I love gadgets and technology. But I’m also reluctant to jump on the latest bandwagon. I like to forge my own path and stubbornly hold out against the latest trends due to that non-conforming streak I seem to possess. Take cell phones, for example. I held out a long time. I didn’t ever want to be that connected, that reachable. But the fact I traveled solo quite frequently made a cell phone practical for “emergency use only”. My first phone was one of those pay as you go models, barely one step up from two cans and a string. Now, although I don’t go into panic mode if I’ve forgotten my phone at home, it’s become an integral part of my daily life. But only because it’s so much more than a phone. It keeps notes, holds my calendar, stores books, photos, videos – you name it. Oh yeah, and phone numbers if I should ever really want to make a call on it. I admit, I love my smart phone. Because it is smart and more than just a phone. And if I want to be “that connected” I can be. From anywhere.
Facebook was another hold out. I set my heels in the sand and was dragged into it kicking and screaming, away from the private family Yahoo group I had created. No one was posting to it anymore. Family news was once again filtering through the grape vine and when I bemoaned that fact the reply I received was, “Well, I posted on Facebook.”
“Well not everyone in the world is on Facebook!” I retorted.
A week later, I was. I told myself I joined out of necessity, a need to be in touch with my large, wide-spread family. Now, I check and post almost daily. Sometimes more if I need a distraction. I’m still close-fisted with friending. Seriously, if I won’t talk to you if I see you face to face why would I want you as my Facebook friend? Now that I am on Facebook I see how it can be a wonderful marketing and platform building tool as well. The number of people you can reach is exponential. And with Networked Blogs my blog posts appear automatically in my status.
And now there’s Twitter staring me in the face.
I have to admit, every time I hear the word the song Rockin’ Robin starts playing in my head. You know, Tweedly-dee-de-dee,dee-de-dee-de-dee, Tweedly-dee-de-dee and so on. And I cringe. I don’t want to cave. Don’t want to give in to the craze, don’t want to be one of those people Tweeting about my dinner. Because, really, who cares what I’m eating unless I’m a food critic at a new restaurant?
But again, and possibly even more so than Facebook, there’s the marketing/platform building aspect of it. I’ve been doing some research, begrudgingly, because I know by the time this post goes up, I will most likely be a Twitter member, or getting close. Not because I want to be part of the in-crowd, I shun the in-crowd as much as I deplore line dancing, but because my research turned up many blog posts and articles about why Twitter is good for writers. List upon list of the authors, agents, publishing houses, and booksellers who Tweet. Explanations as to why it’s a good platform building tool.
And I need a platform. All writers these days need a platform. Social networking, whether I want to admit it or not, is one of those indispensible platform building tools with the potential of reaching thousands of people. People that reach other people.
Some of whom might just like my writing and want to read my books. And isn’t that the ultimate goal for a writer?