The Literary Drover No. 5034

While writing draft after draft of a forthcoming Jhon Collector mystery I listened to the following track and entire album many times. To all those still with us and those who have walked on, Thank You for the inspiration and direction provided:

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The Literary Drover No. 5033

In my opinion the explicit genuine, honest, and sincere expression of appreciation, gratitude, and thanks for those who make writing a success is always appropriate:

The act and process of Writing is an individual pursuit, but the success that results owes much to those who support it. Hello to the fans of The Jhon Collector Mysteries, who purchased the book in Valentine, NE.!

The Literary Drover No. 5032

When I moved into my current home I did so with specific knowledge in hand: Work would be required on my part to make the house a home. The previous owners, after their fourth daughter moved out, decided that the time had come to travel. They put their furnishings into storage and turned the property over to a property management group that could have been named “Three irresponsible drunk frat brothers and an incontinent goat”. Simply and bluntly, the property management group responsible for the property did a very poor job of properly managing the condition of the property, allowing renters to do what renters are infamous for doing. The house was structurally sound but cosmetically it needed work. For example, the door for one bedroom was inexplicably off the hinges and stored in the back of the closet in the bedroom. The toilet on the lower level of the house worked, but when flushed alternated between a death rattle-like sound and a stutter that sounded like Donald Duck when he was using inappropriate language. Most of the lawn had been reduced to weeds and small rocks otherwise used for xeriscaping. Only one flower bed had flowers growing in it and they were in desperate need of care and pruning, and the other beds were covered with various forms of debris.

The first day after I moved in I went to the back yard, to the fence, and measured a square foot. I cleaned up the area inside the measurement, removing leaves and trash, and prepared the soil in the defined space for better things. The next day I repeated the process, starting on one side of the previously measured and tended area. Day after day I continued my pursuit until I worked my way around the side of the house and proceeded into the front yard.

Because of where I live I was able to gather leaves and twigs and send them to a local recycling yard where they were transformed into mulch. Some material gathered and removed had to be put out for the general trash, and by the end of the first week of living in my new home the trash dumpster was full.

Week after week I continued the required work, and when the landscape for my home had been cleaned and cleared of debris and trash I set about restoring the lawn and flower beds. Because the weather was good I was able to work outside in the morning and in the evening after spending the day working for a living.

Summer became Fall and I continued working. As I did I became aware of a relevant fact: A neighbor, who has since become a good friend. Retired from several professions he spent his days maintaining his property, and when he saw that I was making an effort to restore my home to a more acceptable state he introduced himself.

He did not offer opinion on my efforts. He did not criticize my accomplishments. He merely nodded as I worked, sweat often present on my person as I dug up this bit of rot and ruin or as I worked to restore or establish a section of landscape.

When the weather began to cool and because the exterior of my home was much improved I turned my attention to the interior of the house.

The aforementioned toilet was addressed. The door was rehung. Threadbare carpet was removed and replaced with hardwood floors. Painting was done. The kitchen and bathrooms were scoured, scrubbed, and cleaned.

The property took on the appearance of a living space.

Over the years I have continued my efforts and more than a few people have expressed praise for the improvements and the transformation from a residential embarrassment to a home others have copied in one form or another.

In order to keep my house a home I have made decisions regarding it. For example, when a neighbor took to leaving the trash from his fast food purchases on his yard and the wind blew them into my yard I gathered them into a black trash bag, and, when the bag was full, I put it on his front step. He got the message and proper disposal of the trash was undertaken.

Over the years, how I live in my home has extended beyond my home. The vehicles I drive are also kept in good condition. My wardrobe is in good condition. My life is in excellent condition.

I mention this personal information because it also applies to my Social Media presence. When I decided to start this blog I did so with specific facts in hand.

Fact: Ninety-nine percent of everything on Social Media can be discarded without concern because it has very little, if any, worth or value.

Fact: To make the most of worthwhile information on Social Media requires aggressive enforcement on my part, using block functions and filters.

Fact: Social Media has great potential and offers almost unlimited opportunity, but potential and opportunity can only come about through dedication, discipline, and determination on the part of the Individual.

Fact: Social Media is an extension and a reflection of the Individual, and the life an Individual chooses to live. I choose to have a healthy and fulfilling Life, and that is represented by the content of my Social Media presence. For example, I do not eat what is described as “junk food” in my real life. As a Writer I do not use language on my Social Media presence that can politely be described as “junk food”.

Fact: The Social Media presence that will stand out from others and endure is the Social Media effort that involves effort on the part of the Individual who creates and maintains it.

I mention these facts because it has come to my attention that the Social Media platform my Social Media presence is located on – WordPress – does not seem to agree with my opinions and assessments. Some time ago I noticed a dramatic drop in the traffic this blog was generating. Investigating the matter I learned about a practice now commonplace by Social Media platforms: Shadow banning. Bluntly, censorship using algorithms to supress specific Social Media accounts because the content published to the account does not support or advance the agenda of the Social Media platform.

Because I do not pay WordPress to host this blog I cannot and will not challenge their actions. I can and will, however, suggest caution be taken by those who use Social Media, specifically WordPress, because you might find yourself on the receiving end of censorship.

I mention the facts noted about Social Media because it has come to my attention that quality is not taken into consideration regarding promotion of a specific Social Media account. Again and again this opinion has been documented to be true and factual. For example, a blog brought to my attention by a friend and a fellow blogger.  The blog has been promoted for reasons that are not apparent. The blog showcased contains profanity, explicity threats, misspellings, punctuation errors, and other issues.

My response: If this is the standard I have no interest in pursuing the implied standard and accept that my efforts here will toil in obscurity.

Since starting this blog I have learned many things. One is a reminder of what transpires in my Life: In order to make the most of Social Media I must lead by example.

