The New Paradigm

As an author and public figure, I think a lot about social media and how to stay connected with my audience. I have no choice. Not to sound mercenary, but it’s part of the job, and every bit as essential as writing the books and comics themselves.

I’m not the only one who does this, of course, but I’m one of the few (along with folks like Warren Ellis, Joe Hill, John Scalzi, Scott Nicholson, Robert Swartwood, and J.A. Konrath) who muse on it in public.

Fact is, the internet is moving away from Blogging and websites in favor of hubs and streams. It’s no longer good enough to simply have YourName.com. If you want to reach the public at your maximum potential, you need to have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. You need to do this, because that’s where the public is. Take Facebook, for example. Vast as the internet is, there are users who never leave Facebook, unless it’s to click a link they saw there. And getting them to click those links and come back here, for example, is getting harder and harder to do.

Well, fuck that noise. This website is my hub, and although I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, WhoSay, and more (links to which can all be found HERE), I still want traffic to flow here from all those other sources. Although this website still gets a lot of traffic, the numbers pale in comparison to what they used to be. And as a result, my audience on Twitter and Facebook and elsewhere ask me on a daily basis to use Google for them (to paraphrase Warren Ellis). I find myself having to post links to this website to answer simple questions — questions which could have been answered with a click of a mouse. I don’t say that to sound bitchy, but there are only so many hours in a day, and I’d rather spend those hours writing and editing and enjoying time with my sons, rather than posting a link 20 times to ‘When Deluge comes out on Kindle and Nook”. This is going to hold especially true in coming months, as I’m about to undertake a year-long project that will leave me busier than I’ve ever been before. (Can’t say what it is yet, but there’s a teaser hidden somewhere on my forum. Actually, two teasers…)

Yesterday afternoon, after I got home from my 5-year old’s preschool graduation, and was feeling weepy, I decided to cut firewood rather than sit around and mope. While I was swinging the ax, I pondered how to re-train people to come here on a daily or weekly basis. And I came up with this — a weekly schedule, so you know in advance what’s here.

MONDAY: Musings — lengthy essays on life, writing, the industry, or whatever else is on my mind. These have always been the most popular feature here (and even before here) and I’ve gotten away from doing them. So I’m going to fix that.

TUESDAY thru THURSDAY: News — book releases, pre-orders, announcements, etc.

FRIDAY: Plugs — things by others I think you will enjoy.

SATURDAY and SUNDAY: A recap of the week, as well as links to things from the rest of my social media web.

So, now you know what to expect. See you back here on Monday for some musings…

20 thoughts on “The New Paradigm

  1. Victor

    Why is this even an issue? I prefer to use an author’s website to get the latest news and information. I REALLY hate having to look through FB/Twitter/etc…to get what can be found on a single website. I prefer my writers to do what they do best: write. Wasting time saying the same thing over and over and over again takes you all away from your job.

    Reply
    1. Brian Post author

      Victor wrote: “Why is this even an issue? I prefer to use an author’s website to get the latest news and information. I REALLY hate having to look through FB/Twitter/etc…to get what can be found on a single website.”

      Well, it’s an issue because you’re in the minority. Like I said above, there are folks who stick to one or two of those various platforms and rarely leave.

      Reply
    2. Brian James Freeman

      I do get author/publisher news from Facebook and Twitter, but there’s just something about a good website as the hub to all of that.

      Of course, I keep hearing that email newsletters are absolutely DEAD and a waste of time, which bums me out…

      Reply
      1. Brian Post author

        I think spam filters killed email newsletters. That’s what happened with mine. For every one person that got theirs, there were five who didn’t.

        Reply
  2. John Palisano

    So very true. Facebook has become the Walled Garden that AOL wished for. It’s its own ecosystem. You’re right. This is where things are at in the flow of the Internet.

    The scary thing is they have so much control. There was an issue this week where three authors I know had their books pages mysteriously pulled from Facebook. No warning. No discussion. Just an eerie message they were cited for having ‘bullying’ in them. None did. Then the books pages reappeared. No dialogue from Facebook. Nada. Messages went in replied to. No one is still sure what happened.

    This is what we have to look forward to. I think it’s wise for artists to maintain their own portals. There’s so much more you can do with a site than an ugly FB page, anyway!

    In lighter thoughts: sounds like you’re ready for an assistant. Or five.

    Reply
  3. Tim Brown

    Your links to digital book (Kindle & Nook) are a favorite of mine. One question what’s the status of Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road?

