I was going to call this post “Is blogging dead?” but that just sets up a conundrum I can’t wrap my head around, not after the week I’ve just had.
But this question has been on my mind a lot lately, for a lot of reasons.
Promotion and social media exposure, a strong internet presence, is absolutely mandatory for an author. Blogging used to be THE primary method of getting yourself out there, and if you had a personal blog and participated in a group blog like Murderati, or several, even better.
But so many group blogs have shut down, and authors seem to be burned out on personal blogging.
And then there’s Facebook.
I hear from a lot of people that FB is on the decline but it seems to me that the conversations that used to be had in the blog comments, and the large communities of “backbloggers,” a lion’s share of that action has moved to Facebook, and that that aspect of FB is growing.
Blogs are in-depth entities. The joy of a blog is that you can really explore a topic (as well as sometimes do some virtuoso writing), and the comments that follow deepen the conversation, and there’s something compelling about the FEELING of a closed, fixed space that a blog is that makes it a sort of virtual salon. People return to their favorite blogs. I think of Murderati as a PLACE, where I can find people I know and where other people can drop by and join the party. I love that virtual reality aspect of it.
But blogging takes a lot of time, not just for the blogger. It takes actual effort to read a blog, in that you have to go to a particular place to get to the conversation. If the conversation there isn’t what you were looking for, you have to look elsewhere.
Facebook is a different kind of experience. It’s all right there in front of you. You throw a topic up there and whoever happens to be passing by on the endless river of “feed” may or may not jump in. You never know who or what you’re going to get, although I do notice a base of regular commenters coming back to my Facebook page over and over, so there is an aspect of place to it as well.
FB has tailored a social media expereince that is either still a novelty, or possibly more suited to the kind of social media experience that we are looking for – quick, fun, convenient interaction that gives you a buzz of relevance without much work.
I’ve heard it referred to as “microblogging” and I think that’s a perfect description.
Now, I’m speaking from a very privileged position of being part of an established and respected group blog and also running a very popular blog of my own – my Screenwriting Tricks for Authors blog is getting more traffiic than ever (though far fewer comments these days), and a great deal of that traffic is for much older posts that are constantly reposted and linked to as people discover the blog and read the accompanying workbooks. It’s a hugely important selling tool for my nonfiction books.
But lately I feel like I’m casting a far wider net with FB than I can with blogging. Any post I make I get comments from people I don’t know at all. It’s a quick interaction that introduces me to a huge number of people who may remember me and the fact that I’m an author, which is the groundwork of all promotion – name recognition. And I enjoy the format of Facebook. It’s so visual – which puts it light years ahead of Twitter, in my opinion. There’s an aspect of improv to it, in that I can always find something fun to say about something someone else has posted. I am, for better or worse, a social butterfly, and I love to have random conversations with large groups of random people.
I know, I know, it’s sounding like I’ve just discovered Facebook (Where exactly has she BEEN for six years?you’re asking). But that’s not exactly true. I was on it before it went public. It’s only recently that I’ve felt that I can use it properly and that it’s at least for the moment being a form of social media promotion that gives me the most bang for my time. Time being always of the essence – not just for writers, but for everyone who reads them.
So today, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Do you think blogging has moved to Facebook? Have you had luck microblogging over there?
And while we’re on it, where does Twitter figure in? If people ARE leaving FB, where are they going? I’m really interested in what you all have to say about it.
And for comparison of the two media, here’s my Facebook page, where you can find the same discussion topic (third topic, full page.)