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A Creative Writer Explores Social Media


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Overview of a creative writer's first steps in understanding social media and exploring ways to facilitate creative response to a creative work.

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A Creative Writer Explores Social Media

  1. 1. A Creative Writer Explores Social Media by Tia Azulay
  2. 2. Background • Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media (DMU) • BA and BA (Hons) English Literature and Poetry • South Africa, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, UK • Salesperson, insurance claims assessor, public relations assistant, abstract-writer, childminder, technical writer, HTML programmer, Documentation Manager, Head of QA (software testing) and Documentation • Web consultant: websites, blogs, coaching • Two common themes: interaction; communication skills
  3. 3. Incorporating Social Media • Print media: essays, poetry, articles, short stories, press releases, ad copy, brochure copy, abstracts, software documentation • Web: website copy, blog posts, short stories, personal essays, e-poetry • Surely it’s simple to migrate to social media: interact; express myself in writing? • Well, yes and no
  4. 4. New Media Writing • Explosion of digital writing forms • ‘The writer’s guide to making a digital living’ Therese Fingleton, Christy Dena, Jennifer Wilson • New Writing Universe - animation universe/ • Video intro to Writer’s Guide on YouTube GB&v=tRueQ1Q6NGA
  5. 5. Stories: Digital Narratives • Inanimate Alice - Kate Pullinger – Everyone can do it: iStories tool • Games and cross-media stories Carolyn Handler Miller and Christy Dena • Virtual Worlds – Film: Another Perfect World - Femke Wolting, Jorien Van Nes • Social media becoming primary content channels – Japanese cellphone novels: oodyear – ‘Twitterature’ literature-twitterature
  6. 6. Finding an Audience • How do people find this newfangled content? – Google (accidentally or on purpose) – Referrals from social media users • Static website is passé – one brochure amongst millions • Successful online writers have an online ‘pulse’ • People know you are alive, in touch and in tune
  7. 7. Promotion • E.g. Internet and social media advocate: John Kremer, author of ‘1001 Ways to Market Your Books’ • Newsletter 4th May 2009: – Twitter activity caused his site’s Alexa rank to increase by 80,000 visitors in 3 months. – 10% of his visitors now come directly from Twitter, i.e. 10,000 new unique visitors each month. • ‘Twitter Mania Manual’ DIY for authors:
  8. 8. Learning • Social media can be learning tools for writers • Information and practice, e.g. Jeremy Griffin – ‘How Twitter Can Make You a Better Writer’ by better-writer/ Twitter helps with Word Choice, Simplicity, Audience, Adding Value, and Inspiration. – ‘5 Social Media Tools for Great Writing’ covers StumbleUpon, Twitter, Digg, WeBook, NaNoWriMo. • Writers’ Forums – peer reviewing and discussion – E.g.
  9. 9. Difficulty of Transition • I struggle to stay active in WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn • I am not alone: A 2009 report divides US technology users: – “motivated by mobility” (39%); “stationary media majority” (61%) – Only 8% are ‘Digital Collaborators’ • “lead the pack in … assets, actions, attitudes towards technology” • comfortable with leading their social and working lives online – Everyone else has some level of resistance • Slideshow: ‘Friending Libraries: Why Libraries Could Become Nodes on People's Social Networks’ dated 30 March 2009: libraries-can-become-nodes-in-peoples-social-networks-1222975 – Report: Typology/15-Methodology.aspx?r=1
  10. 10. ‘Contact’ Changes Mindset • Two things that help this change: – Communicating with an audience – Online collaboration with other writers and artists • Instant feedback maintains creative momentum • My experience: TiaTalk – A stranger comments (positively) – Immediate effect: the world at my fingertips – Motivation to revise and edit for audience
  11. 11. Network as Normal • From pressing the flesh to pressing keys • The same principles apply: – Be there – Be courteous – Be responsive – Be interested – Be interesting – Be generous
  12. 12. Creative Response • Social Media offer ways to show and discuss creative responses to creative stimuli • E-Poem: ‘Watercolour’ – • Response: make a Wordle – • Have a go!