I learned to navigate Facebook by enlisting help from my daughter, a graduate student at a Florida university.
I read part of an interview with Mark Cuban in Lloyd Grove’s column at Portfolio.com. Cuban made his primary fortune by plying his entrepreneurial skills as a partner in Broadcast.com. This Web TV company was sold to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock, and then, Lloyd writes, “cashed out before the tech market imploded.” Cuban’s remarks about the Internet are based on what he perceives as an inadequate broadband speed to your home, that limits potential for “technical innovation.” I’m not a computer expert, so I won’t argue Cuban’s point. I guess I’d call myself a “creative expert,” though, using the Web for everything from finding markets for my writing to locating old friends and enjoying the seemingly limitless potential at sites like the social network Facebook as well as the eclectic BlogHer community.
I’d have to say those of us in the arts are having a field day with the Web. Even the U.S. presidential candidates (or their strategists) are beginning to respect the power of YouTube.
As a journalist, I learn something every day, courtesy of the world’s largest information resource. Naturally, using the Web has diversified my publishing portfolio. I write regular columns and articles for some sites and publications, but I often simply write something, email it to a publication I've never done business with, and learn, with pleasure, it suits the editor I sent it to. This happened recently when I spotted a story that no one had covered yet. I did some research, put the copy together and sent it on its merry way. In a short while, I had an acceptance and shortly thereafter, had emailed the invoice. This happens quite frequently. The process once took weeks, even months in some cases. I deal with every editor I provide content to by means of email and on lesser occasions, fax by email. If I have a question related to freelancing, I can post it on any of several message boards at professional organizations I belong to and receive an answer quickly, sometimes immediately. If I need quotes from experts, they're keystrokes and a few URLs away.
As a poet outside the collegiate writing industry, I am certain my poems would have never connected with the number of readers who've found them and then bought the book. Same goes for the readings and programs I speak at. The Web is a writer's best ally.
So maybe those of us in the creative arts, non-geeks that we mostly are, simply look at the Web with a different perspective than someone who is an expert in matters technological. The beauty of the Web, like other media, is in the eyes of the beholder.
Visit my column Web Savvy at The Writer, and drop by my blog Covering Florida.