Very interesting article by Hilton Collins in his blog, Imagination Unplugged http://ow.ly/qT6ja
17 Creative Professionals Explain How Digital Technology Touches Their Lives and Careers
Hilton Collins | On 14, Nov 2013
All creative professionals know that digital technology can help them market their work and engage an audience, but harnessing its power is tough.
Creative people understand that they can use the Internet and social media as tools to boost their careers in many ways, but it’s not always easy. They also know that this technology reshapes how everyone lives their lives.
Imagination Unplugged was created in part to explore digital media’s impact on the creative artist, both professionally and personally. Many of these web-savvy folks build online platforms through blogs, video, and social media to reach audiences.
But these same tools also affect them personally. Just like everyone else, creative artists spend more time enjoying online shows, games, and e-books as years go by. Some apps and other technology also help them organize their time and create their works of art.
Last week, I posted interviews with 20 people about their creativity, and this week I’m posting responses from 17 of them about how digital technology makes an impact on them.
How does the Internet and digital media affect you, either personally, professionally, or both?
I asked the same writers, visual artists, and businesspeople about the role this technology plays in their lives and careers. Some struggled with its use early on, some are just getting the hang of it, and others have mastered its marketing power. See what actual professionals have to say about digital media and its role in their lives as creative artists.
Andy Schmidt – Owner of the Comics Experience School and Former Marvel Comics Editor
I run my own web-based teaching business called Comics Experience. The website is where folks register. Twitter and Facebook are integral to the marketing, and doing the “Make Comics” Podcast at iFanboy has been nice in just spreading the word. And the classes themselves, while held live, are still held via the Internet. So, it’s huge from a business perspective.
When I’m creating media at Brand + Entertainment Solutions, I have to know how all kinds of things work and what kind of experience fans get from them. I’ve worked in probably every medium at this point, even app games and such. Pretty exciting stuff, but man, it’s a lot to keep track and stay on top of!
Unfortunately, the flip side of that is that I don’t have much of a personal life digitally. It’s not that all I do is hype stuff, but I know people that I don’t really know are watching and reading, so I keep it within certain parameters I’ve set for myself. One does have to be careful, and I’m probably not as careful as I should be.
Diantha Jones – Author of the “Oracle of Delphi” Series
Social media is everything. Personally, it’s how I’ve kept in contact with all of the wonderful people I’ve met over the years, and it’s how I meet new people. Professionally, it’s how I engage with other authors, readers and bloggers. It’s my main avenue of promotion and so far, it’s served me well.
Angela Booth – Copywriter, Entrepreneur, and Writing Teacher at Sell Your Own Writing Online
The Internet has been an all-encompassing part of my personal and professional life for so long that it’s very hard to remember typewriters, and life without the online world.
An academic at the University of Melbourne got me Internet access in the late 1980s. This was in the days of BBBs (bulletin board systems), and several years before the development of the Web. I discovered CompuServe, and spent huge amounts of money on access every month.
Once the Web grew, and the Mosaic browser was available, I realized that everything had changed. In 1994 I gave presentations called “The Internet and the New Age of Creativity.” Those presentations were met with blank stares, but I knew that before long, everyone would be online and that they’d CREATE content.
I always write about what I’m doing, so from the early 1990s I wrote for computer magazines, and also wrote business books. I wrote one of the first books ever on making the Internet work for your business. That was in 1998. Publishers had no idea what the Internet was, and how it might affect publishing. It was very wearing on the nerves to work with an editor who had no idea what I was talking about.
Reading and writing make up a huge part of my day. My iPhone and iPad are always with me. Oddly enough, I spend more time on my iPad than I do on my iMac — go figure. These days I avoid paper books, partly because of storage. Our home is crammed with books. For years, I had a policy that I had to give away the same number of books that I brought into the house. Mostly I read e-books because they provide instant gratification, and I can read what I want, when I want — no more hunting for books.
