Posts Tagged ‘like

12
Jul
18

How Many LIKES Does It Take to Get…

****

…someone to actually respond to something I write and/or request?

I doubt any owl or turtle can help solve this one.

But, I am dying to know what good it does to LIKE a request post and never follow up with input.  Is that the equivalent of “I’ll get back to ya” in all things LIKE-able?  Wherever you can LIKE something, there good intentions sit ineffectively.

What am I talking about (if you don’t already understand or see what posts of mine fit this description)?  I’ve posted inquiries and minor “contests” which might get one response if I am lucky.

So, go ahead and LIKE this post when you see/read it.  Add it to your bulletin board like one more autumn leaf waiting to fall among the clutter.   It’s only worth a fraction of a something to the host site that accepts your “clicks” like currency.  And, who doesn’t want to make this place richer while not making a dime?

22
Mar
16

I May Not Know Art; But I Know What I Dislike

*****

I like to look at art listings here to get ideas and compare notes with other artists.  But, some days, I come across posts that turn my stomach and make me lose my eyesight temporarily.  Typically, these involve:

  1. Gore
  2. Violence
  3. Tasteless/Full nudity
  4. Dark/Evil subjects

I just came across another one, today.

With all of the LIKE-ing buttons and whatnot, can we get a DISLIKE button or maybe even a barrel of rotten tomatoes to throw to express how much we dislike something?  Nah, that would be mean and “judgy.”  I’m just saying…  But, I guess everyone’s tastes vary.  My mistake for opening the wrong door.  Just…cover up, people.  Okay?  And, let’s not promote the dark side.

24
Nov
14

Meaningless Followers, Artificial Beauty

Just a quick “alert” to all the pretty (and handsome) “faces” who seem to be “attracted” to my postings from the simple inclusion of a key tag word.  It seems–if I throw in a “tag” for some topic/genre on one of my posts, I will find attractive strangers “following” my activity here.  But, if I “tap the glass” (or look behind that pretty poster), I won’t find anything other than some advertising satellite picking up a blip on its radar and maybe keeping a shady eye on my breathing.

Just because I write about food, hair, drugs or money doesn’t mean I am a regular representative of that topic/item.  So, why does one post deserve followers who are chefs, hair stylists, drug dealers/pharmacists or money…handlers?  And, if it’s worth following, why not say why or introduce yourself…and why you wish to follow?  Even if you “don’t have time” for comments NOW, you should be able to make time.  Right?  You did make time to ferret around and click buttons here, didn’t you?  Or, is this just some subway system for Nook-heads and Pad-i-wants?  [That last one was a tiny Star Wars joke.]

I recall one such pretty face I found “following” me not so long ago.  I wrote a random post about hair, asking for advice/input.  I don’t think I received much.  She seemed genuine enough from her profile.  So, I sent her a message which received no response.  But, I did get some junk mail, later.  I have no idea if the two incidents are related, but with all that can happen online, who knows.  All I do know is the pretty face was worth less than a postage stamp to me.  It’s like being handed a picture of food.  I can’t eat that.  And, a face that isn’t responding or expressing more info about their interest in your work/output/appearance is…well, it might be me when intimidated in the face of beauty.  But, in most of these cases with “faces” I find online, it’s usually trouble.

So, thanks, artificial faces and silent stalkers for adding to my discomfort in this life.  There’s a special place in cyber Hades for you.

And, for the rest of you who might be real people reading this, don’t hesitate to express your interest instead of just clicking a LIKE or FOLLOW button.  Your comment/input is valued by me.  Your silence and eyes are worth more to yourselves.

 

28
Apr
14

Blogging at Homes in the 21st Century

If you’re just joining the rest of the world in its present state, welcome to the modern world of sharing one’s thoughts via computer in the 21st century. I’m not exactly Mr. Popular. My online postings are typically spontaneous criticisms/philosophies and personal reflections. ‘Not recipes, advice columns, diet or travel journals, religious passages, school calendars, video links or art galleries (which are apparently far more common and popular). So, when I find someone new “following” my blips in the “social media” universe, I have to wonder what made something I shared so interesting.

Most of the time, these “followers” say nothing. And, more often than not, they come with these unusual corporate identities involving everything from hair care to home construction to pharmaceuticals. I suspect this is due to the addition of what we now call “tags” to my posts, or blog/journal entries. A key word might send a signal to some company’s radar system which then sends a team of robots or specialists (PC zombies swiveling mindlessly in their chairs while fumbling with something between their fingers) into action.

