Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cyber Tuesday Grab Bag

I’m co-opting the grab bag format for today’s post because there are several minor items floating around in my brain which at least loosely adhere to the theme of online antics. Let’s leave the meatspace behind for a quick tour of my browser’s usual haunts, shall we?


My Facebook feed is kind of blowing up today, because of yet another short story anthology which contains a story of mine. This one has upwards of 40 contributors and is the first release of a fledgling publisher, so the success of the launch has a lot riding on it. So why am I being so vague about it? Well, because what I really want to do is what I usually do with books I’m trying to self-promote, which is to at the very least link to Amazon as I suggest that people think about maybe plunking down the dosh for a copy (or a pre-order). And at the moment, the book is not on Amazon. The moment it is, I will have a salesman’s special of a post ready to go! But for now, I’m biding my time to position my blog announcement for maximum efficiency.

Nonetheless, everyone else is promoting the heck out of the book. It has an ISBN, it’s release date has been slated, it’s on GoodReads, and people are organizing GoodReads launch events and exchanging Twitter handles so they can try to get the book trending on the day it becomes available, and so on. So far the extent of my participation in this frenzy has been to Like everyone else’s shares and links and posts and whatnot. And even limiting myself to that little involvement made for a fairly packed morning.


I was slightly surprised to realize, in the course of all the above, that between the forthcoming book and the final volume of How the West Was Weird, I now have multiple credits officially recognized on GoodReads, so there’s an official Author’s Page with my name on it. So another fun thing I got to do today was contact GoodReads to begin the process of proving that I am in fact that author person, which would give me access to editing my own page. We’ll see how long that takes to sort out.


Getting back to other Facebook news, I saw a post this morning that simply said “A list of people you need to unfriend right now” with a link attached/obscured. I continue to stay the course in my experimental sampling of other people’s hot button topics, whether I fervently agree with them or vehemently disagree. So I was curious as to what was behind the link. I assumed it would be a listicle about various celebrities whom people might have ostensibly friended in the tens or hundreds of thousands, said celebrities all having committed some terrible transgression. Which wedge issue would it be? Are they anti-vaxxers? Do they support amnesty for illegal immigrants? Did they make glib jokes about killing cops, or about how people killed by cops got what they deserved?

The link turns out to simply take you to your own Facebook account and a list of those people on your friends list, if any, who have officially Facebook-Liked the band Nickelback. This, I admit, made me literally LOL. Apparently about 2.5% of my friends have terrible taste in rock music. I’m not likely to unfriend anyone over it, we all have our little embarrassments, whether or not we choose to make them publicly searchable via social media.


In other web-enabled areas of interest, the NFL pick’em pool which exists solely in cyberspace is now racing towards its conclusion, and my wife is currently in a tie for second place with a comfortable five points between her and the next nearest participant; first place is only one point up on her and her fellow runner-up at the moment. I am extremely proud of her and of course rooting for her down the stretch. (I have faded back to a two-way tie for 16th, due mostly to a four-way tie for 12th and a three-way tie for 9th, one point and two points more than my total, respectively. Also that three-way tie for 9th is my dad, my cousin, and my grandma.)

Of course the virtual contest is supported by the actual NFL IRL, an area where once again my wife is enjoying a more positive-outcome-oriented season than I am. The Steelers have guaranteed themselves a winning record and hold a perfectly reasonable shot at the playoffs, as a wildcard team if not the outright AFC North champ. The Giants, on the other hand, have to win out the last two games to finish an unimpressive 7 and 9. 5 and 9, where they sit at the moment, is nothing whatsoever to be proud of. Yes, there are other professional franchises who might be envying such limited success from their own 2 and 12 perspectives, but still. My team is bound for mediocrity at best, and it would be unseemly to gloat over any team that happens to be even worse.

Except … oh man how gratified was I that New York came back to beat Washington this past Sunday? If Washington had won, both teams would be 4 and 10, which is dreadful. But now the Washington Racial Slurs are a pathetic 3 and 11, very likely to finish alone in the basement of the (admittedly underwhelming) NFC East, for the sixth time in seven seasons. It could not happen to a more deserving pig-headed owner and assemblage of fair-weather fans.

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