Social Media Ennui
I have a confession to make. I’m suffering from some serious ennui about social media, publishing, reading blogs…
Why the blah?
Someone said in a recent post (I think it was Bob Mayer, though I couldn’t find the particular post) that there’s a really high turnover in self publishing. A huge chunk of the people who are doing this today will not be doing it in a year or two. And to a large extent that’s true. I’ve been at this for two years (longer if you count the platform building) and the people who were around then are not the same ones around now. A lot of the people I talked to back then are not the people I talk to now.
Self publishing has exploded and it seems as if every Tom, Dick, and Harry has jumped on the band wagon. Know what that means? It means that they’re all blogging about self publishing and writing and saying the exact same things that we all said 2 years ago. Except in exponential quantity because there are so many more of them. Rinse. Repeat.
Many of the Twitter hashtags that I follow have become glutted with promo, self-congratulatory back patting (above and beyond the “I made my word count goal for the day”), and RTs of ludicrously obvious articles like one I kept seeing bandied about the last week about how you should publish with Kindle or you’re missing out on a huge segment of the market. Seriously? You think that’s not obvious? You think there’s ANYBODY out there doing self publishing who’s not publishing at Amazon? And all you people RTing the article, you honestly think that’s quality content? And you can’t be bothered to change the hashtag, so I get the same bloody article FIFTEEN TIMES in my stream?
Last year when I ditched my feed reader, I began relying on Twitter to tell me what was awesome to read. Well that’s backfired. Frankly, I haven’t seen a truly interesting blog post in more than a month. I haven’t had many great conversations either. Whereas I used to hang out on Twitter all the time for my writer fix, I find myself retreating to my circle of GoogleTalk buddies who aren’t busy trying to sell me something.
I’ve actually unsubscribed from a lot of the so-called “expert” blogs I followed religiously for years–because it seems like they’ve all run out of new stuff to say and are on repeat or permanent guest blogger replacement.
I’ve had a myriad of auto DMs from people who make me want to immediately unfollow because they say “Connect with me on Facebook” or “Like this blah de blah” or “Check out my website/book/other thing” instead of trying to start an actual conversation.
I’ve had half a dozen random emails from apparently professional freelance guest bloggers offering to guest blog on my site and write about anything that I want–who are obviously not actually writers or part of the publishing industry and have spent no time actually looking at the content of my blog to see that I don’t allow people who are not writers or part of the publishing industry to guest blog.
I’ve had weird contacts on Facebook and Goodreads from people who have “friended” me who think that then gives them license to whap me over the head with offers for free books or “check out this thing” or otherwise try to start a conversation as if we’ve been bestest friends forever when really we’re total strangers who have never shared a scrap of conversation.
I’ve seen scores of people off on a crusade to brand their blog–who are totally missing the point, as all they’re managing to do is create dozens of homogenized sites, following the exact same formula, including posting schedules with cheesy ass names, and offering no particularly good content, nothing to actually inform or engage with, and sure as HELL not paying no attention to all the things you ought to do to make your site easy to use and appealing (Hello? If you have books, make them easy to find, and for God’s sake have an email subscription option–you Blogger blogs are some of the worst offenders for lacking this feature.). And they’re all buddies, so they’re all RTing the same content all over the place with the same hashtags and running the rest of us who have a clue off to saner waters. Thank God for places like The Bookshelf Muse who always offer cool and interesting content.
I’m bored, y’all.
I’ve had this gradually building state of BLAH over the last few months and I don’t quite know what to do about it. Yesterday I trolled around and tried out a bunch of different writer hashtags. It was all more of the same. I’ve got a very distinct sense of Been There, Done That, and I’m about ready to just pull out and go write my damn book. Which, you know, I should be doing anyway, social media aside. I won’t actually go away. I’ve worked too hard to build my platform to let it founder, but there’s a definite desire to cut back.
I will no doubt manage to offend some people with this post. There will be others who applaud me for speaking my mind. Them’s the breaks. I know there are many in the latter camp, as we’ve all been talking about the same thing for the last few weeks. I just felt like putting this out there into the void.