Facebook Should Be Broken Up, Company Co-Founder Says

Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg and others 15 years ago when they were students at Harvard, believes the federal government should dismantle the extraordinarily powerful social-media giant. In a 5,700-word New York Times op-ed piece published Thursday, Hughes argued that Zuckerberg holds “unchecked power” that is “unprecedented and un-American.” “Mark is a…

via Variety

I’m fine with this. The libertarian in me dislikes the notion of the government smashing companies with a hammer, seemingly as punishment for their success, but the more primitive mind says “Facebook isn’t my friend”. Principles of liberty are not a suicide pact.

How to Remove Facebook From Your Life

Full Disclosure: This article on Medium is by the official account of Gab, the free-speech Social Network that grew up in the aftermath of the first round of Twitter going after conservatives. So, they’re not exactly a neutral observer, and if you don’t care about free-speech for people you don’t like, then you might find the opening paragraph tendentious.

However, it has useful information about what you can do to get control of your data, including pictures and links. It also has the Holy Grail, the actual Deletion of your Facebook account.

For my part, I don’t use Facebook very much (following the article’s suggestion, I saw the app page, and found precisely 4 active apps, one of which I decided to cull.

But you might find it useful, so I’m passing it along. (H/T: Ace of Spades)

View at Medium.com

 

One Must Engage to Get “Engagement”

At least, that’s the practical upshot of this otherwise jargon-free article about using Facebook to increase your awareness. Useful in that it advocates not trying to make Facebook into something it isn’t.

Facebook is an absolutely amazing platform to build and grow your business. What’s even better than that? It’s absolutely free to use! The problem I see all the time, however, is most people who are using it to build their home-based businesses are doing it ALL WRONG! I used to be one of those people…until […]

via 9 Ways To Get Insane Facebook Engagement — Create Success With Lisa

Everything You Idiots Care About is Stupid

AKA, Reflections Appropriate to Any Time Spend on Twitter

I hate your stupid opinions.

I hate reading them. I hate hearing you express them. I hate the way you just repeat things you’ve heard. I hate the way you never pause to examine if anything you’re repeating is true.

I hate the way Social Media has made us dumber. I used to read the newspaper when I was a kid. Mostly the Washington Post, mostly the editorial section, because even in my youth I had intuited that the “news” was a bowdlerized version meant to be shoehorned into a narrative by the crusading Journalists who pretended to speak Truth to Power while actually speaking MiniTruth to everyone else. That meant I read some people who I agreed with, and some I disagreed with.

But I read it, in silence, with no expectation of doing anything with it other than integrate it into my thinking. I didn’t run around the house or neighborhood letting everyone else no my opinion of it. I didn’t assume anyone cared for my particular take of Colbert King’s column.

Today, that would be done by Re-Tweeting it to everyone who “followed” me, with some manner of “sick own” or cretinous applause, such as “This!” or “READ THE WHOLE THING.” I wouldn’t be reading it to read it, but to decide whether it was Of My Sort or not, and make a big deal about it accordingly.

Social media has turned us all into bad journalists. And there were already plenty of those.

So, no, your reaction to the President’s last tweet, or the Olympics, or whether Black Panther is the GREATEST THING SINCE THE LUMIERE BROTHERS INVENTED CINEMA, or whatever one media clown said to another media clown, is not important. It won’t add anything. It does not create, it will not enlighten. It doesn’t exist on its own. It’s just a shout in a noisy room.

And it’s making you angry, and it’s feeding the devil you most want to crack down on. Because you get more of what you pay attention to.

And just in case you decide I’m not practicing what I’m preaching, understand that I could write a nice rant about the Olympics if I wanted to, because there’s very few things I detest as much as the Olympics. Watching the Olympics is about as much fun as watching… other people ski and ice skate.

Let that sink in.

And of course, you have to hear about their inspiration Life Stories first. As if I’m supposed to be interested that some derp had to get up early to practice flinging himself down a mountainside. I assume you have to practice to be good enough for the Olympics.

To say nothing of the fact that the costs of hosting these tedious games can bankrupt cities:

But honestly, I already don’t feel like saying anything else about it. I don’t want to argue with people who want to wonder how in the name of Cheese and Rice the Chinese judge couldn’t give the South Korean girl full points for landing that triple salchow. I don’t want to listen to you tell me “Figure Skating is too a sport, rather than a subjectively-scored performance art!”

I. Do. Not. Care.

And if I spend time arguing about it, I will have to care. I will have to come up with a tendentious definition of “sport” specifically rendered to exclude people who have trained their lives away to do something incredibly difficult that I’ve never even considered attempting.

Is that an addition to anyone’s lives?

No.

So let’s all consider not sharing. Not re-tweeting. Not owning, or applauding, or cross-posting, meme-ing or swiping right.

Let’s try reading, and thinking. Let’s try doing. Let’s try keeping the noise down.

Now get off my lawn.

Writing Apps and Social Media – Some Recent Experiences

And by “recent” I of course mean “yesterday”

Less recently, I took Facebook off my phone. It just takes up too much data space, and I tire of scrolling through it. This doesn’t mean that Facebook is “dead” to me, but it does mean that I will be using it less frequently. The charm of it was mostly in the novelty, and that has mostly gone.

But the lack of it did make me wonder if there’s a social media experience I could be missing. Twitter is a battlefield, and like drinking from a fire hose more often than not. Tumblr is much the same. I wanted something … different.

So yesterday I looked at the social media apps on the App Store, and I came across Ello. Ello became a thing last year, and it seemed utterly precious in my eyes. But the copy promised a space for creative endeavors, a place to make and share things rather than to dimly snark at each other. That seemed the cure for what ailed me, so I downloaded it.

It’s already a better experience. I joined the writers group and happened upon a fellow by the name of Lee Williams posting a short story link, Hope is a Venetian RugI liked the cover art, so I followed it. The story was pretty good, but it also led me to the writing/publishing app he had it on, Tablo.

Tablo allows you to write something on your phone, publish it to the wider community, and even put on the Apple iBooks store and Amazon (in exchange for a 20% commission on the sales price of your book. Which is not bad). The phone app is simple and useful, and the web site is even better. I can work on something while I’m putting the baby to sleep, or any other point I have down time.

There’s another app I’ve been using, Werdsmith, which I’ve found useful for sketching ideas (it distinguishes between ideas and projects, which have word goals). Tablo is for when you have a definite story coming out, and you want to focus on getting it out.

So here’s my flagship efforts for the new site:

  • The Little Guerrilla Platoons, a short story about a man’s vengeance on his homeowner’s association (and the fat slob who runs it)
  • The Party at the Last Tomorrow, a post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk novella that’s been taking up brain space for a while now.

Watch this space for publishing details.

Authors: Social Media Will Not Bring You an Audience.

It will help you keep an audience when you’ve got one.

That’s not what this post at Book Designer starts to say, but that’s what they end up concluding. The lede is buried here:

Your key to more followers isn’t posting more frequently or having more conversations. Nor is it constantly checking your feeds to see who said what.

A readership develops because they have something to value and talk about. The best way to accomplish that is to give them more fiction. Writing good stories, as always, should remain your top priority.

Good storytelling will lead to a fan base, and then social media will start returning results. You’ll see more links, retweets, and likes. Your voice will start circulating and your reach will expand.

Joel has even proposed not significantly investing in blogging until you have a readership. I think that makes a lot of sense.

Suggestion: Work on your craft, refine your voice, polish and publish. That’s what matters most. The better your writing, the better social media will work.

I’ve been operating under the If You Build It, They Will Come idea since I started self-publishing. I’m glad to hear that I’m not out of my mind.