If you’re like me, you can get on the Internet to do one thing–write a blog post or check Facebook, for instance–and surface hours later, wondering where on earth the time went. I thought it might be fun (and dangerous!) to look at where I go when I’m playing on the ‘net, and find out where you spend your time, too.
Goodreads. If you love books and you’re not on Goodreads, you’re missing out. Yes, there’s been occasional drama and sturm-und-drang over authors and/or bloggers behaving badly, but I’ve been on the site for three-and-a-half years and never been involved in that even peripherally. I find it useful for checking out reviews of books I might want to read, keeping track of my monstrously long TBR list and my even longer list of books read, and seeing what my various reading friends are up to. Plus, of course, post my reviews! There are useful lists; I can find all the books of a series in order, personalize my shelves, and enter giveaways; and if I fan or friend an author and they’ve linked their blog, I get messages whenever they update their blog. (My Goodreads page)
Tumblr. Ah, Tumblr. Tumblr is a great place for fandoms, photos of cute mammals, and social awareness posts. I got into it because that’s where Robin has her blog, so I was seeing not only what she wrote but what she reblogged. (That’s the thing about Tumblr: you’re supposed to reblog, as long as you keep the original source and comments when you do.) Some wonderful authors hang out on Tumblr: Seanan Mcguire, John Green, Tamora Pierce, Maggie Stiefvater. And there’s a whole bookish subculture known as booklr. I post and reblog book-related quotes, photos of books, libraries, and books in art, and other book-related stuff. (The Bookwyrm’s Hoard tumblr)
Facebook. Between my personal page and my blog page, I can spend way too much time on Facebook. . . but working alone at home, it’s the closest thing I have to a watercooler or a break room. I enjoy keeping up with friends from my past and friends I’ve made through blogging, and following what some of my favorite authors are up to. (The Bookwyrm’s Hoard Facebook page)
Pinterest. I find a lot of great quotes, travel photos, and art on Pinterest. Other people like it for recipes and crafts. I pin lots of stuff about books, from quotes and comics to “books in art” to reviews I’ve written. I also pin fantasy art, geeky stuff, writing tips and inspiration, NaNoWriMo stuff, photos of Great Britain, castles, and gorgeous scenery, and knitting- and tea-related pictures. (The Bookwyrm’s Hoard Pinterest page)
Twitter. I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, because I don’t have a smartphone, but I do check in once or twice a day most days, to see what’s new and tweet my latest posts. And it’s great for Twitter parties associated with book launches or reading/blogging challenges. (I tweet at @BookwyrmsHoard)
PicMonkey. PicMonkey is an easy-to-use online photo editor that lets you upload photos, crop, resize, and clean them up, then add effects and text. I run most of my own photos through it before posting them anywhere, and use it with free Creative Commons images to make graphics for my blog. Sure, I could use Photoshop if I had it (it’s expensive!) or PaintShop Pro (less expensive), but for basic photo editing, neither is as easy as PicMonkey.
Canva. Canva is specifically designed for graphic design, particularly text and graphics. It has lots of customizable presets, or you can start from scratch. Sometimes I’ll prepare an image in PicMonkey, then pull it into Canva to add text, because Canva’s text tools are a bit better.
I’m just going to list these, rather than comment on each one individually:
- BookRiot (articles, reviews, lists, other stuff)
- NPR Books (articles, interviews, reviews)
- Publishers Weekly (book news)
- The Guardian‘s book section (articles, interviews, reviews)
- List Challenge’s book section (lists)