In November of last year (on another blog site), I posted a series of humorous statements entitled Adult Truths. Many people enjoyed them and one person, my editor and friend, Sunny, suggested I think about writing a blog about each individual truth.
Well, I kept the idea in mind, wondering how I might turn these bits into blogs about writing. Now that my blogs that have been posted elsewhere on the Internet has been depleted, I again have a chance to be creative and write another series of blogs based on these ‘truths’. So for the next almost half a year (probably more time will pass, though before I get through all of them. I mean there are 24 of them and I’ll be interrupting the series with other timely blogs) let’s see what potential treasures might be found.
“I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.”
I thought about this one for awhile because, like so many of these truths, these segue into a related writing discussion didn’t immediately come to mind.
Then I thought times Sunny has suggested to the Posse members to Google our name to see how many times we’re listed. (By the way, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Posse and would like more information or would like to be a member, let me know. It’s free, so don’t get your shorts in a bind about worrying about another group wanting money.)
Try it. Google or Yahoo your name either alone or with the word ‘author’ following. See how many times your name appears. Where have you been a presence on the Internet? Where have you established a website, a blog, a blog posting, or become a member of a forum or writing related website? How far back do some of the listings take you? If I may toot my own horn for a moment, if you search my name, Stephen L. Brayton, you will find various places I’ve been a guest either as an interviewee or a guest blogger. Many from a year or so ago. (Disregard the numerous ancestry sites, although the name Brayton is more popular than I thought.)
What the above truth says is that after you depart this mortal coil, your friend needs to delete the cookies and the Internet history on your computer, eliminating the trail of your surfing to save you the embarrassment of some of the sites you’ve visited. Of course, you won’t feel the embarrassment because, well, you’re dead, but the deletion will save strange looks and/or comments given by others to your friends and/or family. (Unless you are the type of person who naturally elicits a weird second glance or comment. If so, sorry, I can’t help.)
A good thing to remember-and proven by the scads of celebrity sex tapes and nude or partially nude pictures-is that anything you write or post on the Internet will always be there and can be retrieved by anyone. Anything you write on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr for example, any picture you post of yourself naked save for a Batman cowl doing the lambada with your boss’s spouse, any note, any blog, any message, will be there…forever…unless you delete it yourself (and even then, it’s too late because people will have seen it and may have shared it with the tabloids) And don’t think private messages are safe. For example, please, please enough with sending pics of various body parts to other people.
Yes, I am a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Yes, I’ve posted messages that are controversial. (And I’ve been advised discussing politics may not be good for book sales.) However, I’ve never regretted one post. If I feel a truth needs to be posted, I’ll post it. If I feel strongly for or against an idea, I’ll comment.
However, I’ve also tried to be a positive presence on the Internet. I’ve tried to do my part in promoting other authors and myself. Most of the time it’s well received. In fact, I’ve been turned down only once on a request to interview an author for my award winning, highly praised, translated into seventeen languages, must-read series Around the Globe with… (All right, I admit, the descriptions are a little over the top. I think they’ve been translated into only twelve languages, but still…)
What I’m saying is, as a writer, look around at the various sites which may be of benefit to you or allow you to help others. Investigate the amount of participation from others. I stopped visiting one particular site because, A) the upload time was atrocious, B) hardly anybody else was posting, and C) the number of views to my posts was fractional compared with the supposed number of members. I’m not going to waste my time. I’ve found some worthwhile ‘ning’ sites plus others, including authors.com and publishedauthors.org that are pretty cool. If you know of any other sites which you think are worth checking out, please let me know.
And if you’ve set up an account at www.redneckbigbutts.com, I don’t wanna know, okay?
(By the way, how many of you freaks typed in the above address to see if it was legitimate?)
(How many of you did it with your mother in the next room? Shame…)