I have many blogs. I tend to get an idea and create a blog for it, and then write an ebook. It’s all become automatic. I don’t think about it — I’ve always considered blogging instant publishing, and created my first blog in 2000. So platform-building is painless. Total fun.
Zach Prez – Web Marketing Expert at Photography Spark
Given my profession is online marketing, the Internet and digital media shape my professional and personal interests. I’m constantly connected, whether it’s streaming songs from the phone’s Google music app to my car’s bluetooth system, or doing drawing lessons with my kids via YouTube. Thinking with the Internet first can change the way you approach almost any situation, and that approach has become ingrained in my daily life.
Kathy Lynn Hall – Twitter Expert, Fiction Writer, and Author of “Red Mojo Mama”
For the longest time I wasn’t interested in Facebook, but now I find I’m stopping by regularly, more for social connection than anything else. Twitter is very much about my aspirations as a writer. It is more of a platform building exercise although I have good friends on there. When I have a chance to do so, I try to really have conversations with people on Twitter and catch up with people I haven’t seen on my timeline for a while. However, if I wasn’t a self-published author I doubt if I would ever have started using Twitter. My day often starts at the computer, checking Twitter and Facebook while I wake up, and I continue to check in periodically throughout the day. Social media has definitely become an integral part of my life and I don’t regret it a bit. Unfortunately, like most writers, I’ll use any excuse to avoid the blank screen and social media ends up being that excuse more often than I’d like.
Bruce McAllister – Writing Coach, Veteran Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer, and Author of “Dream Baby”
I do the internet and social media because to be alive in 2013 I must, but they have nothing to do with my writing. There are entire generations of younger writers now who appear to write in order to exist in the internet community–to exist socially. For them writing is a social activity. I write privately, and I use the digital era to get my writing out into the world. If computers and mobile devices and the internet and all things digital disappeared tomorrow, I would type on my 3rd grade typewriter again, post the stories tin hardcopy to editors, and correspond with my fellow human beings by long and slow typed letters–connecting with them from my little island–the way we all did once. I’m happy either way.
Corbett Barr – Business Blogger, Web Marketing Expert and Consultant, and the Entrepreneur Behind Think Traffic
I love technology, but it’s important to remember that it’s just a tool. The real point of life is to connect with people and share experiences. That becomes harder and harder to remember as technology becomes more and more pervasive.
Allen Schatz – Mystery and Suspense Writer and Author of “Game 7: Dead Ball”
Outside of the obvious “it really makes the world very small,” I think the impact related to my writing is that it has allowed me to be discovered. I originally tried the traditional route of publishing. I signed on with an agent, but after 18 months, he was unable to sell my book to anyone and released me. I took that opportunity to go into self-publishing. I created a website for my writing (www.allenschatz.com) and increased my Twitter (@raschatz) and Facebook activity to promote myself and interact with readers and fans. I think more than anything, the Internet and digital media have enhanced my enjoyment of writing and reading.
Luke Romyn – Bestselling Author of “Sins of the Father”
Professionally my life seems to revolve around the Internet. Days when I’m not on some sort of device checking emails or updating social media are rare. Twitter and Facebook are the backbones of my marketing platform, and I have hundreds of thousands of people whom I chat with and share some of the nonsense rambling around in my brain. I think this is an amazing age to be an author, with outlets such as Amazon completely revolutionizing the industry, and I look forward to what the future might bring.
Steven Montano – Dark Fantasy Author of “Blood Skies” and “City of Scars”
I haven’t been a terribly social person ever since we moved to Washington — my wife and I have always been somewhat hermetic — so social media allows me to meet and interact with folks from all over the world, to share stories and jokes and insights with people I otherwise never would have connected with, and I love that. From a business perspective, I use Twitter as a marketing tool to connect with readers and potential readers, and I use Facebook to keep the really “hardcore” fans informed. I won’t pretend like I know what I’m doing, aside from making things up as I go along.
