Gutenberg and his moveable type printing made it possible to spread ideas
and stories on a large scale. The written word became a commodity. Internet platforms such as blogs and social media are an amplification of the Gutenberg effect. In the 21st century everyone can be a writer, putting their ideas and stories on the internet.

What does social media/ the internet mean for you the writer? For a start,
you are reading this on a social media platform. Is the internet and writing a match made in heaven? Or is social media a trivialisation of a noble art?

Writing is communication, and communication is at the heart of the internet.
Anybody with a Facebook account can write down their ideas, tell a story and post them to Facebook, making them available to a potential audience of millions. But that’s the rub – it’s a potential audience. As someone once remarked, “it’s all about eyeballs on the screen”. Just because it is written and “published” doesn’t mean it will be read – you need ‘presence’.

Certainly, social media is where you establish presence. You know you have presence when you have followers, the more the better; if you have enough you become an influencer.

If you write to be read then you should put it out there – Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, blogging, commenting – just press send. If you don’t tweet, blog, snap and chat, if you don’t put it out there, what’s the point of writing! Hmm … maybe not!

Agree or disagree, come along on Tuesday 1 June at 2pm at the Bunch of Grapes and join the Writers Corner discussion about social media and putting yourself out there in the digital universe.