The Literary Drover No. 5056

I am not a member of The Stimulation Nation.

I do not use Disqus, Facebook, or Twitter. I do not have a Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube account.

My Social Media presence only takes the form of a blog.

I am not defined by Social Media. I define Social Media.

What say you?

The Literary Drover No. 5010

The Culture of Violence that now exists in the State of Colorado, the United States of America, and around the world was born of Social Media, specifically Disqus, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you want to end The Culture of Violence you must take action, you must make a choice, you must make a decision RIGHT NOW: Stop using Disqus, Facebook, and Twitter IMMEDIATELY.

If you choose to use Disqus, Facebook, and Twitter you condone and contribute to The Culture of Violence that threatens civilization and the future of the human race, manifested as explicit obscenity and threat published to these Social Media platforms. If you choose to use Disqus, Facebook, and Twitter you are just as responsible as the person or persons who kill people in a bar, a nightclub, or at a county fair.

David A. Steinberg (Zeta Global) of Disqus, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter, and every employee of these companies profit from death, murder, and mayhem.

Bring The Culture of Violence to an end. Stop using Disqus, Facebook, and Twitter RIGHT NOW.

The Literary Drover No. 3015

Less than twenty-five percent of those who took part in a recent survey said that they trust companies behind Social Media, specifically Facebook, Twitter, and Disqus.

Less than ten percent polled said that they trust the news media, and identified the source of this lack of trust as being newspapers, television, and web sites.

Some might interpret these dire results as the certain demise of media in general. I consider it, perhaps perversely, an opportunity, especially where my writing is concerned. Add the historical burden of writing and Writers in general not meriting respect and it seems I am undertaking an all-but-impossible task.

But there is nothing like a good challenge to provide focus and purpose. So stay tuned. Invite your friends and family to come by. This adventure promises to be like no other.

The Literary Drover No. 3009

It is called “shadow-banning”, and Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, and even WordPress are guilty of doing it.

Because I do not trust the metrics provided by Social Media, and because I keep performance records to determine a Return On Investment (R.O.I) for my Social Media efforts, I figured out what was going on long before it became a viable rumor, and then documented fact.

I am aware that shadow-banning – also known as censorship – has been taking place on WordPress for some time. I accepted it because I decided that those who were interested in what I was publishing would find their way here again and again.

But the fact WordPress, which claims to be a defender of Free Speech, would do such a thing – and this is true of any Social Media platform – provides cause for concern. Therefore, I ask you to defend Free Speech against those who would violate it, under the heading “Social Media”.

The Literary Drover No. 2916

I find it equally interesting and confusing: So many people only take stock of their lives once a year. I take stock of my life on a regular basis. Where this blog is concerned I do it each time I publish a post. If you want to make something of your life, why not take stock of your life on a regular basis instead of waiting for the New Year to do so?

Since starting this blog, this virtual book tour, I have received a number of responses. Most of them have been polite and expected. Praise and accolade for my writings. A few have been rude and obnoxious. (In case you wonder: If you decide to send me a note through this blog and it could get you a smack upside the head from your grandmother for language unbecoming, you will get a block from me and no response. Just because some Social Media platforms condone that sort of thing does not make it acceptable and will not be tolerated by me.)

When I decided to use a blog to promote my writing and mentioned my intention to others I assumed might be interested it was pointed out that the blogging platform in general does not generate the same amount of attention as, oh, Fakebook. When I pointed out that more than ninety percent of the so-called traffic on Fakebook is fake – the reason for the appropriate nickname – and when that fact is taken into account a blog such as this one generates more real traffic. Also, Fakebook is a bare-knuckle reality compared to this one. A blog, I have learned through first-hand experience, tends to encourage a more conducive environment when compared to Fakebook or Disqus. Notes sent to me regarding my writing have been civil and respectful. They have also been genuine and honest about wanting to learn, know, and understand.

Which brings me back to the original point of this post: Taking stock of things in my life. A few critics of this blog and my writing have sent less-than respectful notes wanting – demanding, really – to know if I think this blog has actually helped me with promoting my writing.

The answer, without exception: Yes.

If I had chosen to promote my writing on Fakebook or Disqus or another platform I believe the result would have been failure. There are supposedly more than two billion accounts on Fakebook. Subtract at least ninety percent of that because they are fake, and of the remaining 200 million at least ninety percent are not used for anything worthwhile – like learning. The number of accounts remaining is about twenty million (I am being generous. If I were being absolutely honest it is likely the math would be more conservative: Ninety-nine percent of the accounts on Fakebook are fake, and that would leave twenty million. Of twenty million ninety-nine percent are not used for anything worthwhile, leaving two hundred thousand Fakebook accounts. Of two hundred thousand worthwhile accounts one percent, or two thousand accounts consist of worthwhile original content. Spread two thousand accounts across the planet and those results in very few Fakebook accounts in your part of the world.) To get to that number involves plodding through the white noise generated by the millions and millions of fake and useless Fakebook pages.

Of course, a blog, like any Social Media platform, requires effort on the individual’s part. You have to produce and publish original, worthwhile content. You have to publish on a regular basis or your followers will lose interest. In the reality of Social Media this can happen in less than a day.

Which brings me again to taking stock of my life, and doing so each time I publish a post: Unlike some who give up on blogging after a few months, I pace myself. I only check my e-mail once a day and I only post to this blog an average of once a day. The rest of the time is spent doing other things. I note which posts generate responses and how many responses. This does not affect what I write or how I write, but it does provide me with explanation for why some topics I choose to write about seem to be more appealing than others, and it helps me to understand the world around me.

For example, before I started this blog I mentioned to a Writer I know that I had plans to promote the Jhon Collector Mysteries, which are set in the American West. It was put to me that many Americans do not like Westerns, they do not like mysteries, and there is, unfortunately, a prejudice against those collectively called “Native Americans”.  It was also noted that all of this was preface to Good News: The number of readers elsewhere on the planet was growing, the French love the American West, and there is an almost obsessive interest in the “Native American” outside of the United States of America.

The blogging platform has allowed me to reach this particular audience, and for that I am always and forever grateful.

More to come on this topic: May the New Year be yours, and may you realize your potential in it.

The Literary Drover No. 9

One more for the slagheap: Disqus. They support censorship and do it in a very sneaky manner – anyone can establish a Disqus account and use a fake name to do so. They may then make explicit threats against others. As long as the threats support the partisan political agenda of Disqus – anti-American – the comments will not be removed and the accounts will not be terminated.