When Facebook blocked my blog URL from their site, it made me rethink a lot of what I’ve been doing online. Not writing this blog, of course — that is a given. But other things, such as keeping friends on Facebook that I don’t know simply because we are authors or because it wouldn’t be politic to remove them. I figure my current boycott of the site — if FB doesn’t want my blog, they don’t get any part of me — would be a good time to quietly unfriend those folks I don’t know or don’t want to know.
When I first came online, all the marketing hints for authors mentioned how important FB was, so I did my best to work the site. At one time, I had the maximum number of friends allowable, but as the years passed, and I realized none of these people had any interest in me, I started removing those who annoyed me. From 5,000 to 200. That’s a lot of annoyance! A few of those 200 I keep only because . . . well, I don’t really know why except that I know them. When . . . if . . . I ever return, I might remove some of them too.
After cleaning up FB, I turned my attention to Twitter. Twitter has never been a favorite of mine, so mostly all I do there is have my blog URL posted automatically to the site. Although a writer friend once walked me through all the ways Twitter can help an author, none of those ideas ever worked for me. Twitter seems to work only if you have more that 10,000 followers, and I fall vastly short of that number. I did go through and do some housekeeping, though, such as unfollowing people that I follow but who no longer follow me.
Finally, I did something I never thought I would do, I removed some problematic blog posts. As I explained in my post Repercussions, shortly after my first two novels were published, I had a text conversation with my sister, who had just finished reading the books. I asked her if it was strange reading a $&X scene written by her sister. (Just so you know, I am not averse to using the word, I’m just trying to hide it from google.) I posted the conversation on my blog because I was so tickled with her observations.
A couple of months later, on the list of search engine terms people use to find my blog, I noticed a lot of incestual queries. There was no mistaking the meaning of the terms. They were explicit.
Not one to sneer at a gift from the writing gods, even such a sleezy gift as this, I wrote a blog: “$&X With $ister Tips — Writing Tips, That Is.” (The more views a site gets, the higher it’s ranked by search engines, and so the more views it gets.) It was actually a good post, talking about how to make the scenes motivated and a part of the story rather than simply adding prurient interest.
As uncomfortable as the whole incest thing made me, it never occurred to me to remove the posts. Ever since the quarantine, though, the number of views on those posts have skyrocketed, and the comments increasingly frightening.
Since this is a time of reworking my online presence — what is left of it — I finally trashed those particular blogs.
It feels good, all this online housecleaning. Refreshing.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.