I’ve noticed in the several years I’ve been on twitter, and followed many writerly folk, that interactions have changed. Instead of us all sharing our experiences, new behaviors have taken shape.

The only interaction you have with anyone is, “Hey, I have a book. Buy it now!”

I don’t mind if you tell me you have a book. I’ve gotten some cool books from people I already liked on Twitter. What I mind is when you only try to sell me a book.

Try to sell me a book. every. 5. seconds.

When does slamming someone with advertising ever work? If someone asks you to do something over and over, and never says anything else, does that work on you? Me, either.

Hop on to hash tags, like #amwriting, with their book or blog posts not about writing.

Hash tags are not a secret meeting that if you could get into, everyone would notice your thing and ooh and ahh. Hash tags serve a purpose and providing you with a ready-made audience isn’t it.

Retweet 17 random things in a row.

By in a row,I mean your random retweets are all I see in a very fast moving feed. It means you’re just pointing-and-clicking, boom, boom, boom. And I know why. You’re hoping people will retweet your ‘on sale now’ tweet.

Don’t give social media advice when you clearly don’t get how to do social media as an author.

I once had to unfollow someone who wrote a book on how to be on social media and sell your book. They were guilty of all the above. I shudder to think what their book was about.

Instead, just be genuine.

All the research shows that being genuine and interacting with people on social media will go much further than harassing or ignoring them will.Check out Kristen Lamb’s web site and books for better info on how to use social media in your favor. By the way, notice I said use social media. Everything I mentioned up there just smacks of using people.

siglori

Being genuine and interacting on Twitter will always work in your favor. Click To Tweet

 

inkdivalinkageSo, I love sending people articles I find (which is why I’m going to be adding more of those here) but I’m picky about how they look. I don’t share from feedly because it creates a big word regurgitation that no one will want to read. I like pocket, because it provides previews and I can even share quotes. But, even I recognize how ridiculous it is to send something to pocket only to find it and share it later. Let’s ease back on the OCD, shall we?

And so I discovered this. It’s beautiful, neat, and it encourages others to go to the original content (we writers appreciate that).
image

I included an image of what I received in the email, mainly because my Kindle is quite uncooperative.

Try it out if you find your self sending a LOT of links, like I do.

clipbetter.com

image

Since I started writing, I’ve wanted to see my name on a cover.

I wanted the surge of joy, of knowing I made that! I started this blog in 2007, and it’s always been my-name.com. Because, this is me. I have a thing about being real and I don’t want to hide anything about myself. (Yes, I recognize the irony of including my web address name on the image. Wait, is that irony or idiocy?)

In the last few months, though, I’ve started to feel a little discomfort.

Writing is highly personal. I’m not saying I act out the risque scenes in my novels at all, but I do fill every sentence with a bit of my soul. And that, for me, is far more personal. Do I really want to deal with people being able to climb inside my head that way?  Not people, reader people or other writers–they get it. But, say, those I come in contact with at work or who attend church with me.

The argument in favor of #writing anonymously. #pennames Click To Tweet

I just keep bumping into this wall.

Don’t post that, someone who comes into the office might take it the wrong way. Don’t talk about your feelings, you have to look people in the eye. And then, I feel fake. It’s not about being fake, it’s about the freedom to be MORE real because there’s a seperateness. My personal life, my professional life, my writing life, my basketball mom life–all different. My life.

And, in the end, it’s my choice.

So, I’ll give you plenty of warning. If you get here by RSS, email, twitter, or my Facebook page, you won’t have any trouble finding me.

siglori

P.S. On the writing side, I’m writing a novella for a submission call. It’s romance set in the 1950s, which I adore. If I don’t get picked up, I may publish it here. Someone’s going to read the damn thing. ;-)

Image was created using images from elitebackdrops.com and Mel’s Brushes.

How it feels when someone steals your words.A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post. I’m not going to tell you which one because… okay, let me tell the story first.

So, a post. I publish it and it’s not even about anything (as usual). It’s not even one of my posts that people occasionally find useful (like the one on Kindlefeeder, or The Hero’s Journey in Clash of the Titans, or some of the writing posts). The day after I published it, I caught a weird pingback in my spam filter. I get those all the time when I link to one of my older posts but this one wasn’t from me. But, it was my words in the little sample that shows up.

When I clicked it, I found a beauty site (beauty, people–how many times have I blogged about that, I ask you) that had copied my entire post whole without any attribution whatsoever. The links within the post still pointed to my site (hence the spam filter pingback). Worse, most of the site, other than my post, was in another language. I know that copyright laws aren’t enforced in many countries, so I knew a report to the host would probably not yield a result.

So, I emailed the person. Nothing happened. Then, I left a moderated (and, so far, unapproved) comment on the site and told them that they’d copied my post in whole without any attribution, that I would make a complaint to Google which may or may not affect their search results. And some other things I couldn’t really back up. Because, seriously, what am I going to do about a post on a blog I don’t make any money from?

Don’t misunderstand me, I know it’s wrong. I felt strangely violated that someone had stolen my words, my thoughts, without even asking or giving me credit. If they found the article useful and wanted to repost it, I’d probably let them, with a link back here. Why not, right? But, to just take it? That’s seriously not okay. And, no, it's not harming me financially. But, it harms me intellectually and emotionally. Click To Tweet

Anyway, when I went back this week, because now it’s a car wreck and I can’t look away, they’d ran the post through one of those programs that changes the words but isn’t supposed to change the meaning. Except, now it sounds like I have a poor grasp of the English language and it links back to here through those links I mentioned earlier, so now I’m mad and a little embarrassed someone might think I wrote it.

