Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reach Out and Friend Someone

So I spent the better part of yesterday tooling around on Facebook, at the behest of some writer friends. This? Was a mistake. Because once I started, I couldn't stop: it was like that poor girl in Silence of the Lambs trapped in that damn hole. That was me in Facebook. I desperately wanted to claw my way out but knew that it was to no avail.

So there went yesterday.

It got me thinking: I'm now on Facebook (friend me!), MySpace and LinkedIn. And honestly, though they sure are a hell of a way to procrastinate - tracking down old friends, spying on other ones - I dunno, are these honestly good marketing or writing tools? I dunno. You tell me. I'm genuinely curious to hear what, if anything, you guys have gotten out of them. MySpace - well, I can see that b/c I have hundreds of "friends," and I suppose if I had to blast something out about my book, then that would be cool. LinkedIn has been a superfun way to reconnect with old friends, and I suppose that Facebook is much the same. (I mean, seriously, if you're my friend in real life, do you have to now be my friend online? Because that's pretty much who makes up my "friend" list on Facebook!)

But other than that, what do you guys use these sites for? And if you're on Facebook, can you explain what your favorite parts of your profile are??? I feel like I spent the entire day trying to figure out how to add things, what things to add, etc, etc, etc, and it only made me more bananas than when I started!

Enlighten me on all of this, please!

13 comments:

Sue said...

I'm just starting to figure it out! Maybe over Thanksgiving weekend. I originally got my Facebook page to see my son's pictures, and then I discovered I had friends without really telling anyone I had a Facebook. Now I'm finding all sorts of people there I know. Feel free to friend me.

Dawn said...

Well, here's my honest opinion. I kinda see MySpace and Facebook as something for a younger crowd, like mid-20s and below (although, don't get me wrong -- I do see the value in having a MySpace page to promote your book). LinkedIn seems to skew older, and it also seems more professional than purely social.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't see the first two as valuable marketing tools (for what I do) because the people I want to market to are not on those two sites. As for LinkedIn, that would probably be useful for jobseekers or just reconnecting with people. But to get writing assignments? I doubt it.

Susan said...

Allison, I was thrilled when you added me as a friend, but I think that the number of facebook plugins and widgets is getting out of hand! I like the wall feature the best so that you can leave your friends notes or "gifts."

Sometimes I'll share interesting articles on facebook or troll for "real people" sources, but mostly it's a fun distraction (although I have found article ideas on MySpace). By the way, when did you move to Afghanistan? That's what it says is your location in the left sidebar.

Allison Winn Scotch said...

LOL, Susan! Didn't I announce that I moved to Afghanistan?? Oops, see, clearly, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm off to correct it.

Eileen said...

I have been avoiding it because the last thing I need is another procrastination device- but I can tell I will buckle soon in the fear that it is a great marketing tool and I am dooming myself and my book if I don't do it.

Tammie said...

I'm digging in my feet to resist the urge to create a MYSpace page but every now and then I dip a toe over there (when I'm not checking my teenage sons pages) and see writers/authors pages and wonder - should I?

Basically my blog does enough for me as an unpubed fiction writer.

But the temptation is great....

Jen A. Miller said...

I signed up because I was getting tired of all the crap on myspace, and I started a "Down the Shore with Jen" group. I think it'll be easier to remind people I know about my book that way so that when it comes out, they can buy it ;-)

Plus, I like being part of the "
Mike Miller's Crazy Ideas are Disappointing" group -- because Mike Miller is my brother, and his friends are funny :-)

Susan said...

Allison, I should clarify that the new country is on your blog, not your facebook profile. :)

Carleen Brice said...

It's totally beyond me. Blogging makes sense to me, but Myspace somehow just doesn't compute. Haven't even gone to Facebook. Guess I'm too old.

Kyddryn said...

I joined MySpace to read a favourite author's blog - it was the only way I could get to it, given my terribly limited understanding of all things web. I started blogging there because it was available. Oh, that looked so sad, like saying "I started smoking crack because it was there." Blogging makes a nice vent. Also, I have found a number of authors and other folks I enjoy, just by playing "follow the links". You are one of them. I suppose for me, it's all about the resources, entertainment, and procrastination. I know you don't know me from Eve, but you DID ask.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

Sara Hantz said...

I'm on Facebook, Myspace and Bebo.... Myspace I spend most time on. And I guess I use it to promote my book and meet others.... it's such a time waster though....

Brian said...

I think MySpace and Facebook are for younger people. I'm 39 years old and don't have a page on either site, but almost everyone I know who is 25-years and younger have pages on both.

What can I say, it's just not my thing.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I just started on LinkedIn.

I was hunting around today: it's obvious that there are people out there hunting for human resources. A friend I linked with who works in HR for a company pretty much confirmed this.

If you dig around you'll see there are also literary agents and people in the publishing world in there too.

Now whether or not you gain anything from being on LinkedIn is up in the air... but certainly, it can't hurt. My opinion is that you get out what you put in. Merely setting up a page and having a "if you build it, they will come" attitude will give you zero results. If you are diligent and dig, you might just make the right connection.