Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Authors & Publishers Must Claim The Internet
I was just reading how there are 500 million tweets sent daily, as well as 70 million photos shared on Instagram, and 4 billion videos viewed on Facebook. For every minute of the day, 300 hours of new content is posted to YouTube. I wonder how much of that social media explosion involves books, authors, and publishers. Does social media help further literacy, book sales, education via books, and protection of the First Amendment?
One would assume yes, because social media has the power to share things globally, instantaneously, by anyone. But that’s also its downfall.
So much info can be posted, unfiltered for quality or legitimacy, floods our Information Highway. Imagine being bombarded with road signs, unsure which ones will get you to where you want to be – if anywhere?
Because it’s instantaneous and around the clock, there’s no down time on the Net. The cycle of information is one second. Not one day or even one hour. Things stream past us constantly, often simultaneously. We all get a little ADHD just trying to zero in on what’s useful or important.
Books can offer accurate, trusted, and verified information by credentialed experts. Not always, but often. But social media obfuscates books. For every FB post and Tweet about a book, many more exist about non-book things, things that distract us, divert attention from books, things that distort reality.
Like anything, the Net is a tool that can be used wisely or foolishly, for good or evil. But many people hunger for quality information and often find bias, inaccuracy, and half-assed research online. To complicate things, info related to books gets drowned out by cat videos and celebrity tweets about nonsense.
Publishers, authors, reading tutors, and free speech advocates must use social media better, more often, and in more unique ways than others who use it to push political agendas, personal gains, or who just want to post amusing but frivolous things. Writers must reclaim the digital world as their own, filled with useful discussions about books.
It’ll be an ongoing battle, book-related content vs. a dog-diving-out-of-a-plane video. We can’t afford to lose.
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