Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To Connect or Disconnect

To Connect or Disconnect. . .

Several months ago, after hearing Neil Plakcy http://www.mahubooks.com speak at my local FRW chapter I took the step and joined Facebook.

He spoke about the benefits of networking online and the opportunity to connect with old friends. Let them know you’ve written a book.

After getting over my fear that the world would know everything about me, I took the step. After all, if the teenage receptionist at my doctor’s office has access to my weight, age and social security # what else is there to hide?

I’ve become addicted. Most of my friends are other writers – some I know, but many I’ve never met before. If something about them sparks my interest I go to their website. I’ve discovered some books that I might never have read. I love hearing about their good days and bad days. You know those days when writing a ½ of a page is a success story.

I became a fan of some of my favorite writers. Checking out their fans and friends and asking them to become my friend is the same as joining any group where I share a common interest. Now I have friends that I know are readers.

There are competitions where friends challenge each other to see who can get the most friends in 24 hours. I am not that obsessed and at the moment have about 150 friends. I am out there to network so I rarely deny a friend request.

I became a fan of SEP who very graciously suggested the writers on her wall tell all her fans about their books. What an opportunity!

Glenys O’Connell http://www.glenysoconnell.com suggested setting up an idea file on the computer. The file replaces those unreadable Post-its, napkins and backs of sales receipts where we scribble ideas. It has helped me organize.

In a world where we don’t feel secure leaving our cell phones or BlackBerrys at home, we fear that if we don’t hear from someone via some method of staying connected something has happened.

How many methods of staying connected do you have? The next step for me just might have to be an iPhone.

Friend me on Facebook – I’m sure you know how to do it.


Sandy Cody said...

You've touched a subject on my mind these days. I'm on Facebook, but am not very active. Your suggestions to make better use of this tool are helpful.


Anonymous said...

You're right on target. With the interactive, and often times realtime mediums available today, there are some great networking tools to help grow not only one's reader base, but also their awareness of others.

Laurie Alice Eakes said...

I've just gotten active on Facebook, though I've had an account for a couple of months. It's a bit addictive, these vignettes into people's lives, and it's a great deal of fun, too.

I'll friend you soon. Just starting to build up my friend list.

I have a Motorola Q, which is basically a Blackberry, and love being able to check e-mail wherever I am. Hey, if I'm stuck waiting somewhere, I'm not wasting time reading something in which I'm not really itnerested; I'm taking care of business--or pleasure--so much is done by e-mail these days.

I love being connected. Was in the SUV in the middle of Tennessee when my agent called to tell me I had a three-book sale to Baker/Revell. Just think if I hadn't had a cell phone and was in the middle of my move across country...

Zelda Benjamin said...

Sandy - I was unsure at first how far I wanted to go on
Facebook. Now I private message many of my Facebook friends.
Laurie and Anonymous- Realtime is a wonderful way to stay connected. I like finding out info when it happens.

Carolyn said...

What a great blog, Zelda. It is a good reminder to stay connected. I haven't done the Twitter thing yet, but it's a wonderful way to network.

Thanks for reminding us.

Glenys said...

Zelda - thank you for quoting me about the idea file - glad it was helpful!
One thing about networking - it can become an end in itself and eat into writing time. I know this to be true!
I'm off now to 'friend' you on Facebook.

Zelda Benjamin said...

Glenys- Thanks for the great tip. I know only too well how all this connecting takes away from my writing time.
Carolyn - I don't Twitter either.

mulligangirl said...

I really enjoyed this post. I too am new to FB and had the same irrational (at least I hope they’re irrational) fears about privacy. But then someone pointed out that pretty much everyone is just one good Google search away from having most of what they would consider private information exposed anyway. If you can’t beat it, join it, I figure.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

I KNOW I'm very old-fashioned, but I don't want to be in touch with everyone all the time. Could be because when I was a high school teacher, I couldn't use a cell during the day AND I had plenty of contact with 150 students. Congratulations on those of you that have joined the new technology!

Zelda Benjamin said...

Jane- I have a friend who feels the same way. She doesn't understand why anyone would want to connect to so many people. She does, however, like to hear about the old friends that have contacted me and asked about her. I guess she'll stay connected via my connections.