More than one person has talked with me about the Boulder Writers Alliance Expo that took place this week and what they thought was a clear shift in perspective in the writing community. Most think of writers clunking around with pen or pencil in hand and a notepad, while they furiously scratch their heads, as if doing so will suddenly make ideas drop out. Not quite like that any more, or at least the genre has evolved enough to keep this part hidden. This event had such a technology bent, you could easily have confused it with a meeting of the RMIUG. For my part, my work consisted of publicity for the event and a speaking opportunity, covering the virtues of marketing and social media use. A common theme of the night was technology and social media and at my table, people were sometimes torn about the uses for social media as a use of their time.
While I can’t say social media is for everyone, I can say this: it’s out there for everyone. Depending on what you consider a good expenditure of your time, you’ll have to decide if using it fits with your own business model. In my work, I see a lot of my function being a “connector”: I connect clients to people that can help them with something I cannot; I connect people with information that helps them run their business better. Social media allows me to do this more easily as a coach and copywriter, and I reach a broader range of people. This blog is a great example: sure, I could send this note to a bunch of people in my email address book, but really, who the heck has the time? Instead, I blog it up and my subscribers get/read it when they want. For my tweets (Twitter.com) I’m able to share my daytime activities, give feedback to clients through direct messages, and generally just keep my finger on the pulse of news in business; I forward articles throughout the day that impact my clients. I have to admit, Facebook and MySpace are secondary mediums to me, and I really use them for personal interaction and interests, but I am a devote user or LinkedIn, and I encourage every one of my clients to use it, too. (LinkedIn.com) It’s not only a terrific way to connect with other business people and friends, the answers/question areas are loaded with really great advice and knowledge that is shared freely by experts the world over.
How does this all effect the writer? It provides an endless source for which to draw ideas from, plus, connects you with people to interview for your piece and people to quote. In addition, research becomes a bit easier than the old days, just make sure to verify your source! Also, it provides a bit of levity during the day, because let’s face it, some articles are just too stupid to not make you laugh.
So writers, unite! Social media can be your friend and you can still hold that pen in your hand and long-hand that draft, but let technology help you create a network of resources, and who knows, you just might make a couple friends in the process.