The Burst of the Social Media Bubble, Rise of the Indie Author & Why Coffee is to Blame

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(Original image courtesy of Matthew Pearce via Flikr Creative Commons.)

Many of you are old enough to remember the dot.com boom (then bust) of the 1990s. The Internet was growing in popularity. More people were owning PCs and commerce was shifting on-line. The Old Guard yelled “WITCHCRAFT!”, threw holy water and shorted out their keyboards. The New Guard dived in with the enthusiasm of a kid at Chuck E. Cheese hopped up on sugar.

Creativity abounded. What products or services could be offered on-line? How could we improve the on-line experience? How could we make purchasing faster, safer, more appealing?

Early Adopters jumped all over this because that’s what Early Adopters do. Hey, someone had to be the first to eat an oyster, right?

The Early Adopter Instigator

Most revolutions begin with other revolutions that set the stage. Case in point. For centuries, water was unsafe—okay deadly—to drink. Most workers actually brought beer to work (or some other fermented drink). Then Western society took a fancy to this new beverage from Asia called TEA and then later COFFEE from South America. When tea and coffee (um CAFFEINE) replaced alcohol as the beverage of choice, workers were more productive.

Image courtesy of Ryu1chia Miwa via Flickr Creative Commons

Image courtesy of Ryu1chia Miwa via Flickr Creative Commons

I was skeptical too, so I tested beer then coffee to make sure the empirical data was sound. When I began my workday with beer? Much more napping and looking up exes on-line. A double Starbucks espresso improved word count.

Joking aside, three major developments 1) the invention of the clock/watch 2) the standardization of time and 3) the shift from alcoholic beverages to caffeinated ones laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution.

The eight-hour workday was easier to implement once people understood what the heck “an hour” was. Also, laborers were able to focus better and be far more productive when sober.

Science :D .

Fast-Forward—How Coffee Transformed the Publishing Paradigm

Coffee not only fueled the Industrial Revolution, but apparently staying up all night unable to sleep led to the invention of the “computer,” “the Internet,” and later “iTunes.” The shift from “going to a physical store” commerce to more “e-commerce” set the stage for a number of unanticipated revolutions in the arts. If we think about it, when did the mega-bookstore enjoy its Golden Years?

Hint: Right about the time of the movie You’ve Got Mail, clearly marking the brief historical epoch when we actually enjoyed getting e-mails. 

In the 90s, the retailer was still king (and the Internet a novelty). Thus, the biggest store with the most bells and whistles and coffee shops won. Why? For centuries we’d been conditioned to going to a physical space to shop. Only the Early Adopters were thumping their legs at this notion of buying stuff without having to drive anywhere.

Granted, this was also the time when SUVs the size of a small semi were all the rage and gas was roughly $1.25 a gallon. Most of us were uncomfortable with the hoo-doo-voo-doo of electric lighting automobiles on-line shopping and still preferred to GO somewhere to buy what we wanted/needed.

Yet, despite initial skepticism, the tsunami of technological innovation decimated many types of businesses, some that had been asking to be smacked for a LONG time. Technology gave beating to the Old School phone companies (cell phones) and wiped out record stores (iTunes) and then later obliterated video stores.

Frankly, Blockbuster had it coming with those ridiculous late fees. Every time I see a Red Box I smile and think of the time Blockbuster refused to work with me on $128 in late fees. Apparently spending four days in the hospital was no excuse for not turning my movies in on time.

Jerks.

The Bursting of the Dot.Com Bubble

Of course, the problem was enthusiasm often has this way of trumping business sense. Once the dot.com fire caught light, everyone was a dot.com and many were nothing more than paper dragons with no business plan, no capital and frankly no idea what the heck they were doing.

We enjoyed a boom and then saw a BOOM. Dot.coms that had their act together became the vanguards for a new age of commerce and the digital wheat was separated from the virtual chaff.

In the wake of the Digital Tsunami, many industries crumbled. In my POV, the music industry is the only one that had a valid excuse not to reinvent. But, after Tower Records toppled, Kodak had time to rework their business model and yet didn’t—People will always want film!—which is why we now will talk of Kodak to our kids the way we talk about cassette tapes and Pet Rocks.

