Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Excitement’s Over and Thank You, Internet

May 5, 2012

Wow, what a week! So all the brouhaha that started with a Cease and Desist letter I got Wednesday seems to have come to a satisfactory conclusion. As other authors began to hear about it, they got a smidge riled up over the whole thing and suddenly it seemed to be everywhere. (At least to me, as my phone kept declaring new emails/texts/tweets coming in faster than I could keep up with them.)

Well, long story short (long versions can be found on boingboing, here, and The Passive Voice, here) it appears to have died a quick death. Fighting Gravity posted the following on their Facebook page:

To Leah Peterson and her fans: Disregard the cease and desist letter that was issued by our lawyers. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some people have taken that too far and we have had to deal with it. By no means is Leah Peterson one of those people, our lawyers were just doing their jobs and trying to protect our name and trademark. We wish the best for Leah and hope her book becomes a great success! 

(In case you’re looking for it, it has since been removed, though I assume that has to do with the fact that it was attached to a post by someone else that highlighted, albeit respectfully, a negative issue that I personally wouldn’t want on my FB business page either.) But I’ve also had assurance in a private message that I’ll receive an official retraction from their lawyer next week.

So looks like it’s all over, folks. And to everyone’s relief and satisfaction, I think.

Personally, I think Fighting Gravity has been very professional and gracious about the matter and I wish them all the success in the world.

And thank you, most especially, to my fellow authors who took up my cause and came rushing to my defense when it looked like it might become a very unpleasant situation. You guys rock, every last one of you.

I know this won’t be a comprehensive list, because I’m confident I didn’t find every expression of support or defense of my position, and for that I apologize. But here are some who I know went to bat for me:

R.B. Wood

Elizabeth Ann West

Jennifer Gracen

Jesse James (heehee)

Several people on Facebook posted on Fighting Gravity’s wall but I don’t have their names because the posts were removed pretty quickly. I’d like to thank them and the many people who tweeted about it.  Two in particular have my thanks for contacting others they knew could help:

Neil Shurley

BigAl of Books and Pals

There’s a lesson to be learned here, I think. In brief: Don’t piss off authors. They’re not only feisty, they’re articulate. 😉

Thanks again everyone!

Why I Unfollowed You

September 22, 2011

‘Cause I may have.

I ran across this article yesterday and it was so timely. I’d just that morning unfollowed a lot, and I mean a lot, of people on Twitter. Not because I’m a bitch (well, not only because I’m a bitch,) but because I was getting lost in that social media site to the point that it was no longer “social.”

That article, Content is not KING. The social interaction should be the real focus is actually written for businesses. So how about us authors? We are the business. If the advice is for a business to severely tone down advertising itself on a social network in favor of engaging their followers, shouldn’t authors, people, be doing the same thing?

I think so. But even using the Twitter management programs like Tweetdeck, my stupid stream was moving so fast I had no idea who was saying what, no chance to respond. (Lots of times I’d go to hit “reply” only to find that I was replying to a different tweet because the one I wanted had moved out from under my cursor before I could click.)

So I unfollowed quite a lot of people. My criteria? Did I recognize their avatar and/or username. See, the point of social media is to be, well, social. The people I’ve interacted with, whose tweets I’ve retweeted, who’ve retweeted my tweets, whose tweets have made me laugh, or go “wow.” That’s the social aspect of it.

I paid no attention to the number of people who were following them, or whether or not they were following me. In fact, I removed those columns from the view on the utility I was using. The one and only criteria was whether or not I “knew” them. Either as someone I admired, enjoyed following, or as someone who had engaged with me.

Looking back over the data on those who are left, it’s an interesting mix. People with 20 followers and people with 20,000 (or, in a few cases, quite a bit more.) People who are following me and people who aren’t. People who were seriously top-heavy with the number of followers to the number following, or the other way around.

With a smaller number of people feeding into my stream, I can participate! I can make sure I’m following the ones I want to be following. I always check now if I chat with or retweet someone, to make sure I’m following them. Or if they’re participating in 5MinuteFiction. I’m checking #amwriting and #pubwrite for people I want to follow. I want to follow people I’m going to enjoy following, who I’m going to be “social” with.

I know the advice. Lots of places will tell you to follow back out of courtesy. Lots of other places will tell you to send those “thanks for following” DMs or commit the sort of #ff and #ww spam that drives me batty. But when I faithfully followed everyone, or even most of the people who followed me, I simply could not keep up with thousands of people feeding into my stream. The posts moved so fast I couldn’t read them. And half or more were just “buy my book!” or the like.

So am I doing it “wrong” by unfollowing the people I didn’t find value in following? Maybe. But I’m sure enjoying Twitter a heck of a lot more.

P.S. I’ve lost a lot of followers myself as a result of unfollowing. I expected that and I’m guessing it’s no real loss to me, since we weren’t interacting anyway. But I do hate that the authors I try to help promote will have that much smaller an audience I can help them reach. Well, them’s the breaks.

