I know this post is going to bore my mom because she doesn’t do social media, but the rest of you might find it at least a little interesting.
I don’t consider myself an incredibly social person (definitely more toward the introvert end of the scale), but I can be found all over the Internet. There’s this blog, obviously, and its mirror site on LiveJournal, but I’m also on Ello, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’ve also considered Tumblr, but I haven’t actually taken the plunge yet. (If I do do Tumblr, most likely what I’ll post are images with quotes from my stories and books.) Why so many, and what do I use them for?
* Ello: This is the new kid on the block. It started up this summer, but only really started getting buzz in the last few weeks. Right now, what it has to recommend it is mostly that it’s not Facebook. Literally — they say they don’t gather and sell your data, and they’re not serving up ads in your feed. They’re backed by venture capital, and it looks as if part of their long-term strategy may be to get people to pay for more premium features. Right now, WordPress doesn’t have a convenient way to share to Ello, so if I want people who follow me on Ello to know about my blog posts, I have to post them manually. I’ve only shared a few things so far on Ello, including a review of the new issue of Thor (yes, the one where the female version of Thor first shows up), and I may keep it for sharing the geekier things in my life.
* Facebook: The big gorilla. I use it to keep track of all the different communities I’ve belonged to over the years; I have friends from middle school, high school, college, and grad school on there. I have friends from a copyediting e-mail list and friends whom I’ve met online through writing groups. And, of course, I have family there, from brothers and in-laws to cousins I haven’t seen in person since before I was my son’s age. It’s how I know what’s going on in everyone’s life. Most of my posts aren’t public, and just like here on my blog, I don’t use my kids’ names. I do cross-post links to my blog posts on Facebook, and sometimes I get some interesting commentary there.
* Google+: I’m part of some private Google+ circles, where writing is discussed, and there’s one full of great tips on Scrivener, the writing software I use for novels. I also use it to follow creative types whom I don’t actually know, but I’m interested in knowing what they’re working on and getting insight into their creative process. I follow photographers, comic writers and artists, fiction writers, poets, and more. Do I learn a lot? I don’t know, but I tend to assume everything goes to feed the muse. I also cross-post links to blog posts here, but don’t post a lot else publicly unless I’m resharing something I saw that was just too cool not to spread wider.
* Pinterest: This has been around for a while, and I just started using it last week. I couldn’t see a lot of point in glorified corkboards on the Internet, but I’ll admit it’s a lot of fun. I’ve collected a lot of new desserts to try, some writing tips, links to books that friends have written (though I started with just ones I saw pinned already, so I need to actually pin things like Bonnie/Alice’s Bad Fairies), and also links to my mysteries, of course. I’m thinking it may be a useful place to store recipes I mean to try (but not just yet) or places and objects that I’d like to use in a story (but I don’t know which one yet).
* Twitter: Short bursts of commentary. Sometimes (rarely), I have something clever to say. Another mix of people, heavy on the writing, though also with editors, indexers, cartoonists, and cute pictures, and some just plain random accounts. I also follow things like the local school district, so I can see when they’re debating items like which days will be used to make up for snow days. Links to my blog posts get posted here, too, and at least a couple of people have found my serial that way.
I’m not a mover and a shaker on social media. I don’t have thousands of people hanging on my every word. I don’t often have a lot of my own to say; I much prefer to comment on what others are saying or doing or reshare their content. But if you happen to be interested, feel free to find me and follow me. And if you happen to have a favorite social media network that you think I should consider, feel free to tell me why in the comments!