Lucky for me (and the 274,874 fans on her Facebook page) one of my favorite authors also happens to be incredibly active in social media. Meet Diana Gabaldon, Ph. D. and author of the award-winning, #1 NYT bestselling Outlander series. Having made the successful transition from a university professor with an expertise in scientific computation, to a writer of historical fiction, her early adoption of social media platforms makes sense. As a matter of fact, she’s been involved in “social media” since 1985. Wait, what? Facebook has only been around since 2004, and Twitter since 2006, how is that possible? While Gabaldon is highly active on both her Facebook and Twitter accounts, her first love is actually CompuServe. Yep. THAT CompuServe. The first major online service in the United States, which dominated the field from the 80’s until the mid-90’s. Remarkably, she is still very active on the platform, and interacts regularly with fans there. Although I used to check out the postings there now and again, I’ve taken to following her on the more “modern” platforms.
On Facebook, the author creates the majority of posts. Occasional posts do appear that are made by an administrator, but those are clearly labeled as such because Gabaldon’s following is a highly invested group who comment and question EVERYTHING that’s posted. Posts appear in a fairly unscheduled manor. When inspiration suits, or there is news to be shared, the author can be counted on to include her fans. She is rather consistent though with sharing her #dailylines. These are small pieces of her books, both those in print, and the one she is currently working on. Whatever the subject matter, fans can be counted on to weigh in on absolutely everything. The author herself replies to comments as necessary, and sometimes wades in to set straight the facts of a situation when comments appear to have run off the rails. To her credit, Gabaldon is straightforward and not shy about the issues being discussed. Personally, I tend not to comment on the posts, but more often enjoy the frequently over-zealous comments of the other fans. Really, it’s quite entertaining.
74,119 Followers on Twitter are entertained 140 characters at a time. Gabaldon has replied to many of my own Tweets, including the one I sent this week, in search of data for this blog. When she’s in town and not writing up a storm, Diana Gabaldon is often involved in Twitter conversations. Her #dailylines appear here as well, and most often her sense of humor is in high form.
Diana Gabaldon rounds it all out with a YouTube account. Since the first book in her series is being adapted for tv by Starz, the video platform makes sense. Facebook, Twitter and CompuServe remain her forte . . . right after the writing of fantastic fiction.