I’m an old man. How old? I won’t tell you that I’m 45 goin’ on 46 because it’s none of your business. But I will tell you that sometimes you crazy kids with your rock and roll and your leg warmers and your internets and suchlike really confuse me. World of Warcraft? Sounds like fun, I’ll go get my dice. Halo? Not really into the whole angel thing, but freedom of religion and all that, right? Xbox 360? Hey none of that porn talk in here, pervs.
Imagine my horror then when I was more or less compelled to more or less compel authors to get out there in the social media world and digitally pimp themselves and their books like there was no tomorrow. For a very long time I had that one set on “do as I say, not as I do,” and you couldn’t find me on the internet with a frickin’ metal detector. And not just because I’m not made of metal and anyway metal detectors don’t help you find things on the internet, but because I wasn’t there.
I once went on one of the FR message boards because a bunch of people were posting that they had bought a copy of the hardcover edition of Dissolution by Richard Lee Byers and thought the deckled edges were a mistake and wanted to return them as defective. I went on to explain that we wanted it that way, and was immediately jumped on by someone who hated Baldur’s Gate, then people jumped on that person for being rude to me (thanks), though they agreed that Baldur’s Gate sucked (um . . . thanks?).
Yeah, thanks everybody. I’m out.
But there’s an old Klingon proverb that says, “time and tide waits for no man,” and eventually the tide of social networking caught up to me and now, more than ever before, I’m out there–including being out HERE. Hi, everybody, this is social networking we’re doing right now.
So now when I encourage authors to get out there on Twitter, I can back that up with a Twitter account of my own, @PhilAthans, and one we maintain for the program itself: @WotC_Novels.
I have a blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, which I update every Tuesday to pimp my new book and pontificate on all things writing, publishing, fantasy, and science fiction.
I’ve signed up on GoodReads and though I will not become a critic and offer pithy little dismissals of other author’s work, I’ll use it to give myself, my friends, and authors who I admire from afar some chunky 5-star reviews. That’s one of the beauties of social networking. If you’re just the slightest bit smart, and I have been described more than once as just the slightest bit smart, you can bend it to your will–at least a little.
Also on GoodReads, I joined groups for an old friend of mine, Drizzt, and the world he lives in. There are more groups that WotC readers and gamers will appreciate over there, too.
I’ve even posted some photos on Flickr, which is fun, though it’s also starting to remind me how rarely I take photos anymore. Gen Con 2008? Hey, if you haven’t seen ’em yet, they’re brand new to you!
Posterous is a little oddball, since my real blog is at WordPress and my second to the realest is here, I really don’t need a third, so this one just kinda refers back . . . still, any Google hit in a storm, eh?
So if you’re interested enough in what’s going on here to read this, why not follow me to some of these other dark recesses of the limitless internet? You’ll find some familiar friends along the way, and join in my ever-expanding e-community while you draw me into yours. And don’t worry, I can suck it up if you hate Baldur’s Gate. If you hate on the Watercourse trilogy, though, I may have to unleash the kraken.
And I work at Wizards of the Coast. We have those here.
–Philip Athans, Out There on the Internet