Social networking gives you a name, or brand and connects you with more possibilities and connections than most people realize.
I, for one, am extremely active when it comes to social networking. From Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr to Scribd, I am very aware of my networks and even the ones I don't belong to.
Social networking websites and the internet in general have made it very easy to get your name out there and as a writer that kind of a (free) resource is extremely valuable.
Though I am yet to be published, social networking is definitely a way to get started and if and when I do become published, social networking is a fantastic way to reach a much larger fan base than originally intended.
Other benefits to effective social networking include:
- connecting with other writers. This connection is a very important aspect of social networking. Effective networking can create, develop and deepen relationships with complete strangers that can turn out to be a source of inspiration or motivation and even potential future employers.
- sharing of ideas. When "in a pickle" or experiencing writer's block I always turn to the internet for new ideas or at the very least a distraction if and when I get too stuck inside my own head.
Of course there are a great many downsides to the popularity of the internet and social networking. For one, privacy pretty much goes out the window. Once something is on the internet, no matter how many times you delete it, it will always be there. Additionally, if someone is determined to get dirt on you and you're an active member of the internet community, there's an extremely high chance that your name can be distorted, especially when information is completely taken out of context or manipulated. Another downside to the internet is, of course, plagiarism. For some, when faced with writer's block the immediate solution is to rip off an idea that you like from someone else.
The internet and social networks are an extremely beneficial