Tag Archives: social media

Social Media ist das Opium des Volkes

iStock_000009250299XSmallby Mike O’Mary

Okay, so maybe Karl Marx was talking about religion instead of social media when he tagged an institution as “the opiate of the people.” But if Karl were alive today, I don’t think he’d argue with calling social media an opiate. Speaking for myself, I swore off television years ago only to end up spending those newfound hours in front of the computer every day. Sucked in again!

How much time do you spend on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Classmates, YouTube, Flickr, Google Buzz, Bebo, Flixster, MyLife, etc., etc.? And I’m not even talking about the time you spend checking your e-mail accounts, blogs, bank/brokerage accounts, shopping, travel, and all that other “essential” stuff. Talk about a huge time suck.

To be clear, social media is pretty amazing. You have hundreds — sometimes thousands — of personal and business connections at your fingertips. This simply was not possible ten years ago. Old college friends were just that…old college friends. Maybe you saw them at your 10th or 20th or 50th reunion. Now you can see them every day. Perhaps all you learn is that they spend oodles of time fertilizing eggplant in FarmVille. But hey, you’ll have something to talk about at the next reunion, right? (“Hey, Greg…how’d that degree in library science turn out? Oh. Sorry. Nice eggplant farm though.”)

I started to say that social media is pretty amazing. And that it has its place. It’s helped me spread the word about my new book publishing business faster and cheaper and to a broader audience than I could have done with traditional PR or marketing. And I’ve made some new friends along the way. It’s been great. But I really did get sucked in. Here’s what happened: I was spending LOTS of time each day trying to keep up with all of my social media accounts, and then staying up very late at night doing all the other things that are traditionally associated with book publishing. That had to stop. My job is editing and publishing. My job is not social media gadfly — no matter how entertaining, compelling or (dare I say it) ADDICTING social media might be.

Here is a longer version of the famous Karl Marx quote. Again, I have substituted “social media” for “religion”:
[Social media] is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

It’s your life. Don’t live it all virtually.

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, an independent book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics.

Using Social Media


by Catherine L. Tully

How do you use social media? I’m getting into it pretty heavy and I’m really enjoying what it does for me. Joe and I use Twitter and Facebook for this site (come join us if you haven’t already!), and I use LinkedIn as well. The learning curve on all of them is a little to deal with on the front end, but they are fairly user-friendly overall. It can get a little complicated when you try and use some of the more advanced features, but all writers can benefit from having an account set up.

If you haven’t yet jumped on the social media bandwagon, try it. Set up a Twitter account and tweet. Create a Facebook page for your business. Take the time to walk through the LinkedIn profile and get that out there. It’s worth the effort–trust me!

Unfollow Thursday

twitter for writersI am starting a new Twitter fad. Are you sick of getting stupid spam Tweets about “I just added you to my Mafia family, you should accept my invitation” and teeth whitening? Are you as fed up as I am with 500 million tweets daily about stupid spammy nonsense? “I make $500 a day, you can too!”

That’s why I’ve declared Thursdays as UNFOLLOW THURSDAY. It works exactly the same as FOLLOW FRIDAY, except in reverse. Name your names, folks–shame them into ending the Twitter spam all together.

For those who don’t know about FOLLOW FRIDAY, and now UNFOLLOW THURSDAY, you simply type in Follow Friday: @TinyNugget, @Freelancezone, @CrimsonForehead, whoever else you want to follow and announce to the world that you’ve followed them Continue reading Unfollow Thursday

Using Twitter With Purpose

twitter for writers

by Catherine L. Tully

Do you just get on Twitter and tweet away about whatever comes to mind? If so, you aren’t taking full advantage of the power of this social networking tool. Writers need to be thinking about how they are marketing themselves and their services when they post.

To that end, I’d like to point out a Twitter Guide that breaks a lot of the information out there down in a very palatable way. Mashable divides things up into three common sense categories… Continue reading Using Twitter With Purpose

Myspace 2.0 Customization Tutorial for Freelancers

myspace advice

by Joe Wallace

Do freelance writers actually USE MySpace? I gave up on it ages ago, but I am very curious about what others are doing and what the general (?) consensus is among freelance writers about the usefulness of Myspace.

The one thing Myspace has going for it is the Bulletin feature, but it’s so abused and overused that it would be tough to get a real message out there among all the clutter. But I digress. Continue reading Myspace 2.0 Customization Tutorial for Freelancers

Twitterfeed-Type Services Down After Hack Attacks

freelance-writing-adviceBloggers who use Twitterfeed and similar services to send updates to their Twitter accounts when they create blog posts are still unable (at press time) to run automated posts to Twitter.

Twitterfeed.com and other services were blocked by Twitter following Thursday’s denial-of-service attacks. Twitter has implemented very aggressive IP address filtering according to an update at GetSatisfaction. Twitter promises to look into the issue but there’s no telling when auto-update services like Twitterfeed might be permitted to resume. Bottom line, if you’re having trouble with those automatic blog post updates on Twitter, it’s not Twitterfeed’s fault, access has been denied by Twitter until further notice.