    Reply
  4. Elizabeth West

    Just post a picture of a zombie with a caption that says “ARRRGGHHH GOOGLE IIIIT.” Why should you do all the work for them? ;)

    I like your twitter/tumblr/FB posts, but I feel the way you do–blogging is better. After all, we’re writers, we write books, and dammit, 140 characters is not enough!

    Reply
  5. Clark

    Im not sure what the drama is but ive always come here for word on whats going on with you. Where else would I wanna go?

    Reply
  6. Jeff Canner

    I’m glad you keep this site up and running, as your blog is the first place I look for news on your books. I find it’s easier to just bookmark authors’ blogs to get updates than to add them on Facebook and have to sift through dozens of posts on their pages to find updates on their projects.

    Reply
  7. Scott Nicholson

    Thanks for the mention, Brian. Truth is, everyone just wants something different–some people only want writers to slip by on their streams, others want to dig deeper. I long ago resolved that I would just meet the folks where they wanted to meet rather than try to herd them to any one place. Because it’s easy enough to disappear–simply hold your breath and stand in place and the crowd is past you in a blink.

    It also means that if you try to do everything, you can’t be good at everything, so I always say “Whatever you do, do it well.”

    Reply
  8. Sdkdmd

    I never use sites like face book. Too busy for me. I prefer author sites, message boards and news letters.

    Reply
  9. William J. Grabowski

    I’m new to Twitter (my UK publisher insisted I sign up), enjoy it, but find it nearly overwhelming to keep current. Same with Facebook (I’m new there too), though somewhat easier. I know these are valuable marketing/promotions tools, but I’ll always favor sites like Brian’s here. Stability rules!

    Reply
  10. Mark P. O'Brien

    Hello Brian – I love your site (in all it’s incarnations)!

    I guess that being an old IT guy makes me outdated because I always go to your site for details on everything “Keene”!

    I do follow you on Twitter though!

    I ditched Tumblr after Yahoo! gobbled it up. They have destroyed every acquisition they have purchased.

    I digress, I go to your website because it is your home in cyberspace.

    I go there to enrich myself with the content you provide!

    Going to FB or other places for a full content experience would be akin to shouting your name in a shopping mall. Not effective.

    Since no one had the grace to toss Zuck into a wood chipper along with his first codec I suppose that as a provider you are forced to put placards up in all the digital neighborhoods.

    I know I’ll always find Brian Keene at home!
    I tell my friends who enjoy quality horror and comics the same!

    Thanks as always!

    Mark

    Reply
  11. Carl McNeal

    I’m always going against the majority so I will be happily sticking your website Brian. Twitter and etc. are ok but I enjoy searching and looking for things the longer and harder way. They maybe faster but you loose something just looking through them and that’s it. Sometime quickest isn’t always best. Whatever digital highway you take I hope you leave this little off road open, I like it here!

    Reply
  12. Al

    Get your web guy to install some plug-ins to auto post your blog content to you facebook, twitter, etc as well.

    Reply
  13. A.P. Fuchs

    I guess you and Warren teamed up and wrote about the same thing on the same day as he just mentioned something very similar on June 1st as well.

    And I agree. I think as part of the “entertain me” mentality of today’s audience, going to a blog to read is becoming passe. Personally, I like authors’ “homes” on the Internet and there are a few hubs I visit regularly to see what that person is doing, both with their work and in their lives in general. (Big fan of Harvey Pekar’s “Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff” idea and find inspiration in the lives–mundane or exciting–of other creators.)

    I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on my own career lately and what that’s going to look like going forward, and scheduling is a big part of it now (i.e. this time of day for this type of activity). I think that’s the only way to keep up with the need for social media in today’s world and to ensure a proper production schedule. Just block out X amount of time per day (or every other day) to do the Internet rounds and talk about what needs talking about, promote what needs promoting and muse on what needs musing.

    Of course, to each their own as this business is all about what finding what works for you and running with it, whether that’s method of publication, promo efforts or even Web presence. I mean, I know guys who don’t have a Web presence at all but do just fine on the charts at Amazon. (Weird, I know.)

    I think the thing you need to ask yourself, Brian, is with all else you got on the go, can you commit to a Monday musings post regularly? You might need to also consider locking yourself away for a couple days and just banging out a bunch of entries then preprogram the blog to post them in case you can’t make the Monday posting. You got lots going on and all sorts of irons in the fire so just a friendly “beware.”

    Peace.

    Reply
  14. vns

    Some good comments get lost in time. Directing discussion to the forum may be helpful. I like email updates. Content requirements/demand for social media (sm) right now are more on visual side, fantasy included.

    Reply

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