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Friday, September 30, 2011

Social Networking & My Books

I survived yesterday!

So with 6.9 Billion people in the world and 2 billion people on-line in sort of a fashion, how do you reach these potential customers?  How do I get people to read my books? (answer at the end)
I have said and will repeat myself.   What sells books is word of mouth!
Whether it's a book review you read on a website, or a recommendation (i.e. Goodreads web site has a new book recommendation feature added to their site, which in my humble opinion is incredible!)
Goodreads dot com is by far the best Book website I have ever found.  They have approximately 6 Million members which you can befriend, follow their reviews, see Author Web pages, click to become fans of authors, review books, write reviews of books, create your own virtual book shelves, trivia, discussions groups, the list goes on and on.  They have approximately 190 million books in their database.  If you Love books you will Love Goodreads!!
It begs the question of what the Hallmark of Social Networking will be in the future?
I love Social Networking on some of the newer versions.  It has taken the place of the old chat rooms which were supposed to be places where intelligent people could connect over the internet via common interests and share information, dreams, desires, stories, all the relevant parts of our lives.  The computer water cooler where we gather, chat and share our common threads of humanity.  The social networking sites are getting closer to this ideal than anything so far.  I think these sites and connecting of people will continue to evolve until we reach this social ideal or until the governments of the world shut the internet off.
I Love LinkedIn but after a trail period you have to pay for the service, and pay out the freaking wha-zoo!  The trend seems to be to sign up again after your trial period with a different web address or alteration of your name after your trial period expires.  When my time period is up I'll be leaving that site.  I don't want to have to re do everything each year and re friend or connect with the same people just to socialize.
Myspace is dead, but that's old news!
Facebook is raging King but with the last round of changes and the way it was handled I have heard nothing good about any of the changes.  I have heard a lot of people saying they want something different!  With limits on how many people you can be friends with when there is a potential of two billion members, forget it, you're done it's just a matter of time.
Branched out is a lame extension of Facebook.  I really don't see the point.  They are groping around in the dark!!
Google + is on the rise, but frankly I am on there and it seems difficult to use but part of the problem is I don't know what I am doing.  If it is that hard to add somebody, make a connection with your established friends, I don't and won't use it!  I have a good friend I have invited or tried to invite numerous times and he still hasn't gotten an invite, he has had family members try and invite him and nothing.  There is a problem somewhere, because either very few know how to operate it or it doesn't work for Sh**!  Again if it is hard or difficult, forget it.  It could be it is so simple we just don't get it.  But if we don't get it, Google won't get us!  I see too many pleas for help to know I am not the only one struggling with their new baby.
There are numerous elitist social networking sites which I honestly feel should be targeted, hacked and crashed just because they are not open for anybody.  Crash and burn the elitist sites and let them root around with the rest of us in the mud on the sites that are trying to honestly let the world meet and greet and get to know one another.
1.  The future of social networking is going to have to be secure and never ever, ever, sell or give away customer information!!
2.  It needs to be open for everybody!  It truly could bring around world revolution and ultimately world peace if it is big enough and easy enough for the world to get to know each other.
3.  It should let you make connections based off e-mail addresses of your friends, depending on whether they like or approve your friend requests.  It should have means for bringing people with common interests together.
4.  There shouldn't be a limit on how many friends you can have.
5.  It should be multi-lingual with some sort of translator built in so if I make a friend connection in Russia or China I can chat with them.  So I type in English and they read it in Russian or Mandarin, and vice versa.
6.  I think it should have a colored tag of some sort connected to accounts as to if you sell something, promote something, author, a personality, movie star, Personal for close friends and family, and such forth.  Because obviously if your famous or even slightly famous I don’t' want to have to read 800,000 texts or messages from whomever even though they like you and have made a connection with you.
7.  It should have groups, book lovers, gardeners, painters, artists, musicians, young people, middle aged, those with children, religious groups (friendly and open only or they get blocked), businesses, sciences, history, mathematical, people with problems, people with answers to problems, people who need stuff, people who have stuff to get rid of.  Tons of groups with useful discussions where you can meet and connect with people of similar interests.  People who like to chat about the stuff you like to chat about.
