Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Real Trick To Social Media

Social media can be a complicated business. While the internet, in general, and social media specifically have made it simpler, cheaper, and more efficient to spread a message across, literally, the entire world, it also makes accidentally stepping into a ill-considered quagmire or misspeaking so badly you’re considering shoving your whole leg up to the knee in your mouth All. Too. Easy.

And that’s to say nothing of the frothing horde of angry users who apparently view every online interaction as a kind of electron-driven Cyber-Thunderdome, where “Two Comments enter, One comment leaves”, and every hint of opposing opinion needs to be challenge, shamed, and, sometimes (horrifyingly) threatened.

For someone writing Middle Grade books or just wanting to get the word out about a new project or something awesome a friend has going on, it can all be a little daunting.

But really, my buddy and fellow Middle-Grade Minded contributor, Tom, already covered all of this with a much more colorful brush than I’ve got in a post last week.

The one thing he touched on, but didn’t quite cover fully, though, was one making genuine connections through online exchanges, and that’s exactly why I find social media so compelling. Don’t believe me? Well, as the old saying goes, showing is better than telling, so I present to you this Storify’d twitter conversation from Friday:

Fried Chicken at the Clam Back, (A play in 60+ tweets)

Admittedly, there’s nothing about this exchange that makes anyone’s manuscript stronger or necessarily improves someone’s art, but instead demonstrates how four or five kid-lit’ers from a variety of geographic places and backgrounds can use social media to great effect. Over the course of a conversation including things as ridiculous as singing clams and chicken disco with some people I knew and others I didn’t (yet), my book-loving, art-forward tribe grew a little bit and we all had a pretty good chuckle on a Friday afternoon.

And that, to me, is kid of both the why and the how of using social media, especially for someone who’s been a painfully shy introvert all of his life.


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