Tweeting Literature- The Next Big Thing?
During my summer internship at NBC Bay Area News, I wrote an article about Matt Stewart, a local author who published his first novel via 3,700 tweets on Twitter. Stewart claims to be the first author to publish a novel on Twitter, but after digging deeper I found that he is one of a few people who are using Twitter to publish literature.
In all honesty, when hearing Stewart brag about being a published author on Twitter I was not impressed. “Ok,” I thought, “so no one credible wanted to publish your book so you did it yourself. Is anyone actually going to read it?”
Well, Stewart’s novel The French Revolution may only have 1,023 followers on Twitter, but it turns out credible literary organizations are starting to use new media Web sites such as Twitter to publish literature as well.
According to a New York Times article, Electric Literature, a quarterly literary magazine is using new media to its advantage to “revitalize the short story in the age of the short attention span.” In addition to using Facebook for publicity, the magazine also publishes videos on Youtube and will begin having authors tweet out short stories on Twitter.
I suppose it is good that people are trying to maintain art and literature in a world of decreasing attention spans and the-world-at-your-fingertips-technology, but at what point is this too much? Is our society ever going to look back at the simple days when magazines and books were published on paper and miss it?