Nothing in Particular

I have been waiting most of the day for something sizeable to download from the internet. If our internet connection was behaving itself, I imagine it would have finished downloading quite some time ago (an engineer from the telephone company is visiting our house tomorrow morning to find out why).

I passed the time a little earlier by reading a graphic novel that’s not even on my “to read this year” list – “Lumberjanes” – originally bought for our younger daughters a couple of years ago. They didn’t show much interest in it, so it got subsumed into my own collection of books in the junk room – along with all the indie titles I have collected in recent years. It’s funny – I started out only interested in comic book artwork, by the likes of Adam Hughes, Alex Ross, and Amanda Conner – but then started reading a few of them, and got sucked in. Until recent years the only graphic novels I had ever read were the Tank Girl books – probably 20 years ago now – before Jamie Hewlett went on to draw the graphics for Gorillaz, and the Winter Olympics.

I now find myself at a loose end – hence yet another blog post about nothing in particular. I should re-title the blog “Nothing in Particular”. I could win awards for the most inconsequential content, or the least effort expended. Back in the day everybody and their dog had badges all over the blog, advertising the community awards that had been bestowed up on them. If memory serves, almost all awards were pyramid traffic schemes dressed up as awards.

While on the subject of pyramid traffic schemes, a “hoo-haa” of sorts has been brewing on Twitter over the last few days, and it’s quite entertaining in a “can’t stop watching” sort of way. I need to explain some things first though – bear with me.

On Twitter, a number of people have started including the hashtag “#WritingCommunity” in posts they want other writers to see, and perhaps comment on. This has created a belt-and-braces group functionality of sorts within the Twittersphere, with people watching search results related to the hashtag as a simple means of creating a “channel”. Anyway. Within the group, there seems to be a mania among some to attract as many followers to themselves as possible – they dress this up as a thing called “#writerlift”, and link a number of accounts to the post, with instructions to follow and/or re-share the list. There’s only one problem with this idea – it’s against the Twitter terms of service – terms as “encouraging reciprocal following” (or words to that effect).

So – when the news broke that Twitter had started reprimanding people for their behaviour (spamming the crap out of the system while chasing higher and higher follower numbers), a small number of very vocal people became ever so slightly enraged that the FREE platform they were taking advantage of should be questioning their behaviour at all – and reacted really quite badly (read: amusingly, and somewhat predictably). I have therefore been sitting quietly on a nearby fence for the last few days, eating popcorn, and enjoying all the butt-hurt posts.

It’s a storm in a tea-cup really, but an entertaining one. There are far more important things going on in the world right now – you know, like the US President almost declaring war on Iran. I saw a wonderful post on Facebook earlier – “hang on while I go and catch up on the expert analysis of world events being published by the people Facebook knows I went to school with”…

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