July 26, 2012

Media Evolved and Why Your Blog No Longer Matters

I started my first LiveJournal back in February 2003. Later than some, earlier than many, well before Blogger appeared. Then I had a writing-focused LiveJournal. Then I finally made the switch over here. And I like my journals, whether it's been in LJ form or Blogger form. I don't "blog" as the term means. I don't post frequently enough or in a topical enough fashion to warrant calling it a blog. I journal, which I prefer because it's lower stress, lower demand, and I get to talk about whatever I'm in the mood to talk about.

In the future I hope to be able to post things like "I just signed with X agent" and "X agent just sold my novel to X publisher!" and "Check out a preview of my cover, I just made a mess in my pants!" These are all things that I want to post. Years from now I can look back at those posts and remember fondly the excitement I felt with I signed with X agent and the excitement-turned-fear of selling my novel to a publisher (a three-book deal? But what if I choke?!?!). That's why I keep going with this thing. It's a post-modern scrapbook.

Here's the thing, the people that say you need a blog to establish your platform? Yeah...not so much. Not any more. Blogs peaked and are now on the strong decline. The titans of writing bloggers have gone away or strongly decreased their output. They're exploring video, trying more convenient avenues like Facebook fan pages, or just not wanting to make the effort because Twitter is so much easier.

A blog is no longer necessary to establish your platform. You want to interact with like-minded people or people who are fans of your work? Get on Twitter. You'll speak with agents, you'll speak with peers, you'll speak with fans. You'll communicate in near-real time because we're all hooked up and jacked in. It won't let you look back years from now and remember fondly that time you tweeted a yfrog pic of your cover. But it will get you the largest and fastest distribution to people interested in what you do, with the most dynamic audience you could hope for. It will change, like the internet always does, but for now, Twitter is king (or queen if you prefer; I consider Twitter gender neutral).

You want proof? Twitter has been down most of the day. People are on Facebook freaking out that Twitter is down. If Blogger was down, would the same thing happen? No. The former as an immediate bridge to your audience. The latter is a library for your audience to come read at their convenience.

So let's add this to the list of how to spot a phony claiming to be a social media expert:

1. If a person tells you to be on Facebook and then starts talking about "Friends," they don't know what they're talking about. If you're on Facebook, you create a fan page. It does not require you to approve anyone wanting to follow you (as some of these people will be complete strangers you don't want to share your life and information with) and there are no limits on how many people can be a fan (whereas there are limits to how many friends you can have).

2. If a person tells you to get a blog to establish your platform, tell them they're in the wrong decade. You need Twitter. You need a blog to catalog your work, but if you have no work to catalog, your blog will net you similar returns only after a lot more work.

2 comments:

  1. My blog no longer matters? Sure, that's your opinion, but your opinion is wrong. My blog never mattered.

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  2. Awww, your blog matters to me! I love your blog. But you'd have a much larger platform if you were that witty on Twitter. :D

    ReplyDelete