I’ve also gotten a few “why did you unfollow me?” @ replies since I did the purge. As this is the first interaction we’ve ever had, I’d think the reason would be self-evident. In any case, I can’t explain what a bad taste that leaves in my mouth.

#5MinuteFiction Week 58 FINALISTS!

July 5, 2011

Oh my, I’ve had one of those my-head-is-about-to-explode days.  I can’t wait to get home and soothe it with some 5MinuteFiction. (And maybe a beer.)

Did you have fun today? I hear there were some great entries, at least, that’s what BigAl, @BooksAndPals tells me. Have you checked out his book review site? If not, you really should. He does great, fair, balanced reviews on indie books. Such a great resource. (He was also the hero of that whole Jacqueline Howett thing that went down a few months ago…)

Anyway, enough gossip. It’s time for our finalists! Here they are:

Miranda, @MLGammella

Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS

John Hancock, @Grokdad

Sarah Olson, @saraheolson

Tracey M. Hansen, @thansenwrites

Congrats you guys! Now, give their entries here a read and then vote for our winner. Show them some love, folks, and send your friends over to read, admire, and vote too. Voting’s open until 9:00 tomorrow morning. See you then!

Miranda, @MLGammella

“You sure you want to do that, chief?” I asked, looking at my husband who was valiantly trying to fix the sink.

His voice was muffled from inside the cabinet but I could make out “It’s gotta get fixed, doesn’t it?”

“Erm, yeah, but shouldn’t you look at the instructions first?” I was biting my lip trying to avoid laughing. Neither one of us were handy around the house but we were determined to try. I always looked at the instructions first, even going as far as Googling videos just so I had an idea of what I was doing.

My dear husband’s approach was a little more direct, and usually ended up a little more expensive.

He dug in there with a ratchet, some pliers, a bucket, and vice grips … basically anything he thought might work to help fix the problem.

The bucket was probably the most useful tool he had with him.

“How hard can this be? I just need to tighten up this bolt here and adjust thi-”

My husband’s voice was cut off by the sound of rushing water, specifically running water slashing all over my husband.

“Son of a bitch!” my husband sputtered, wiggling out from underneath the sink as fast as he could. Once he was out of the way, the bucket went in, woefully too small to hold back the onslaught of water that was pouring out of the pipes.

With a snort, I ran downstairs and shut off the main water supply to the house and grabbed a bunch of old towels. At least my kitchen floors would be clean later today.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS

“You sure you want to do that, chief?”

I hated it when he called me that. Dad always thought it was cute, a flashback to his younger days, but Grandpa kept saying it even though he knew I hated it. What kind of grown up behavior was that?

“You’re only five,” Mom said when I complained. “It makes Grandpa happy. Does it really matter that much?”

“Hey, chief!” Billy Ross said as I came out the door with my mit. All the neighborhood kids were there, too, so I knew I was done for.

“Chief!” they all echoed.

I did my best to keep a straight face but inside I was fuming. Stupid Grandpa.

Only three more days until the big softball match with our rivals the Brookside Terriers. Brookside and our own neighborhood, Kirkwood, had always been rivals–competing for resources from the city, local awards, championships–and we were determined to continue our five year streak and slaughter the dogs.

“If anyone can do it, you can, Chief.” The high pitched voice cut through the others and I turned to see Mary Watkins smiling her cute smile at me. Instead of getting mad I melted. Why’d she have to be here to join in that, too?

I’d always had a thing for Mary. Leading the team to a win as pitcher might help me win her over. She seemed to only have eyes for Johnny Lakes, but he was old enough to not pay her any mind. She needed a man her own age, and I figured I was perfect for the job, if only…

“Okay, chief, let’s get this practice rolling,” Billy said as we reached the field a block down. Kids trailing behind us like a Hollywood star’s entourage or rock band’s groupies.

“Can you just stop calling me that, please?”

“What, chief? It’s a term of respect. Pitcher’s our leader, after all.”

I sighed and wound up as he stepped to the mound. Couple of my fast balls ought to wipe that smirk away. They all respected me once my arm went into action.

But then something happened. Mary again, smiling from the fence. “Let him have it, chief!”

I lost my focus. My arm twisted. The ball curved. Glass shattered. Everyone ran, leaving me alone to face Old Mister Johnson as I stood there frozen, knowing I might never pitch again.

