I have pretty much abandoned Facebook these days for all the usual reasons: too time consuming, too many games, too many apps that require your personal information. I heard some social media expert on the radio not too long ago saying Facebook would only last five to ten more years. Sounds about right.
Instead I spend my social media capital over at Twitter. It’s the Internet of the now and the future. One hundred forty characters. Too short to bore your friends and acquaintances with details of your personal life. Too brief to ramble on about some cause de jour. Just a sentence or two, a link, and you’re done.
I’m closing in on 3,000 followers and follows, and do my best to limit follows to people who have something to do with the writing biz. That way, I’ve made connections with many cool writers and editors around the world, including some very influential folks I would never meet on Facebook or any other way. (For example, Oprah.com’s Deputy Editor followed me today, and I immediately followed back. I suspect some of these folks think I work for the LA Review of Books instead of the LA Review literary journal, but I’ll never tell.)
There’s a bit of a trick to getting the Twitter numbers up, told to me by a friend who just happens to have a book that includes the strategy—see This Week’s Pimp, on my home page. So now I spend an average of an hour a day finding and following writers, and dumping people who don’t follow me back. (Like my own LA Review, apparently too good to follow back one of its own editors. I could unfollow you guys, you know.)
And in spending that time I’ve come across so many people who want to write and read. It’s inspiring to see so many who love the things that I do, but it’s also a bit sobering, knowing that most of those writers are trying to get their novels published, just like me.