As it turns out, that’s just what happened to me recently. And, here’s that story:

It was a mild April afternoon when I felt compelled to pass along a few thousand words about my distrust of modern medicine and disgust with all the commercials rambling about terrifying side-effects (which are necessary to know in advance though they should neither exist nor make people their lab rats). The following afternoon, I discovered a young man with a shaved head and sunglasses–going by the name Barry Swan Pharmaceuticals–“following” my blog. “Well, that’s…interesting,” I muttered before taking a moment to fetch some lunch.

Just as I closed the fridge, I heard a knock at the front door. A stranger–faintly resembling the young man in the picture (with a fuller head of dark brown hair and more flesh in his cheeks)–stood outside in a midnight blue suit (a “twinge” lighter than black in the daylight). I hesitated to answer, fearing all sorts of uncomfortable chats I might end up having. As I withdrew, he knocked, again, stalling me in my tracks. I proceeded to the kitchen where I then heard a loud “clang” or “clap” and jumped back to find the front door ajar. The unknown man remained silent but now visibly restless on the other side. I took a deep breath and confronted the uninvited guest to my doorstep. “Uh. Hi. What can–what is it you wanted?”

Adjusting the clipboard in his pale, waxy hands, the man began, “Mr. (Writingbolt)? I’m here to talk to you about a convenient medical supply service we just recently started and why you should sign up–for a nominal fee–to have any prescriptions you might need right to your doorstep.”

“I-I’m sor– I don’t– I’m not a retiree avoiding nursing homes like the plague.” I clasped my left hand around the outer edge of the door and eased it ahead of the adjacent shoulder. “I’m not even in my forties, yet. Isn’t that what you guys always ask about in your commercials? Being over forty?”

“Mr. (Writingbolt), we’re not so concerned with your age at this moment. The entire nation is getting on board with the new medical insurance system. We’d just like your signature so we can proceed with adding you to our database of potential customers. And, then I’ll be out of your hair. By the way, we sell products for improving the quality and quantity of your hair, too, if you’re interested.”

“Yeah…no thanks. Sorry. Some other time, perhaps.” I don’t know why I even bothered to use such courtesy. As I shut the inner door in his face, I saw him raise an index finger and felt a cold wave of air rush up along my neck and the back of my hand. I didn’t give the whole scene a second thought. [At least, not for the next few minutes.]

Weeks rolled by, and I continued to find new and questionable faces (and some icons instead of faces) tracing my online activity. It’s not the first time such oddities have carried over into my e-mail (electronic mail) box. I’m not surprised (anymore) to find ads for male enhancements and the like though I am grateful most of these get automatically swept into what’s known as the junk folder.

Then, one evening, I thought I saw a car drive by the house with a curious shift in speed. Its headlights slowed to a crawl and then zipped out of sight with an unusual engine sound. Poking my nose through the sheer curtains, I looked for some trace glow of a tail light. All I could see were the amber glows of the aging streetlights and a reflection cast by the table lamp at my back. I lingered for a while, waiting to see if some wild animal might surprise me. [It’s not uncommon for a deer, goose or fox to cross the front lawn.]

Just as I was about to give up my vigil, a searchlight stream cut across my left shoulder. Shielding my eyes, I let go of the curtains and moved toward the table lamp. When my vision cleared, I squinted through the veil and noticed a dark object–roughly the size of a small charcoal grill–hovering outside the window. Another crossed behind the first and curved over the roof. I was only able to make out the shape because the bright beacon had been dimmed. And, now, I could see a small red “eye” glaring at me near the UFO’s base. [Except, this UFO was not from some other planet. It was a “domestic” disturbance of my peace.]

The moment I lowered my guard, the “drone” buzzed back a few feet and began peppering the windows with gunfire. Running down an adjacent corridor to my master bedroom, I noticed one of these flying probes scanning the items laid out on my dresser. A little alarm went off, and the drone paused its data collection to turn its targeting sensors onto me.

Before another window could be shattered, I turned and ducked into the nearest bathroom where no natural light could enter. Here I thought I’d be safe for a moment, at least. I expected to hear police sirens if anyone reported the sounds of gunfire like good neighbors. But, as I counted the beats of my heart, the lagging silence became unnerving. Eventually, I rose from my crouched position beside the toilet and tiptoed back to the picture window where my hands shook as I cautiously fingered the finely cut bullet holes. [Luckily, I had come away from the incident without a scratch.]

