« Karen’s Law by A. J. Llewellyn | Main | Is That A Banana Or You Just Happy To See Me? »

February 19, 2009

Adrianne Brennan: Social networking sites--useful or a distraction?

blood and mint chocolates Pictures, Images and Photos

[This is a guest post by erotic romance writer Adrianne Brennan.]

Facebook, MySpace, Livejournal, Twitter, Bebo, Glee, LinkedIn, Friendster, Orkut, Goodreads...there must be a million social networking sites out there. These days at least one of them winds up in the news for one reason or another. Facebook's TOS issues have caused quite a stir, and it was said that they aided President Obama in his campaign.

But how useful are they? For social creatures and extroverts like myself, they provide interaction with people of similar backgrounds and interests whom I never would've met had it not been for the chosen Web 2.0 medium. For introverts, they are typically seen as a pain, only useful to know what a bunch of their friends are all up at the same time to without checking a million different sites.

I personally hang out at these sites for the most part:

http://www.twitter.com/adriannebrennan
http://www.myspace.com/adrianne_brennan
http://adriannebrennan.livejournal.com
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1126177151
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adrianne-Brennan/37098370764
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=35505550974

What ones are your favorites, and which could you do without? I personally prefer Twitter and Facebook these days, and Livejournal remains a favorite. I admit that I can't stand MySpace and while it's undergone a lot of improvements over the past several months I still find it to be annoying and buggy. Do you find that they're overrated, or a time suck from more valuable things such as smelling the flowers or writing your latest novel?



Love & Magic,
Adrianne


~ "Where love and magic meet" ~
http://www.adriannebrennan.com
Experience the magic of Blood of the Dark Moon:
http://www.adriannebrennan.com/botdm.html
Take a bite out of Blood and Mint Chocolates:
http://www.adriannebrennan.com/bamc.html
Dare to take The Oath in this fantasy series:
http://www.adriannebrennan.com/books.html#the_oath

Posted on February 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

Comments

I totally agree with Adrienne about MySpace. It's too glitchy. I have a page only so I can read the Myspace blogs of people who only use Myspace. I wish there was a way to put those blogs on Google Reader so I don't have to go to Myspace at all.

Livejournal is very useful and easy. The smartest thing I did was to filter my "friends" into custom groups to make them easier and faster to read. The security levels are nice. The interface is easy. I love the way it's totally customizable.

I tried Blogger. I still have a Blogger account so that I can comment on other Blogger journals. But really, I don't like it.

Twitter is my favorite. I especially love to follow other authors, both published and unpublished. People link to some interesting things in their tweets (like Adrienne just did this blog) so it's definitely expanded my internet horizons. I got my mother onto Twitter. She has WebTV instead of a computer and Twitter is easier for her than a traditional blog. She likes to check it several times a day to see what I'm up to and how I'm doing.

The problem with social networking, of course, is distraction. I should really be working on my novel right now...

Posted by: Dana at Feb 19, 2009 11:31:40 AM

I use all of them. And blogger. I have a Hi5 pages that I don't really use. Had Xanga and Vox too but got rid of them. Signed up for bebo...still have no idea what it is.

Posted by: jenn nixon at Feb 19, 2009 11:36:51 AM

Twitter is probably my main source of communication because it's so immediate. I love that.

As far as standard blogging goes, I have a LiveJournal, but I find it's more useful (for me) in the personal networking area than in the professional networking. However, I do engage in a bit of communication there. My regular blog (on my website) is at Blogger -- this works well for me because it allows me to have a nice-looking blog on my website and at the same time allows me to comment on other .blogspot journals.

MySpace used to be a lot of fun -- years ago -- but it's changed quite a bit and hasn't really kept my attention much. I'm still there, though, for the friends who prefer MySpace. I also have a Facebook.

I'm also on LinkedIn, which is a pretty nice site.

Twitter's my favorite, though. I think Twitter has spoiled me because I love to get instant information from people now and can't stand to wait. :)

Is social networking a time suck? Oh, goodness, yes. Does it help connect us to each other in useful and exciting ways? Absolutely!

Posted by: Irene L. Pynn at Feb 19, 2009 11:56:29 AM

Twitter is probably my main source of communication because it's so immediate. I love that.

As far as standard blogging goes, I have a LiveJournal, but I find it's more useful (for me) in the personal networking area than in the professional networking. However, I do engage in a bit of communication there. My regular blog (on my website) is at Blogger -- this works well for me because it allows me to have a nice-looking blog on my website and at the same time allows me to comment on other .blogspot journals.

MySpace used to be a lot of fun -- years ago -- but it's changed quite a bit and hasn't really kept my attention much. I'm still there, though, for the friends who prefer MySpace. I also have a Facebook.

I'm also on LinkedIn, which is a pretty nice site.

Twitter's my favorite, though. I think Twitter has spoiled me because I love to get instant information from people now and can't stand to wait. :)

Is social networking a time suck? Oh, goodness, yes. Does it help connect us to each other in useful and exciting ways? Absolutely!

Posted by: Irene L. Pynn at Feb 19, 2009 11:57:02 AM

I admit that I am addicted to Twitter, and Livejournal is a lot of fun. I usually get special cross-posting software so Tweets go to both LJ and Facebook. Saves me a ton of time.

