I think this deserves its own post, although we’ve been discussing it in various comment threads lately anyway. Interestingly, Writers’ Digest magazine has an article on this topic this month, so it seems we who hang out here are not the only ones talking about it.
Personally, I have this blog and my Wandering Mind blog, and a personal Web site that is all just family/genealogy stuff, nothing writing related. Additionally I have accounts at Goodreads, and LinkedIn, Care2 which I had nearly forgotten about. Wikipedia’s entry on social networking sites lists 153 known sites from around the world, obviously not all of interest to writers.
I have to say that I, for one, resent being told that if I don’t put up all these silly useless sites that I am harming my chances for success. In addition to the sites and blogs mentioned in the poll, there are also various instant messaging clients available, other social networking sites (I was sent an invitation to one called Tagged, but discovered they have serious issues with confidentiality and spamming people) that I’ve lost track of. I was invited to join something called Plaxo, which I still don’t know anything about. And every time one of my ‘friends’ invites me to one of these sites, they have given out my e-mail address which, guess what? Results in more spam.
So when do we say enough? I can hardly keep up with blogs and keeping my own blog going. I do not want my time consumed by superficial interactions on the internet. I want to write. Maybe that’s naive and unrealistic, but how many of these things are we supposed to keep up with?
I don’t get it. How did writers ever succeed without all these sites and the internet? Really, someone explain it to me because there doesn’t seem to be an out anymore. The industry is virtually demanding it of us now, so how did writers manage before the computer age?
When I’m interested in getting info on a favorite band, such as when will they be playing my area, I don’t go to their MySpace page, I go to their regular Web site. I see all these silly people leaving comments on MySpace, as if the band members are actually going to read them and respond. And “friend” them? Why would I “friend” someone like Trent Reznor? The man probably has nothing to do with the page, they hire people for that. He tried Twitter and gave it up after some vicious comments started coming in about his fiancee. That’s a little too much interaction with fans if you ask me.
There are too many nutjobs in the world, and I think letting people think they are getting ‘close’ to you via all these online avenues almost invites stalking. As we discussed on the last post, people don’t necessarily want to know the author anyway, they want to meet the characters from the books that they fell in love with. I have no answers, I’m just annoyed that I have to waste my time with this nonsense.