Viva la Revolution

We had to have the Alcoholic Beverage vs. Coffee Revolution to gain a viable and productive Industrial Revolution.

****Rumor has it that writers were equally divided Alcohol/Coffee Debate.

Then, we had to have affordable PCs and a viable Internet to have the On-Line Shopping vs. Retail Space Revolution in order to gain digital commerce. Once digital commerce shifted from Early Adopters to the Early then Late Majority, we witnessed yet even more revolutions spark to life, revolutions that had no way of happening until that particular time in history.

All started by coffee. See the cool stuff you learn here?

Many of these upheavals completely altered the business landscape, and the creative industries saw MAJOR shifts. Indie Bands, Indie Movies and yes, Indie Authors.

Word on the street is that Indie Authors are being supported by an underground resistance financed by Starbucks.

The Social Media Bubble

In roughly 2003-2004 I saw what a major game-changer social media would be for authors. Up until that point, only non-fiction authors had any practical way of building a platform before a book was finished. Novelists had to write a lot of books (and make it past NYC gatekeepers) to have a platform because books were the only way of having a platform/brand.

But with social media? Different story.

Of course when I pitched this idea of branding through social media to agents as late as 2008, they laughed in my face and called me a witch.

I just said we needed both good books and social media.

I just said we needed both good books and social media.

Alcohol vs. Coffee —> Industrial Revolution —> Internet —> Commerce Revolution/ Dot. Com Boom —> Tower Records Collapses —> Kodak Collapses —> iPad and Nook released —> Amazon gains publishing influence —> Early Adopters defect to go Indie —> Social Media Boom —> Indie Authors start seeing success —> Borders closes and Barnes & Noble starts bleeding out—> Big Six becomes Nifty Five —> Author Boom

Three components were critical to the success of the Indie Publishing Revolution:

1) Creation of the Product

Ten years ago, this was a pipe dream. Five years ago, self-published books looked self-published. They were also far more expensive and complicated to produce. Technology and the market has transformed this. Authors can now create a book that looks as good as anything purchased from the last remaining B&N in your city (without going broke).

2) Distribution

So long as major retailers had the upper hand, authors were limited in sales. As e-readers shifted from the Early Adopters to the Early and Late Majority (my GRANDFATHER having a Kindle), retailers lost their monopoly.

3) Visibility

Social media helped authors build a brand and platform that could drive book sales even as traditional retailers began to vanish. Social media BOOMED.

For those who want a paper copy to hold...

For those who want a paper copy to hold…

Social media experts came out of the woodwork to assist writers. It seemed that just about the time a social media site was AWESOME, it collapsed, so we did need guides to help.

Has the Social Media Bubble Burst? What Does This Mean for Authors?

My opinion is we’re seeing a bubble burst that looks a lot like what happened to the dot.coms. Social media has reached an asymptote (not many “drastically new” features to add). Unless Facebook does something EPICALLY STUPID, it will probably remain. Same with Twitter. Fad frenzy has normalized and this new way of interacting has integrated into our culture.

Yes, new sites will emerge, but the rules of the game will stay the same. Since it is social media, those who are authentic, offer value, and are good at creating community will do well. Algorithmic alchemy doesn’t work as well as it used to and never worked long-term.

The handful of writers who adopted social media early did reap rewards. Why? Most other authors didn’t want to go there. This limited competition and gave the Early Adopter Authors an advantage. Most people were on Facebook, yet many authors were NOT.

Then, authors saw the success of the Early Adopter Authors and many a social media guru promised get-rich-quick programs….thus flooding every social site with book spam and bad 20th century marketing retreads. Experts terrified and bedazzled authors with tech-speak and marketing plans.

Yet, in the end, technology is the means not the ends, and society has fundamentally shifted yet again. As I’ve said before, “If we wanted to buy more stuff, we’d be on the Home Shopping Network, not the social network.”

