“Since the dawn of time, human beings have felt the need to share – from food to art. Sharing is part of the human condition. A person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone.” Paulo Coelho
As usual, inspiring words from the beloved Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho; words that do not only highlight an innate need in us – human beings – but also give us a better insight about the reasons why the web’s evolution into a social hub became a big success. This social hub brought people together to share their fears, emotions and thoughts, along with many others concerns and feelings amongst each other.
The other day, while reading Paulo’s latest novel “The Winner Stands Alone”, I realized that this wise man simply sees things better. He pauses, he thinks and he feels and he then collects it all into words that fly to the hearts of other people around the world carrying the beautiful insights of his enlightened soul. He, himself, is a warrior of light; a lingo that he created to define people who fight their way into life to achieve their dreams and fulfill their destinies.
With such deep understanding of human nature, such an insightful look on life and a core spirit that strives on interacting with other people, the success of Paulo Coelho in social media comes as no surprise. He uses the new found Web tools efficiently and in a very natural way to reach out and interact with more and more people. It is like social media is exactly what a writer, who aims to touch people’s hearts, needs.
Paulo Coelho engages with his fans through his blog, Facebook account, tweets, Flickr photos and YouTube videos. He doesn’t only offer his stream of inspirational thoughts in his books, but he also takes the extra mile of sharing them with the world on a daily basis and through different media.
Even for his publications, and as a warrior of light, he decided to defy the norms, be true to himself and his beliefs, and offer his books online for free. Not only that, but he also pirates his own books and uses file sharing tools to share them with others. That sure didn’t gain him any points with his book publishers at the beginning but then later they came around after it proved to drive his book sales up! I am sure that he knew it all along – do good and you will get good. That is the face of the world that Paulo sees, a face that he proved to be true in this case.
So let us have a look at his social networking accounts and their stats:
- PauloCoelhoBlog.com: Paulo Coelho is very active on his blog. He publishes announcements about his different projects, he publishes posts from other people’s blogs that he reads and likes, and he publishes his ideas in the form of blog posts or podcasts for his blog’s huge fan base to interact. He uses Seesmic to show video comments on his blog. His blog posts enjoy a lot of engagement from people and show many many comments. His July 6, 2009 video post about soul-mates received 1,101 comment so far! His blog ranks 69,948 on Alexa, and he’s got more than 7000 feedburner readers!
- Facebook : Paulo Coelho’s personal Facebook account reads around 4,500 friend. He doesn’t shy from adding his fans as friends over Facebook, unfortunately Facebook limits friend’s to a max of 5000, and thus Paulo started his Facebook fans page which now accumulates over 520,600 fan! Paulo uses Facebook very efficiently; he has all his information filled out, he posts his blog entries as notes, live streams his tweets and integrates it with his Flickr account.
- Twitter (@paulocoelho): Paulo Coelho tweets almost daily, speaking his mind on various topics. He was active during the Iranian crisis especially about his doctor friend who tried to save Neda. He also tweets his daily inspirational quotes. I like this one from last Monday: “the wise jumps into love. The fool tries to understand it.” His twitter account reads 66,714 followers with an impressive growth rate predictions from Twitter counter.
- YouTube: Paulo Coelho has more than 170 videos published on his 2 YouTube channels (paulocoelhoTV and paulabraconnot). Both these channels have more than 2,700 subscribers combined, and enjoyed about 160k channel views till the moment of writing this post.
- Flickr: Paulo Coelho has an endless photo stream on Flickr (2000+ photos). He posts different kinds of pictures taken by himself from his journeys and daily life. He has 974 contacts and some good people’s testimonials.
Paulo Coelho’s level of engagement and achievements in social media are impressive, he is certainly a role model for other authors to learn from and follow in his footsteps. It is for sure something that he does out of passion because of his love to connect with people. Of course, his supportive stand with the Pirate Bay opens up big questions about piracy and how much it can benefit authors and publishers. For him, it worked fine (actually more than fine), but would it work the same for others? What about the film/music/video games industries and the huge amounts of calculated profit loss? Do they also gain popularity and more sales because of piracy despite the surface calculated assumed loss?