I’d link to it so you could all go have a laugh except I’m afraid if the traffic there goes up, they’ll steal everything I do. It’ll be like having a thought-stealing internet stalker. And I know how people are, because I’m the same way, and if I just give you a screencap (or tell you which post), you’ll google the words and find it and drive the traffic up that way. So, now, I can’t even call them out on it.

Other than making legal threats I can’t really back up in their comment section, does anyone have any suggestions?

Photo used with permission from stock.xchng. Photo by: Pedro Pasquale.

Edit 05.13.2012: Turns out Godaddy is hosting the site, though it’s owned in Vietnam. Godaddy was not the host, but they walked me through tracing it back to the real hosts. I sent the DMCA Takedown Notice (on the advice of Penrefe in the comments below–thank you!), so fingers crossed.

Penrefe (@Penrefe, twitter) is gaining a reputation as an exceptionally helpful commenter, like in this post, when she explained to me what a “licker zombie” was.

Edit 05.16.2012: I just realized why they stole this post. Because it has beauty in the title. Doh. Also, an update!

I am running so late with these, you guys!  I have to be at work in a little over an hour, so I’m just throwing them up here.

Look.  Laugh.  Appreciate the seriousness.  Take some blame.  Learn to share with your sister, damn it.

  • |Expletive| Cancer by xkcd.com (via the fabulous Jen Lawson): Cancer sucks.  And more things you didn’t know about it.  But you should.
  • Au Revoir, Borders by Rachelle Gardner:  She basically takes all the blame for the Borders closings.  But, then, it’s my fault, too.  And it’s probably yours, too.  In the end, perhaps we should be less self-gratifying and more thoughtful about the things (and places) we love.
  • The Ring* on The Bettyverse by Nan Reinhardt: A lovely story about family and sisters and sacrifice.  And jewelry.

All five of us kids were more excited about Mom’s gift than we were about our own, and when she opened the ring, her expression of pure joy was the best gift of all. From that night, the beautiful little bauble never left her finger. She loved when people admired it, so she could tell them, “Four lindy star sapphires for my four September kids and one pearl for my June girl.” We’d scored! It was exactly what she’d wanted.

When mom died and it came time to split up her jewelry, that ring was a tough call— all three of us sisters wanted it. We considered drawing straws but instead we compromised and decided to share Mom’s ring. We’d each wear it for a year at time—a deal Mom would’ve heartily approved. So every October, we do the ring exchange and part of the fun is the ceremony involved. Wine, a toast to our mother, and then the ring goes to its new owner for another year. This year it’s my turn—I can’t wait for October!

*EDIT 08.29.2011: They’re rolling out a new ‘verse at The Bettyverse so… we’ll have to wait and see if that post comes back.

 

EDIT 10.25.2011: This link post apparently never made it over to the new site. But, I’m leaving it here, with the blurb, because it was good. 

When available, the author link goes to their Twitter page.  If I tell you who linked me to the article, it’s so you can follow those clever people on twitter.  Because I love twitter.  And you should, too.

Bringing the visual and video funny and two useful and frugal articles.

When available, the author link goes to their Twitter page.  If I tell you who linked me to the article, it’s so you can follow those clever people on twitter.  Because I love twitter.  And you should, too.

There was a time when “the Internet” was synonymous with anonymity. You’d read comments like: “Dude, it’s the internet. Who cares?” or “What difference does it make? It’s just the internet.” Usually this was in response to some outrageous bit of flaming or trolling.

That world no longer exists. Nowadays, with Facebook, the ability to Google into anyone’s deep, dark past, and online privacy at war with companies’ desires to gather every personal bit of info so they can serve you better ads, we live under a microscope. People lose their jobs because of pictures someone else tagged them in. We check in with our phones and leave a digital trail of breadcrumbs to become the mayor of Burger Palace. We pay our bills online, read our papers online, and search for new jobs online.

And, somewhere, there’s a record of every bit of it.

We need to be aware of 1.) protecting our privacy and 2.) what sort of image we project online.

This post will deal with number one. We’ll address number two later.

First, beware of tracking cookies. You can’t do much online without enabling cookies in your browser. So find a good program to rid yourself of the pests. While you’re at it, lose the spyware, too.

Next, make sure your privacy options are at a safe level. Here’s how to do it on Facebook, email, and just in general.

Third, in the shutting the barn door after the horse escapes category, always enable security on your wireless router. You can always buy a dual-band router, make use of an old router, or download a free program to allow cafe-style guest access.

Parting tips:

  • Discuss online privacy with your kids. I know I keep banging heads with my 14-year-old, not about privacy settings but about assuming any level of privacy when sharing.
  • Never use the password you use around the web as the same password for your email. It’s a sad fact, but when a hacker gets your password for Facebook or ANY site you use, he can usually use that same password to log into your email address. Once that happens, you’re just a few lost password requests away from financial ruin.
  • Consider using a program like LastPass to generate random passwords for sites and store them in an encrypted file on your computer.
  • Never, ever assume your data is safe. Every site, every program we trust, we are taking a gamble. Hedge your bets by being knowledgeable about the risks.