Thursday, 27 September 2012

The good, bad and the ugly of social networking

These days, it's banged into writers that they need to get stuck into social networking, but it can be a minefield. And it can kill your writing.

Here are the things I've learnt -
 

The Good
The internet makes the world seem a smaller place. You get to meet people you might not otherwise meet (in the cyber world at least). It's a great place to meet other writers.

Through social networking, I've discovered markets (and competitions) for writers that I wouldn't have otherwise known about. Not just in the UK, but worldwide. This increases opportunities for writers. Now thanks to epublishing you don't need to live in say Australia to be published there.

As long as you set time limits, you don't need to spend hours on social networking. Twitter for instance can take no time at all and you can tweet when you're waiting at a bus stop.

You can join forces with another writer to write a book.

The Bad
Most people you meet on Facebook and Twitter are lovely, but there are some disturbed people out there. You may find yourself being cyber stalked.

Social networking eats into your writing time, big time. Sometimes you just have to pull the plug on your computer.

Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter and other sites can help you raise your profile, but I'm not sure it helps sell books. A blog - in my opinion and a website - is far more effective.

Sites talk big about all the precautions they take to stop bullying and harrassment, but often they are useless when you are targetted.

The downright ugly
There are trolls, or as I like to call them trawls because they trawl sites, especially Facebook and they deliberately set out to upset people.

For example, if you post something about racism they'll post a racist comment or say that black people are too overly sensitive about being called the n word. Note - this is a real example.

There are some seriously weird people online. Old men posting comments on sites aimed at kids. If that's not a paedophile alert I don't know what is. People paid by companies to post comments, who often don't even hide the fact.


Bullying A Parent's Guide is now out in Kindle in the USA and in the UK. Priced at £3.99.

1 comment:

  1. This is all so true. So far I haven't been cyber-stalked but I have been through the rest that you wrote about.

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