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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Technology and Writing


T is for Technology and Writing


Technology has done wonders for the world. 

Thanks to technology we have computers we use to write our stories, as well as the Internet, a great device that can further businesses and academia. The Internet gave us email, websites, blogs and social networking, which has its own ballpark: Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Google + and the list goes on.

These Internet advancements have given us new ways to promote and market our books, which is invaluable. At the same time, they are causing us even more stress. Every time we join one of these sites, we get sucked in—it’s almost impossible to escape the addiction—and they eventually become a burden. Especially if we are using them to make connections, build platforms, and promote our work.

I know several bloggers who are going to stop posting blogs because they are questioning whether blogging is worth it. At the same time, authors are debating whether or not to continue with certain social media formats because they feel their efforts are being wasted.

That’s why I don’t jump onto new forms of social media instantly. That’s also why I’m not on every site either. You might have noticed I don’t have a Twitter account. The reason for that is because I simply don’t have the time and I’m afraid of getting sucked into it. Right now, I am satisfied with Facebook, Goodreads, Google +, and my blog.

So instead of joining every site available to promote yourself and your work, ask around and do research to find out which one(s) best suit you.

TIP #1: Keep the number of sites you join to a minimum to avoid burnout. 
TIP #2: Limit the amount of time you spend on each site, and designate certain times during the day when you can sign into them, such as before work or after dinner.
TIP#3: Don’t connect to social media with your cell phone! This will only mean you’ll be checking them every time you get a notification. 

QUESTIONS: Do you think technology is a blessing or a curse? Are you suffering from social media burnout? Which sites do you feel are most and least effective?

54 comments:

  1. Interesting thoughts. I have my Amazon Account, FB, Twitter, Google+ and Goodreads connected to my blog so I don't waste time posting to all of them separately.

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    1. Connecting sites can be a time saver.

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  2. I blog, and I'm on Goodreads. These are the social media outlets that work best for me at the moment. I won't rule anything out though. I might end up on Twitter someday. :)

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    1. My blog and Goodreads also seem to be the most helpful for me. I may be on Twitter someday but not anyday soon.

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  3. It's an interesting thought. Basically, published authors are telling me that EVERYTHING is a waste of effort but writing a really good book that generates word of mouth. However, I know from my day job (advising businesses on how to use social media/blogging for marketing) that online marketing IS the way to reach consumers now. People just are doing the wrong things. I see it every day. They do giveaways and book tours and all that rather than just creating good content, both on their blogs and social media sites. Content reaches customers. If they like what they read, they'll find your book. Blatant marketing is a complete waste of time online because people just aren't interested in spam, whether it's on Twitter, your blog, or in their inboxes.

    I'll keep saying this and nobody probably will listen, but I am exhausted with going to blogs, only to see nothing but marketing. Where's the content? That's the good thing about the A to Z challenge. At least people stopped sales-pitching for a month and created interesting content!

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    1. Great point, Stephanie. If the content isn't quality on the blog then why would my reader want to buy my book? Why would anyone subscribe to the blog? Blogging has been lots of fun for me as an author and a unique way to bond with my readers (potential book buyers).

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    2. I personally love using the Internet and social media to reach readers. Even if it's just one person, that's one person more. I agree with you, Stephanie, I'm also tired of seeing authors blasting their books on Facebook or their blogs. I hardly ever post about my books on my blog, but I do have some surprises coming up. And I try to change things up on my Facebook page.

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    3. I think it's important to ask yourself before posting if what you're posting will be worth commenting. If all someone will have to say is, "Nice cover," it's not worth it. Especially if that's every single blog you post!

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  4. One of the things I've tried to do with my social media is link them together - I use my blog as my hub and then send things from the blog to my other accounts.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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  5. It's definitely hard to keep a balance. Before the A to Z Challenge I had a system where I rotated through each form a media--based on the day of the week. That worked really well for me.

    I just have to say, you're missing out if your not doing twitter chats. They're epic, mind bending, and way too much fun. Still, I only join them once a week.

    True Heroes from A to Z

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    1. The A to Z Challenge has definitely put a hitch into my routine.

      I don't even know what a Twitter chat is and it sounds like something that I'd get addicted to. lol

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  6. I'm counting on the idea that if I write short, well written posts allowing a reader to get to know me, they will take a chance on downloading the novel I have written. Why would someone buy a book if they find a cluttered, unfocused, hard to read, (bad backgrounds and colored fonts) unedited blog. Don't we have to start with these problems as we expand our social media horizons?

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    1. Making sure out blogs are neat and updated from time to time is important. If we don't change things or post good content we won't ever get subscribers.

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  7. Blogging is really the only form of social media that I enjoy, but I do use Facebook and Twitter too. I was really interested in Stephanie's comments about content - one of my goals after the AtoZ is over is try to focus on that instead of just trying to figure out ways to market.

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    1. I also love blogging. It's so much fun and it's such a great community. My blog is mostly about writing so the most I've used it for in regards to promoting is discussing how to write certain themes I've written about. I do have a few posts planned for the future that I hope will be entertaining though such as a deleted scene.