I sat down with a book of crossword puzzles and a cup of hot…beverage…for a half-hour before I finally heard a police car easing down my street. The mustached officer waited for me at the front door, and, this time, I didn’t hesitate to answer. But, the questions he proceeded to ask became increasingly uncomfortable. After getting a detailed description of the drone activity, the policeman inquired about my medical insurance plan. At that moment, I decided to cut the interrogation short and excuse myself to take a leak. Officer Ginsborough…or Gingerpecker…told me to watch what I “go around discussing” whether or not I do it online. Then he folded his notepad, settled for a courteous “goodnight” and returned to his station. [Suffice to say, sleep did not come easy neither that night nor any night the following week. It took me two weeks just to get the picture window replaced and two more to afford the bill.]

The next time I had the irrepressible urge to vent my frustrations online, a few days passed before I had another uninvited drone party outside my home. I could barely utter my disapproval before more gunfire sent me diving for protection. This time, they brought some sort of saw and began cutting away a portion of the roof. A brief “whomp”–followed by faint footsteps–sprang from the back door, tugging at my left ear. I felt the warmth from a pair of searchlights before a foreign pair of delicate hands shoved me aside.

Catching a glimpse of curling brown strands–burning red-orange in the path of the probing beacons–I couldn’t focus on the woman’s face as she huffed, “Stay with me if you want to live.”

[And, if you’ve seen your share of sci-fi/action films, you probably can guess how the rest of this story goes. I’ll leave it to your imagination as I remind all of you in the land of blog to be mindful of what you make public from the comfort and convenience of your personal (or office) computers. Those “drones”…they’re practically everywhere. You keep your eyes open and your mouth shut if you know what’s good for ya. But, if you’re going to “follow” or “like” someone’s post, be sure to leave a personalized comment, discussing your interest in the matter. Otherwise, you–and especially I–may never know what’s lurking in the digital shadows.]

 

 

~Writingbolt, 4-25-2014

26
Sep
13

Aware of Wandering Leeches; Concern Over Recent Followers

The internet is a mixed bag of blessings and booby traps. Make the wrong click-turn, and you wind up going down a dark exit ramp into cyber crime misery. I trust people online about as far as I can throw them until they speak with me personally so I may evaluate their authenticity.

Everywhere I go to interact with people online, I eventually run into my share of pests and questionable entities. In chat rooms, they were known as “bombers” and “bots”. Trolls and bullies are popular words these days. But, as I try to restrict the influence of a certain social media website on my personal blog here, I find myself followed by strangers from foreign lands who do not express why they are interested. I also am being swarmed members secretly belonging to some organization I can only presume is yet another online trap.

Who are you, AWOL? Why do you even call yourselves that? Why not be Trolling For Fun, Inc. while you’re at it? Why couldn’t you be Blogging for You if you were serious? And, if you are genuinely out to help people, you’re not going to just throw them a few bucks (which might not even exist) for posting ads. Promising something better than a career earned with a college degree by adding a page/link to my blog? Goodness. Who needs writing skills or valuable content when I can just slap a bumper sticker on my random rants, sit back and watch the meter digits spiral? Why don’t I just move to California and try out for every reality show out there? You sound like those loan companies who don’t care how bad your credit is before having people sign away their souls for some quick cash, cultivating a world of liars, frauds and scams.

If everyone joined your special group, what then? We’re all under some mystery thumb, accepting the bread crumbs tossed to us while kicking back and doing nothing or talking/writing to themselves? Who’s doing the reading if everyone is kicking back doing nothing but letting magic happen on their blog? Wouldn’t we all be getting just a bit too lazy after a while? Aren’t you just the internet equivalent of taking steroids or energy drinks? [And, anyone who watches the news feeds knows how that goes for sports stars.]

You can veil your true nature under pretty faces of all ages “living the dream”, but you’re not fooling me. I sign up with you, and suddenly I am MIA. I have no reason to trust any of your Agents of Wrecking Lives. I cannot block or remove you. And, if you continue to accumulate, I will have to put my foot down another way.

Is anyone else seeing these flies on their FOLLOW and LIKE list? Has anyone confirmed the authenticity of this group?

If I have crossed any lines or offended any business in any way, I won’t sweat it. I don’t need to dig my hook into some quota of total strangers to keep a chain letter going. I’ll find a more reasonable way to benefit from my effort with people who communicate from the heart (not their wallets/purses).

26
Aug
13

WordPress Usage Observations, 8-25-2013

In the past month or more of reconnecting with this blog website, I have made some observations about the quality and quantity of people and/or activity. Here is my assessment.

90 percent of posts I viewed receive 0 comments but at least 1 to 5 LIKES.

[Now, that just sounds cold and impersonal. So many go around clipping posts like articles, photos or videos to use as they please. If your post is meant to be like a professional newspaper column and/or you don’t like/want comments, read my suggestion below. Likewise, if you don’t give a hoot about this trendy LIKE system and would prefer people respond on site, you can turn that off in editing the post mode, too.]

