Storytelling and Social Media: The Evolution From Passive Audience to Active Experts, by Belinda Dorio (guest post)
Once upon a time, in a land far far away there was no internet, iphones or ipads. It was a land where people got their information from the television, newspapers and radios. Where the word Facebook may have referred to a new compact make-up, where if you told someone to ‘Google it’ they may have thought you were asking them to do something very different than jump onto the convenient search engine that most of us love and use constantly.
I was five or so when the internet emerged in our home. But I don’t need to tell you how our technological advancements have changed the way we live. I know, you’ve been told to death.
But what I wanted to talk about was the influence social media has had on how we interact as colleagues, peers and fans. I was watching The Voice last week, and was more impressed by the tweets being shown at the bottom of the screen than the singing. We are linked together in a way where we have become much more than passive audiences.
People are invited to comment and leave opinions. It turns people from viewers and/or readers into reviewers and critics. As writers, we can be connected like never before to other writers, readers and fans. Sites like Goodreads allows for an amplified ‘word of mouth’ opportunity. It allows people to market themselves and their abilities on sites like YouTube and Figment (formerly known as Inkpop) and invites people to capitalise on the abundant opportunities available to them.
For YA writers and readers I really feel that social media and a love for books can go hand-in-hand. When we like something, we want more. We can read a book and then jump onto a forum to discuss it and review it. We can torture ourselves by discovering how long it’s going to be until the next book is released, we can even interact with our favourite writers via email or on their blogs/websites.
Everyone is an expert, and I love it.
If you’re a teen, I’d encourage you to start your own blog and/or to get onto Goodreads. Discuss anything you want, meet new people and discover the diversity of opinion that’s out there.
In my opinion, writers should all have a blog, as well as a Facebook and a Twitter account, so take the plunge! Bestselling author Maria V Snyder will always try to respond to reader’s questions and comments via email or Facebook and I know Rhiannon Hart is an avid Tweeter and blogger. I’ve never met SM Johnston but we interact online regularly and I love her work.
The days of the lonely writer with only a blank page and a blinking cursor for company are long gone, and I couldn’t be gladder.
So get online, get involved. There is a world-wide community out there waiting to talk to you!
Check out these sites to get started:
“Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you’re into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here”
Review and discuss your favorite- or not so favorite books.
Vine Leaves Literary Journal is an online magazine of vignettes.
Create your own blog.