Armchair BEA Discussion: The Blogger and the Microblogger
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Welcome to the second day of Armchair BEA! This four-day event is organized to coincide with the BookExpo America that is in full swing in NY. Those of us unlucky enough not to be in the most happening place this week are instead going to be a part of BEA from the cozy comforts of our home. (I know it's not much, but at least one can claim that feeling of participation!). Today, for my second post for the Armchair BEA, I'm going to analyze one of the biggest phenomena we noticed yesterday.
If you are like me, you must have stayed glued to your Twitter platform yesterday, following the #BEA10 and the #ArmchairBEA tweets. I was hoping to find out what was happening at BEA, while I wrote my thesis in parallel. What I didn't count on was that I would end up focusing almost entirely on the BEA tweets, while not getting even an iota of my work done!
Did you know that Amazon is on its way to be a full-fledged publisher within 6 months? You knew?
Did you know that the Kindle is the second most popular ereading device? (The good old computer is the first) Oh, you already knew that!
Err... so you have been on Twitter yesterday following the most-happening bookish tags? I knew I was not the only one!
Social media is all about well, social networking to me. I am still trying to see Facebook as more than a place to connect with friends. With all its sweet little annoying features, I find it hard to even envision it as a place to be professional. Ning, is an alternative to Facebook, with its many groups and networks, each dedicated to a specific purpose. But I've found the conversation in Ning to be one-sided at best. Occasionally, there are some great discussion topics set up, but on the whole, Ning needs to spruce up on the social level. On that count, Facebook is definitely more social.
But Twitter is going places in the book industry. Who thought that a 160 character piece of text can hold so much information, can convey as much news as a whole blog post can? By the time I read the online updates on the CEO panel, The Value of a Book, I had already heard (thanks to the tweets) and re-heard (thanks to the retweets) all the arguments. Yesterday's talk on social media focused on how authors and publishers can use it for their purpose. Let us discuss about how we can use social media for our blogs. Who doesn't like publicity? I'm sure we all have bright visions of our blog going places.
Twitter is a fine place to build followers. When people sign up for a twitter account, they accept that they will not be able to read every tweet that is burped out each day by the people they follow. Firstly, tweet as much as possible, but do not tweet too much, unless you are reporting from the most happening place on earth. This is quite relative, so you can only use your instinct here. You need to create a vivid online presence, not force it on others.
Whichever media you use to network your blog, make your micro-posts interesting enough. How do you do that, considering that most of us have our blog feeds connected to our social media accounts? Two suggestions - either make your post titles intriguing enough, or tweet about your most important blog posts again, but this time with an interesting premise.
Trust me, both are easy once you get the hang of what you want to publicize.When looking for a catchy phrase to use to promote your post, look at what you think is the interesting aspect of your post. Don't just focus on getting more followers or comments. Both will come if you go about it the right way - and that is, focus on the content. Considering that you can't write an entire paragraph to popularize your post, something short, maybe sweet, maybe not, can be quirky, definitely mysterious or intriguing is the way to go. It should be enticing the reader, pulling him/her in; you shouldn't be giving the full information, yet you should give enough for your followers to click on the link.
Finally, shorten your URLs! This is not very important, but believe me, some of those URLs are so long that they limit what you can type. Some of the popular ones are bit.ly, goo.gl, and TinyURL. That way, you get more space for yourself to write whatever you wish. Gotta love URL shorteners!
How do you make your voice known in social media?