Saturday, March 21, 2015
Poetry magazine and outreach on social media; or the Don Share model
For World Poetry Day, here's an idea. you should get yourself a "Don Share," if you don't already have one. A Don Share can be a poet, an editor, or both, but beyond that, your "Don Share" will be active on social media, building connections and serving as a kind of ambassador for your field. That's particularly important if you run journal, magazine, arts organization, or program.
I was always aware of Poetry magazine. Who wasn't? But, in retrospect, I only made passing glances. I began building a closer connection to the publication only after following Share's work on Twitter, where he actively circulates poetry news, and he moves well beyond just promoting his home magazine. He's a poetry news machine, alerting you to this news, this review, these new volumes, those new and old poets, all of that and more. In the process of serving as such a lively and generous ambassador for poets and poetry, though, he builds credibility for Poetry.
I think literary publications, especially those promoting genres like poetry or short stories, could benefit with a few more active advocates on social media performing the work of circulating news and taking note of what's happening right now in their respective fields. Humanities organizations or even academic programs could benefit from someone regularly posting tidbits and information about new developments in the areas.
As we all know, the ever increasing bodies of data out there are, well, ever increasing. At a rapid pace. As one industry expert noted a couple of years ago, "90 percent of the data that now exists in the world has been created in just the last two years." So why not get assistance from filters or people pressing to make information available to outsiders, novices, and veterans?
There are likely many examples out there, so I raise the 'Don Share model' as just one possibility. For many of us, this model has proven durable and incredibly useful. If you don't have one yet, go out and get yourself a 'Don Share' or one that's similar. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
• Poetry & the Poetry Foundation Site