Before the Internet, before BBSes and Fidonet and Usenet and LiveJournal and blogs and Facebook and Twitter, before the World Wide Web and hot-and-cold-online-everything, science fiction fandom had a long-lived, robust, well-debugged technology of social networking and virtual community.
There's a latter-day notion that artsy hippie types in the 1960s disdained the space program. Not in my experience they didn't. We watched, transfixed with reverence, not even making rude remarks about President Nixon during his phone call to the astronauts.
As a senior editor at Tor Books and the manager of our science fiction and fantasy line, I rarely blog to promote specific projects I'm involved with, for reasons that probably don't need a lot of explanation.
In my own life, I've seen myself ramping up the amount of text I consume digitally. For me, it's the weight and inconvenience issue - I want anything that will spare me having to carry around reams of paper.
Personally, I always find it especially piquant when cultural conservatives, usually quick to profess their devotion to the Free Market, rail against the success in said market of some product of which they disapprove.
Obviously it makes a difference if an author has a public online profile of some sort, even just down to the level of having a moderately popular blog. Most books sell 5, 10, or 15 thousand copies. Most are midlist books. With those people, even a modest online presence can make a difference in sales.
I was ten years old in 1969, and while we lived in Arizona that year, I spent most of the summer staying with family friends in Portland, Oregon while my parents visited Spain. It was an adventure all around.
Tor.com has been a venue for original SF and fantasy since 2008, but we've never formalized our process for submissions. Indeed, for a long time, we were totally winging it.