by John F. Harnish
The concept of social networking has been spreading across the nation as more and more folks discover theconcept of connecting with family, friends, and associates on line.
One of the more popular websites for social networking is Twitter. Twitter is a free service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing??? The New York Times recently called Twitter “one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet.” Membership is free and signing up takes only a few minutes. Also, when you join Twitter you’ll see a listing of your friends who are already members.
An equally popular online connection is Facebook. The company’s overview explains Facebook's mission: to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Many millions of people use Facebook every day to keep up and stay in touch with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. There is no membership fee and the sign-up procedures provide members with the means to create and customize their profile – this feature is common to all social networks.
LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing hundreds of industries and countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals who you may need to work with to accomplish your goals. This is an opportunity for non-fiction authors to connect with people interested in discussing similar areas of interest.
If you want to connect with other writers, authors, and poets, then Author Nation, produced and sponsored by Infinity Publishing, is the perfect social site for you. Visit www.authornation.com to join thousands of folks exchanging ideas and opinions that are of interest to authors. One of its unique features is you can post your writings on your profile page for readers to comment and perhaps make suggestions. Private Messages can be sent to members and there are lots of open forum topics to post your questions or comments.
Books of Excellence is a North American co-op for published authors. The website is a promotional showcase for the books their member authors have published. Members are encouraged to read and review books by other members. There is a nominal annual membership fee.
iReport.com is a free user generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. Only the stories marked On CNN have been vetted by CNN for use in CNN's global news coverage. Lots of people argue about what constitutes news. Really, it's just something that happens some place or to someone. Whether that something is newsworthy mostly depends on who it affects – and who's making the decision. On iReport.com that is you! So CNN built this site and equipped it with some nifty tools for posting, discovering, and talking about what you think makes the cut. If your book directly relates with a breaking news story, this is a good place to promote the relationship.
That said, be careful of how you promote your book on these social sites. Monitor several of the networks first, to get a feel for the posts and comments. Then don’t just post and go; come back and visit to read posted responses. Watch what you post on-line, because in several seconds it could be splattered all over the web.
Photo by: 10ch