February 9th, 2011


[links] Link salad is called Maurice by some people

Bad Writing — Ta-Nehisi Coates introduces a video.

Fractals, Reverie, and Biofeedback — Art guru James Gurney on something I've often noted but never quite framed into words. Interestingly, I also think (as with many of his observations) that this observation has analogs in the writing of fiction.

Journal of Universal Rejection — For all your self-esteem destroying needs. (Via Asher.)

Meat-Eating Furniture — Ouch. (Thanks, I think, to danjite.)

Photo of the interior of an airship gas bag — Mmmm.

Exoplanets: Answering the Big Questions

Jim Hines is extremely sensible about the healthcare debateI don't get it. I don't understand the fear. I don't understand the greed. No health care system is or ever will be perfect, but we could do so much better. Instead, health insurance companies rake in billions in profits while an estimated "68 adults under age 65 die every day because they don't have coverage." And Jim Van Pelt follows up. I couldn't possibly say it better than these guys already have.

And of course, Elizabeth Moon. If you're a conservative, please tell me why you think the current system is sensible, just and fair. If you don't think so, please tell me what you and your party are doing about it, other than working to undo the partial fix that is HCR.

Colorado GOP Chairman Quits: 'I'm Tired Of The Nuts' — "Tell it like it is..." Everybody sing!

Things Conservatives Don't Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan — Speaking of tiresome nuts. A little more antidote to the Reaganic hagiography. Ah, those pesky little facts.

A conservative Christian leader explains that global warming can't be true because it's snowing too hardHow stupid do these people think we are? The question answers itself, sir. Ah, the dangers of excessive literalism and a practiced aversion to even minimal critical thinking. (Via Dispatches From the Culture Wars.)

Krugman Loses Perspective — A response to the Paul Krugman post I linked to yesterday about climate change, food insecurity and revolution. (Via ericjamesstone.)

What California should learn from the Texas budget crisis The so-called Texas Miracle is in trouble, demonstrating that fashioning fiscal policies strictly along low-tax lines doesn't protect you from budget deficits or business slumps or make your residents necessarily happy or healthy. A piece on the failure of the "Texas miracle", which it turns out was largely propped up by those hated stimulus funds. Governance by conservative principles in action.

?otD: What the heck is the pompatus of love, anyway?

Writing time yesterday: 2.25 hours (500 new words, revisions and editorial to Sunspin, plus 0.5 hours of WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 251.2
Currently reading: Between books


[personal|writing] Social media strategies

Several folks have been commenting lately in the blogosphere on being fictional. I read the posts, nodded, and went on. I've had an online presence in some form or another for over fifteen years now. I'm very accustomed to the delta between my persona as projected in that environment and the full personhood of me.

Of course, when I first hung out my web shingle, I was a private person. It was some years before my first sale as a writer. The number of people who cared about what I had to say online or in public was limited to close friends and immediate family. And not even many of them.

That meant I could have essentially a one-to-one relationship with everyone I knew online.

Today, this post will potentially reach about 10,000 people through four media channels I address directly, and even more indirectly. Some reasonable percentage of those will actually click through and read it. Between WordPress, LiveJournal, Twitter and Facebook, I would have to keep up with those roughly 10,000 people in order to maintain the same reciprocity I routinely managed back in 1995 or so.

To be a bit more specific about this, someone was grumpy at me in Facebook recently for not paying attention to the posts of my Facebook friends, implying that this was unfair of me. Given that as of this draft I have 2,567 Facebook friends, I would never do anything else if I paid that kind of attention. Likewise my 6,156 Twitter followers. If I auto-followed, I would never do anything else. Same for my 1,000+ LiveJournal friends and all the people who pick up the RSS feed off my WordPress blog. It's sort of like how I used to try to read the stories and novels all my friends got published. Now that's just about a mathematical impossibility for me, assuming I wish to eat, sleep or ever leave my chair for any other purpose.

The entire calculus of how I relate through my online presence and social media has changed radically over the years. Largely without me even noticing it. I simply rode along with the shifting tide. Now I am in a situation that creates a sense of interchange, or even social intimacy, with me for thousands of people, a great many of whom I do not know and likely never will.

I answer direct questions in any of my online spaces, respond to otherwise interesting comments, dip into the pool of 'friends' in each of those areas. But lacking the time, how do I respect the personal connection that so many people feel? In my case, by paying what attention I can, responding when appropriate, and being respectful. I got no other answer.

What do you think the obligations of a public person should be in the social media?