John Hancock, @Grokdad

“You sure you want to do that, chief?”
Silence.
A toe stabbing the dirt. A dusty cough. A wince. A battered eyelid shuttered against the hot sun.
“You s…”
“Of course, I’m sure, you idiot. What else are we gonna do?” The chief muttered.
Around them the air was swirling from a minor dust devil.
The Deputy slid down against the patrol car until his butt slammed into the dirt.
“I can’t do it with ya, chief. She’s my sister-in-law. That’s family. There’s your job, and then there’s your family. I’m sorry”.
In a fit of pique, the chief kicked some dirt against the tire. Some landed on the deputy. Intentional? Accidental? Who cares?
“Crap, crap, crappity crap…” The chief checked his gun and made sure the safety was off.
He pushed himself up against the side of the car and stood straight again. He cupped his left hand around his mouth like a makeshift bullhorn.
“Emily? This is Chief Rankle.”
“I know who ya are, chief, I diapered ya more than once!” came the strong voice from the trailer.
“Ok, so you ah… know I got no choice. ”
“oh, everybody’s got a choice, Willard. Everybody’s got a choice”.
“now, you agreed, Em. You swore.”
“A woman can be moody if’n she wants”.
“well, that’s as may be. But the fact is, Roger is standing there in a tux, and he aint gonna leave”.
Silence.
“A tux?”
“Yeah.”
“So, um… is he cleaned up all nice and all?”
“Yeah, just come on Emily, we ain’t got much time.”
A click as the door opened. An elderly woman in a somewhat used wedding dress walks out, carrying a shotgun.
“Put the gun away, Emily,” the chief shouted.
“Nope, a woman’s got to have her a little protection”
“Oh boy,” the deputy sighed” This is going to be a PERFECT day!”

Sarah Olson, @saraheolson

“You sure you want to do that, chief?”

Chief turned to me with his awkward glare before galloping down the hillside to his waiting army. Mohawk Barbie clutched the rains of her pink pegasus and screamed “WAR!” as she flew around in circles above the encampment. Leonardo grunted while he clashed his swords together while the other ninja turtles hopped lightly on the balls of their feet, ready for action.

Chief regarded his men carefully before he announced his plans. “War,” he whispered to the wind, which carried his command softly through the group. Their response carried much further as their cries were heard across the field of battle to their enemies on the other side. The Care Bears formed a long line across the valley, ready to stare their enemies down.

Chief nodded, knowing he would lose many men tonight, but he was intent on sending those damn bears back into the clouds where they belong.

“My care bears are going to destroy you!” Jaime giggles maniacally.

“No way, sis. Chief is taking you guys down!” Jaime laughs again but we’re running out of time, so I focus on the carnage ahead of us. We’ve got five minutes before we have to leave for school, and the battle’s not yet won.

Tracey M. Hansen, @thansenwrites

“You sure you want to do that chief?” Pete asked me in a whisper, my face so close to his I could feel his cool breath on my cheek. Every little hair on my arm stood at attention. Every nerve ending in my body humming for his touch.

“You don’t…” I hesitated and started to pull back. I though he wanted this kiss, I thought we both did. I was starting to loose my nerve.

“We can’t” Pete said, still whispering, his breath teasing my jaw.

“Why not?” I asked, my voice mimicking his. Even though I knew what the answer was. We were both attached. Both spoken for. Even though we were unhappy in our relationships were weren’t the type of people who wanted to hurt others. “Because of them?” I asked.

Right then Pete looked at me like I had never seen before, a look that contained all the answers. We would make this work, we would find a way.

And just like that he pulled my lips to his for our very first kiss. It was electric. It was nothing I had ever felt before.

And that is exactly the way we told the story to our grandkids.

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No, Mom, I’m Not Looking at Internet Porn, or The Perils of Social Media

May 5, 2011

I do love my social media, don’t get me wrong, but it’s always good to know where the things you love can come back and bite you in the butt, no?

So, a lovely friend of mine sent my this message through Facebook the other day:

In the nicest most polite way possible, I was on stumbleupon, and apparently, my friends (more importantly, what they follow) are displayed. Not that I care/judge one way or the other, I’m just not sure if YOU were aware. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please disregard.

Isn’t that nice? A heart-attack waiting to happen. I mean, how else do you react to that but ‘OMG! What!

Which is, of course, how I reacted.

Now, I don’t use Stumbleupon, but in setting up the social media widgets for my blog I’d interacted with it in the past, and I think it’s one of those things that if you’re on Facebook it knows who you are and the names of your still-unconcieved offspring too. So I raced over there in a panic to find out what in the world my friend had seen.

What I found was that I’d “stumbled” on Sex Scene, an Anthology. Now, I’ve got no problem with that, I’m in it. (No, not like THAT.) It’s an anthology of literary fiction. From the book blurb written by the editor, Robert James Russell:

Sex Scene: An Anthology aims to decontextualize sex, asking the reader to look at the act itself as not only a form of art, but also as the very basest of human urges.

The problem was caused by the fact that the tags applied to it were “porn” and “pornography.” (I’m not going to get into the erotica vs. porn or art vs. smut thing. Let’s just say this one ain’t for the kiddies.)

What all this boils down to is that my friend went to Stumbleupon and saw “Leah Petersen likes pornography.”

No mom, it’s not me. Promise.