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Social media has become such a staple in modern culture we’re finally establishing concrete etiquette for using it. Kinda like, the “Don’t call people before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.” probably didn’t come about the instant the telephone was invented.

Yes, there were “rules” we knew intuitively, but it took a couple years of poor behavior for us to say, “ENOUGH. I’ve had four direct messages from you on Twitter thanking me for the follow and asking for me to buy a book….UNFOLLOW.”

Pop! Goes the Bubble

Is social media essential for author success? Of course it is. Just because a gazillion dot.coms went under doesn’t mean on-line shopping isn’t bigger than ever. As with any revolution, it takes a lot of people jumping in with new ideas to sort the stinkers from the stickers. Buying books on-line? YAY! Grocery shopping on-line? Eh.

We still want to squeeze the Charmin tomatoes.

What I love about the new paradigm is it will test our motivations. Those writing for the wrong reasons (getting RICH) will probably burn out and grumble away. But those of us writing because we LOVE writing will keep pressing, keep working, keep connecting, and trying new things. We will be the new generation of authors no matter the path we choose—traditional or non-traditional.

Social media training will be less about technology and more how to become expert connectors and community-builders, which is what my latest book Rise of the Machines-Human Authors in a Digital World teaches how to do. So long as people buy on-line, social media (and doing it WELL) will remain a key component to success.

But creating relationships has always been a solid business practice. Maybe buy them a coffee ;) .

I love hearing from you!

What are your thoughts? Did you underestimate the power of coffee to change the world? Do you think social media has normalized like on-line commerce? Do you think regular people are becoming more aware of an existing etiquette? Are you less permissive of “rude” behavior you might have forgiven three years ago?

To prove it and show my love, for the month of APRIL, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Upcoming Classes

BOTH CLASSES COME WITH HANDOUTS AND FREE RECORDING.

A seasoned editor can tell a lot about your book with only five pages. Learn to hook hard and hook early. I am running the Your First Five Pages Class. Use WANA10 for $10 off. This is the perfect class for diagnosing bigger story issues or even getting a work agent-ready in time for conference season. This class is April 25th 6:00-8:30 PM NYC Time. Gold Level is available if you want me to critique your 5 pages.

Also, if you are struggling with plot or have a book that seems to be in the Never-Ending Hole of Chasing Your Tail or maybe you’d like to learn how to plot a series, I am also teaching my ever-popular Understanding the Antagonist Class on May 10th from NOON to 2:00 P.M. (A SATURDAY). This is a fabulous class for understanding all the different types of antagonists and how to use them to maintain and increase story tension. Remember, a story is only as strong as its problem ;) . Again, use WANA10 for $10 off.

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  1. #1 by Liz Crowe on April 21, 2014 - 9:27 am

    Oh you had me at “Beer at Work.”

    Always trying new things,
    Liz
    (great post as usual)

    • #2 by Stephanie Scott on April 21, 2014 - 12:54 pm

      haha… I work at home a few days a week and once toward the end of the day I saw beer in the fridge and almost grabbed it, forgetting I still had another hour of calls to make. Nope!

  2. #3 by Wendy Reis Editing on April 21, 2014 - 9:33 am

    The New Guard *dove* in with the enthusiasm of a kid at Chuck E. Cheese hopped up on sugar.

    Dived. “Dove” is a bird. Hugs!

    Sincerely, Wendy Reis Independent Freelance Editor Working for authors in the U.S. and Canada

    E mail me W ebsite Refer to Website for Submission Guidelines and Rates F acebook Timeline

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 21, 2014 - 9:34 am

      Was blogging at 4 a.m. and clearly hadn’t had enough coffee, LOL. Thanks for the catch. Will change.

      • #5 by Abdul J on April 21, 2014 - 6:11 pm

        To be fair, I’m pretty sure ‘dove’ is pretty acceptable nowadays. Especially, I thought, in the States? But maybe I’m just being stupid.

    • #6 by Deborah Makarios on April 21, 2014 - 5:15 pm

      Maybe it’s a regional difference, but in my strand of English ‘dove’ and ‘dived’ are both acceptable – although I think ‘dived’ is replacing the older ‘dove’ more these days.
      But then, I’m not an expert!

      • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 21, 2014 - 5:18 pm

        I blame my Mom ( first generation Scandinavian off the boat). I still spell color colour and surprise as surprize. Also use a lot of British grammar…which is why even I pay editors.

        • #8 by Deborah Makarios on April 21, 2014 - 5:31 pm

          I grew up with NZ English (British spellings) but with lots of American friends – and books – so I sometimes need to check which spelling is which in order to achieve internal consistency. Especially with that s/z variation.

  3. #9 by random2409 on April 21, 2014 - 9:34 am

    Top post. Clever, insightful and funny. You obviously know your subject! I personally like both beer and coffee, though not necessarily at the same time…

  4. #10 by Sarah Brentyn on April 21, 2014 - 9:40 am

    *buying you a cup of coffee*

    I’m off my game today or something. So, bubbles are bursting but, of course, we remain ever-faithful to our social media. Right? I need to get a real FB account (and I will not irk the soup man). ;-) Other than that, keep up with my tweeting? Am I getting this?

    • #11 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 21, 2014 - 9:45 am

      Yep. And the cool thing is that now that social media has stabilized, there is less chance of having to start all OVER with another site. Though I still like blogging because unless the Internet goes down, they remain and only grow stronger over time.

      And man, I am F-R-I-E-D. Thanks for the digital cup ((HUGS)).

  5. #12 by writeknit on April 21, 2014 - 9:41 am

    How does anyone get anything done without caffeine? LOL VIVA la revolution!!

  6. #13 by mentzer2150 on April 21, 2014 - 9:55 am

    Great post. If it weren’t for the show The Big Bang Theory, I’d still be pronouncing paradigm as pair-ah-dig-um. :)

  7. #15 by John Baker on April 21, 2014 - 9:58 am

    Actually I was aware of the importance of European coffee houses in sparking the Enlightenment though I must confess I did not appreciate the importance of shifting from beer to coffee. I admire your willingness to put the beverages to the test. The image of an entire society hopped up on caffeine and assembling lines is disturbing but, thankfully, the modern layabout welfare state is reversing the trend. As for your observations about peak social media: yeah we’re there. There are all sorts of reasons for this. It’s shown itself a challenge to existing powers, the business model is shaky and based on creepy data mining, and it’s just not that important. If social media vanished right now I would just read more long form material. What social media has done is change the public’s reading habits. The total amount of reading (word count) may be greater than before but it’s mostly short form — Twitter. As stinging as the best tweets are they are no substitute the all-enveloping experience of great books. In the last year I have made an effort to spend less time online and more time in great old fashioned books. It’s been one of the best trades I’ve made.

  8. #16 by nikibayard on April 21, 2014 - 10:07 am

    um, ah! interesting, yes :)

  9. #17 by enissa on April 21, 2014 - 10:14 am

    You inspire me!

  10. #18 by staceywilk on April 21, 2014 - 10:22 am

    I love your blog. You’re adorable. I also read Rise of the Machines and I’m implementing all your instructions. I’ve changed my bio, wrote a word cloud, made Twitter lists. But there is one thing I disagree slightly on. I love to grocery shop on-line! I don’t buy the tomatoes or any of my fruit and veggies that way, but the other stuff? Bring it! And they do! Right to my kitchen! Grocery shopping on-line: the greatest thing. ;-)

  11. #19 by Karen Lynne Klink on April 21, 2014 - 10:29 am

    You got me with that beautiful latte picture. Alas, I can no longer imbibe caffeine! It gives me terrible headaches which often become migraines. How does one keep writing and keep up with social media without caffeine? Perseverance, love and forcing myself to exercise. Still, I miss the taste and the buzz, and I probably write slower. Your book is my social media bible, and I’m still working on those darn biographies!

  12. #20 by Michele Drier on April 21, 2014 - 10:58 am

    Coffee also helped lead population growth. Not because people stayed wired longer, but because the water used to make coffee (or tea) had to be boiled. Death to water-borne diseases. Wonderful find,coffee!

