Promoting Your Writing or Poetry Blog

hand holding pen writing The blogosphere is full or talented poets and writers in every genera. Never never a day goes by here at WordPress.com or in the blogopshere at large that I don’t discover another 5 star writing or poetry blog.

Social media and social networks are radically changing the way we attract readers to our blogs.  In and of themselves the largest social networks are creating communities within communities. However, if you are a writer or poet focused on improving your writing, getting published or selling your published work,  then you may wish to locate and join smaller social networks specifically for writers and readers. I dedicated some time to researching this topic and have come up with some sites I would like readers to comment on.

Have you joined any of these sites?

Do you know of any social networks sites for poets and writers that you would recommend?

online degree image
100 Hacks to Help You Become A Better Writer – With over 150 fully Accredited Colleges and Universities and over 450 Online Degrees and Certificates in our database to choose from, Online Degree gives you the ability to find and request enrollment and financial aid information from the online program that is right for you … Instantly!

If you write poetry become a member of forums and poetry sites in the niche read and comment on other poets’ works and get exposure for your own poetry.

all poetry imageAll Poetry all levels of poets are welcome. The world’s largest, most active, and most supportive poetry community. Publish your poetry on the web and get feedback from poets. Enter many free contests, or run your own. Learn how to be a better poet in free poetry classes. Free, with optional monthly membership.

LULU Poetry is a social network where contests and daily, monthly and yearly voting and cash awards are featured.

Critters Writers Workshop - Critters is an on-line workshop/critique group for serious Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror writers. What that means is… A bunch of writers get together, read each others’ stories and tell the authors how they felt reading their stories.

The ultimate goal of Critters is to help writers improve, not only by having their work dissected by other members, but also by learning to dissect their own work (by, of course, dissecting others). The value of the latter is often overlooked by beginning writers.

Hatrack River Writers’ Workshop - The Official WebSite of Orson Scott Card is a free online forum that includes peer critiques of short stories and novel fragments for writers of science fiction and fantasy. News & Reviews, OSC Library,  Forums, Research Area, Writing Lessons and Writers Workshops.

other worlds imageOther Worlds Writers’ Workshop – The best SF and fantasy genre online writing workshop on the web. Worlds Writers’ Workshop, is a place where serious writers of speculative fiction can polish their skills and learn from each other. Works posted here range from short-shorts to full-length series, from first drafts to finished works in final polishing.Writers will find here Line edits, Story analysis, Story analysis, Technical help, Chat and Discussion.

Novelmaker.com is a site designed for uploading works in progress and completed projects for rating and critique.

  • Free upload to the site of manuscripts, either partial or complete, where our members can rate, review and post comments
  • Self publishing, with the lowest prices available and extraordinary book quality.  Writers have the option to choose NovelMaker as their publisher, with above-standard royalties paid on books purchased in our bookstore, and automatic listing in the Amazon.com online catalog
  • Unique “Agent Search” feature – find the agents looking for the kind of book you are writing.  Order an agent search and you receive a file you can use to perform a mail merge for multiple submissions
  • Community Message Boards where users can join a discussion or create their own discussion topics
  • E-book version of each manuscript and bookstore book (coming soon)
  • Links to other sites that provide useful information for writers
  • Customized “MyPlace” page with your own personal blog, pictures, profile, and more, with links to your manuscripts and bookstore books.

Writers Cafe is an online writing community where writers can post their work, get reviews, befriend other writers, and much more.

  • Post your poetry, short stories, novels, scripts, and screenplays;
  • Get reviews and advice;
  • Enter free writing contests;
  • Join writing groups or start your own;
  • Free online writing courses;
  • Search publishers, literary agents, and literary magazines;
  • Befriend and subscribe to other writers;
  • Discuss writing in the forum;  Save your favorite writing to your own library;
  • Easily share your writing with all your friends.  From your Writer’s Cafe profile page and messaging service  share your work to other social networks through built-in site functions and a  Facebook feed application.

Writing.Com is the online community for writers and readers of all interests and skill levels. Free memberships are available to everyone. Each membership includes an online writing portfolio, numerous writing tools, email services and the chance to meet and bond with fresh creative minds.

Young Writers Online –  a community of young writers, both new and experienced, dedicated to improving our writing. Members have access to:

  • The Community Forum, for general site, literary, and off-topic discussion.
  • The Writing Forum, for submitting writing and critiquing things posted by other members.
  • Plus the chatroom, contests, exercises, and more!

virtual studio Zoetrope Virtual Studios is a complete motion picture production studio online. It offers powerful collaborative tools for writers, directors, producers and other film artists. It also includes a number of film-related discussion sections and chat rooms.

