Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book, We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Today, I am letting you guys in on a cool new development. I am launching the #MyWANA hashtag group so that all of us have a place to congregate beyond this blog and make it easier to spread the love. Not that I don’t still want to hear from you guys here in the comments, but I chose the title of my book for a reason.
We Are Not Alone!
Social media is, above all else, social. It is a community. So what I would like to do is extend this little community we have here on the blog on to Twitter. We all need love–writer love, blog love, or even just friend love. The Internet can be a scary place if you are doing this by yourself. Well, now you don’t have to. We are going to be your adoptive Internet family….your Twibe.
Many of you guys are starting blogs. Others of you aren’t sure you want a blog and you might be watching and learning. Some of you guys have been using WANA principles for a while and you are social media pros, with maybe some tips and insights you would love to share with your fellow WANA peeps. We have an awesome network going here at the blog, and I think the addition of the #MyWANA might help making friends a bit easier. We can cross-promote and help and support each other.
I chose #MyWANA to keep it short, but the other unspoken word is #MyWANATwibe, #MyWANACommunity, or #MyWANAPals or #MyWANAPeeps or #MyWANA Family. The #MyWANA column is the place where we all can gather and chat and have fun. By joining all of us together with a common hashtag, this will make it far easier to locate each other. Rather than individually searching for each other by name (@KristenLambTX), we can just follow anyone who pops up in the #MyWANA column.
There is strength in numbers, and platforms are easier to construct if we have help.
But some of you might be scratching your head. You might find yourself asking, What the heck is that # thingy I see all the time? I don’t even know what a # does, so how on earth will a #MyWANA help?
First of all, download TweetDeck (or a similar application). Trust me. It will make life simpler. Check out this earlier blog for why.
What is a #? That little # symbol is going to help you build a worldwide following. I know. That’s partly how I did it. And, now, for the first time ever, it will allow you to talk to your fellow WANA peeps, trade tips, read and promote each other’s blogs, trade recipes, gather resources for world domination using sea monkeys and an egg beater, whatever.
So what is the darn #, Kristen? Focus!
Well, when you first join Twitter, you are all alone…save for the celebrities that Twitter gives you, but it isn’t like you and Lady Gaga are going to chit chat. So, you are going to have to make some friends. Hashtags will help you meet people who love to talk about the same things you do. When you place a # with a keyword at the end of your tweet, Twitter slots your tweet into a conversation shared by people all over the world bound by topic (like #MyWANA).
Some popular writer hashtags are:
#writegoal (place daily writing goals and keep each other accountable), #amwriting, #pubtip, #indie, #bookmarket, #amediting, #nanowrimo, #agent
But the one to rule them all will be: #MyWANA …
One # to bring them all. One # to find them. One # to rule them all and on the TweetDeck bind them.
Okay, wow. Sorry. That took a dark and unexpected nerdy twist. You get the idea! :P
Back to what #s do. Thus, when I tweet about my blog, often it looks like this:
@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip
My Tweet now will not just go out to my specific followers, it will be seen by the THOUSANDS of people all over the world who might be participating in those three popular hashtag conversations.
Why I recommend you download TweetDeck is that you can slot each hastag into its own column and then follow the people and conversations. When it comes to social media, we must interact and be vested in others, or we risk being perceived as fake and selfish. The hashtag is to help us meet and converse with others. It is not a new way to spam our fellow tweeps.
With the addition of the #MyWANA column, this will allow you guys (and me) to gather on Twitter and help each other out and even get to know each other better. Your goals, thoughts, dreams, blogs and books will all remain top of mind and plugged in to your WANA family so we can help. If you are brand new on Twitter, without a friend in the world, you can now just seek out your Twibe #MyWANA and we will take you in and offer love, shelter and a tasty digital beverage.
This is a #MyWANA grassroots movement.
Writing is a lonely business and building a platform can be overwhelming and, frankly, terrifying. There is a lot of misinformation out there about social media. #MyWANA is the place where you can find quality information and the best peeps on the web. If you guys have friends or family who need to build a platform (not just writers), tell them about #MyWANA, and invite them to join the fun.
#MyWANA…where our peeps hang out.
I continually brag that I have the BEST peeps on the web. You guys are THE highlight of my day, and I am so thrilled that I will not only get to see you guys here, but also in the #MyWANA circle. WANA principles are based on service above self, and I am really happy to bring you guys just one more tool to help each other out. And I will be there too, doing all I can.
What inspired Twibe #MyWANA? Recently I taught an on-line class for Write It Forward. I watched in awe how my WANA principles brought together a group of strangers and made them friends. Every day I would watch how these writers visited each other’s blogs and commented, offered feedback, helped each other with content, and even subscribed to each other’s feeds. At the beginning of March I had a roster of individuals. As of yesterday? I said good-bye to a cohesive force, bound by love, community and service. These writers inspired me to take that kind of community cohesion another step…and #MyWANA was born. That, and I am totally selfish and couldn’t really say good-bye to such awesome people. Now I can hang out with them via #MyWANA…and you can too!
So what do you guys think? Excited? Scared? Isn’t it liberating to realize you don’t have to build your author platform all by yourself?
We are not alone! Isn’t that cool?
I love hearing from you! And 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. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of April I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.
Mash-Up of Awesomeness is posted today so keep scrolling!
Will post last week’s/ month’s winner on Friday (Sorry, last week I was sick with a bad cold and there are a lot of names to tally. THANKS ). Check back, please.
May 9-13, 2011, I will be teaching an on-line Building Your Author Brand with Social Media Class for only $15 to support the wonderful Long Island Romance Writers.
My new book, “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer” will be out in less than a month!
Mash-Up of Awesomeness
Add additional depth to your story with symbols. Great WriterUnboxed post by the mega-agent Don Maass.
Cool mindbender blog by Manon Eileen. Geet your geek on with Does Our Perception Fool Us?
A great blog for this week, in light of Bin Laden’s death. A tribute to the heroes, since those are the people we should remember. Piper Bayard’s We Drank Champagne and Remembered.
Some really cool posts about Norse mythology by Terrell Mims. Great post about Loki, the God of Mischief
Hilarious post by the Genius Word Pirate Chuck Wendig… Why Writers Drink
Interesting post by Peter St. Claire, What is a Serial Killer?
Author Amy Shojai has one of THE best pet blogs. Want to keep your dog from digging? Go here.
Don’t Fear the Comma by Orlando Ramos
You don’t have to know code to build a website. Great post for the technologically-challenged by Jane Friedman.
Very cool nostalgia piece by Earl Brussel The Day We Got Lights.
Yes, I am totally poaching @4KidLit’s mashup for last week, namely because there are a TON of killer writer blogs listed (and I am totally lazy and NOT going to type all them out). Adventures in Children’s Publishing always post fantastic links for all kinds of writers, so seriouly go check out their site.
Want to learn about LinkedIn and see if it is a good fit for your platform? Check out Jenny Hansen’s post Build a Writing Network with LinkedIn.
Want the skinny on the best TV shows to watch this summer? Take a peek at Tiffany White’s Tele-Tuesday .
For mystery lovers, K.B. Owen has a great post about Nancy Drew. Girl detective and master slueth.
Want to laugh? Subscribe to the funny and brilliant Tawna Fenske’s blog. This week’s post, ‘Getting Hitched’ Sounds Dirty if You Say It Just Right
And finally, one of my FAVE blogs. Jody Hedlund posts some of THE best material on the web for writers. Excellent post this week, The Three Stages of Querying
Have a blog you just LOVED this week, but it isn’t listed in the mash-up? Tell us about it in the comments or tweet it on #MyWANA.
Until next time….
In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.