  13. #21 by Whitney on April 21, 2014 - 11:12 am

    I think this was a really interesting read. I especially enjoyed how you noted that the rise of technology occurred when workers switched from beer to tea/coffee. I know that I am much more productive at work when I drink my tea or coffee in the morning. I love how you have drawn the parallel distinctly to the rise of the Industrial Revolution, dotcom boom, and Indie Authors. Inspired!

  14. #22 by Tom on April 21, 2014 - 11:13 am

    First of all, +1 for the witch photo. We should build a bridge out of her. Second, the beer/coffee experiment sounds fascinating, but for it to be valid it must be repeatable. I’ll sacrifice for science. Finally, as usual you’re spot on with your social media assessment. I’ve blocked so many people who post all day trying to sell me things (I’m looking at you, Plexus people). Relationships rule. Bought your book, read it, and use it!

  15. #23 by billlabrie on April 21, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Hey, first of all: The correct answer is beer, then coffee. Consume them in that order. You will be unstoppable. Whenever I had to get a paper done in college I would relax my synapses with a beer, then whipsaw them back with some caffeine. It’s a radical sensation that lasts just long enough to get a 5-page paper done before one collapses.

    Anyway, Twitter book spam is ridiculous. I want to be supportive of other indy authors, but seeing a flow of automated ads promising nothing but pure ecstasy from every $3.99 download, I am less inclined to make a purchase. The ones who get the nod are the ones who invest in interacting with their readership and posting things of interest, while actually saying something. Involving readers with the creative process is far more persuasive than “buy buy buy 5-star 5-star 5-star”. But it’s also a pain, and kinda risky.

    Great article!

  16. #24 by angelaackerman1 on April 21, 2014 - 11:27 am

    I think this is one of my fav posts of yours, Kristen, but that’s is sort of like saying “this diamond-encrusted tiara is a bit shinier than the rest.” All your posts are epically amazing. :) Thank you!

  17. #25 by Catana on April 21, 2014 - 11:44 am

    I’m sunk. I don’t do social networks or coffee.

  18. #26 by Rosanne Dingli on April 21, 2014 - 11:45 am

    The rise of the amateur-expert is something we probably never thought we’d see. Anyone who’s done anything now writes everything about it … or at least the 10 best – or worst – things about it.

  19. #27 by A.M. Guynes (@annikkawoods) on April 21, 2014 - 11:47 am

    I floundered when I first got onto Twitter and Facebook. I wasn’t sure what was allowed, what wasn’t, or what I should post. Then came LinkedIn and Pinterest and Tumblr. (Though I will admit to just getting on LinkedIn). It’s so hard to maintain all of the different facets of social media. I tend to stick to Twitter and Facebook as my primaries. But as a writer who wants to be published, it feels overwhelming. I always love your blog and the advice you give. It always helps me out.

    (By the way, I don’t drink coffee, sometimes tea, but my go to for getting moving is Mountain Dew.)

  20. #28 by Mary Gottschalk on April 21, 2014 - 11:49 am

    I loved this … before I decamped to the world of writing, I spent many years in the financial markets, and understood that the “easy” profits in any new market accrue to those who get in first .. and the sustainable money goes to those who do it better in the long run. I see that happening to social media … the more people that pile on, the harder it is to get noticed … unless you are indeed doing something right — and it doesn’t matter what you drink.

  21. #29 by Melissa Lewicki on April 21, 2014 - 11:49 am

    My husband was in the AF and he was transferred to Sembach AB in Germany. When the movers brought our stuff into our house at 10:00 am they were so drunk they bashed everything into every wall as they staggered about. A new house was being built in our village. Big flat beds delivered concrete blocks, lumber, and crates and crates of beer.
    I guess that switch from beer to coffee hasn’t hit Germany yet….

  22. #30 by Shea Ford on April 21, 2014 - 12:20 pm

    I remember writing poetry on those old Macs! Ah, memories… lol, those Macs were in my high school writing class where we had, ba-bum, our own makeshift “coffee bar” right in the classroom.

