Putting the “social” in social media

One cannot overstate how the advent of social media has changed the way we interact with each other on a daily basis.

Stories and reminiscences that had to wait for high school reunions and family get-togethers are now shared over Facebook every day. Fan clubs and monthly newsletters used to be the only source for new info on your favorite bands and celebrities, but these days, they can speak directly to their fans through Twitter.

We can take people on vacation with us on Instagram and share our deepest thoughts on Tumblr. We can document baby’s first steps on YouTube and delve into virtually any subject on various blogs.

And social media has undoubtedly changed the landscape for puzzles and constructors alike.

There are entire blogs dedicated to dissecting the New York Times and Los Angeles Times crosswords each and every day. Amy Reynaldo (Diary of a Crossword Fiend) and our recent 5 Questions interviewee Kathy Matheson (Crossword Kathy) are both terrific examples of engaging crossword bloggers.

Through Twitter and other platforms, constructors are marketing their puzzles directly to solvers, bypassing publishers and sparking a new wave of entrepreneurial creativity in puzzles.

(For more on this, check out our 5 Questions interview with Robin Stears and our subsequent post on digital puzzle distribution.)

Heck, I’ve seen solvers and celebrities alike asking for help with challenging clues by reaching out to their followers on Twitter. Crowdsourcing at its best!

As PuzzleNation’s resident social media helper monkey, I’ve seen firsthand the amazing changes wrought by social media. I play games and interact daily with PuzzleNationers on Facebook, meet fellow puzzlers and innovators through Twitter, and engage in all manner of puzzly topics on Pinterest.

At the end of every blog post, I offer up links to all of our social media platforms, and every time you tweet or comment or reply or re-pin or email, I’m left in awe by how involved and how passionate the PuzzleNation audience is. Interacting with you guys is by far the best part of this gig, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from the marvelous melding of puzzles and social media.

Thanks for visiting the PuzzleNation blog today! You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, cruise our boards on Pinterest, check out our Classic Word Search iBook (recently featured by Apple in the Made for iBooks category!), play our games at PuzzleNation.com, or contact us here at the blog!

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