Join Prism Book Alliance® as Freddy MacKay goes Outside the Margins today.
Hello everyone! Welcome to today’s Outside the Margin. I usually do a flash fiction piece but a few things happened recently that got my mind whirling. It likes to do that sometimes. Squirrel sees shiny, can’t let go of shiny
This morning when I woke up I had two messages sitting, waiting for me on FB messenger. One was in a group chat where some friends and I talk—pretty much every day, the conversation rolling with whoever happens to be there—and from someone who had friended me a while back. The two messages can be summarized as follows:
Friend group message: Look at this funny as shit newspaper headline (it was funny), and OMG, thank you for the birthday package!
Friend message: Please join my official Facebook page. I will be deleting my personal account soon (because they are cleaning up their list).
Me to group message: Yay! I’m so glad you got the package!! (<– all said with the all important messenger stickers) Finally! So, what’s the verdict? (bet was made on whether the mint meltaways would melt— they did not).
And then the conversation went from there and we chatted as usual.
The other message received no reply. Why? Well, what was the point? I had been friended (sure, we had mutual friends, why not?), asked to like their page (sure, I know what’s it’s like to want likes on a FB page), and then I was basically sent a message saying we’re actually not friends but like my page and you’ll still be able to follow me (also true).
The group message is a warm spot in my day. It’s where my friends and I can catch up with each other, talk about random shit, share one too many GIFs of Chris Evans in various states of dress, whine, and well, talk about anything friends talk about. It’s a rolling conversation of whoever happens to be there at the moment. We talk about family, books, movies, how writing is going, and all sorts of things. I may have been known to have sticker attacked it periodically*. (*may have happened on many, many occasions.) It’s a nice thing to have to keep in communication with friends I don’t get to see often.
The second? Honestly, I didn’t care. It felt like business as usual. Why? I am an author. It’s not the first time someone has used their friends account to further their career. A lot of us are on FB to reach out to others and have a way to keep our profile* in the public. may be personally sucky at this
The thing is I’ve seen other posts of people annoyed with personal messages they were getting about liking pages, or ones of people upset they were getting unfriended. Both valid gripes because it’s a weird world we’re living in and social media is, well, weird. It is those posts that made me think about the message I got in my inbox.
The thing is, chances are I won’t ever see the posts from the person’s page. I had seen the person’s posts on my feed and liked them. That’s five star effort from me, let me tell you. I suck at FB. So why won’t I see the person’s page?
Because FB has algorithms. Those algorithms decide what shows up in my newsfeed despite my best attempts to have what I want to show up there. If I don’t like something enough, or make enough comments, things start dropping out of my feed. Friends, pages I’ve like because I liked them, group posts, etc. Yes, FB says if you follow a page or prioritize it you’ll see stuff, but honestly? Most people’s posts and page’s posts I don’t see. It doesn’t happen because of the control of the FB gods. shrugs Also, a person can change the settings on a group to show (or not show) posts. So even if they joined a group, they may never see anything from it if they don’t want to. And how many people have turned off notifications from a group because all it does is have promos from every author under the sun? I know I have. I’ve gotten tired of the continual “BUY MY BOOK!” The groups/places I interact the most are where I can actually connect with people. (Go Queer SF!)
So, what’s a person to do with a message like that? Whatever you want.
I am not a great interacter on FB. I know I’m not. Personal interaction is a stressor for me. People are hard. I prefer to be left alone and just kind watch everything else. Trying to hold a conversation outside of people who are not friends but people that have been friended because we had the same publisher or readers, etc, doesn’t happen much.
Should I try to engage? Yes, all the marketing stuff says so. Post personal stuff (not too personal), post updates about your work (but not too often), sell your book (but not too much), and all sorts of other advice happens about social media interaction. It makes your head spin. And I’m not that calculating of a person.
My friend list as an author is pretty damn small compared to others I know. I let people friend me, not the other way around for the most part. When they do friend me I check to see if we have people in common, their interests, all sorts of stuff. Being someone who writes queer fiction, I don’t want haters showing up in my feed. I deal with enough negativity their anyway.
If I were graded on my interaction on FB, I’d get a D—at best. I share posts on stuff that interests me, pictures sometimes, but I’m not “there”. I get a fair amount of squirrels posted to me (I love, love Squirrel Spam Sundays), but other than that, there isn’t a whole lot to see. I’m mainly on FB so I can use messenger to talk to my one small group of friends—and it’s just the six of us. shrugs It is what it is.
