Saturday, December 17, 2005

Authors Adrift in the Blogosphere

The blogosphere can also be a rough place for fragile ego of authors writes Pamela Paul in the New York Times about writers who google themselves to listen into conversations about their books. There's also a list of the most blogged about books of the year. Nice to see Orwell's 1984 is still very much shaping the collective consciousness.

It's for sure a funny feeling that whatever you put out about book on your blog may be visited by the author. Leon got a nice e-mail not long ago from Irish novelist Sebastian Barry, and I was thrilled to have Paul Andersen drop by and leave a comment after I'd made mention of his huge tome, Hunger's Brides back in September, when the book was reviewed by the New York Times. It does pull you up and make you realise that you need to be fair and accurate and even sound reasonably intelligent in what you write!

I fall more in love with blogging as a medium all the time. Connectivity and immediacy. Total editorial control. From my head to yours, across the city or across the world. I surprise myself by wanting to write for my blog much much more than I want to write for paper publication and get paid for it.

And I got my 30 seconds of fame when I (apparently) got quoted on the lit pages of the Guardian with a wise comment on the Booker winner!

Now tell me, how many of you google your own name every day to see what the world is saying about you? (Guilty!)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I google practically every name I come across :) have gotten some very nice results :)

lil ms d said...

congratulations sharon!

The Visitor said...

i google my name to see where my stories go...they appear in some quite surprising places.

dreamer idiot said...

Totally unrelated comment, or question, rather:

Do you think that the English language being not the primary language, or least the first language of Malaysians makes it terribly hard for the appreciation of the sugnificance behind poetic metre and language cadences of poetry in English? Or am I plain tone deaf...cause I can never correctly scan a peom...:(

Sceondly, I have been mulling something for some time now... and was wondering if you might be interested in starting a weekly blog for (mainly Malaysian) lovers of poetry... with different (malaysian) individuals sharing a poem and giving a short write up each week. Just a thought.... I think it would be fun, but don't know whether there would be enough interested parties to share and spread this blogging load/burden...

Ivan Chew said...

Nothing to be guilty about. I create technorati watchlists for my name and blog-name, so that I know who has cited me or posts that I've published. I would then join the "conversation" in their blogs, or invite them to mine. As you said it, "connectivity and immediacy". Blogging is about conversations and dialogue, so you need to know who's talking about whom and what.

Siege said...

My scarlet letter is G. Google-ing. Hehhee.

Leon Wing said...

Hi dreamer idiot, I think starting a weekly poem blog is a great idea. Let us know when your blog is up. good luck!

BTW, dreamer, if you need some help with scanning poems and stuff, let me know if I can help, cos I'm into this kind of thing,like metres, sounds, movement, etc.

Quite some time ago I created my own website, doing all my own programming with PHP and database stuff, for people to upload their written works - fiction, poems, nonfiction, etc - but, I don't know, it could be my site was too plain, nobody bothered anything.

Hi Sharon, actually I got a very nice email from Toby Litt. I can't tell you how pleased I was at first, thinking he would have had emailed everyone else in the meet-author do as well. When you told me he actually requested for my name alone from the Brit Council people, I was thrilled!

FBT said...

I tried googling my name, but it is common as dirt and there are thousands of my doppelgangers, mainly in America, but scores both in PJ and in HK. I suspect no one is talking about me (sob!)

Namra said...

lets just say that if it is a crime, I would have been the most wanted at the top of the list...in various search engines.

I can't help it, narcissism is just too cool!

The Visitor said...

tlon,

is your name John Smith, by any chance?

Lydia Teh said...

Guilty. Like Visitor, I do it mostly to find out where my articles appear and to find out about others say about my books.

bibliobibuli said...

dreamer idiot - i'm so stretched with all that i'm doing at the moment and shouldn't even be spending so much time on this blog ... but if you were to get things started i'd be interested to follow postings and add comments ... leon is a much better person to rope in as he is so much more skilled in critiquing poetry ... but this sort of thing needs to happen and i hope it does ... and you'll never know if it can work unless you try it

haha - glad to know i'm not the only self-googler! visitor - yes, it's fascinating to see where articles end up ...