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Where Do Readers Hang Out Online the Most?

*Image Source John Atkinson* 
 By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund

I recently did a blog post about the changing nature of blogging and mentioned that I didn't think my readers really hung out much on my blog. To my surprise, several readers commented about the issue.

Here are a couple things they mentioned:

Sylvia said: I am a reader, not a writer. Reading your blog posts is always something to which I look forward. I just don't comment much. Since I'm not a writer nor a great talker, it's difficult for me to form the sentences into a smooth, enjoyable reading experience for others. Therefore, I don't comment much. I am certain there are plenty of others like me out there who read the posts all the time, but don't comment.

Deanna said: From a reader's view, I enjoy reading author blogs. However, I do know how much time a blog posts takes away from an already busy schedule. Basically I see both sides of this coin. I really think some kind of presence is a good thing or else I may not have found out about your awesomeness!

I truly appreciated the feedback, ladies! Thank you!! It's good to know that some readers enjoy reading author blogs! (And as a side note, I NEVER pay attention to how a comment is written. I don't care if there are typos, repetitions, etc. In fact, I type my comments fairly quickly and make plenty of mistakes myself!)

In light of the discussion of whether readers follow author blogs on a regular basis, I thought it would be a great time to ASK READERS to chime in WHERE they like to hang out the most online. In other words, which social media provides the best avenue for connecting with authors you like to read and follow? (So readers, make sure you chime in the comments with your thoughts! I sure would love to hear!)

From my perspective as an author, here's where I see readers hanging out and interacting with me (going in order from the MOST to the LEAST):

1. Facebook Author Page:

I've found that I interact with readers the most on my Facebook Author Page (not my personal account). On my Page, readers can swing by anytime and make comments without having to wait for me to get around to "friending" them. And they can also comment without the intimidation of the blog commenting system (or the comparison of other comments). Readers usually leave a comment after reading one of my books and let me know what the book meant to them.

2. Emails:

I also hear from a lot of readers through emails (either directly or through the contact form on my website). Emails tend to usually be longer and more personal. I likewise return the email with a personal, longer note of my own.

3. Pinterest:

Although most people don't use the "comment" feature on a regular basis on Pinterest, I find that many readers interact with my Pins by repinning or liking them. And I regularly interact on Pinterest as well. It may not be a place to "chat" but it is quick and easy way to stay in touch with each other via pictures we post. I've found that my numbers of followers is growing at a faster rate on Pinterest than any of my other social medias sites.

4. Blogging:

Like I mentioned in my recent post about blogging, even with my Thursday posts that are geared for readers, I still don't see a lot of readers hanging out at my blog. As Sylvia said above, many readers might be reading, but just not commenting. And that's perfectly fine! I think most of the time, people who comment are usually other bloggers who already feel comfortable with the blogging process. And I'm guessing most average readers don't have blogs.

5. Twitter:

I interact the least with readers on Twitter. Most of my followers there are other writers. Thus I find Twitter a great place to chat about writing stuff, find writing links, and keep up with industry happenings.

6. Other social media:

Generally speaking I don't find that many of my genre readers are hanging out in places like Linked In, Google Plus, Tumblr, etc. I have started to get more messages and comments from fans on Goodreads, but by and large, I don't interact with readers there.

So those are my thoughts about reader hangouts! Now it's your turn to share!  

Readers, where do YOU hang out the most? In your opinion, which social media is most deserving of an author's time?



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