    I’m definitely less permissive of “rude” behavior. Unfollow. Unfriend. But I like the new paradigm, though I’m not comfortable with Twitter. I don’t have a smart phone, and by the time I think of something to tweet that’s not related to my blog, the moment usually passes before I have the chance to jump on the computer. But I’m getting better at it. Definitely better than when I started. AND, I have a Facebook author page now! Movin’ on up! :D

  23. #31 by christineplouvier on April 21, 2014 - 12:30 pm

    Have you read “Connections” (companion book to a documentary series of the same name), by the journalist James Burke? His premise is the serendipity of technological development. He did several productions along these lines, but the first one (late 1970s) is my favorite.

  24. #32 by katewyland on April 21, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    I never thought about the beer vs coffee connection. Makes sense. They needed some way to purify the water.

    I have a blog, use FB and Twitter a little. Was at a conference where Google+ was touted as the next BIG thing. Then there’s Pinterest, etc. I just don’t have time for all that. Need to get your book to see if there’s a simpler way.

  25. #33 by Elena Linville on April 21, 2014 - 12:56 pm

    That’s it, now we know that coffee is the fuel of progress! NEED MORE COFFEE!!!! Wonderful post, Kristen.

  26. #34 by annerallen on April 21, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    Love, love love this post, Kristen. I think lots of marketers are still partying like it’s 2009, and when the same stuff that worked then doesn’t work now (like spamming Twitter) they say social media is useless.

    And the coffee/beer thing: brilliant. Early American settlers used rum. I’ve read farmworkers were rationed a pint of it a day or something. It’s amazing they got around to anything.

  27. #35 by Jean M. Cogdell on April 21, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Great article. I’ve kept up my blog, but limped along on FB and Twitter. So much to do, so little time.

  28. #36 by sharonhughson on April 21, 2014 - 2:19 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out where I went wrong. My husband and my two sons don’t like coffee. They drink (I’m gagging as I type this) Mt. Dew for their caffeine. I’m such a failure in propagating the power of coffee😪

  29. #37 by Deborah Makarios on April 21, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Never underestimate the power of tea – what other widely available beverage could revive a dying Doctor?

  30. #38 by christicorbett on April 21, 2014 - 5:39 pm

    I love that I read this post while sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee :)

    Christi Corbett

  31. #39 by Widdershins on April 21, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    That’s what’s wrong with me. It’s my caffeine allergy!

  32. #40 by andrewknighton on April 21, 2014 - 6:14 pm

    I’d just been thinking about the potential for the bubble to burst, having recently read a lot about social media marketing for a freelance project. All the recommended tactics feel like things that could only succeed until lots of people adopted them, and now social media’s so crowded that every tactic is being used by lots of people. A platform that five years ago let people cut through the clutter of old school interruption advertising is now becoming a source of clutter. I don’t know what comes next, but it clearly can’t be more of the same.

  33. #41 by Jess Witkins on April 21, 2014 - 6:41 pm

    You should write at 4am all the time; this post is brilliant! My hope is that libraries and indie bookstores never close their doors. But the creativity that is coming out of these places in order to stay competitive is really cool to watch! At the Madison Writers Conference I just attended, they actually had a panel of indie bookstore owners talk about how they work with authors and promote authors in their stores. And the venues and everything are changing. One shop owner actually paired the author of Vintage with a downtown vintage shop, thereby taking another market of potential readers to connect with that author. I thought that was really cool. And my library has been doing book discussions for years, but now they’ve added in special book discussion groups that are paired with brunch and guest speakers on the subject matter. The attendance has been PACKED at these events. I’m so fascinated with what our industry is doing now.

  34. #42 by David J Delaney on April 21, 2014 - 8:11 pm

    Great post, and love coffee. I had one while I read (o:

  35. #43 by valerieparv on April 21, 2014 - 8:48 pm

    I read this at 5am, sans caffeine (reheated chamomile tea at that hour) after writing 1200 words of my new book. The muse seems to like that hour. Kristen, it’s your fault I’m on Twitter, which I adore, and Facebook and blogging. Shared your book with agent and web mistress, too. You made it all seem doable, but you kept the caffeine tip to yourself like the secret ingredient in an old family recipe. I’ll forgive you because I’m having fun with social media. Trying to get my head around Reddit currently. Thanks for your great blogs and inspiration. Tweeting this link now.

