Tag Archives: facebook

We are a nation of scrollers not readers, and tech billionaires are to blame

An article in The Guardian’s opinion section argues that we (in the UK) are a nation of scrollers rather than readers, and that the blame for this lies at the door of the tech billionaires, (see https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/may/08/nation-scrollers-readers-read-netflix-twitter-books-mark-zuckerberg).

Its very easy to blame others for one’s own shortcomings methinks . . .

There was a young lady called Glitter

There was a young lady called Glitter
Who spent all her time on Twitter.
Her boyfriend named Jack
Said “your love I lack.
I feel so incredibly bitter!”

There was a young lady called Glitter
Who spent all her time on Twitter.
Her boyfriend named Luke
Was obsessed with Facebook.
It made Glitter incredibly bitter!”

My Experience of Organising A Book Launch

As many of you will be aware, I held a book launch for my recently published collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind” on the evening of 5 July.

I am pleased to report that the evening went well.

There were, however a number of “lessons learned”, which I have set-out below.

I hope this post proves helpful to others considering a physical (as opposed to a virtual) book launch.

Pros:

1. The venue (a pub called the Railway Bell) is within easy reach of Gipsy Hill station, making it simple for those attending the launch (and using public transport) to access it.

2. The venue being a pub, meant that it was easy to arrange for the provision of alcohol (and other drinks) to my guests. I provided wine and orange juice, while my guests had the option to purchase additional refreshments at the bar.

3. The management where extremely obliging and went that extra mile ensuring that things ran smoothly.

4. There was good audience interaction with a number of interesting questions being addressed to me.

5. I sold (and signed) a number of copies of “My Old Clock”.

6. People stayed on afterwards for a drink in the pub garden which was most convivial.

Cons:

1. I advertised the event on my blog and Facebook. In addition a number of bloggers, friends and acquaintences very kindly shared the launch on social media including Twitter, Facebook and reblogs on WordPress.

This was all very much appreciated and I would like to send a big thank you to everyone who took the time to share the event.

However, despite all the publicity (including the news releases sent out by the publisher to local poetry/literary groups), those attending where all known to me either as friends or acquaintences.

It was, of course wonderful to have the support of close friends, however having new faces at the event would have been the iceing on the cake.

WordPress provides an effective platform for building and cementing a following and I greatly appreciate every single person who takes the time to follow, like and comment on my poetry and other posts.

My blog has enabled me to reach out to people all over the world and form valued connections with those with whom I would never otherwise have become connected.

However the vast majority of my followers are not in the UK so (although many of them generously shared the event) they could not (for obvious reasons) attend.

Consequently while WordPress is a wonderful platform it possesses limitations as regards getting “bums on seats”.

Facebook didn’t yield any new faces at the event (despite it having been advertised on local Facebook groups), which appears to further underline the limits of social media as a means of drumming up support for events.

2. I scheduled the event at too early an hour (6:30).

Given the London rush hour and issues with transport, I decided to hold off until approximately 7:20, which meant that most people had then arrived.

In retrospect I should have specified a starting time of 7 pm (with the expectation that most people would arrive between 7 and 7:15) and I will certainly do so the next time I organise such an event.

3. While beer and books are a fantastic combination, beer on books is not!

On entering the pub I enjoyed a quick pint prior to the event starting.

I had hung my bag of books on a hook under the bar (they where in a padded envelope within a carrier bag).

I managed to spill some of my drink into the envelope but luckily (and much to my surprise) none of my Fosters got onto my books.

Next time I shall keep my books well away from alcohol or any other liquids!

4. Any profits made from the sale of books require to be balanced against money expended in the provision of refreshments.

However even where spending on refreshments comes close (or even eats into any profit made), one has to consider the benefits obtained from the publicity generated by the event.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the event was a success.

People enjoyed my reading, there ensued an interesting discussion following the reading and a number of books were signed and sold.

While it was wonderful to see so many old friends there, it would have further enhanced the event where new faces to have appeared alongside them.

As previously stated, I possess a loyal blog following and I’m grateful to all my followers for their ongoing support.

However given that most of my followers are located outside of the UK they can not (for obvious reasons) attend book launches and other similar events.

I will look into streaming events live the next time I launch a book enabling the event to be seen by as broad a range of people as possible.

(“My Old Clock I Wind” is published by Moyhill in paperback and ebook formats and can be found here, http://moyhill.com/clock/

My Interview on Roberta Pimentel’s Blog

Thank you to Roberta Pimentel for interviewing me about why I began my blog and other aspects of the blogging experience. For my interview please visit

http://robertapimentel.com/2017/02/03/todays-special-guest-4/.

Kevin

Why Is No One Sharing My Content?

 

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In the below post references to sharing do not include copying content (unless, of course you have the content owner’s permission to do so). By sharing I mean utilising options such as Twitter and the WordPress reblogging facility.

