Writing and social media

It should be obvious by now from the content of this blog that I’m an aspiring author and more than occasional poet. I’m also a heavy user of social media to reconnect with friends and acquaintances and to find resources relevant to my interests (writing, game development, programming, politics, etc. …). So I’ve been thinking: what “social media” tools are there for writers?

The obvious one for me is WEbook, which I wrote about two years ago. It’s a “social network” for writers, readers, and editors. As a reader, there’s a lot of good writing on the site that I can read for free (unfortunately, Sturgeon’s Law applies), and if my writing got more visibility I’m sure I would get helpful reviews or other criticism. (If or when I get some more time to do reviewing myself, I suspect that will improve.) WEbook also runs the PageToFame contest, which for writers gives your pieces a shot at being published for a reasonable entry fee (and “coupons” for a free entry come up with reasonable frequency), while for readers the writers’ entry fee improves the dreck ratio significantly. (Writers thinking of submitting book-length fiction to PageToFame should be warned that [the “page” you’re asked to submit is only about 250 words](https://shinecycle.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/half-page-to-fame/”>the “page” you’re asked to submit is actually only about 250 words), which is rather annoying, but if you get past the first round you’ll be asked to submit quite a bit more. The limit for “shorts”—now apparently only short stories, but formerly poetry, essays, blog posts, and the like—is much more reasonable.) The main drawback of WEbook for me, other than what I’ve already mentioned, is that I don’t have any friends on the site yet. Social media isn’t much fun without anyone to be sociable with. Since I’m on it already, I recommend it to any of my author (or interested-reader) friends. [Update, March 2013: I’ve run across several cautionary warnings from people who read the Terms of Service more closely than I, and WEbook went down and apparently bankrupt. The domain is now back up, under some self-identified fans, but I’m cutting ties with the service.]

I’ve run across references to other social networks, etc., for writers. (I had one in particular in mind, but when I restarted my browser sometime last week the tab I had it open in said that Google thought it was a malware-carrying site, so I won’t link to it now.) Do any of you have any recommendations?

I’ve also come across some potentially-useful tools. Most notable there is Wridea, a “social brainstorming” tool. One of these days I’ll get my ideas (as opposed to tasks, which I manage with Pivotal Tracker) into Wridea, and I’ll want some help brainstorming. Any volunteers? And does anyone have any more tools they’d like to share?

I subscribe to a few writers’ blogs, and some blogs about writing. I link to the more individual ones of these in my blogroll (in the right sidebar if you’re reading this on the blog, rather than on Facebook or in a blog reader). Do any of my readers have blogs that I don’t already follow? And are there any writing blogs that I should read, but don’t?

Beyond getting help, another purported benefit of social media is a wider audience. I have this blog’s posts imported into Facebook as Notes [Ed. note: No longer, but WordPress Publicize and NetworkedBlogs both push them there as “articles”], but I don’t know how many read them. Feel free to “share” or otherwise link to posts you think are insightful or otherwise likeable. (Anyone with a blog, it would be a kindness if you linked to me in your blogroll.) I’m trying—with little success—to build an audience, so that when I have something that truly needs promotion (most immediately the book of poetry I’d like to put together, probably, but eventually the novels) I’ll have people that I know are interested.



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