My god but there's a lot of this social media nonsense going about. I swear, every time I turn around there's something new and awesome to try. And try I have. I've sampled and obsessed and created accounts and utterly neglected accounts and in general had a good time online.
And here's what I think:
So first and foremost, there is my utterly delightful (and wonderfully fascinating) blog. I went with blogger b/c I've been sucked into the Google vortex. There's obviously also wordpress. And, I'm sure, about a million others.
I keep a regular schedule and stick to the subject of my writing because having a focused topic has really helped me keep going.
Building a following is hard. Writing into the great wide nothing is hard. Coming up with posts is hard. But yet I feel like my blog is one of the most rewarding things I do online. Sometimes its a chore, but I put a lot of me into some of these posts, and I think writing regularly to you delightful people has improved my writing.
And then, of course, there's following others' blogs and writing comments on them and meeting wonderful people and sharing thoughts that way. So that's blogging.
Tumblr was an early experiment for me. I really like Tumblr because you're anonymous, and I can actually see the way real live teens think (wonderful for a YA author). But Tumblr, for me, does photos best, and I don't take photos, so anything I put up on there is really just me putting up the work of others (from the Creative Commons, of course).
Tumblr can be things other than photos - quotes, articles, links, etc, but I just feel like Tumblr's does the visual stuff best, so my Tumblr posting pretty much died away. I did meet some cool people, though.
My twitter's new, so it's still got a shiny glow to it. Although, today, I was sitting there reading partial conversations other people were having with people I didn't know, and I asked myself, "Why am I wasting one of my few days off work with this nonsense?"
But other days, it's awesome. And some people can fit a lot of fun and funny into 140 characters or less. Cool links. Info about contests. Cool people you'll never actually meet in real life that you start to feel like you actually know.
It's a fun way to connect with a lot of awesome people.
The Front Page of The Internet, or so they self-proclaim.
Reddit has sucked me in. I don't attempt to gain lots of karma or front page posts, but it's fun reading through such a random amalgamation of cool news stories, politics, adorable animal photos, gorgeous photos of places around the world, and random science/history facts. Oh, and the memes. I don't know how I forgot the memes.
When I'm on Reddit, I feel very internetty, and I gain a ton of completely random info that is utterly fascinating (to me), and I use that info to bore others (sorry, real life friends).
Reddit is pretty much my be-all of time wasting. Got a few minutes to waste? Don't know what else to do? Reddit!
Reddit can also be filled with a bunch of self-righteous prigs. Many of whom are sexist and racist (or at least some of them). So that's not particularly fun. But I'm addicted.
This site is awesome, but I have utterly abandoned my account. I do still love to use Goodreads to read reviews on books I'm thinking of buying, though.
I was using my reviews as a sort of query-practice. I'd try to figure out how to cut a book down to one or two riveting paragraphs for books that I hadn't written, hoping that would lend me some insight when it came to books I had written. I think it helped, but I've just stopped making the time for it. Sadly, with so many social media options (and real life to-do's), some of them fall by the wayside. Even great sites like this.
There are also forums for people who want to discuss books and, one of my favorite features, book recommendations based on books you liked. I also love the Goodreads lists.
In short, Goodreads is super cool, and I don't use it because I'm a slacker.
I was participating in the forum on Nathan Bransford's blog, and that was really cool (query critiques, cool people, cool links and discussions and the like), but I don't make time for it any more.
And, of course, there's Absolute Write and a cool query critique site like Agent Query Connect. Of course, you always have to be careful. Anyone can write a response or a critique. That doesn't mean they know what they're doing. Take everything said with a grain of salt.
That said, these can be a great way to get info, find CPs, and connect with others in a similar situation.
That Other Stuff
And then there's those other social media that I don't use all that much. There's the ever-present Facebook, which can be really cool for connecting with others (especially those people you went to high school with and haven't seen in ages.) And Linked-In for those professional connections. And, I'm sure, a ton of others that I'm just completely forgetting.
Everybody uses social media differently. There's just so much internet out there that I'll never get through it all, so I'm working on honing down what works best for me.