Margaret Atwood tweeting, blogging for new novel

Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:40pm EDT
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By Matt Cowan

LONDON (Reuters) - On the verge of her 70th birthday, Canadian author Margaret Atwood is forging into new territory to promote her latest novel "The Year of the Flood."

She is blogging, tweeting, peddling ringtones through the website and will run a Youtube competition.

Atwood spoke to Reuters in London on going green and embracing of new technology.

Q: Do you feel like you're making a difference with this green book tour?

A: "First of all, the problem is huge so me individually making a difference? Doubtful. Getting some ideas out? Yes. Raising a bit of money and quite a lot of awareness for our RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), Birdlife International, the mess we're in - quite a bit."

Q: That sounds like a warning about our blind belief in technology and progress.

A: "Technology is a morally neutral thing. It's a tool. It does to some extent form us. It affects how we behave. For instance, if we didn't have computers, you and I wouldn't have met through Twitter. Someone asked me today, well isn't Twitter this stupid thing that's dumbing down everything? I said, no you're confusing it with writing. It's not writing, it's signaling. Put it in the same category as the telegraph, the semaphore flags, the smoke signals."

Q: It has caught a lot of people's attention that you are on Twitter.   Continued...