"Change We Can Believe In... Yes We Can". Anyone with a television or a computer has probably heard that statement lately. Barack Obama is leading a call for change. It's my fervent hope that most of you are listening. The world today is in a very dangerous place and without some serious leadership I fear the world will not be a good place for my children as they grow older. Tsunami Tuesday is tomorrow, and I hope all my American friends get out and vote for change.
I tend not to be too political (I am Canadian after all, it seems to be our hallmark)but I firmly believe that things need to change. Did you know that more than 50% of the worlds farmers have stopped farming? That the cost of basics like milk, flour and rice are rising to the point where even middle class folks like me are going to have trouble affording food. What happens then? To make it hit home even clearer... what happens to books when people can't afford to eat? I don't think I have to tell you. Vote change. Vote for a positive future. Hell, just vote. Please.
Of course, that little rant is outside of why I wanted to write today about Obama, and really, all the candidates. Visit their webpages because I think the most interesting part of their entire campaigns, and something we as business folks need to look at, is what they are doing to market their candidate. Seriously, Barack Obama is more socially connected than we are! (And yes, I realise that it's all done by staffers who have the time to do it) But my point is, it validates all that we are doing. We need to connect directly to our readers, and our authors, via the social networking sites. The world is a-changing, and if we change with it, we might just survive what is going to be a very difficult two years (the prediction for economic down turn and the necessary recovery time).
I, personally, don't much care for MySpace (sorry folks!), but I have a page. I'm on Facebook (I love the Zombie fights, go figure!), I'm on Ning, I have a Twitter account (though to be honest, I never figured it out), I Stumble with StumbleUpon, I have a shelf over at Shelfari, Im LinkedIn (and getting well connected there), I occassionally Flickr, I Digg, I have a Bebo account (not used much yet), and I try to stay on top of things (Yuwie.com is up and coming, though give the number of page counts it takes to make money, can't see that one happening). I've joined book groups, reading circles, befriend madly on occassion. I've got Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups and photo's on Snapfish (that one is personal). Does it sell books? Probably not so many yet. But I'm not very proficient, and of course, I'm the publisher, rather than the author, so I have a hard time promoting one title over the other, thus diluting my influence. Then there is the time it takes.
On the other hand, some of it is actually fun. I've connected with people I've not seen in a while. But back to Obama. His message is consistent across the board from site to site, it's a clear message and well conveyed. I think that, even should you not choose his politics, you should choose his message, and steal a few tricks on how to market yourself! I know I plan to.