Sunday, February 19, 2012

From the Editor (also known as "The Prof"): You will critique, in the form of a post to the blog you created in Module Four, the Facebook page of a published writer based on the best practices covered in the lecture.

Find three published writers on Facebook. Choose one and examine his or her page. Critique the writer’s page based on the best practices covered in the lecture. Write about your findings as an entry on your blog, including a list of the three writers you found and an explanation of why you chose the one you did to critique.

I have to preface this post by confessing that most of my weekend was spent either sitting in a convention meeting room, talking with people, lobster poetry... something about about a woman in a banana costume acting out pop songs on a huge dance floor.  If my words don't make much sense at times, that's my fault. I'm still tired. 

Three Published Writers on Facebook.
I chose to look at Kevin David Anderson, Stephen King and Brian Keene.

Choose one and examine ...
Brian Keene (The Rising, City of the Dead)
I'm interested in Keene's Facebook presence because of a thread in our class discussion group.  It seems to be a common concern of writers about how much of themselves to "put out there".  Some writers are not interested in being The Brand they sell and would much rather present the work itself as a product.  A weird, but appropriate comparison an old professor of mine once made about this was "we all love McDonald's fries, but where would they be without McDonald's itself?  Would it better or worse for McDonald's to market each of its products from the shadows or establish itself as a Brand that represents a consistent standard of quality or style with every product?"

Brian Keene's Facebook is locked down compared to a lot of other writers.  It doesn't invite unsolicited conversations or posts.  Brian's photo is from his dust jacket.  His albums contain book covers and images from professional gigs and encounters with other professionals and celebrities in the horror writing/film industry.  There is a clear vibe of fun-within-work that suggests Keene is an interesting person, but there are no personal candids of friend or family, no thoughtful poses looking out to sea.  There are a few quasi-goth shots of a younger Keene lying on Poe's grave.  Keene himself does not interact beyond tagging and describing photos and it is not clear if he's doing it or if it's the work of an assistant.   Fans can interact with each other through the comment options or go to the author's web site and post on a message board.  The Facebook page is very effective in taking people to different sites.  It doesn't seem to present a lot of hosted content.

The page is mainly PUSH marketing, like most author pages, there are posts directly related to Keene's products and appearances.  There are also posts related to related authors.  Most recent posts are "Push" links to products.  Where some authors might put a little bit of themselves out there or encourage discourse with readers through funny pictures or "memes", Keene keeps this to a minimum.  At the same time, the "Brand" Keene is always present, tying together all books, reviews appearances. 

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