It’s hard out here for a novelist.
One of the hardest things is finding the audience for your book. While it’s becoming easier for writers to both publish and promote their works themselves, the majority of strategies touted by experts – especially those exploiting social media and other online technology – are geared toward non-fiction writers. Whether how-to, self-help or even memoir, there…
I can admit that things are getting harder. It’s harder for me as an independent musician to be financially stable nowadays. I played a tour last year where it was 5 cities, and a TOTAL of 300 people came to the shows. The promoter thought I would sell out 500 capacity venues because of my 100 million views and 500,000 subs on YouTube. And that burns a little, to be honest. It hurts when people are so hyped over you selling all these tickets and getting you excited for playing for all these people — and then you get there and it’s not at all how you expected.
– AJ Rafael via AJ Rafael Announces Hiatus From Performing
As Bruce Schneier has said, networks amplify power. YouTube is no longer an emergent playground for indies who’ve been able to ride the wave of growth. The network requires more to fuel itself and has shifted its attention and energy towards working with incumbents over upstarts. Further, what the early adopters used to do has now become the norm, so many of the early creators like AJ now find themselves with much more competition.
But that’s a parental emotion at work when one says I don’t want a student to be trapped. The truth is, I’d be perfectly happy if they would be “trapped” within the experience their own authentic difficulties. If they would be trapped on their own, then any freedoms they discovered would be their own. Which is what interests me, because I believe that the joy of your own discovery is what confirms your own aliveness, your own value.
So in this sense it’s cool to be wrong. It’s so essential, so necessary. It’s so appropriate to be confused, to be muddled, to be unsure. We preach clarity. Get your ideas organized. Get your thinking straight. And it’s the kind of stuff we all got from our parents, because that’s the role of parents. But it is the aliveness of the unguarded intuition and the persistence of our own feelings that guide us to our discoveries.
It’s not just the stories that we choose to tell, but it’s how we work with the people, who we choose to work with, what communities we choose to build.
Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can! Which is great news for Facebook data scientists hoping to prove a point about modern psychology. It’s less great for the people having their emotions secretly manipulated