Just a little while ago, we were talking about the kinds of support we get from other writers and how we value the small communities that build up around blogs and tweets. Some of us are beginners with little to offer except awe for those who are into their third novel. Published or not, that’s tenacity, and if so far they haven’t hooked a publisher, this may say more about the vastness of the market than the quality of their work. If you can’t find ’em, you can’t impress ’em, and as the same principle applies in reverse, getting an airing for your product is an imperative.
But how to do this? How to rise above the sheer oceanic mass of other wannabes, float above the rest on the literary tide, and (to do the metaphor to death) avoid catching a crab of a duff publishing outfit? Self evidently, social networking has to be part of the answer although some balk at its apparent trivialising and intrusive drip-feeding of drivel into every minute cranny of our day. Like it or not though, it’s here and it’s probably staying, so we’d better buy it slippers and set a place at the table for it.
I have to admit I don’t find that too much of a problem. It took me a while to get to grips with twitter and blogs but now that I have, I really do see their potential for showcasing, communicating, supporting and generally getting oneself ‘out there’. Assuming ‘out there’ is in any mood to listen, that is. But there’s another platform that takes the whole business one step further. Suppose you could hire a smart-looking venue and invite your writer/blogger community to come and listen as you read some of your work? Suppose you could engage in discussion with all of them at once wherever they were in the world? Imagine if you could see each other, sit next to each other, have a bit of a boogie to relax? And what if you could do this without any of you having to leave your homes?
For all sorts of reasons, I spend a fair bit of time in Second Life. I had a meeting there today with a research colleague to discuss doing a joint live seminar from our simulation next week – him from one part of the country and me from another. I’ve met artists and musicians who display their work at venues in Second Life, some by streaming their music live into a purpose designed club with a multinational audience. Indigo Mertal is a Second Life designer and artisan who is part of a group called East River Community which is one of the most beautiful areas in SL that I have seen. Indigo is very interested in thinking about hosting events for writers wanting a place to meet and talk about their work, and I’m interested in passing along the idea because I think this would be a fantastic development.
And maybe also because I quite like the idea of going ‘out’, meeting up with nice people, having a great time, and not needing to run for the last bus in impossible heels. Actually, I’ll be there anyway, all you have to do is sign up and teleport over!
Here are some more photos to pique your interest: