TUMBLR

A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...



Posts tagged "social media"

Feb 20, 2014
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Amtrak writer’s residencies

Here’s what went down: in his PEN Ten interview, @AlexanderChee was asked where he best liked to write:

I still like a train best for this kind of thing. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers.

That’s it. Two sentences. And then this happened:

And here’s Jessica Gross on writing on the Amtrak during her test residency:

[There is] a sense of safety, borne of boundaries. I’ve always been a claustrophile, and I think that explains some of the appeal—the train is bounded, compartmentalized, and cozily small, like a carrel in a college library. Everything has its place. The towel goes on the ledge beneath the mirror; the sink goes into its hole in the wall; during the day, the bed, which slides down from overhead, slides up into a high pocket of space. There is comfort in the certainty of these arrangements. The journey is bounded, too: I know when it will end. Train time is found time. My main job is to be transported; any reading or writing is extracurricular. The looming pressure of expectation dissolves. And the movement of a train conjures the ultimate sense of protection—being a baby, rocked in a bassinet.

As John Cleese put it, the artist needs “boundaries of time and boundaries of space.”

What a great story. And PR dream for Amtrak. Well done, y’all.

Dec 27, 2013
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I’ve found that Instagram works much like the movie business: You’re safe if you trade “one for them” with “one for yourself,” meaning for every photo of a book, painting or poem, I try to post a selfie with a puppy, a topless selfie or a selfie with Seth Rogen, because these are all things that are generally liked.

Nov 19, 2013
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The Internet: A Welcome Distraction

Marie Myung-Ok writes about getting writing done while being on the internet:

I work via slow accretions of often seemingly unrelated stuff. When I complete that unwieldy, puzzling first draft, I spread it out on the desk like a soothsayer viewing entrails, and try to find patterns. If asked, I might pretty up my process and call it bricolage or intellectual scrapbooking, but it really is merely the result of a magpie mind/brain, one that flits from one shiny thing to another. While I still work in my plodding way, the ever renewing bits of information in my Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds provide endless fodder, like going shell collecting on the beach on a normal day versus the day after a hurricane when the ocean has burped up every interesting bit of stuff imaginable.

I like this bit about using social media as a warmup to the “real” work…

One of my lifelong superstitions is to never talk about any work when it’s in progress — lest its essential energy leak out into the atmosphere rather than the page — but I have no such inhibitions doing unrelated, throwaway writing while I’m writing. In fact, I find that posting a tweet or a Facebook status update can be a nice little warm-up, mental knuckle-cracking before getting down to the real business.

…but I would make the case again: you don’t really know what’s Big Writing and little writing. Something that starts as a throwaway might turn into something else later. Writing is writing.

(via @twliterary)

Nov 17, 2013
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Twitter has the same allure as gaming. It is, essentially, Sentences With Friends.
— Kathryn Schulz, “How Twitter Hijacked My Mind”

(Source: , via explore-blog)

Nov 11, 2013
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Rob Delaney on how to tweet

Jul 29, 2013
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No internet in bed or at the kitchen table.

From The Frailest Thing, comes a great list, “11 Things I’m Trying To Do In Order To Achieve a Sane, Healthy, and Marginally Productive Relationship With the Internet.” My favorites:

1. Don’t wake up with the Internet. Have breakfast, walk the dog, read a book, whatever … do something before getting online. Think of it as a way of preparing – physically, mentally, emotional, morally, etc. – for all that follows.

4. Don’t take meals with the Internet. Log off, leave devices behind, and enjoy your meal as an opportunity recoup, physically and mentally. If you’re inside all day, take your lunch outside. Enjoy the company of others, or take the chance to sit in silence for a few minutes.

11. Don’t go to bed with the Internet.

This reminded me of David Karp: “We have a rule: no laptops in the bedroom.”

And V. Vale:

The only solution [to social media addiction] is not one that most people want to face, which is to become lovers of solitude and silence… I love to spend time alone in my room, and in my ideal world the first hour of every day would be in bed, writing down thoughts, harvesting dreams, before anyone phones or you have any internet access. I write on paper, cause if you write on a laptop, it’s too tempting to go online. You look up a word and then an hour later you remember why you went on…

I think a good rule overall would be: No internet in bed or at the kitchen table.

Something to aspire to, at least…

(via @mattthomas)

May 20, 2013
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“There are no stats programs here. There is no like button.”

Michele Catalano writes about moving back to her blog hosted at her original domain, not because Yahoo bought Tumblr, but because she wants to get away from the likes/reblogs as validation trap:

For as long as I have wanted to be a writer – and that’s about 40 long years – there was never any part of that dream that included obsessively checking a page of statistics and judging my self worth by the numbers within. I always wrote for the sheer pleasure of it, from putting that first word down to finishing the final edit, writing has always been a labor of love. Recently, it had become just a labor.

