For the past eight years, I’ve participated in the BlogBlast4Peace movement. Whether it helps propagate peace or not, it’s still a good project because at least for that day, a large number of people are committing acts of peace. It was a hard day for me, because unlike previous years, people could not post my blog’s link to Facebook, so I was left out of a lot of the activity. When people did try to link, they got a message that this blog did not meet FB’s community standards.
Standards? What standards? It’s become a place for advertising — every other post on my feed is an ad for some dubious product, many direct from China (though you don’t find that out until after you have ordered said product) and others that turn out to be scams that you end up paying for every month until somehow you can get the subscription cancelled. When there is a legitimate post, their fact checkers are on the ball — the biased ball — and often manage to confuse the issue more by claiming as true what is false and as false what is fact.
And yet, my blog — this very blog you are reading — doesn’t meet their standards. That I have temporarily found a way around the block by reblogging my posts on another blog and posting that link to my author page on FB, doesn’t mitigate the damage their block has done. My personal voice on the site has not been blocked — just this blog — but I am so disturbed by the events of the past few days (and people’s reactions to those events) that I’d just as soon stay away. Staying away, too, ensures that I don’t say anything that can come back at me as more and more of our freedoms are eroded. I have to remember that my main reason for developing a web presence has been to promote myself as an author, and hopefully entice people into buying my books.
Which leads me to a question — does anyone do Instagram? I know it’s popular, though I can’t imagine it being a good place for gaining book recognition, but I was wondering if it was fun. Until recently, I didn’t have a phone big enough to make using the site feasible, but now that I do have such a phone, I’m revisiting the possibility. One of many drawbacks is that it is phone intensive, and I am not a fan of doing much via phone, but the main reason I hesitate is that it is owned by FB, and I’ve had enough of FB’s shenanigans to last a life time.
At least I still have this blog. I can say what I want (unless I censor myself), can write a long or short article, can post photos and probably even videos if I so desired.
And I have my website, or at least, I do for now. I received an email today from my domain provider that since Adobe decided to discontinue their Flash support, my website builder won’t work anymore, so they are moving me to a different website builder. They told me to click a button, and everything would be transferred over. So I did, and it wasn’t. All I saw was an ugly generic photo of a hand writing with an old pen on a piece of paper. I couldn’t figure out how to do anything on the new site (especially since the email said it would automatically be done for me) so I called the company.
According to the heavily-accented fellow I talked to, the site isn’t automatically switched over — their techs will have to do the work and they will let me know when the site is ready to go live. What he said and what the email said are so different, it’s hard to know the truth (but that seems to be standard these days). Adding complication to an already complicated situation, many of the links on my website go to my blog or to another site. (When we set up the original domain, we also set up one for Jeff, and now I use that blog for extra web pages, though I don’t really need to. With all the links navigating elsewhere, I don’t need as many pages as I thought I did.) The old site won’t be deleted for another couple of months, so I have time to wait and see.
As if that weren’t enough, one of my answers on Quora was hidden because they said I plagiarized. Apparently, one can’t quote themselves without attribution.
I’m sure you’re not interested in my web woes, but I bet you’d be even less interested if I screamed to USA voters, “What the hell were you thinking?”
All that’s crashing down on me — the general mess in the real world as well as my personal mess in the web world — is making me rethink my online goals. Do I have any? Well, yes. To sell books, of course, to keep up the discipline of writing in at least a small way, and to have my own slice of online life, of which this blog is paramount. The rest — FB, Instagram, Quora, even my own website, not so much.
Luckily, the peace acts I committed yesterday are keeping me from being swept away by these issues. I’m calm about everything, in part because of what my tarot card told me today — to have courage in the face of that which cannot be changed. To that, I will have to add: to have courage (and patience) in the face of what is changing beyond all possibility of my control.
Peace to us all.
Speaking of my books, my latest novel Bob, The Right Hand of God is now published! Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God. Or you can buy the Kindle version by clicking here: Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.
What if God decided to re-create the world and turn it into a galactic theme park for galactic tourists? What then?