PROJECT PROPOSAL: THE PROFESSIONAL FICTION WRITER'S USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA


email: kmccolle@paulbunyan.net
URL: http://weblogsandwikiskevinmccolley.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/
Wiki: ProWritersAndSocialMedia

Executive Description

I will monitor the use of social media by established and emerging writers of fiction to promote their work. I will then analyze that use by efficacy and genre: how each author uses it well or doesn't, and how that use varies with the type of fiction the author writes.

Narrative

With the publishing industry changing so drastically in the age of the Internet and with the rise of social media, it is crucial to the success of any writer of fiction to understand how the Internet, and, more specifically, social media, can be used to develop and promote their work. In this project I will determine what social media both emerging and well established fiction writers use to develop and promote their work, how they use it, and the social media which they use most efficaciously. I will also determine if writers of different traditional genres of fiction use social media differently.

First, I will identify which writers are using social media. I will identify ten to fifteen writers of fiction of various genres to monitor closely. I will identify five to ten writers in each category--emerging and established authors. I will identify their genre, and I will identify which social media each author is using.

Second, with the authors and their use of social media identified, I will monitor how the authors use the social media they are using. This will involve daily monitoring of each author's social media use, and a daily logging of that use, that will extend throughout the life of the project. It will also involve logging what media authors fail to use. I will monitor weblogs, Twitter accounts, and interactive Internet communications such as Skype. Those identified authors using blogs will be recorded in the blogroll for the project blog and monitored daily from there; those who do not will be monitored daily and recorded in postings on the project blog, and in weekly Twitter reports where applicable. I will also determine, if possible, if the author himself is using the social media, or if a publicist is using the social media in the name of the author.

Third, I will draw general conclusions on how those writers apply social media to promotion, creative production, and research. With two weeks of data gathered from each author, I will begin analyzing for general trends: what media are being used, how the authors are using the social media and to what purpose, and if those uses vary with literary genre. This analysis, then, will go into a weekly report recorded in the blog that will run throughout the life of the project.

Fourth, I will draw conclusions about the efficacy of those writers' use of social media, identifying successes and failures. This will be the final report of the project.

I will use the weblog for daily reports on the recording and summary of the identified authors' use of social media, as well as for reports on the weekly analysis, and the weblog's blogroll will be used to catalog the identified authors' weblogs. I will use the Twitter account to monitor the identified authors' tweets, and the information gathered there will go into a weekly blog posting. I will use the wiki page as a work space for daily and weekly analysis of data, and for overall summary and analysis.

Contract for Grade

I am contracting for 1000 points. The contract will involve identifying ten to fifteen authors for study (100 points), daily monitoring of those authors' weblogs and Twitter feeds (200 points), a daily posting to my blog of my findings (200 points), a weekly posting of that week's findings in the form of an analytic essay (150 points), a weekly posting of the cumulative analysis of those findings (150 points), and a final report on the blog in the form of an essay summarizing what I have discovered (200 points).

Calendar

March 3: Project proposal submitted.
March 9: All authors identified.
March 16: First weekly report on the gathered data. This will be continued weekly throughout the remainder of the project.
March 30: Analysis of the first two weeks' data. The data will continued to be analyzed weekly throughout the remainder of the project.
May 4: Final report summarizing and analyzing all data.

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