Now that Rogue Strands has reached the figure of 2,000 followers on Twitter (click here to join the happy throng!), it's a good time to reflect on how Twitter and Facebook interact with poetry blogs in general and specifically with this one.
First things first: I don't see social media in isolation. Instead, I make use of them as a means by which my posts on Rogue Strands might reach the greatest number of potential interested parties and readers. In other words, Twitter and Facebook help to spread the word.
Of course, transience is inevitable these days. Twitter is certainly faster-moving than Facebook, which lends it extra dynamism but also means that more stuff slips under the radar and disappears into the flow of information. Facebook, meanwhile, seems to have greater scope for discussion. On the other hand, one growing problem is that any debate of a blog post now often takes place via a comments thread on Facebook. The afore-mentioned thread then rapidly loses any connection with the post in question if and when readers go back to it a few months later.
Nevertheless, Rogue Strands' constant growth is in no doubt partly down to interaction with social media, viewing them as a beneficial tool rather than a threat or even an alternative. A quick glance at my blog stats shows that clicks through from Twitter and Facebook have trebled over the past couple of years. The latter is inevitably more slow-burning after a post is published, while the former is more immediate. All this is proof that poetry blogs are far from obsolete. They simply need to adapt to the ever-shifting virtual world around them.
Derek Walcott, poet and playwright of Saint Lucia, died on 17 March at the age of 87. I think I recall my first Derek Walcott poem. It was 'The Season o...