8.  If it is to be the ideal site, it will include a version of Twitter for those who can't seem to go ten minutes without sharing with the world what they are doing and can't type more than 120 characters at once.
9.  It should include free blogging, or just really huge posting areas for those who type a lot of junk and feel a need to share no matter if anybody ever reads it.  People like ME!!
10.  Maybe make the connections layered so you can have family, friends, co-workers, I know of this person, possible new friends, people I would like to maybe do business with, people I just want to follow because I like the stuff they blab about, etc.  Then as you agree to befriend someone you choose how close they can get to you, and at what level you want to view correspondence from people you have made connections with.  The levels need to be adjustable so the member using the site can adjust their connections closer or farther away without upsetting their connections.  Relationships change.  You know when your best friend has a sleep over with your mate while you were out of town.  Well, things change, so it needs to be adjustable as our relationships with real people so often and quickly is.  Also so you can easily read the stuff you have rated as the highest priority to the least depending on how much time you have to check things and get back with people, hopefully not while you're driving your kids to school.
Many people have met the loves of their lives on-line.  I met my wonderful, incredible Editor On-line.  We have never actually met.  Yet she has helped me more than anyone else by editing my work, movie trailer for my first book, helping me make my books available as paperbacks through CreateSpace.  She has been everything a Great Editor should be plus more!  She inspires me, pushes me to be better than I am.  To write better and more properly.  (She has a lot of molding to do still, I am probably a difficult and embarrassing pupil.)  So, you don't want to eliminate the chance magical encounters that can and do happen over this incredible medium.
11.  We do need a way to block the perv's, freaks, and psycho's which also lurk amongst us and are very definitely on the net searching for prey.  Also ex' soul mates, the girl from high school who still hates you and feels a constant need to tell the world what a terrible person you are even when you in contention to receive a Noble Peace Prize this year.  Everybody knows at least one of these people and we should each should be able to individually block whomever we want from our social network.  These people still won't get when their network can't get past three people in a year.
12.  It needs to be assessable through all of our electronic toys, our television, cell phones, pads, and computers and whatever new toys Sony, Apple, and these other manufacturers have coming down the pipe in the near to late future.
13.  It needs to be able to be modified like Websites to reflect each member's individual personalities as we are human.  Each of us brings our own set of experiences, history's, knowledge base, personalities, families, heritages, likes and dislikes, preferences, and our tolerances and lack thereof to the game.  That's what makes it so interesting, frustrating, fun, exciting, challenging, and SOCIAL!  We each are unique individuals, all 6.9 billion of us!
I truly believe two things will unite the human race!
1.  A common enemy, not of this planet that we all have to band together outside of all our differences in order to just survive because mankind's survival instinct trumps all the other personal beliefs and petty crap we fight about.
2.  When 90 percent of the world is online and we are all sharing and the world decides through the internet what the world does or does not do according to what's best for the people everywhere, and it trumps governments, businesses and people with more money than good sense.  When entities can't do things under the cover of secrecy any longer because people everywhere are watching and reporting, and keeping everybody moral, honest, and doing what's best for mankind, or else mobs of people show up and shut you down and haul you away for correctional counseling or something, maybe a form of re-education.
I am not for building more and more prisons because the idea of locking people away so the rest of the world pays for their up keep and survival even though for some reason they don’t want to play nice and by the rules with the rest us.  That system isn't working too well!
I would like to think when the whole world gets plugged in we could collectively help groups resolve their problems in peaceful intelligent means, without armies, and without militaries moving in and laying down the law.  This utopia is miles away along with the perfect social media site.
How do I reach more people to have them read my books?  I work and learn to write better books!  I write books that people can't put down.  Books people feel compelled to talk with other people about.  They tell their friends, "You have to read this book so we can talk about it!"
They tell their friends and their friends tell theirs.  That's how it's been done since there have been books to discuss.  The internet just helps make connections and let's people talk to more people faster and easier than ever before in history.

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