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  8. Great topic choice, Chrys. I've been asking myself these very questions in the last couple of weeks. Your first tip, keeping the number of sites to a minimum is a great idea! Also, limiting the time spent is wise (something I don't do). I get sucked in to the fabulous vortex that is G+. The information is tremendous but when I get fatigued, that's it. I unplugged for 1 day last week and it was challenging. I even cheated. In spite of all of this I question the value or the return on the effort. Truly how many book sales am I making because of my facebook status updates or youtube videos? Agents will tell you to buld your social media platform and have a 'presence' but it's so time consuming and fun, that it gets in the way of writing. Which social media sites work for us has a lot to do with our personalities, I think. Twitter is fun because it's quick and easy and it's not solely about your latest promo. If that's all people are doing on there then it gets boring. Sorry this is so long.

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    1. I'm actually surprised at how many comments I've received so far on this one. For some reason I thought this post would have the fewest comments. I was wrong. lol

      That's the thing, isn't it? Agents tell you to build your platform by using blogs and social media, and we think we'll get thousands of readers that way but we don't. I do have my blog to thank for the readers I do have though.

      Don't be sorry for your long comment. I love long comments! :)

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  9. I pretty much just stick to blogging and Twitter--those are definitely my favorite social media sites. My Goodreads account is more for tracking what I read than networking at this point, and I just haven't had the time to figure out Google + yet. It's hard enough to keep up with what I'm already doing!

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    1. I just use Google+ to share my blog posts and other blog posts I like. That's about all the I do with Google+. I love Goodreads though, for reading and also announcing new books.

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  10. Believe it or not, the social media site you shy away from has brought me the largest amount of readers for my blog--Twitter! A lot of sites that seem worthwhile for writers, women, or ones for developing their careers, I'm sad to say don't bring in the readers or followers. You can see who comes from where using certain blogging services. I do certainly get sucked in but feel it is worthwhile overall, especially for exposure.

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    1. A lot of people say that Twitter is awesome and brings in the most readers, but it's just TIME! I never seem to have time and I don't need anything else to distract me from my writing at this point. I wish I had an assistant! lol

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  11. Finding and using what works for you is the best advice. :)

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  12. I am a social media junkie - I use Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+... the list goes on lol!

    I have to agree with those who say you are missing out by not using Twitter -- it's a goldmine! :D

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    1. I know, I know. Twitter is great, but I feel like I don't have the time or energy to tack on another social media site. I wish I had your stamina with it all. lol

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  13. Blessing that I don't have to rely on physical appearances. Curse that it does take a lot of time.
    I'm not on Facebook for the reason you cited - not enough time.

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    1. Exactly, Alex! Time is the big deciding factor.

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  14. One of the reasons I'd love to buy back my family's first two computers (152K Mac and the '93 Mac) is not only for the simpler word processing programs, but also so I won't have distractions from online things as I'm writing. The '93 computer did eventually have dial-up aohell and simple Internet, but it didn't have the power to open very large or complex websites.

    The Internet can be a huge time suck. It's important to limit one's time with social media, and try to imagine it's an era where they don't exist and one only uses the computer for writing.

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    1. I dream of having a laptop or computer that doesn't have the internet on it so all I'll use it for is writing. *sighs*

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  15. Ahh, technology.. friend or foe? I have so many thoughts about this but I will keep it to a minimum.
    First, great post, Chrys! I think most of us always have questions about our efforts when it comes to social media and other forms of building our networks and platforms.
    There are many FANTASTIC pros which stem from technology.. like being able to type our stories on the computer as well as our blogs. I don't agree with giving up on blogging. If anything, I've noticed Twitter and Facebook can be useless at times. But through blogging, we gain readers from our art and passion. We meet amazing people. If it weren't for blogging, I would have never established such a sweet friendship with you=)
    I definitely agree with keeping social media manageable. I have my blog, Twitter and Facebook and I will keep it at that. I also have a Goodreads account for my children's work. But as far as taking on any new means of networking, I just can't do it. I'm already going nuts with Twitter and Facebook as it is and it breaks my heart sometimes to sacrifice time for writing for social media instead.
    Sometimes, I wish we could go back in time. Go back to a place where if we wanted to write, we could write all day long instead of having to worry about catching up on Twitter and Facebook. Someday, I hope to write more than I have to worry about social media.

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    1. I could never give up my blog. It's where I've connected the most with people. Facebook has brought a few new people, but mostly the people who find me on Facebook come from my blog or Goodreads. And since Facebook is changing so much it is becoming more obsolete. Which is a shame because I love it.

      All the reasons you mentioned is exactly why I don't feel up to joining Twitter right now. I also wish we could go back to when Facebook and all these other sites didn't exist, but then we'd be stuck trying to find other ways to promote. haha Now isn't that a Catch-22? :P

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  16. My blog and twitter is all I use, I have goodreads too and screw facebook lol have google + but hate that too.

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    1. A lot of people are getting that screw Facebook attitude. haha

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  17. I have my blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads and google+. I with Pat on how I feel about that last one. Except for my blog, all of them are sadly underused. And I never use my phone for social media. Good tips.

