Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Networking versus Marketing

These are my thoughts in process.

I should probably think more and edit before I post them - but I'm not going to. I am curious what other writers think, how they are negotiating the tools or using them, or not, and why.

As I move closer to publication of one book, with another antsy to return in to active editing mode, one awaiting completion - the issues are coming up again:
..and a fourth one whose name escapes me right now..

[See, I said I should wait. I should get my facts. I should make up my mind -maybe.]

I'm on Facebook. I have a Twitter account. I've had several invitations to Linked-In but I'm not there (yet).

These started out (as fas as I knew) as Social Networking Sites/Tools/Communities. They quickly started being used as political action venues (yay - overall). And tools to get out the word on all types of things. Then companies joined in. And now it seems that almost every business - restaurants, clothing companies, adventure outfitters, organizations, non-profits, entertainers, on and on and on - are there. Fine. Okay.

But now there is this expectation that we, as authors, artists, dress makers, dancers, and so on, must be there and must sell our wares/products/selves. And that what was a social network is now a selling network. I'm not sure I like it.

Honest: I don't like it. I know I can opt out of 'fan pages' or groups or 'likes' and so on on Facebook. I can not follow people or not be followed on Twitter. And it's harder to block the forwards/shares/retweets from people I do want to communicate with because, well, they are the reason I'm there.

I'm not saying it's *wrong.*

It is what it is and it won't go back. And I see good uses and reasons - And. Well.

Is there anywhere left where we can just be friends? Share information? A laugh? Resources?

Is everything a sales platform?

What are your thoughts on the social/selling networks/markets?

How do you use them?

I honestly want to know!