RT BOOK REVIEWS Managing Editor Liz French on Thursday's popular "How To Be A Blog Queen" panel at theis year's convention.
Thursday was a thrilling day for fans of John Scalzi. The Ohio resident came down to visit the convention and sign a few books, meet fan girls such as RT science fiction/fantasy reviewer Natalie Luhrs and RT editors Stephanie Klose and myself a nd participate in the "How to Be a Blog Queen" panel with fellow authors Jaye Wells, J.A. Konrath and Emily Bryan, who moderated.
The action was light and lively from the get-go, with Scalzi and Konrath trading quips and observations. Scalzi told Bryan that he broke pretty much all her rules about web postings and blogs, especially the "no politics" rule. He and Wells discussed barring trolls and dealing with a blogosphere that's "full of crazy," as Scalzi put it.
Konrath and Bryan discussed how they used blog tours to promote their books, and Konrath and Scalzi threw around a lot of blog jargon. For instance, when they talked about trolls, author Nathalie Gray, who was sitting in the audience, piped up with a question: what is a troll? I for one was glad she asked, because I don't know either! Wells helpfully defined the term: it's an anonymous poster who "throws a stick of dynamite into a web conversation." All the authors roundly dissed trolls, then proceeded to talk about special features of their own blogs.
On Konrath's blog he posts his sales numbers. Scalzi's blog has a special visitors' section for just-arrived authors called "The Big Idea." Wells recalled how her blog used to have "Weird Wednesdays." And on Bryan's blog offers to critique and edit 500-word manuscripts from aspiring authors in a blog feature she calls Red-Pencil Thursday.
The authors recalled some high points and low of their blog careers and all agreed on this basic advice: don't be an idiot on your own blog. Konrath, who affects an air of unconcern, told posters to be "deliberate about what you post" Scalzi added that you must "own what you write." Wells also counseled caution. "You have to think through what you put out there," she said. "The Internet is forever."
- Liz French, RT BOOK REVIEWS Managing Editor