expended on doing it. Finally, one must weigh the success factor when it is up and running by monitoring what response they are getting from it.

    If you can balance your reasons and responses and still come up with a positive answer, then go for it or hang in with it.
    I know I will, though I sometimes have to scratch my head….

  2. I’d like you to join Pelime! E-Mail me! lol

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