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Follow the (Twitter) leader

Yesterday the pop culture blog Flavorwire published this list of The 35 Writers Who Run the Literary Internet. It’s a nice list, so if you’re looking for some new bookish folks to follow, click on through.

But clicking through the list got me thinking about how the internet is at once enormous and very cliquey. We have a world of information at our fingertips, and many of us broadcast details of our lives via one, two, three, or ten social media platforms. Yet, I bet most of us actually interact with a rather small and repetitive group on those platforms. And we are creatures of habit in our internet consumption, just as we are in our daily coffee shops and lunch orders, Netflix binges and Pandora stations. I read the same handful of blogs every day, rather than venture on to new ones. My Facebook field adapts itself to my “Like”ing habits, and I can’t remember the last time I followed someone new on Instagram.

So I wonder if Influencers lists like these actually influence the Literary Internet in its entirety, or if they merely reflect a certain corner of it? I ask this because I already follow so many of the folks on the Flavorwire list – my book club is reading Emily Gould‘s new novel this summer, and I loved Roxane Gay‘s debut AN UNTAMED STATE so much that I’m counting the minutes until her essay collection BAD FEMINIST comes out next month. I even follow the guy who compiled the list, for crying out loud. And many of these folks are constantly tweeting to each other, which is fascinating to digitally eavesdrop on, but also suggests there may be a lot of overlap between their circles of interest. So are we missing vast swatches of the Literary Internet? What if there are bookworms and aspiring authors out there reading totally different pop culture blogs,  and RTing a set of passionate writers that I’ve never come across? Who runs the Literary Internet in Australia? Or does John Green actually rule the world?

Who are your favorite literary people on Twitter? Any tips for making room in your internet habits for new discoveries?

 

One Response to Follow the (Twitter) leader

  1. Kerry Gans says:

    It’s impossible to keep up with everyone on the Internet, but I accidentally found a great way to expand my blog reading circle.

    I write for a group blog, The Author Chronicles, and every week we compile a list of writing links. With 5 people contributing links, we get a great overview of the web, and almost NO overlap between us. Since we all are interested in different aspects of writing (creativity, business, craft technique, etc), the links are varied and wide-spread. I have loved the experience of seeing all these blogs that I never would have found on my own.

    Now, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to have a links round up. You could get together with a few friends and every week share your top 5-10 favorite blog posts with each other. You might find some really interesting things that way, and it gives you a view outside your usual reading circle.

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