Watching your Ps and Qs -- on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook...

Recently, Janet Reid mused on her blog about just how public the Internet is. This is something I've mentioned in publicity and submission seminars. While Ms. Reid stated it much better than I can, here are a few points to ponder when evaluating your online image.

  • Items posted on Myspace and Facebook might show up in Internet searches.
  • Comments posted on public blogs, as well as blogs, will appear in Internet searches.
  • Agents do read blogs.
  • Agents not only Google prospective clients' names, but their own names. If you "go off" about an agent on your blog, they can see it. While you might not think much of the person or his/her decision, other agents do and probably won't side with you.
  • While your friends might appreciate your humor and slang, agents might not. It's all about context. If every post on your blog is about how much you drank, how much you ate and how many failed relationships you've had, an agent might run before they learn there's so much more to you.

However, there's hope.

  • You can set your social networking profiles to private. If you've "friended" agents and editors, there are privacy settings to filter how much of your life they can see.
  • There's always the possibility you'll be able to go back to blogs and delete previous posts.
  • The visibility of your blog is a great way to showcase your talent and the positive thoughts you have about your writing, your conference experiences, etc.
  • There's a way to keep tabs on yourself -- visit the Google page and learn more about Google Alerts.
  • Want to learn how to use the World Wide Web for good instead of embarrassment? There are sessions covering social networking at the 2009 South Carolina Writers Workshop.

One last thought, photos you and your friends post on public sites can be searched as well. So, you might want to start bargaining now to get your sister to take down that photo of you...

1 comment:

Lateia Elam Sandifer said...

Great post, Carrie. This translates to other endeavors as well. It's always a good idea to keep business strictly business.

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