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    1. I think my blog is the most effective. If I ever stopped using Facebook, etc. I would continue to post on my blog. :)

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  18. Technology is a friend, but like all friends you need to limit the time you interact with it!

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  19. I definitely fall into BOTH the it's a blessing and a curse camps. For the longest time I felt like I had to do everything and it felt like such a chore. Now I've narrowed it down to the ones I like (FB and Twitter) and try to keep my time there to a minimum.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

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    1. I once felt like I had to do it all, but realized that impossible. If we try to do it all we'll burn ourselves out and never have time to write.

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  20. Interesting questions. I think it's both a blessing AND a curse. It was definitely easier to work from home before the Internet and its many distractions, but then again, it's a lot easier to do research now. I've been a freelance journalist for a long time, and every time I wrote a story, I used to have to send it by courier on a disk. I certainly don't miss doing that!

    I've made some amazing friends through social media. Sometimes you can have more in common with someone halfway across the world than the people in your own city. But the flip side is that social media sites can make you feel lonelier, too.

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    1. It sure is both! The Internet is great for research, marketing, and even getting published. But it's a terrible distraction.

      I agree. I've also "met" many amazing people through social media and I'm glad I have. :) I understand what you mean that it can also make you feel lonelier. I've felt that way, too.

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  21. I love that you're emphasizing that less can be more with regard to social media because I've felt such pressure to do, for instance, Twitter, which is just not an easy medium for me!

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    1. Twitter isn't an easy media for me either, so why should we have to do something that's not for us at the moment (if ever).? We shouldn't. Thank you for stopping by, Colleen! :)

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  22. Good topic Chrys. I don't want to be a fence rider, but technology is both a blessing and a curse. We have immediate access to so much of value, yet that constant distraction can cause us to miss important real-world things going on.

    I can count the number of times that I have seen a kiddo playing sports make a great play, and then look at the crowd smiling at Mom or Dad. Unfortunately, they see mom and/or dad with their heads buried in a portable electronic device having missed what the child did.

    You are wise in looking for balance.

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    1. I am definitely a fence rider when it comes to technology! See the first sentence of this post. haha

      It is terrible that we're so plugged into our technology that we can' t even enjoy our children's accomplishments. Such a shame.

      Thank you. :)

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  23. Definitely worth thinking about! I work in tech so I'm pretty biased, but I think that getting at least some sort of presence on each network is really easy, even if your profile only serves to link to the network you are more active on. Your readers/users might be really into one network and not the other. For example I follow so few people on Facebook but follow a lot more on Twitter. Even if someone just has a stub Twitter account with a link to their site, at least I found them. If that person had removed their account entirely that would've been the end of the story. In the end, I'd say go with whichever network clicks with you best and most authentically :)

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    1. It can certainly be easy, but time consuming. It's not worth being on every network if you're not able to keep up with them and offer your followers/readers something worth-while on each one. If I added Twitter to my list of social media I would just want to link it with my Facebook page because I'd want to offer my Twitter followers something new and fresh than what they'd see on my Facebook if they also follow me there.

      Thank you for your comment, Matt! It made me think. :)

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  24. I did need some time before I got used to social media. It's terribly easy to get sucked in to checking them few times a day. I was hesitant about linking them to my phone previously, but after missing messages and comments and worrying that cyber-friends thought I might be ignoring them, I had to link them to my phone. Nowadays, I manage better. FB doesn't work that well for me. I always feel very conscious when I post my blog or book updates there. So sometimes I only share pictures I find on Pinterest (on Reading). Twitter and Google+ are for sharing other blogs, which works quite well. And my favourites are still Pinterest and Goodreads. Perhaps it's because I don't treat those two as 'marketing-mingling platforms.'

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    1. I was about one of the last people to join Facebook. haha I kept saying I wouldn't join no matter what, but then I was the only one on Myspace. All of my friends had abandoned me, so I had to make the change.

      When I first started with my author page I was worried about everything I posted too, but now I don't let it get to me. I post what I want to post. :)

      I haven't used Pinterest because it sounds like another site I'd get sucked into for hours. But it does sound like fun. :D

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  25. Heh, I have a lot of social media profiles, but I don't really do much "marketing" via them. I use Instagram a lot for pictures of my family, I try to be witty on Twitter maybe once a week, and occasionally I'll throw a line up on Facebook. But other than that, I'm not a social girl. I like blogging though. That's fun, so I'll do that.

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    1. I'm not social in real life, but being social on social media is easier. haha Blogging is fun! :D

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  26. Technology is wonderful to allow access for everyone, but there is so much of it, it really is a pain. I have a list of what I have to do every time I launch a book and it just keeps getting longer. As for social media, I find Facebook virtually useless, G+ is very good for spreading the word to like minds and Twitter is best for getting a message to more people at the same time.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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    1. I agree that technology is great and a pain. lol I still enjoy Facebook but it is becoming useless because of all of their new rules and the restrictions they're putting on pages.

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