The thing I’m trying to say is, though, don’t worry about the people who unfriend you, who only want to you to like their page, and all that other marketing shenanigans. People ask you to like their page but don’t want to friend you? Fine. Chances are you’re not really friends. Not like the ones who share newspaper headlines and pictures of unmelted meltaways. Does it help them? Yes. Does it hurt you? No. You can unfollow their page if it annoys you. That’s the thing about social media. You can tailor it to your needs as much as you want.
Is it kinda annoying when you get a friend request and approve it to suddenly get all these page requests or put in groups you don’t want, or book links to their books on your page? Yeah, it can be. And we all know. Everyone has been there. People learning to navigate social media or just plain take a hard line to marketing are interesting. Nice thing about FB is that you can let them know in a PM to not do those things, or you unfollow, or you can unfriend.
Figuring out how to interact on social media can be stressful. A lot of people are trying to make a platform for themselves (and honestly, one platform is not what you should be banking on.) I try to give people the benefit of a doubt and move on if they can’t respect my wishes.
Have I made friends through FB? Oh, hell yeah. It’s totally happened—because we liked the same things and started talking to each other through posts and stuff. But there are a lot of people out there. You’re not going to be able to identify and engage with all of them. And you may not want to.
My advice? I have none. Or at least none that can give a universal answer on how it all works. You just have to figure out what works for you and try not to take things personally, because that’s what most of us are trying to do. If someone unfriends you, let them go. If someone wants to be your friend, give them a shot. If they constantly fill your feed with sunglasses, unfriend them, you don’t need the shade anyway.
Title: The MCB Quarterly
Author: Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Publication Date: 07/31/2015
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay
Genre: Gay Fiction, Horror, Lesbian
The Quarterly is an eMagazine of LGBTQ fiction – of all kinds. This volume features four short stories:
Communications Down by Mina MacLeod
About a Dog by Jess Faraday
Healing Agent by Cairo Amani
Translation by J. Scott Coatsworth.
It also includes an Interview with Erika Orrick talking about “Editors, Editing and Writing”, and a Featured Author section about SA Collins. And our very own Toni Griffin offers and Op-Ed on “Convention Going & What’s Right for You.”
Volume 2 of 2
Preceded by: The Quarterly, Volume 1
Healing Agent by Cairo Amani
It was toughest to kill the children, so of course Mercy took the mission.
Mercy knew the girl would be quarantined until she arrived to treat her, and Mercy dreaded her own arrival. She was never the person someone wanted knocking on the door. She leaned back and let the seat cradle her in soft leather, stretching out her feet—clad in worn brown boots—on the seat across from her. A large black and silver gun leaned between her knees. Two smaller pistols were strapped to her hips, but those were filled with medicine capsules. This was a small mission in a smaller town and there would be no need for backup. That was fine with her. The Agency hadn’t given her a permanent partner and the temps they’d tried were all flawed: too slow, too clumsy, too chatty. The last trait was perhaps the worst of all, but Mercy’s supervisor didn’t get that.
“Just tell him to shut up, then,” he had said.
“Trust me, you don’t want me to shut him up.”
Mercy hadn’t been paired since. A quick sneak into The Agency’s computer files had shown her why: “Agent 49 (Mercy Taylor) is difficult, has a dangerous temper, does not work well with others,” complaint, complaint, complaint. People cowered when she walked through headquarters. They whispered. They looked the other way as if they didn’t see her, but she could feel their eyes on her back. She was a stoned-faced killer, known for her willingness to take the missions other people wouldn’t: the elderly, the infected schools, the infected day care centers, and once even a maternity ward had caught the Virus—women and infants all shedding and melting skin.
About Freddy MacKay
I grew up and went to college in the Midwest where I currently reside with my family. I spend most of my time playing sports and running around outside. And honestly, that much has not changed since I was little, except who is included my activities. I also have a healthy geocaching addiction. It’s so much fun! I enjoy spending my time traveling when I can, and I hold the view that a person should continually to learn about new things and people whenever possible.
My contemporary LGBTQ book, Incubation: Finding Peace 2, won 3rd Place – Best Gay Erotic Fiction in the 2012 Rainbow Awards. In 2013, Internment, won 3rd Place – Best Gay Fantasy in the Rainbow Awards. Feel Me (The Marduck Expanse) was a Gay SF Finalist and Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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