Better late than never, eh?
Sorry, folks! I intended to get back to this post sooner than now, but deadlines and parenthood and Disneyland and working on my own personal projects got in the way of getting this done in a timely fashion.
Jumping right into it, let me address the concept of using social media to interact with fans. Am I for it? YES Do I think it's for everyone? NO! I wouldn't recommend doing so to those that can't disconnect their personal feelings from their professional persona. I say this because it's a recipe for creating conflict, and I say this because while I was at the midnight release of JLA #1, I was talking to an well-known artist friend who warned me to STAY OFF THE MESSAGE BOARDS. This personal warning came with the revelation that he got into it with fans online and that it "nearly ruined his career". I don't know how much of an exaggeration that is, but I do know that (by his own admission) he is a fellow that can't disconnect himself emotionally from his work.
I thanked him for the advice and politely agreed to disagree. We have two different temperaments and I just don't see myself getting into it with fans.
...don't take this as an invitation to antagonize this Super Professional Blogger in order to see if you can get a rise out of me. That's not nice. And not to come off as cocky, but I have a pretty sharp tongue and it's never a good thing when it gets to acting the crazy. Be warned that if we end up in dialogue about something and you try and bait me... I will turn Derek Jeter on you. I will not go A-Rod on you and say something regrettable and stupid.
At least I hope not. :)
As an aside, my artist friend also advised me AGAINST talking sports with fans, because that's another sure-fire way of driving a wedge between people. But then again, he's a Spurs fan, so how could you blame the fans for turning on him. Kidding! Sort of. Not really... okay, maybe a little.
Of course the willingness to interact with fans via social media comes at a price.... TIME. In order to do so, one must make it a priority to create an interactive online presence. This means tweeting, facebooking and reading through various forums. Like most people, I am a busy dude with a host of responsibilities... BUT I have made a commitment to do what I can to maintain an interactive public presence.
Obviously, I'm not Warren Ellis (of the nearly 500k twitter followers)... nor am I Geoff Johns (35K) or even (and I don't mean that in a negative way AT ALL -- I love him) Josh Fialkov of the 2,339 followers. I'm new to this and I have way less than 400 followers. Now, I'm not saying that to bemoan my lack of popularity... I'm saying it because it WAY EASIER for me to connect to all the fans that want to communicate with me. I imagine that it's much harder for those guys to respond to everyone that wants to talk to them.
All that to say that I will try my best to stay in dialogue with the fans. I want to know what you think... even if I don't agree with it.
Don't start disagreeing with me just cause you can. Play nice!