Business Musings: Social Media And Time (A Process Blog)
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I ended up with an issue after last week’s post on the controversy surrounding The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It was not the issue I expected.
I even sent an email to a friend about that original issue, which did not materialize. What I said to them was, “I’m going to lose a lot of backers on this one.”
I did not lose any backer—at least so far. In fact, the number of supportive emails, posts, and in-person comments has been somewhat overwhelming. I did not expect it. Thank you.
I did expect people to demand details, though, and some did. In fact, a few told me it was my “obligation” to “name and shame” the people involved. Since I got that a few times, let me say this.
- I named Gordon. That was relevant.
- This is an exceedingly painful part of my past which occurred in a world that no longer exists. In fact, most of the publishing community that Gordon and his ilk effectively poisoned against me are gone. The publishing companies have vanished or, in the case of Tor, have become imprints. The people who repeated and acted on the lies are either out of the business entirely or are dead. In other words, the details might matter on a historical level, but on a day-to-day level for people who are in the field now, such as it is, the details matter not at all.
- What part of the word “microaggressions” did you folks not understand? That means these acts were weekly if not daily occurrences and in many cases quite small, noticeable to me, my friends, and the people in the industry who understood with a wink-wink nod-nod.
- In other words, what good would dragging up all that pain do me? Or do the almost non-existent sf field? It would do no good at all. So it ain’t gonna happen. Unless, someday, I decide to write my own history of the field.
So what is the unexpected issue that I mentioned above? Well, it’s not really an issue. It’s a problem in my own head.
Dozens—literally dozens—of you very kind people offered me a Bluesky code so that I can join that social media site. The first few people were on my Patreon page. I refused two of the codes, because I’m on the fence. The third offered to let me hang onto their code while I made my decision.
I’m still thinking.
But that offer allowed me to answer the remaining people who have contacted me since last week to truthfully tell them I’m still thinking about this. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.
A confluence of events hit at the same time as last week’s post. We started a Kickstarter for my latest Diving novel, Ivory Trees. I have a standalone novella that’s a different version of a section of the new Diving book in Asimov’s Science Fiction. And, I am part of a space opera Storybundle (that will end within a few hours of this post going live).
Back when the Storybundle began, I found myself writing a letter to the wonderful writers in the bundle in which I apologized for the fact that I no longer had the promotional reach that I used to have. When I left Twitter about a year ago now as it was clear that Musk wasn’t going to quit pissing on the platform, remaking it into a hateful space, I lost a decade’s worth of followers, carefully curated.
I could change the direction of a Kickstarter with one well-placed tweet. I could add a lot of value to a Storybundle by promoting it more than once on Twitter.
I also enjoyed Twitter…until the last few years. I relied on it during Covid to give me real-time news that I wasn’t getting from the regular media. But the hateful rhetoric had racheted up and I found myself blocking or muting a lot of people, including people I knew. I was uncomfortable long before Musk’s takeover. In some ways, that horrid man gave me an excuse to leave.
What I found is that I have more time on my hands. Sure, I use some of it to read curated journalism from a variety of sources. But mostly, I spend less time online and a lot more time doing other things.
I have known, though, that I’m sacrificing some things. From real-time news, such as what was happening on the ground in Maui during the fires, to being able to promote my work to, yes, seeing some really fun videos or comments made by friends, I sometimes still feel the lack of Twitter. I also miss a place to make a one-and-done comment on something in my life, something I want to say and then forget about.
Sometimes that one-and-done would get retweeted and often it would be ignored, but it scratched a commentary itch that I didn’t have otherwise.
I joined a couple of sites at friends’ recommendations and found myself either annoyed at the needless complexity (Mastodon) or the utter irrelevance (cripes, I can’t even remember the name of the startup!). And I didn’t like the time it was taking. I was tempted—I’m still tempted—by TikTok, but I’m afraid of the timesink.
I took one look at Threads’ terms of service and fled. I’ve done that with a number of sites.
And, did I mention, that I’m liking the extra time?
But I really feel the inability to promote on anything but my own sites (and Facebook, whose crappiness I feel grandfathered into). So I’m trying to figure out what to do, what I have to sacrifice to do it, and whether it’s worth doing at all.
The website redesign is mostly done and waiting on me to finish things. So there’s that. And there are a few other things that I want to try.
But I am on the fence, and that confluence of events pointed it all out to me yet again. I’m impressed by the people who sent me Bluesky codes. There are some dear friends on the platform and some old friends as well. There are readers who very kindly and politely offered me a way in, and a lot of people who had great ideas to share.
I also researched it and it seems like a place that I might like. It sounds the most Twitter-like. I haven’t gone onto it yet, though, so I don’t know.
My time has become truncated with the start of September. I’m back in school in a relatively easy but interesting class. That takes about four hours out of my week. (I had budgeted ten, so that’s a nice gain of six hours.) After the summer teeth debacle, I have to rebuild my exercise, which I’m doing in characteristic fashion by deciding to do a virtual triathlon at the end of October. Which means I must add biking and swimming to my daily runs and my weekly Pilates.
The racing season will start at the end of the month, and I’m looking forward to that. And I have season theater tickets and, and, and!!! Playoff tickets for the WNBA, since the World Champion Las Vegas Aces are favored. (I wanted the tickets anyway. The Aces games are fun.)
Plus people are coming to town as in damn near everyone we know, and I have some reading to do, and I have other projects to finish.
All of this in addition to finishing a big arc in the Fey series that we will market in early 2024. (Crap. That means having some extra social media sites might help.) I have more to finish with Diving. I have some standalone short stories promised for anthologies. I want to keep up on the news for this weekly blog.
And I’ve rediscovered how to lose myself in other people’s fiction, so I’m reading more. What I find myself giving up more and more are movies. I can watch them online at any point. It’s the stuff that I can’t see online, like theater and basketball, that’s taking up my entertainment time.
Maybe I should just give up sleeping.
Anyway, if you’re all up for it, I’d love to see what you folks think of social media in 2023. Leave a note in the comments. You might help me jump off that fence.
And thanks again, everyone, for all of the support.
This weekly blog is reader supported.
If you feel like supporting the blog on an on-going basis, then please head to my Patreon page.
If you liked this post, and want to show your one-time appreciation, the place to do that is PayPal. If you go that route, please include your email address in the notes section, so I can say thank you.
Which I am going to say right now. Thank you!
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“Business Musings: Social Media and Time (A Process Blog),” copyright © 2023 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © Can Stock Photo / ti_to_tito.
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