Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TMI?

Endless streams of random thoughts, self-promotions, and RTs bombard us on Twitter. So we stop by and check in at Facebook. If we can figure out how to navigate the newest changes, we’re bombarded by all kinds of information about our friends that we may or may not care about. Throw in a bunch of targeted ads and a moment-by-moment feed of every action our friends make on Facebook and our brain may start hurting. Now it’s time to check our e-mail, and we end up spending an hour communicating with folks we may or may not see on Facebook and Twitter. Then we try to figure out this newfangled Google+ . . .

Is it TMI (too much information)? I don’t know. In my opening paragraph, I only mentioned the major social-media outlets. I didn’t even bring up reading blogs, shopping, and checking the news and weather online. Don’t get me wrong, I make use of all of the things I’ve listed. But I can’t seem to shake the feeling that we’re on the verge of information overload. I mean, if I really spent the time to keep up with everything I’m interested in, there wouldn’t be any time left over for me to do what I need to do.

And to bring this around to something that’s related to writing, how do new authors get their books in front of readers amid all of this chaos? Heck, how do seasoned authors get their book in front of readers? Six months ago, blog tours and book reviewers were possibly the best ways to find an audience for an author. But now, everyone’s doing a blog tour and I see an increasing number of book reviewers saying time-out. And giving books away seems next to impossible. Marking them down to ninety-nine cents doesn’t seem to do much, because everyone else is doing the same thing. How does someone stand out in that near-endless stream of RTs, self-promotions, and status updates?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that the market will find equilibrium. But I’m beginning to wonder if we’re reaching the point when the pendulum starts swinging in the opposite direction. What do you think? Are we getting to that swing-back point? Or is it that I just can’t keep up on the information superhighway? I'm interested in your thoughts about this topic, so please, by all means, share them with me.

5 comments:

Nissie said...

Neal, I agree there's TMI. I love all the social networks and try to keep up with it all, but it would take 28 hours a day (at least) to do that. I feel like I'm neglecting a lot of my friends and sometimes even my own blog. But there's no way I can do it all. We were so overwhelmed by review requests, we told everyone we weren't taking any more until we could get caught up a little and they're still pouring in. I get tons of invites to interviews and book launch parties. I would love to attend them all, but that would be impossible. It's hard to pick and choose. And I'm sorry to say, a lot of them get lost in the shuffle or I simply forget about some of them until it's too late and I've missed them.

Brenda Wallace said...

Well, exactly, Neal. There seems to be more white noise and more ways to spend too much time online. We all have to unplug and live life for awhile and just release the guilt thing. Most people with full lives understand that others are in the same boat. I have to limit my time online and I try to make sure I do at least one thing for someone else while I'm on there. I truly believe that the best thing an author can do to get the word out is to help other authors, offer giveaways, or have something to offer. Plus, an ad in Kindle Nation Daily doesn't hurt, lol. The pendulum has already swung for me because while I enjoy all those things you mentioned in moderation, I absolutely need to live life unplugged.

author Christa Polkinhorn said...

Yep, I am definitely suffering from TMI. I have nothing else to say because I have to check my email, check FB, check Twitter, GogglePlus and try to think of something to say on my blog, so I won't lose all my followers. And, oh, I should be working on my novel. Minor issue. Argggggggh.
Hello everyone and cheers.
Christa

Draven Ames said...

It all seems like too much to handle sometimes. Add in blogs, commenting on other blogs and reading all the blogs you want, and things get really cumbersome. Don't forget Goodreads. That's not even scratching the surface of things like reading and writing. When you add it all together, TMI sounds like a good label to slap on it all. Of course, a little balance goes a long, long way.

Lee Thompson said...

Yeah, I'm done with everything but living and writing and thanking people who take the time to buy and read my work. Way too much time online for me. Way too much to even attempt to keep up with. I think I have my cap on about two dozen people I really know and like (like you Neal) who I'll stay in touch with on a somewhat regular basis. Life's too short to live it online for me. I rather put the energy into writing the best I can and then letting other people spread the word if they think it's good. I get more satisfaction that way anyway. I don't like all the circle jerking I see. I like the Cormac McCarthy route.