Social media is, to me, one of those things - alongside Rubik's cubes and trigonometry - that I have extreme difficulty wrapping my head around. Probably because there's just so much of it. Seriously, there are more sites where I can tell people about my recently-purchased donut than I can shake the aforementioned pastry at.
Unfortunately, if I seek to become an author, a platform in social media is an adviseable place to start. Which means I need to stop chewing my knuckles and making iffy noises and get in there.
Luckily for me, despite being something of an under-rock-dweller when it comes to some forms of internet communication, I was born in the generation that finds their parents' slowness with computers an imponderable mystery. Having had a good rummage through the blogs of the authors that I follow (because, seriously, what don't these guys know?) , I have made myself a battle plan for lining up my platforms for the day when I will be besieged by hordes of hungry fans. Hopefully.
I've started at the top, and gone for the easy options. This blog is about two years old now, and while it started out as a somewhat childish board for me to test out my public writing skills, I have recently done some hacking and sleeked it out into the somewhat lopsided, HTML-eating source of merriment that you know and love today.
But, unfortunately, my innate powers of procrastination have slowed me up more than a bit. As if I didn't have real life to distract me, the prospect of managing multiple social media accounts is daunting for someone with limited internet access and a schedule that looks like it's trying to self-destruct from the inside.
Thankfully, I have wonderfully pushy friends to help me through the tricky bits. It is thanks to Miriam Joy that I have finally got around to the task (after battling extensively with Google, YouTube and a malfunctioning wrist) of setting up my very own YouTube channel, CharleyRWriter - the link to which is now up there in the Links 'R' Us tab.
Also at Miriam's behest, I have finally got around to making myself an official authorly Facebook page - something that, with Miriam finally free of exams and St Mallory's nearing completion, was quite daft to be lacking.
From there, however, I find myself a bit stumped. I have no use for Twitter - I'd say that was more for celebrities who need to let their fans know tour dates, or comedians to entertain their adoring public than for teenage soon-to-be-undergraduates to mutter about conspiracies within UCAS and overcomplicated coursework instructions. Laziness also sets in a little - I can't be bothered with the upkeep of too many fortresses, lest the proverbial dragon creep up and bite me in the bottom on route between them.
However, I will say this: social media is awesome stuff. Not only can one keep track of one's friends, one's favourite authors, and all the new films one is itching to see, but from a more professional perspecive (not that I can talk yet *snort*) it's a great point for marketing. Surely the lofty universities will be just a little bit impressed when I tell them all about my writing-oriented blog, guest posts over at Mark Williams International, and how much all of you love me?
And, more than that, I get to meet wonderful people like you, my friends. I would probably still be scribbling half-finished stories on the back of my notebooks and never showing them to the world if meeting people like you hadn't inspired me to get up and go and do things and try things, and just "get out there" in general.
So now I turn the question over to you. What are your views on social media? Do any of you use Twitter, or have a YouTube channel? What about all those other imponderable pits of confusion, like LinkedIn and Reddit? Anyone want to enlighten me as to what in the name of biscuits those are about?
~ Charley R