MFRW Author 52-week blog challenge
This week, the #MFRWAuthor 52-week blog challenge wants participating authors to discuss whether social media is friend or foe. The answer, as with so many other things, is "It depends."
The undisputed king of social media is cats. Cat pictures. Cat videos. Anything to do with cats. Even people who don't like cats like cat pictures and cat videos.
So, what does that have to do with the topic at hand? It:
I think the rampant popularity of cats in social media is partially responsible for recent scientific research broadcast by major media about feline behavior. Quite simply, more people are paying attention to cats and want to know more about them, primarily because they've become omnipresent in our lives.
Of course, those of us who are cat aficionados already know how wonderful cats are. Now we (finally!) getting scientific proof.
(Don't get me wrong, I like dogs. I just prefer cats.)
I see this as an example of how social media can turn the tide of awareness and opinion. It can be used for good: e.g., the surging popularity of cats. Or it can be used for evil: false accusations of President Obama not being qualified on constitutional grounds to be president. (This is not an endorsement of the former president or of any political affiliation.)
When it comes to books and authors, we depend on social media to build awareness and, one hopes, pseudo-relationships with readers. We want readers to like us so they'll buy our books. We want readers to trust us so they'll buy our books. We want readers to know our names, because purchases often hinge upon name recognition.
Like many swords, social media has two edges. The downside or back swing of the stroke is that defamatory, cruel social media can destroy an author's credibility. One brutal review can sink a book.
The question of social media being good or bad fails to acknowledge the nuances of the medium.