Facebook Connections and Reputation Management

facebbok icon These days one can be either hired or fired based on what employers find on our Facebook pages and reputation management has become a focus for bloggers. The reality is that much of the web is designed, not so much to share information, as to sell it. It’s also a reality bloggers today, more than ever before, have many demands on their time and social media networking to create an authentic online presence can be a time drain.

A new study by the Pew Research Center showed more adult Internet users are keeping track of their reputations online than in years past, with young adults aged 18 to 29 more likely than older adults to take steps to protect themselves.

“Search engines and social media sites now play a central role in building one’s identity online,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and lead author of the report, “Many users are learning and refining their approach as they go–changing privacy settings on profiles, customizing who can see certain updates and deleting unwanted information about them that appears online.”

I have just read Ben Rothke’s take on Facebook and would like to share his insights with you. (Please click through and read the whole article.)

There is a similar paradox when it comes to Facebook. The paradox is why people openly share such private information as their date of birth (amongst myriad other personal details) in their Facebook profile. … As of mid-June, only 7,539 of Facebook users have liked the official Facebook and Privacy page — 7,539 is but .000018% of Facebook users, not exactly banging down the privacy door. In other words, an infinitesimal amount of Facebook users seem to truly care about privacy. … — The Facebook privacy paradox

Read also:
10 reasons to quit facebook (and one reason to stay on) on CSOonline.com
5 Facebook, Twitter scams to avoid

“Connections.” It’s an innocent-sounding word. But it’s at the heart of some of the worst of Facebook’s recent changes.

EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) wrote at length about the problems created by transforming personal information into “Connections” to allow far more people than ever before access to it, regardless of whether you want them to.
References:
Six Things You Need to Know About Facebook Connections
How to Opt Out of Facebook’s Instant Personalization

I am not a Facebook member. Now that the dust has settled following the big brouhaha I’m wondering how my readers who are Facebook members fared. If you are a Facebook member did you stay? Or did you join the 36,000 departing Facebook members in the exodus?

Related posts found in this blog:
5 Facebook Questions for WordPress.com Bloggers
Handle Online Attacks Effectively
Six free comment tracking services for bloggers
Blogging: Online presence and authenticity

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Security Threats: Symantec’s Protection Tips

Norton Internet Security product image My partner used a free anti-virus software program on his PC and experienced three occasions where his computer was overtaken and he had to take it to a technician to clean it out. I have always used Norton and have had zero problems.  I  convinced him to take my disc and load it into his PC he has had zero problems since then.

Yesterday while WordPress.com was experiencing some difficulties I downloaded a file containing all the intrusion attempts made on my computer. I was astonished to see how much work my Norton Internet Security has done to protect my computer from invasion.

My surfing habits are safer than most. I don’t visit movie, music or porno download sites.  I don’t shop online  and I’m not a gamer.  Where are these attacks coming from?

Well I read the Internet Security reports linked to below and I found the answer.  United States, China, Brazil, Germany, India, United Kingdom, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain.

In 2009 a shift in malicious activity to emerging countries became more pronounced.  For example, for the first time since Symantec began examining malicious activity by country in 2006, a country other than the United States, China, or Germany has ranked in the top three, as Brazil ranked third in malicious activity in 2009, behind the United States and China, respectively.

Below is a brief summary from Symantec of the ten latest security threats and how to protect your computer.

  1. Is your Web browser the latest open door for computer viruses? Learn how to protect your computer. Web Browsers and Computer Security Risks
  2. If you blog, you know how easy it is to get your message broadcast to friends, family and the world but blogs have security risks too. Learn about blogging risks and how to protect your work and your reputation. Is Your Blog Secure?
  3. Baby boomers joining social networks like Facebook and MySpace in unprecedented numbers makes them the new targets for online scams. Social Networking Safety for Baby Boomers
  4. People tend to place more trust in their “friends” on social networks. Yet, more online users are finding that those connections make them more vulnerable. Not Deserving of Trust
  5. As more people sign up to micro-blog on Twitter, security is becoming an increasingly important issue. Learn to protect yourself from phishing, spam and hackers on Twitter. Tweet Safely: Twitter Scams to Dodge
  6. Electronic signatures, or e-signatures, are also being used in more complex transactions, like signing legally binding contracts. Here’s  what to check for before you sign. What to Know About E-signatures
  7. Work-at-home scams turn job seekers into criminal accomplices, known as “money mules.” Hired for Crime
  8. If your child has an iPhone, then she’s probably connected to the Internet 24/7. Here’s how to ensure safety and security for any iPhone-obsessed child. iPhones, Kids and Security
  9. Smartphones are just as vulnerable to hackers as computers are. Learn about the various risks and how to keep your smartphone protected. Protect Your Smartphone From Hackers
  10. New technologies let you search for nearby gas stations or restaurants from the app on your iPhone or other mobile device, but also let thieves know you’re not at home. Here’s how to stay safe when using location-based technologies.  Stay Safe Using Location-based Services

Discussion Questions:

Which internet security program do you use and are you happy with the protection you are getting?

