Social Networking Sites for Writers/Bloggers – My Faves

I recently changed my WordPress theme again (do we like?) mainly because I didn’t like the narrow design of Skeptical and I wanted something more minimal and clean looking, with a better font pack. I’m now using Able, with custom colors. I like the newly opened space on my blog. It looks clean and organized, but it’s also colorful and fun in a way that it wasn’t before. As I was re-organizing my sidebar content for the new theme it occurred to me, “Goodness gracious I have a ton of social networking sites. This seems rather unnecessary.” So I got rid of some of them. Which ones did I deem worth keeping, you ask?

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram

That’s it. That’s all. Now, here’s my reasoning behind the apps I kept.

Twitter is great for short bursts of information; little shout outs as it were. I also keep a feed of my 5 most recent Tweets in my sidebar because they’re short, completely text-based, and don’t add any unnecessary clutter. If I want to make a quick update about something, but don’t necessarily want to publish a whole blog post about it, I can just throw it up on Twitter. This way, people can still see it directly on my blog even if they don’t use Twitter. At the same time, I’m not spamming all my WP followers’ reader feeds with little updates multiple times a day.

Google+ still hasn’t really caught on in a lot of circles, but I love it and here’s why. Like Twitter and Facebook, you get a news feed. But unlike Twitter, it’s a great medium for sharing articles and media with photos and video. Many Plus users have begun using it as a primary blog, because it’s so visually pleasing and easy to maintain. I also love the Hangouts feature and have used it for on the fly writer’s chats with my critique group. If you’re promoting a new book or want to host an online chat for your fans, Google Hangouts is a great option for something like that. And how much the better if you already have a following there via your Plus page?

Instagram is my go to for photo sharing. With the new “view from the web” feature, there’s no reason to rely on an outdated clunky site like Flickr for image sharing anymore. No offense to Flickr, but I never cared for it very much even  in its heyday, and nowadays it’s more outdated than ever. I love the clean interface of Instagram, and the profile feature that lets you see all of a user’s photos in one easy to view page. The mobile app is great for grabbing pics on the go and sharing them with your friends either through the app, or online.

I had to. I’m not sorry.

You will no doubt notice one giant gaping whole here. I don’t use Facebook. Well, I use Facebook, but I use it only for private correspondence and personal friends. I will certainly create a Facebook account to promote my writing at some point in the future… say… if and when I get published. But until then it seems sort of pretentious and just unnecessary to promote… nothing really? I mean, I don’t have a book yet. I’m not selling anything. I had fan pages in the past for visually creative work I did, and for businesses I ran, but I’m not sure what I would have to contribute to a FB page for my writing. I’ll get back to you on that after I publish my first book. 😉 That being said, if you are a published author, you should absolutely use a Facebook fan page as a promotional tool.

Social networking has grown and changed so much over the last several years, and will obviously continue to do so. Myspace** has gone the way of the dinosaur, and so too will others. I think it’s fascinating to watch and analyze how we share information and how that sharing changes over time. Lol, probably why I’m a librarian. Information technology, yo. It’s good stuff. ;D

** The new and improved Myspace notwithstanding. We’ll see how that goes when it finally debuts sometime next year.

We has domain.

Pssst! Just sticking my head in real quick to say… Sorry guys! The site was down for a while this afternoon while I was fighting with the technology fairies. But we’re back now, and SURPRISE! We have a domain! Still running and editing the blog via WordPress, but I went ahead and snagged the .net domain just cause I can. Wanted the .com, but through a series of events with which I will not regale you… we’re at .net for now. Suffice to say that sometimes (more often than I would like) technology just sort of hates me. Lol.

Don’t believe me? Ask the ColaWriMos about how I lost over 15,000 words from my NaNo novel from Scrivener last week.

In any case, here we are!

~ Laura

NaNoWriMo excitement and my tech setup for this November

Our first regional plotting bash for November’s annual National Novel Writing Month is today! So excited to get together with some of my Columbia WriMos for the first time in almost a year!

In other news, I have been very bad to this blog over the last couple of months. Just terrible. But that’s how it goes. I read somewhere, it may have been something Stephen King said in his memoir On Writing – “The more words you write in your blog, the fewer words you write in your book.” Lol. It’s true. And I have been writing more on actual projects lately, so if this blog has suffered a bit as a result, so be it. That being said, I will now attempt to make up for some of that neglect with a detailed post about how I’m writing my NaNo novel this year! We can do it! We have the technology!

This November, I am pretty psyched to be trying out some new gadgets for my mobile write ins and new software for organizing my writing during NaNo. There is a thread over at the NaNoWriMo forums devoted to tech topics, with some helpful suggestions and resources for organizing your novel and juggling files from multiple devices throughout the month. Check it out here for more tips and tricks from fellow WriMos.

And here’s my current setup! Continue reading