The power of blogging, tweeting and author websites is really getting some press now. Today, the shortlist for the Author Blog Awards was announced, which includes several writers. The aim of the award is to 'recognise and highlight the writers who use their blogs to connect with readers in the most imaginative, engaging and inspiring ways'. Here's the shortlist below:
Author Blog Awards
I had a look on some of the shortlisted sites and the main thing that struck me was that what seemed to be the key to success was regular updates and replying to comments/readers. Obvious, you may be thinking. Well yes. But you would think popular sites may also include fancy technology or some innovative getup. This list merely emphasizes to me that communication is one of the main drivers behind gathering interest and in effect, sales/popularity! People no longer want their favourite authors or celebrities to be quite so unreachable. They want to be able to send them a quick message or hear from a direct avenue what's going on with them, be able to give feedback on a post/tweet.
And publishers too, are keen that any new author they take on is committed to building up an online following. The power of the internet is shocking. It doesn't always work, granted, but when it does, it can create a phenomenon. Look at some obvious examples- Arctic Monkeys, The Girl With the One Track Mind, sites like Authonomy and CompletelyNovel that find exciting new reads, Stephen Fry's tweeting and how just recently he had a run in with a rude fan, and so on. There are lots of examples but sadly I don't have the greatest memory!
The internet is a fascinating thing. No one can quite predict where it will go next. Like Chinese whispers, if you put something out there, it may just get passed on and grow and mutate, creating a wave. Or it may only pass onto the select few and stay there. It all just depends who sees it, who passes it on, who's talking about it. These awards are a great example of the power of sharing and being willing to put some time in. 15,000 people voted for over 500 blogs. That's a pretty impressive number in itself and it's good to see some of the top blogs/sites and tweeters getting some recognition. We could learn something from them, that's for sure.
The results will be annouced at LBF. I wonder who shall be crowned winner...