Posted by: Adrianne Brennan at Feb 19, 2009 1:06:06 PM

I like the various Ning sites, and Livejournal is good for informal chatter. I'm new to Facebook, and I find it's less user-intensive than MySpace. I love MySpace for the graphics and how I can update with all kinds of images, but it's not exactly user-friendly. Plus MS kills links to buy pages for my books sometimes. When I first signed onto MS, phishers deleted my account three times. Talk about annoying!

I also have a forum at Coffee Time Romance, which I like very much. Since everyone is talking about how good Twitter is, I might have to try it. I have a LinkedIn account, but I never use it.

Social networking sure is a time suck, but I have to do it to promote myself.

Posted by: The Countess at Feb 19, 2009 2:21:41 PM

The networks I've been using most recently are facebook and twitter. I read a few friends' livejournals. I'll pop over to various blogs in both romance and horror if someone points out something of interest. I keep forgetting to check my myspace. I used to love myspace, but facebook is so much easier and friendlier to use. Ravenous Romance, my latest publisher, has a blog forum that I've started to write in. I also belong to LinkedIn and Shelfari and a couple of others that I try to keep on top of now and again.

Networking is a total time suck but I love seeing what everyone else is up to. And I figure, it's a harmless way to promote my books, too. Why write all these books if no one knows about them to read them?

Posted by: sephera giron at Feb 19, 2009 2:39:30 PM

Hi Adrianne,

I like the Ning sites, but they're more complicated than they used to be. To me Facebook is difficult. I'm really used to MySpace, although, I need to do something with my front page. I erased it a few months ago and have never gotten to reinstalling a cover.

I think all of this stuff is a time waster, but we have to do it. It's part of our job as writers.

Posted by: Sandy at Feb 19, 2009 6:25:17 PM

Some of the sites can help a lot but some are just addictive and distracting.....I have been on MySpace for a long time and it has been a great place to meet new authors and network....

Posted by: Savannah Chase at Feb 19, 2009 6:44:09 PM

About the only social networking site I have much to do with is MySpace. And I don't spend much time there for just the reason others mentioned.

Twitter didn't really catch my imagination for some reason. Haven't been there in months.

I've got a Blogger blog, but don't update it often.

I'm aware of the others but haven't visited them.

My main social networking is done on forums; The Author's Hangout at Literotica, Romance Divas and Absolute Write. Those places feel much more intimate to me and it's easier for me to interact there.

Posted by: Rob Graham at Feb 20, 2009 10:32:50 AM

Currently, I have two Facebook accounts - my professional "real" account and the account I have under this name, my pseudonym. I've married both accounts to Twitter.

I found that I prefer playing around under my assumed name b/c I can just let it all hang out there and I'm making associations with people who have a similar desire, people who are more likely true extroverts (or maybe just exhibitionists). The people I've met through work or through family or friends on my "real" account seem so reserved.

The desire to be more "real" has led me to invite my wife and some of my friends to "friend" my alter-ego/pen name. It's actually been a great experience.

I've yet to venture into blog territory and have resisted for years. Probably b/c I fear the whole blogosphere is too crowded and I'm not sure my ego could handle having nobody visit my page. Also, I think I put it off b/c I'd see it as another chore. I can barely keep up with my FB and Twitter accounts as is.

I abandoned MySpace two years ago because it was just too clunky. I never really enjoyed MySpace. Now I only use it to keep up with bands.

Posted by: David Chur at Feb 20, 2009 10:45:35 AM

I'm on so many sites that now whenever someone mentions a new one I go get out my wooden stakes. It's exhausting to keep up with all the different formatting. Do they help? Yes, I know for a fact I have received lots of sales from Myspace which is my many networking area other than yahoo groups.

Posted by: Tess MacKall at Feb 20, 2009 1:14:10 PM

Okay, here's what I think as of this moment (still exploring). I like Twitter, really do, but Facebook is winning out hands down for me. It's user friendly and I'm picking up a lot of contacts there and making a lot of really nice friends. I hate MySpace. You can't comment without logging in and it just seems a pain to me. I don't think they're a time suck at all but what a lot of authors have to realize is that no one cares about what you have to sell them; they care about what information you can give them to better themselves - whether it's through getting somewhere up the publishing ladder or whatever. Informative I guess is what I'm trying to say. Take for instance this blog post. I found it through Facebook. The title was catchy and I wanted to go check it out. Once I got over here, it was a great topic that will get a lot of input because we as writers can relate to - the social networks to promote our books. Nice post!

Posted by: Dorothy Thompson at Feb 22, 2009 5:44:22 PM

I find their uses are determined by which site they are. LJ is mostly people garnered from real life and alt.gothic, but also any community in which I'll find my local events or festivals for my subcultural interests. I've also followed a number of DJs from LJ flyers to their LJs or MySpaces.

MySpace I won't use to find new individuals who aren't connected as promoters to various events. I'll approve random individuals who ask to be my friends. Mostly I see interesting business, club night, festival, organization, whatever in someone's top friends and send a request.

Facebook I'm only just starting to put to use and mostly for RSVPing to events. Most of the people I care about, I met through USENET and don't actually want to announce my name till we've had private contact. I won't use Facebook to initiate the private contact most of the time and don't always have a real name yet to search with. Most of the people who "know" me in real life aren't involved in my subcultures or have the same interests. They're the ones most likely to know my legal name.

Meet-Up is nice for finding offline groups.

Posted by: Ames at Feb 24, 2009 1:28:39 AM