|By Jean-Marie Favre
...and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
If you've dropped by my blog before, you'll already know technology means nothing to me. My main aim in life is to tell stories. To my mind, settling down with a notebook and pencil or my Neo is sheer luxury, but these days that's just the start of the process. If your aim is publication, putting words on a page is only part of a writer's life. You have to market yourself and your work, which takes time - time I'd rather use for writing.
Getting your name out there and becoming "searchable"is seen as a vital career move - but what happens then? As well as blogs, websites, accounts with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, author pages on Amazon (.com and .co.uk) and publisher's sites are practically mandatory. All these pages need to be kept up to date, and that's a continual work-in-progress. The net's thirst for information is unquenchable, and the sea of snippets is immense. I love keeping up with gossip, so I Tweet regularly as @ChristinaBooks. Once on-line for that, I find it hard to leave. The quick look at one site I'd intended soon stretches into half a hour of surfing far and wide. I now ration my time on line, so I can concentrate on writing. It's difficult to break the habit of dipping in and out, so I set a target for the amount of work I'll get done before I can have a session of idling on the net. This is where the Pomodoro (TM) technique mentioned in my last blog comes in useful. I work intensively for short bursts, then reward myself with a spot of site-hopping.
I'm still trying to find out exactly what LinkedIn is for, by the way. It seems to be full of interesting and like-minded people, but I'm not entirely sure why. Obviously there's an employment-exchange element, but if someone endorsed my copy-typing skills I think I'd be more likely to refer them to an optician, rather than offer them a job!
How do you use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and the other social networking sites, and what's the best thing your surfing has done for you?