In the May-June issue of Poets and Writers, a new magazine I'm trying out (more on that later), Sarah Weinman has written an interesing treatise on the newest social networking service. In "Are Authors Who Twitter Any Fitter", she addresses the different purposes for which it is used. She says that there are "many in the publishing industry (who). . .consider Twitter an essential marketing and communications tool." She notes the examples of their use for business communication between publishers, reviewers, and booksellers.
However, she goes on to term the service "challenging" to newbies. Further, she states the obvious: it's another way to spend time both looking for something worthwhile to read and actually reading.
Her conclusion is that there no conclusion has been reached about its usefulness.
So, I'm still in the mulling-it-over stage. I don't even keep up with my Facebook the way I should! I doubt I need anything else to take up my time at this stage of the game.
Now about the new magazine. I got a "deal" on it--six issues a year--and my first issue arrived several weeks ago. It's a large magazine, but so far I haven't been able to get into it with the same zest that I have for Tthe Writer or Writers' Digest. I could be wrong, but it seems geared to the more experienced, truly professional writer. I'm not that and may never reach that point.
I have read, however, an interesting interview with poet Ann Lauterbach, author of nine books and only two years my senior. I enjoyed her life perspective since we are of the same generation.
There is a large section on writing contests and the deadlines for same. I've sworn off contests temporarily, but the pages are still useful to anyone who is still entering. There's also a listing of various conferences and residencies for writers. Sigh. I can only dream.
Overall, the magazine appears to be an excellent production, and I got a bargain on the year's subscription---but I'm not sure it's for me. I'll wait and see.