So here I am back at my old domain, the one where I started writing publicly (ok, blogging) in 2001, the one where I started telling my stories to the world. I’m taking the majority of my writing away from tumblr, away from the hearts and reblogs, away from the instant validation. I don’t want to labor anymore. I want to love what I write. I want to love why I write.

There are no stats programs here. There is no like button. I will have no idea how many people will read each post. But I will write and I will learn to love to write again.

I was chatting with Michele on Twitter, and she said, “For the first couple of years I blogged I had no idea how many readers I had. And I was better off for it.” It reminded me of Greil Marcus, talking about the early days of Rolling Stone, when they said, “My God, people are actually paying attention to this. Let’s pretend they aren’t.”

May 13, 2013
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Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s transmissions from space

Couple of cool facts about astronaut Chris Hadfield, the commander of the International Space Station who’s been Tweeting, Reddit-ing, and YouTube-ing from space:

1) The idea to go behind the scenes with social media was hatched 3 years ago at the Hadfield family dinner table — the Hadfields were trying to figure out how to generate interest for the Canadian Space Agency, which is facing major budget cuts. Hadfield wanted is “to help people connect the real side of what an astronaut’s life is – not just the glamour and science, but also the day-to-day activities.”

2) Hadfield does the posting and responding himself, but Hadfield’s son, Evan, is his unpaid assistant, doing most of the maintenance work: “I make it so that he can simply float up to the computer and post without wasting any of his valuable time.” (I love his Twitter bio: “Internet janitor”) Evan also fed his dad tips about what was going on down on Earth, so he could snap photos.

3) When he gets back: “He’s gonna land on Earth, he’s probably gonna vomit on himself, and then he’s going to pass out. That’s what happens when you come back from space.”

I love this quote from Canada’s first man in space, Marc Garneau, who said he wished he’d had social media during his flights:

"You need that feeling that you haven’t been abandoned up there. You need to feel that there are a whole bunch of people on the ground that are watching over you," he said. "I think the connection is much stronger now because [Hadfield] has all these people who are tweeting to him and he’s tweeting to them."

Filed under: show your work

Mar 12, 2013
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Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics

It’s not every day that you listen to an album that can be traced to a single tweet:


  One day on Twitter a little over a year ago, I tweeted the question, ‘Who is better: The Dramatics or The Delfonics?’ and people went back and forth saying who they thought was better, and one guy said, ‘Hey, I know William Hart of The Delfonics.’ I said, ‘Wow, OK.’ And he’s like, ‘Yo, I’m a fan of your music, man. I would love for you and him to do music together.’ To me, it’s always been a dream to do something with The Delfonics, but people say things all the time. It’s Hollywood. So [to] make a long story short, a day later, I’m on the phone with William Hart and we’re speaking for like two hours and then we’re speaking the next day for like two hours, and we hit it off in a way that was just cosmic.

Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics

It’s not every day that you listen to an album that can be traced to a single tweet:

One day on Twitter a little over a year ago, I tweeted the question, ‘Who is better: The Dramatics or The Delfonics?’ and people went back and forth saying who they thought was better, and one guy said, ‘Hey, I know William Hart of The Delfonics.’ I said, ‘Wow, OK.’ And he’s like, ‘Yo, I’m a fan of your music, man. I would love for you and him to do music together.’ To me, it’s always been a dream to do something with The Delfonics, but people say things all the time. It’s Hollywood. So [to] make a long story short, a day later, I’m on the phone with William Hart and we’re speaking for like two hours and then we’re speaking the next day for like two hours, and we hit it off in a way that was just cosmic.

Mar 03, 2013
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» Frank Ocean Can Fly - NYTimes.com

Artists don’t usually give satisfying answers to the question of how or why they do what they do, and maybe that’s for the best. Sometimes songs mean more to us when we don’t totally grasp the lyrics. Ocean is acutely aware of this. He knows that, as much as anything, he is selling an idea. “That’s why image is so important,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’ ” He practices brevity in most things. He curates and updates his image on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr deftly and consistently, but he never overshares. “As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences,” he said in the GQ interview. “But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that.” To me, he said, “I don’t know if it’s a shield or whatever, but I want to deflect as much as I can onto my work.”

Ocean’s Tumblr is interesting — I love how he’ll post screenshots of his writing instead of actually posting the writing. (As I’ve said before, pictures of writing often spread around the internet faster than writing itself.)

I like this idea of using Tumblr as something more cryptic than outright confession or revelation. Michael Stipe on his:

It’s not confessional at all. I just like to tunnel. Initially the idea was to present a version of myself that might not be the person that people think they know. So it’s a little bit of a play on my being a public figure for as long as I have been…. It might be a bit of an introduction to the way I visually interpret the world. I work visually, and this is essentially an electronic scrapbook, that’s what tumblr’s good for. You know, it’s like a stamp collection, but everyone’s allowed to cull from each other’s collection.

It reminds me of the old Radiohead websites — they were really great at just giving you these little pieces, and you felt like a detective, trying to piece together some picture of what they were working on…

Maybe Robin Sloan said it best: “Work in public. Reveal nothing.”

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