Claude Bouchard – Bestselling Author of the “Vigilante” Series
The Internet and digital media have a huge impact on me, both personally and professionally. On a personal level, email and social media have vastly facilitated communication with family and friends regardless of their location. I’m still awed when I consider how easily I can transmit messages, documents and photos instantly from halfway around the globe… A far cry from being impressed when we could get our photos developed in an hour. On the professional side, without the Internet and digital media, what I do for a living simply would not exist… *Shuddering at the thought of returning to corporate life…*
Jake Needham – Bestselling Author of Multiple Crime Novels, Including the Jack Shephard series
I’m not much of a Facebook user, but I’ve discovered that Twitter is quite an effective way of keeping in touch with readers and meeting new ones. I think I have something like 45,000 Twitter followers now, and I try to tweet a half dozen times or so a day. I talk mostly about my own books, their background and some of the real events they have connections with, but occasionally I talk about other things as well. That gets me nice feedback from readers so I guess I’ll keep doing it.
David Leadbeater – Bestselling Author of the Matt Drake Thriller Series
The Internet slows me down. It’s too easy to sit at the computer, plot at hand, ready to write, and suddenly get distracted by a quick bout of surfing. On the other hand it’s surely the best writer’s tool – research has never been so easy. Just be careful with those keywords – type CIA government plot too many times and you might get some unwanted attention!
Social media is great. Very easy to get lost in, so I have to limit my time there. Twitter especially, but also Facebook are good for me to connect with readers and other authors.
Dianne Harman – Political Thriller Writer and Author of “Tea Party Teddy”
Digital and the Internet have been pretty much my sole outlets and have worked for me. I didn’t want to waste time visiting all the bookstores, getting rejected, and maybe getting a couple to take my books on consignment, so I went the digital route and am happy I did so. It takes a lot of time and commitment, but it’s working. As far as my life away from writing, other than reading books on my iPad, I’m not a web or Facebook junkie. I view the Internet as a way to get information I need and a way to market my books.
Jason Halstead – Science Fiction & Fantasy Author of “Voidhawk”
The Internet does not make all things possible, but it makes all things a whole lot easier. Professionally speaking I use it to blog about my books, thoughts, or random ideas that entertain me- or rarely, irritate me. I have a Facebook fan page where I post regular updates, and I have my own website I built to further showcase what I’ve done and what I’m doing in the world of fiction. I use Twitter extensively to reach out to fellow authors and readers alike, as well as sharing occasional bits about my books to hopefully lure people in. Of course there’s loads of opportunities to do research on the Internet that were lacking twenty years ago (or required trips to experts, libraries, and other complications).
Personally speaking, the Internet makes life a lot easier. Sometimes it’s as simple as my wife ordering pizza for dinner when we’re having guest over. I’ve got a mildly bad habit of playing online computer games every now and then – without the Internet I’d be way too productive! Email, corresponding with writers and fans, answering questions about how I use the Internet, and enjoying occasional media (typically Pandora) are all made possible with the Internet.
Pinguino Kolb – Visual Artist and Correspondent forSpelunk.in
I live on the internet – it is my entire life. It’s an extension of my mind- I could not function properly without it. Everything I do is fully integrated digitally.
With smartphones and cellphones in particular, there is little left that is unconnected. Even when I am overseas without live access, I use all of my devices as thought recorders, memory collectors, and reminders.
John Marcotte – Journalist, Web Developer, and Founder ofBiznerds
I run a digital media company that does websites, online marketing, and SEO work. The Internet and digital media are so ingrained in our DNA that it would be impossible to list all the ways we leverage them. I can no longer remember a time when I simply wondered where I had seen that actress before without looking it up on my smartphone.
Tools such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter mean that I am always documenting my life, and I get regular updates on friends that I would otherwise not see. I maintain friendships in Los Angeles, St. Louis, and even Egypt that would be impossible without the net.