The world this week is – among others – breaking its head over the power of private companies such as Twitter and Facebook when it comes to being a platform for undesirable and potentially dangerous opinions that lead to violence. That discussion is not new, of course, and as I’m in no way qualified to judge the rightness or wrongness of their decision to ban the president of the United States and others from further using their services, this blogpost is not about that.
As authors we all know the importance of the algorithms that drive those sites. I for one am an author struggling with this, with the need to post regularly on all my platforms just to make sure I stay in the loop. I’d much rather sit at my desk and write my books and I’m also not keen on spending hours of my valuable time creating fascinating posts just to generate more traffic to my books or personality. But the reality is that I need to do that to stay visible and actually sell my books as an Indie author.
Just like with these conspiracy theorists, peeps are driven to more of the same if you consistently put out more of the same. I’ve never actually thought of myself as a brainwasher of my readers (tongue-in-cheek here) but it’s in essence what we’re all doing. Brands and visibility are created by ‘being out there’ loud and clear and banging on your own pots and pans so these multi-billion-dollar companies allow our posts to be seen by the folks we hope will ‘buy our intellectual property’. Ha!
Whether there will be a change in these algorithms now they’ve shown to be so dangerous, remains the question. For now, we just wait in the wings to see the aftermath of their deadly influence.
This has been a long introduction to the title of this blogpost: LinkedIn. So far, LinkedIn, though not brand-clean, has shown to be a sane, almost advertise-free platform with a bit of a stuffy image; quite on the opposite spectrum from the attractive, glamourous Instagram and TikTok platforms.
So what on earth would a self-respecting pan-banger author do on LinkedIn? Most think this is only for recently graduated twentysomethings looking for a way up the ladder of their career. A kind of extensive CV for offer and demand in the professional field. Not a place for a mid-sixties, historical fiction author, though the stuffiness obviously applies here. *wink*
Well, I can tell you you’re wrong if you think LinkedIn is not for writers. Maybe in reaction to the huge popularity and thus garbage from the rest of Silicon Valley’s giants, LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft Corp) is faring well, quite free from extremists (nothing to find for them there) and sailing through relatively calm waters politically. Now, with all due respect, I may not be in these groups should they exist on LinkedIn but as no question has risen yet of whether there needs to be a purge on this platform, I assume it’s still too stuffy for their likes.
So, what’s to gain at LinkedIn? I mean 6000+ connections in itself doesn’t say much, right? What I find there are genuinely interested readers and reviewers, kindred authors and a generally pleasant atmosphere. I could and will be a lot more active there in the future, but for now I generally post the same stuff as on the other platforms and greatly enjoy the lack of hysteria and controverse. You can post videos, articles, posts, join groups and freely move around without having to look over your shoulder for some nasty attack or other.
If you’d like a further introduction into what LinkedIn could mean for you as an author, just send me a message but remember I’m not an expert. Just a frequent user.