Your blog is full of great content but no one is sharing it. That is wholly inexplicable, right? Well in some cases you may be unlucky and, if you fall into this category I wish you the very best of luck in future for there is nothing more frustrating than one’s content being ignored.
Most blogs and/or sites have buttons allowing content to be easily shared. For example my blog (newauthoronline.com) allows sharing via a number of channels including Twitter, Facebook and, of course reblogging. I have, however come across blogs lacking any facility to share content. In such instances the person wishing to share has no option other than to copy the link into a post on their own site and share in this manner. This can be time consuming and in many instances can lead to a blogger who would otherwise have shared content deciding not to do so.
It is, of course a matter for site owners to determine what sharing buttons (if any) appear on their site. However the absence of easy options to share can (and often does) prevent informative and/or entertaining content from being shared. Shares can equal new readers so by not utilising sharing buttons site owners are limiting the growth of their site’’s readership.

Kevin

New Sharing Buttons Added To Newauthoronline

Thanks to a suggestion from Chris Graham (http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/), I have now added several buttons to my blog allowing readers to share content more easily. Twitter and Facebook are now joined by Pocket, Reddit, print and email. Thank you Chris for the great suggestion!

For information on how to add sharing buttons to your WordPress site please visit (https://en.support.wordpress.com/sharing/).

Teenagers Are Taking Steps To Protect Their Online Privacy

Earlier today (15 March 2015) I wrote a post entitled “Post In Haste Repent At Leisure”, (http://newauthoronline.com/2015/03/15/post-in-haste-repent-at-leisure/). In that article I drew attention to the dangers of posting content which could come back and bite the poster (for example unsubstantiated allegations have led many a social media user into very hot water).

I was interested to read this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2995686/Teenagers-tired-sharing-aspect-lives-online-taking-steps-ensure-privacy-social-media-report-reveals.html). The report appears to contradict statements by the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg that people are less concerned about online privacy than was previously the case. It shows that many teenagers have both a private and public Twitter account and will share confidential information with friends using the former. Teenagers are also creating false identities (you could have knocked me down with a feather when I read this snipet of information which, as Basil Fawlty might have remarked is, surely a statement of the “bleding obvious”). The use of false identities has the potential to put a spoke in the wheels of marketers who use online activity to market products, (if they don’t know the identity then how do they target). My heart is sore on behalf of all those poor marketers.

 

Kevin

Post In Haste Repent At Leisure

I deleted that Facebook post I wrote after having consumed 10 pints of strong beer, the one in which I made unfounded allegations about Ms Y and Mr X. Its no longer showing on my Timeline so it’s all fine now, isn’t it?

Well no, it isn’t! Once something is out there on the internet it is impossible to completely erase it. In the above (fictional) example the post has disappeared from the Facebook user’s timeline. It has, however already been shared many times before the drunken Facebooker had the nouse to delete it. Mr X’s lawyer has already written to Facebook asking that they disclose the poster’s details in order that legal proceedings may be commenced against him. To compound matters Ms Y’s boyfriend knows who the poster is and is on his way round to his home to “have a word”.

In this purely fictional example one may smile at the stupidity of the poster. However such instances of stupidity are commonplace. Take, for example the unfounded allegations regarding certain prominent persons that they where paedophiles. Quite rightly the persons libeled took great exception to the slur on their character and sued.

I feel sorry for young people today. While at university there was no internet so student antics could not be plastered all over the World Wide Web (not that there was anything to plaster in the case of yours truly I hasten to add. I was, of course a model of rectitude …)! However in this age of the internet every unguarded comment made online can come back to haunt the poster. A young teenager, their emotional and mental development still in flux says something on social media which on reaching adulthood they bitterly regret. Sadly it often seems to be wholly irrelevant that the poster now genuinely disavows their youthful comments. The media shows no mercy and they are pilloried for comments which, had they been made in the pre internet age would have been, in all likelyhood long since forgotten.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell introduces Memory Holes. All scrap paper and documents which are no longer relevant or are embarrassing to “The Party” go into these recepticles and are taken to furnaces in the depths of The Ministry Of Truth for destruction. It is never made explicit in the novel but one is left with the strong impression that there are no such furnaces. The Memory Holes are just what it says on the tin – a place where information is stored by the authorities to be used at a later date against the population of Oceania. Virtual Memory Holes are alive and kicking for anyone with the patience and technical expertise to access them. Post in haste repent at leisure.

 

Kevin

What Happens To Your Online Presence When You Die?

A firm of lawyers are recommending that people attach a list of their social media passwords to wills in order to make it easier for relatives to access them after the user dies. In this digital age when most people have some form of online presence the issue of what happens to accounts on the demise of the user is of growing significance. For all you bloggers out there (including myself) this article raises important albeit uncomfortable issues as few of us like to be reminded of our own mortality, (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2939685/Lawyers-urge-people-leave-social-media-details-including-Facebook-passwords-wills-alongside-family-heirlooms-savings-house-deeds.html).