  36. #44 by Susan Flemming on April 21, 2014 - 11:27 pm

    I took a month long break from facebook to concentrate on finishing my novel and I was only back on facebook for one day before deciding to deactivate my account. Life is a whole lot better without Facebook so I can’t see myself reactivating my account. But I do have two blogs… my homemaking blog and my blog on my writing site. I’m in the process of deciding what I want/need to be posting on that second blog. I may give twitter a try.

  37. #45 by naomibellina on April 21, 2014 - 11:54 pm

    I still can’t believe they haven’t made coffee illegal yet. It’s such a wonderful drug! Shhhhh. Don’t tell.

  38. #46 by M T McGuire on April 22, 2014 - 2:44 am

    Love this. Personally, I’m hoping that the current trend – the attitude that only people with 23 hours to spend on social media every day are ever going to succeed – will change. I’m hoping that the handful of followers my blog attracts each week are reading it. I’m hoping a lot of things. I have great fun with social media but I certainly don’t have the time to do any more than I do….

    In the meantime, I’m putting more energy into local stuff, indie stores etc.

    Cheers

    MTM

  39. #47 by Glynis Jolly on April 22, 2014 - 8:01 am

    I guess I’m both slow and fast at the same time with this thought about social media. I never did understand how these sites could be labeled as social to begin with. I think of Facebook as a gossiping pit. Twitter is better but I think of it as a bulletin board that one might find at the grocery store. As a writer, and a newbie at that, I don’t have time for these sites anyway. I can’t just whip out stories right and left. I slave over each one. Blogs, on the other hand, I find worthwhile because I learn. Online shopping has been a Godsend to me. It isn’t as cheap as going to the local library but there are fantastic deals on books I want. I hope some day that my future book will be one on display online.

  40. #48 by Dave on April 22, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Reblogged this on Jordanfel's Blog and commented:
    Up front, Kristen, it was that 1984 Macintosh that caught my distractible attention. Sorry, but it wasn’t the title that hooked me. Somewhere around 1984, I was in the habit of using my alumni status to play in D.U.’s student stash of 50-60 PC’s & Mac’s. My attention, not as deflectable then as now, was easily snagged by a smaller device, called Macintosh, which also proved easier to settle in with and get the job done.
    Back, I hope, onto the gist of your piece, my PCP and neurologist pulled out their favorite ropes, whips and daggers meaning to bind, impede and finally impale my thirst for coffee. Yes, they took it further, hobbling my demand for all fluids, those two pulled from me a joy in sipping while stumbling around my favorite “internet” resting places. But over the past couple of months, while having their permission to sit in my darling coffee shops, spots where I know and am known, chatting with friends, accompanied by attempts at reading and writing, I’ve discovered something.
    My sleep hasn’t improved much, but that happens without much of a connection to caffeine. Focus has found a more secure spot in my life, being able to finish an article, pulling at least a paragraph to completion is a marvelous benefit. At least for me, this reduction in caffeine has beefed me up at keeping my pate focused.

  41. #49 by Richard Leonard on April 22, 2014 - 8:15 am

    Hi Kristen, I couldn’t help notice the first photo had not one but two common elements of a key players in a recent revolution, Steve jobs: One of the first Apple computers and something suspiciously like the Pixar lamp. Steve had a hand in both companies. He was always the maker of the consumable as well as the tools with which to consume them.