Do you have any internet security advice  and/or experiences you want to share?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Blogging: Starting Over

Starting Over by Guest Author, Sandra Lee

Is your blog a failure or a success? This question stopped me dead in my tracks.

When I started blogging, I definitely had a purpose in mind, but it was a limited one with a narrow audience. As time went on, I found myself slipping over the boundaries of my topic. Taking time to roll the above question around in my head made me see how I was driving on a dead end street. I might see a few people on the way, but it would hardly be a major hop around the planet. These insights gave me the impetus to revisit blogging basics and rejig the entire vision of my blog. Continue reading

Thumbs down on WordPress Reblogging

I’m a big WordPress.com fan and I do want my blog to increase in popularity but I value readers and commenters more than I value “traffic”.  I believe the intention of the new “like” and reblog feature was to assist WordPress.com bloggers to get wider blog exposure.  However, I say thumbs down to the copy-cat from Tumblr WordPress.com “like” and reblog feature. There is no provision for opting out. We can opt out of possibly related posts so why can’t we opt out of this feature too?

The Reblogging Feature Announcement

Have you ever come across a blog post that you enjoyed so much you wanted to easily share it with the readers of your own blog?  We All Like to Reblog

  1. timethief
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:58 pm
    Is there an opt-out option or are we compelled to allow others to reblog our posts?
    Andy P
    June 1st, 2010 at 6:21 pm
    There’s no opt-out as it stands, but allowing others to reblog your posts will ultimately bring more people in to read your blog. If you’re concerned then you can still make a post private, or your entire blog private.

timethief
June 1st, 2010 at 6:17 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
I asked this question above: Is there an opt-out option or are we compelled to allow others to reblog our posts?
When I posted it I forgot to state the reason I asked it is because it directly relates to copyright. WordPress.com does not hold copyright on my blog contents. Myself and my guest authors do. What benefit in other blogger reblogging our entire posts on their sites. Why would their readers click through to read the original when the full contents have been “reblogged” without our permission? Why should we be compelled to take part in a scheme that robs our blogs of traffic and gifts those who are too lazy to research, write and publish their own post on the same topic. What benefit is there to those using search engines to find the SERPs returning duplicated content. rather than unique relevant content?
Thank you, in advance, for an reply that specifically addresses the copyright issue and the ability to opt out of this “reblogging” at your earliest convenience.

This comment “in moderation” has not been posted as of June 3, 2010 @4:38 PM.

The Reblogging Experiment

Today Richard (thesacredpath) tried some experimentation with the new wordpress “like” and reblog feature.  He reblogged my Basic Netiqueitte for Beginner Bloggers post and then he reblogged his reblog of my post.

The Reblogging Results

1. All links to the original article are gone in the second-generation reblog.The read more and site link at the bottom of the second-generation reblog link back to the second blog, NOT to the original.

2. The possibly related posts links to the reblogged post, NOT to the original.

Limitations of Fair Use

Here’s a good summary of the limitations of fair use from Jonathan Baileys article The Limitations of Fair Use.
1. Focus on commentary and criticism: Make sure that you are using the work to talk about it. Using a passage from a book to review it, quoting from an essay to rebut it or showing a clip from a TV show to comment on it are all likely fair uses.
2. Use as little of the work as possible: Use short quotes when practical and only thumbnails of images. Really hone in on what you need to use and leave out anything you don’t.
3. Attribute obsessively: Always make sure that you attribute the works you use, not just to help strengthen your point, but to show good faith. Though not always important to a fair use argument, it discourages any potential conflicts before they happen.
4. Focus on transformation: Finally, and most importantly, make sure that your use of the work does not replace the original, but expands upon it. When using someone else’s work, as yourself the question “Do people, after seeing my use of the content, have a reason to view the original?” If the answer is no, then the use is much more questionable than it would be otherwise.”

So readers, what’s your opinion of the value of this wordpress.com “like” and reblog feature?

Read also:
Say No to the Plethora of Exclusive Like Buttons
Is WordPress.com now a Social-Networking/Micro-Blogging Platform?
Reblogging

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine