First I have to start by saying I'm LOVING this weather! It's warmed up, the snow is melting off and my resurrection lilies are sprouting up. How cool is that? I love seeing signs of spring! I'm SOOOOO not a winter person. Ugh! It seems to just drag on forever for me.
Okay, so I have a question for you all. Status updates, instant messages and tweets. For a writer, online promotion is very important. If we want to sell any books at all we have to get our name out there. There are tons of free ways to do this through social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Twitter and Bebo. You can even connect with readers through places like Shelfari and Goodreads. There are also advantages to having an instant messenger like Yahoo or AIM. Personally, I have family, a few friends, and also people from the publishing world on my YIM. It's a great way to quickly connect with say my editor, my publisher, even reviewers without having to send an email that's going to fill up their inbox--and maybe get lost in the pile!
The thing is, with all these quick messages going out we tend to use quick words and short sentences. Punctuation is not top priority when updating your status message on Facebook. I don't always dot every i in my IMs either. My question is, does it make an author look unprofessional to use text speak? U instead of you. R and instead of are. YW instead of you're welcome...?How far is TOO far when it comes to text speak for authors?
My own personal thought is that we should sound professional, but human. In other words, posting a message on your friend's page--where everyone can see--that says, "Sup, biatch?" is NOT professional. But leaving a smiley face at the end of a status update shows you're, well, happy. That can't be a bad thing, right? I do feel we should watch how 'teenagerish' we get too. My girls roll their eyes when they see me spell out words in an IM. They figure that's lame. Then again, they aren't 42 years old and trying to make a career out of words!
So, what're your thoughts? How far is too far when it comes to slang and abbreviations?