Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yes, Virginia, there’s a place for you on Facebook even if you’re over 40

Last week I was on the phone, talking business with a meeting organizer. She’s younger than me. When I told her I had a Facebook page, she giggled. I told her age doesn't mean much to me. I forget how old I am; most days I have more energy than I did at 20 because I don’t keep the late (often rowdy) hours I did then.

My older daughter, a grad student at a Florida university, actually talked me into doing the Facebook page. I’ve already had lots of fun (her friends have become mine in many cases), but I’ve also discovered two interesting poetry groups, a magazine group, an animal lovers' group, and linked up to several other freelance writers. There's even an over 40 Facebook group. A daily newspaper reporter did an interview with me about my Facebook experience, and the story was in the business section Monday.

Major publishers use social networks to promote their book titles ahead of the title’s release date. Journalists like me use social networks to glean quotes for articles, to dig up stories, and to stay on top of trends. When my new book comes out, my page will be the first place I announce the release. I’ve already turned up two stories I’ll write, based on my interaction within this social network. I also post links to stories I've written for magazines, Web sites and newspapers.

I wrote an earlier article here at Creative Writer US about a poem inspired by my Facebook experience.

I’ve received virtual plants that grow and bloom over a period of several days, and friends have gifted me cyber-beers and a cup of coffee.

So even if you’re over 40, you can still have fun and benefit professionally by using social networks like Facebook.

Related links:

Florida Times-Union story by J. Elliott Walker about Facebook

Creative Writer US column about Facebook poem

My article at The Writer, ‘Networking with Other Writers’, for my column ‘Web Savvy’

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