  42. #50 by serins on April 22, 2014 - 8:28 am

    In some parts of the world, the online revolution has not quite yet set off. Part of the problem may be that, there is still a sketisism on paying for something online, before you acctually receive your product. Additionally services such as Pay Pal are not accepted in all countries (or only partially accepted). :-( With so many skammers out there who can really blame the skeptics. I don’t feel comfortable leaving my credit card details on a site to buy something, and if the said site can’t accept payments via Pay Pal or similar I will just go to another site. This means that I won’t be able to buy anything from a local site…… And that I have to wait forever for said item to arrive in the mail. I’m sure people in other parts of the world have similar problems, although coffee can be found in every part of the world ;-)

    As for using social media by authors, well my current favourite author does this quite well. :-)
    Facebook is a great place to keep up with what your favourite authors,TV shows, etc. are doing withought having to surf the web for news.

  43. #51 by Laurie A Will on April 22, 2014 - 11:49 am

    Yes, I do think people are becoming for aware of etiquette on social media. I think it’s coming from over exposure to annoying things. The more spam you get. the more irritating it gets. Or even the first few “share if you agree” didn’t seem bad. But now they’ve morphed into something that implies you’re a bad person if you don’t “share” or you’re against their “cause” if you don’t share. I know more and more people all the time that have started refusing to share anything with those implication no matter if they agree or not.

  44. #52 by Hart Johnson on April 22, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    Man, there are a lot of days I’d love a beer at work, but about two hours later, it is nap time. I think early in the social media I was more patient at socializing people, so I would agree. There will continue to be changes, as sites like Facebook keep trying to make more money and users grow more irritated with how hard it is to reach people, but I would agree that the major movements will be lesser in degree and farther between.

  45. #53 by shad0wrav3n2014 on April 22, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    Reblogged

  46. #54 by shad0wrav3n2014 on April 22, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    Reblogged this on remnantscc.

  47. #55 by Linda Penn on April 23, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Fabulous blog, so insightful. As a self-published author, I have definitely felt the effects of social media – some good, some not so good. I still like the feel of a real book in my hands to read.

  48. #56 by sharonsoni on April 23, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    This was a great post Kristen…I have been witnessing quite a few Facebook Wars on the evolution and present trends in Social Media. But I must say your content was very convincing…But a peep into other corners of the SM world, I would have other things to share the blame with Coffee. I loved your post.

  49. #57 by Kelly Byrne on April 24, 2014 - 12:32 am

    A history lesson and some funny photos. What could be better? You are a joy to read. And for writing it at 4am, I’m impressed as hell there weren’t more “dove” “dived” issues. Which, btw, I didn’t even notice. I love learning and I love entertainment, which is why I love reading your blog. Good stuff.

    Now, I’d like to make a request for your next topic, “How chocolate changed EVERYTHING.” Discuss. ;)

    • #58 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 24, 2014 - 7:32 am

      Thank you. Yeah, me too. I never mind y’all catching any oopses. If I ran my blogs through the same rigorous editing as my books, you’d hear from me once a month, LOL. Hmmm, chocolate. Might have to research :D .

  50. #59 by Doré Bak on April 28, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    I’m a relatively new convert to your blog, and I appreciate your posts on the craft of writing. This post proves to me that you’re also a prophet of technological trends.

    How does an author use social media when she or he wishes to remain anonymous by using a pen name? How do anonymous writers make that sincere connection with their readership and yet remain anonymous? Some authors who use pen names do have legitimate reasons for doing so other than to hide their shame, and there is historical precedence. Thanks.

    • #60 by Author Kristen Lamb on April 28, 2014 - 6:41 pm

      That is probably best answered in another blog. Anonymity is pretty much impossible and impractical, but it is doable.

  51. #61 by Mark Fine on April 28, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    Kristen, The caffeinated power of your proposition is ably supported by this 2010 TED talk by Steven Johnson, “Where Good Ideas Come From”. Here’s the link to his eighteen minute presentation to see his view on the nexus of inspiration and the coffee shop: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from

  1. The Burst of the Social Media Bubble, Rise of the Indie Author & Why Coffee is to Blame | Linda Art
  2. The Burst of the Social Media Bubble, Rise of the Indie Author & Why Coffee is to Blame | jean's writing
  3. The Burst of the Social Media Bubble, Rise of the Indie Author & Why Coffee is to Blame | ugiridharaprasad

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