I start now.

The Literary Drover No. 5031

In my opinion the explicit genuine, honest, and sincere expression of appreciation, gratitude, and thanks for those who make writing a success is always appropriate:

The act and process of Writing is an individual pursuit, but the success that results owes much to those who support it. Hello to the fans of The Jhon Collector Mysteries, who purchased the book in Omaha, NE.!

The Literary Drover No. 5030

My decision to abandon Facebook several years ago has resulted in a measure of celebrity for me – an unintended consequence of my subtle and sublime actions, choices, and decisions.

As Facebook turns into the Social Media equivalent of a black hole* – collapsing in on itself, and taking much of the Social Media universe with it – and many respond by fleeing the growing shock waves that result, more than a few who knew of my abandonment are asking: How did you know? How did you know the truth about Facebook?

For those that lack patience and possess a short attention span, the explanation can be advanced simply: Common sense, logic and reason.

For those willing to allow a more substantial explanation, starting with common sense, logic and reason: Superficially, it had to do with Mark Zuckerberg, and the perpetual smug expression on his face, which reminded me of a kid in grade school who took great pleasure in spreading rumors and gossip about others – me, for example, and who presented himself as The Victim when taken to task for his unacceptable behavior.

Then there was the matter of the reality of Facebook. When I first heard the phrase “Facebook” I asked ten people to define the function of it. The response was ten different definitions and ten different functions. The good in that was the possibility and potential of Facebook. The bad in that was the implication: No one seemed to have a clear understanding of definition and function, and the lack of structure and order favored not only chaos but anarchy.

That has become truth and fact, as expressed in how Facebook has been used to broadcast such things as murder and beatings in the reality most people live in.

Additionally, regarding the reality of Facebook there was the matter of culture and environment. Whenever an environment is established a culture is borne of the environment. A culture framed by standards and principles, morals and ethics, values and beliefs. Facebook, as far as I could determine, was deficient in all of them, and that encouraged chaos, anarchy, bigotry, prejudice, hatred, and other concerning aspects of humanity – in what we like to call “civilization”.

Delving into the reality of Facebook I found more concern from my perspective. I did not establish a Facebook account because “everyone else did”. I created a Facebook account to follow the adventures, antics, and experiences of a Writer I know who decided spending several hours a week maintaining a basic e-mail distribution list was not a good use of his time. He decided – at the time – having a Facebook page that others could follow was a better way to document his efforts**. After I created a Facebook account to stay current regarding his writing efforts I learned how Facebook works – impulse buying: Based on information you provide when setting up the account Facebook would make suggestions on who and what you should follow on Facebook. As anyone who has used Facebook and who admits to succumbing to the impulse buying concept knows this can quickly result in you following hundreds, if not thousands of other Facebook accounts, and the result is an information overload. Apply common sense, logic and reason as I did and you determine that most of what is on Facebook is not worth knowing about, so you unfollow most of the stuff you initially followed.

Then there was the matter of related functions on Facebook: “Friends” could follow you on Facebook and respond to content you published. As I learned, if you follow hundreds, perhaps thousands of accounts on Facebook, you have little time to respond to the content on other Facebook accounts, and the result is the same for your Facebook account. Implicitly, you are being rejected by your “Friends” on Facebook, and that is demoralizing at best.

Add the comments posted to the Facebook pages for news organizations around the world and your perception of reality beyond Facebook is negatively affected and impacted, and you tend to treat others in reality in an unacceptable manner, which can manifest in behavior that could get you into circumstances best avoided: Perhaps an encounter with law enforcement, inquiring as to whether or not you really intended to bring physical harm to someone because they disagreed with you.

For me, from a pragmatic perspective, Facebook failed to provide worth and value. When I posted original or shared content to my Facebook page less than one percent of my “Friends” responded to it. When I posted a well-written, reasoned comment to another Facebook page, specifically one belonging to a supposedly professional news organization, and the response included explicit suggestions involved sensitive parts of my physical anatomy, fire, and hot branding irons – at minimum, thereby affecting the tone of a given day, I decided the time had come to do something else somewhere else.

As some know I did not announce beforehand my decision to abandon Facebook. I simply walked away from it. I know my life is much better for it. The only residual concern regarding Facebook is that not one of my “Friends” on Facebook has contacted me asking why I am no longer on Facebook. For me, implicitly, that is the underlying truth and fact about Facebook: What matters will not be found on Facebook. What matters is Out There, and here, in a relatively quiet corner of the cyber cosmos.

 

* A friend of many years, who was not a “Friend” on Facebook, who abandoned Facebook earlier this year, unaware that I had been on Facebook, has written at great length regarding his opinion and perception of Facebook based on his experiences with Facebook, describing the ensuring carnage and demise as the equivalent of a bloated Port-O-John on fire, left to burn on a hot day, in Texas, when the humidity was a hundred percent, aided by a passionate lunatic who keeps pouring flammables on the mess.

** After several years of having a Facebook account the humble scribe I know, having spent a lot of time blocking people on Facebook because he did not want them “polluting the waters”, decided that Facebook was not the Social Media platform for him and his desire to promote his writings. He abandoned Facebook shortly after I did, unaware of my decision to do so. Discouraged by the failure that Facebook was for him he contacted me, wanting to know if I had suggestions for a Social Media platform that would better serve his purpose. I pointed him to this modest effort, and he followed my example. Today his blog has resulted in more exposure for his writing than Facebook ever did.

The Literary Drover No. 5029

In my opinion the explicit genuine, honest, and sincere expression of appreciation, gratitude, and thanks for those who make writing a success is always appropriate:

The act and process of Writing is an individual pursuit, but the success that results owes much to those who support it. Hello to the fans of The Jhon Collector Mysteries, who purchased the book in Seward, NE.!