A lot of aspiring writers are discovering that the Internet is a good place to publish and be read. The web has changed the publishing industry dramatically - for the worse or better, depending on your perspective. It is now easier than ever for writers to get their work "out there." Some feel that this is a good thing, because it has increased the variety of work and styles readily available; others feel this is a bad thing, because the overall "quality" (again, depending on your perspective) may have been reduced because the writers and public, rather than "professionals" are now the primary filters of what becomes popular.
Regardless of how you feel about the benefits or damages that the web has done to the publishing industry, the fact remains that the web is here to stay, and the changes are probably irrevocable. So, if you're a writer, or an aspiring writer, how can you use the web to get your work read? Today, we're going to focus on those who write for writing's sake - who write more as a hobby, rather than as a potential (paid) career. We'll focus on paid writing later in the week.
You need a place to "post," (or "store") your writing, so you can link to it from other places.
One option is to set up a blog. For you WebRevelation folks, you might think about asking Tim to set you up with a blog as part of your website. There are also free blogging options available through many platforms, including Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr, and others.
Another option is a Facebook profile or page. If your writing is mostly meant to be read by friends and family, you can use the "notes" feature on your Facebook profile. If you want to branch out a bit, you can set up a Facebook page. (Also see: Facebook Profile? Group? Fan Page?)
There are also websites that are by and for authors, such as Author's Den, or Lulu Poetry. While the traffic you're likely to drawn within these websites will mostly be from other authors who are more interested in getting you to read their stuff than in reading yours, you will have the advantage of peer-reviews and still have a good place to post your work, to link to from other places, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.