50 percent of comments I gave received fair to positive response.

[A fair amount of the good, social, polite and educated people of the world. These are the people that generally stun me with their manners and intimidated by their success/happiness in life. In a way, they are hope for the future.]

25 percent of comments I gave received negative and/or unrelated response.

[Granted, not all of my responses have been the nicest of words. And, I’ll gladly except responsibility for upsetting someone for a good reason. But, for the responses I get from names I don’t even know/see as IDs here who snarl and hiss like gargoyles or bridge TROLLS about going away under threat of fire and brimstone, where is this coming from?

Sometimes it’s a bipolar response. The first response is genuinely nice enough for me to respond a second time. But, the following response comes with a stick of TNT and a note which reads something like: “Today’s disapproval of your vile words is brought to you by the letters F and U.” How do people turn a 180 like that?

There’s nothing nicer than getting online to find mud and bird poop on your page. I say that with the finest of sarcasm. I’ll just go get my hose and scraping tool, now. Meanwhile, you who are so irked by public response and/or do not know how to politely respond, read my suggestion below about turning off comments.]

25 percent of comments I gave received no response.

[In general, these are people not interested in comments or comments from people outside their inner circle. Their blog was designated as a “family sharing page” so that all the people they know personally and professionally can gather in the center of their Whoville and sing carols to irk all the grinches in the outer reaches of the Whotherenet. They come without explanation. They come without visible designation. But, they come with firm reservation in the clique unknown to the outsider. It’s like talking to a TV set without realizing it’s just a TV.]

Here is one SUGGESTION for using the COMMENT feature to those who post here: If you’re not going to respond to comments given by the few daring readers (like myself) to say something and not simply tie a string to what wrote (hoping someone on another trendy website will give a damn about the person LIKEing what you posted while going through every other bit of daily updates and whatnot for all the many “friends” they’ve collected like trading cards, can’t you turn them off? I know some have found a way. Then you can be like a paper newspaper (columnist) and avoid any public response unless someone can email you or figure out where you live and throw something rotten at your door.

Lastly,
98 percent of the time I come to visit this place, I struggle logging into it, posting something new, getting to my comments and navigating in general. [Yet, if I want to log out, that takes no time, at all. That feature is always ready, willing and takes a fraction of the time.]

[Ever since I received my first negative comment from a total stranger with a strangely non-existent ID/source, I have had to go through a gauntlet just to log in. I feel like the uncool guy trying to get in the exclusive nightclub. And, when it comes to making a post, the darn SAVING POST button spends more time spinning its wheels than letting me do anything else. The tools don’t even appear sometimes until I refresh. ]

In summation, while the site appears to be of higher class than some–as with any reputation–appearances are deceiving.

This concludes this report on the status of WordPress from one writer’s perspective. We now return you to regular blogcasting already in progress.

30
Jul
13

Likes or Cooties?

When I was a kid, cooties was a huge topic of concern. Cooties was the one thing you didn’t want tarnishing your reputation. And, once word got out that you had cooties, you had to act fast. Or, no one would want to be around you.

Well, nowadays, LIKES are the new cooties. Only, instead of being a bad thing, it’s something grown-up kids and kids alike seem dying to contract. If you don’t get enough LIKES, you’re a nobody.

I guess anyone who doesn’t regularly use a certain unnecessarily trendy website no longer matters to the media. Every known company who’s anybody has a “page” there. Celebrity talk is all about the “tweets” these days. [I doubt they write their own.] That must mean they’re cool. [And, the age of the average “celebrity” in the news seems to dropping rapidly.]

If you don’t know what a LIKE or a TWEET is and are still breathing, go dig your own grave. If you are over the age of 35 and unfamiliar with social media (as they call online interaction on various news-injected blog sites and message boards), plan your funeral now. Because, you’re dead to television and (likely) newspapers as well.

It seems even the biggest “news” programs (like “Today” and “Good Morning America”) and talk shows are resorting to internet trending topics instead of reporting strictly on the facts and figures (in their usual, over-dramatized and fear-inducing way). Funny web videos are the new news clips, and discussing how many likes something found online gets seems more important than than the story itself.

I’ve also noticed more commercials for adult diapers and gummy vitamins for adults because–apparently–adults aren’t taking their vitamins. What’s next? Kids babysitting their parents?

Grow up, people! Get your news from the horse’s mouth. Learn how to use a toilet and change your underwear responsibly. Eat your fruits and vegetables locally grown. And, get some genuine sun with sensible protection. Or, I’m telling your mother.

 

~A. P. Writingbolt, 7-30-2013




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