I started this wordpress blog in early 2011. Before that, I’d kept other online journals & blogs, including a whole set of travel archives. I joined Facebook in 2007 and twitter sometime around there too, around the halfway mark in my programming & multimedia/game dev career.
Throughout it all, I’ve used social media to connect, to think, to dream — along with so many people I’ve grown to know and adore, particularly online. And over the years as platforms have shifted, changed, devolved, and evolved, I’ve dipped my toes in new platforms (sigh, ello), left piles of photos on others (grrrr shutterfly, picassa, and who knows where), and kind of just pressed on, changing the ways I connected as the medium changed.
A few weeks ago, I was on a “Social Media Theory and Practice” panel at the Nebula Weekend* conference with authors Sarah Gailey, Carrie DiRisio (aka BroodingYAHero) and Nathan Lowell; and agent Dongwon Song. I’d been thinking about my time online, the reasons I’d recently left Facebook personally while maintaining my author page, and other means of connecting online.
The conversation expanded to talk of newsletters, among other things, and I — to my great shame — admitted that I’ve let my newsletter come second (or twentieth) to the other things I’ve got going on. In part this is because I write a lot in many places, and summing things up in a newsletter is hard. But Gailey schooled me: they pointed out that a newsletter is ready when its subscribers are, that it’s neither immediate nor outdated — it’s a fast way to connect all the dots of what you’re doing, where you’re doing it, and what you’re thinking. A newsletter is a great way to connect.
It’s a wider conversation to look at all the dots, though. Right now, my social hubs (online and off) include things like this (and already I’ve forgotten a bunch, like online games, flickr, etc):
What I’ve been looking for, for the past decade on social media, isn’t a home… it’s a hub — a place where I can connect the process of making, thinking, and dreaming to the things I create — from the Museum of Errant Critters and the essay about being a lifeguard, to photographs, poems, and craft. At the same time, I want to keep connecting you to others who are doing things I really like.
Some of that happens already here on this blog, and on my portfolio website — Cooking the Books, Book Bites, quarterly lists of long and short fiction — and all of this will keep on happening here. But some happens elsewhere, on patreon, on redbubble (very briefly), on pinterest, … you get the idea. It feels disconnected.
So I’m shifting some things.
I’m hoping to re-think the idea of connection on social media and in person. I’m working on a hub that shares work as it progresses, allows for multimedia and livestreaming craft discussions, and more.
Nope, I’m not taking the blog down, or Patreon. But I am recalibrating. And yes (yes, Gailey), that includes rethinking about how I newsletter.
On Monday, I’ll tell you a bit more about it… but essentially, I’m looking at a new way to work on all the different things that interest me, and to take you along for the ride, as far as you want to go.
There’s more coming soon, but essentially, I’m hoping to change that map up above into something more of a sustainable ripple effect, like so:
(*seriously, this is turning into one of the best professional cons in SFF, think about going next year.)