by Wilbur Witt
Back in the day, when I first came upon Facebook, if you could follow it you were lucky. The entire idea of a “wall” was confusing. I pictured it as a sort of cyber graffiti where everything hung in limbo and you could pick and choose as you read. I even went down and bought a book (which I never read) about an inch thick instructing me as to how to explore this new site, and ran straight back to MySpace.
Time and tears went by, and I collected dust. My YouTube channel got properly hacked, causing me to rebuild, but that wasn’t necessity a bad thing. It was sort of like having a garage you always meant to clear out, but never did, and then one day the house burns down and you say, “That’ll work!” all that, and I can’t even remember my MySpace password anymore. (Is there still a MySpace?) I drifted back to Facebook and to my surprise it had began to make sense. Maybe it was my understanding, I don’t know, but communication was actually possible.
Basically I’m a writer. Forty-two years in music, three novels, and scores of articles, a couple of TV shows, I’m pretty much settled into this writing thing. Strangely, for years I didn’t refer to myself as a writer. When I was in Nashville my agent told me never to tell my neighbors that I was a country music writer. The locals considered that trashy. It was better to let them think you were a dope pusher, anything but a writer because that was a blatant admission to being unemployed! So, I still had that frozen in my mind and almost never told anyone that I was really a writer, but that’s what I am. When you see what I call income it’s almost always a royally on something I’ve written.
The net result of this is I churn out articles. I pick a topic and expound on it. I’ve very recently discovered blogging and that is fascinating. I was disappointed with Facebook because almost no one was reading anything I wrote. By this time I was confident. If no one was reading my stuff it simply couldn’t be my fault, Facebook was falling behind in MY expectations. Couldn’t be anything else. I considered trashing the whole Facebook thing again, but I came upon a concept and noticed something. It wasn’t like YouTube, where you counted the pennies until the check rolled in, it was “organic.” The ebb and flow of Facebook was driven by PEOPLE!
YouTube is commercially oriented. When you turn a country music comedian loose in a situation like that what you have is the proverbial fox in the hen house. In no time at all I’d figured out where Youtube’s jugular was and I had viral videos. I thought Facebook was the same but it wasn’t. Facebook people READ! The rule of thumb with YouTube was two minutes and fifty five seconds. Get it in, get it on, get it done, and get on out. Use the right loading format, make it hard and fast, mix in a little music (even if you steal it) and the ads will come, and that’s what you were really after, the ads.
I liked blogs because of their perpetuating nature. You could always improve on a blog. Unlike a video, or song, if you had a second thought you could improve on an existing work, even contradict it if need be. You can’t really re-record a song, nobody will buy it, but if you add to a blog people will follow you like a soap opera and each new entry feeds new life into the blog. Than I discovered something else. You can post the links to Facebook. Ok, now here comes the readers from WordPress, and BlogSpot, and people from Facebook clicking the links and your readers increase, which is a good thing. Add Google + and Twitter and you’re off and running. That, and it’s awfully nice if you really have something to say.
Then you find people. At first I friended almost no one. I was a firm believer in the premise that if you make a better hamburger people will come. I equated self promotion as a form of prostitution. Well, I changed. As other bloggers became aware of me and I noticed that Facebook was making suggestions on my news feed about people who may want to friend me based on mutual friends I began to do The math. Couldn’t hurt. All they can do is ignore me. I began to offer friendship based on these suggestions. I didn’t like the sterile nature of Facebook friends, however, so whenever someone accepted my offer I thanked them and actually looked at their page, learned a bit about them and began to follow what they said.
You can’t possibly know everything about everyone, but you can get the drift of your followers and frankly, write what you believe your audience will read. I mean, don’t lie, but tell it like it is in a way that they’ll like to hear. It also helps that I use an iPad so that I can’t write any faster than I can think. That, and a little Texas common sense, which is like the garlic on a good steak. Say the things that people want to say, but can’t, or don’t know how, so you say it for them. Like yesterday. I jumped all over Islamic fanatics. Now I did this because I don’t like Islamic fanatics. They’re stupid. They are running a three legged race with our government, but people dodge writing about it because a) it’s politically incorrect and b) they don’t wanna get blown the f#%k UP! But it needs to be said, and I have Muslim friends who tell me THEY don’t like them either. People are generally tired of all that crap. And, like most people, I’m tired of having the TSO reach in my pants because 1% of 1% of the world’s population can’t properly read the Qu’ran! Now there are exceptions to everything. If a twenty year old FEMALE TSO officer wants to screen me I’m cool with that, but it’s always a fat guy with a burr haircut. Not cool! Makes you almost want to say, “Please be careful, I just applied my medication.”
I try not to insult anyone’s religion. Frankly I don’t care what god someone prays to. I’ve been married five times, been in country music for forty-two years, and thought PMS meant “pack my shit,” so you’d be SURPRISED what I believe and I don’t share it here! I’m not here to convert people, I’m here to make them THINK! Suffice to say I don’t dodge a subject just because someone may get their shorts in a knot. I look a topic squarely in the face and tell it like it is from the slant of an Austin songwriter.
My aim is to entertain, and perhaps in the process, make a point. Sometimes I’m wrong. I do try to check out my facts a bit these days so my neck doesn’t look so red, but when I see something in the news such as the radical mother of two idiots who killed an eight year old boy trying to come to America to visit her scumbag surviving son in a prison hospital . . .OMFG! Don’t get me started! And she’s an ugly bitch, too, and that’s just unforgivable.
People are people are people. Once you realize that you can generally communicate and get along you have the basic understanding needed for this new world. That, and re-reading your posts helps. If your post doesn’t entertain you then it won’t entertain anyone else. It all boils down to communication. It doesn’t matter if everyone on the planet agrees with you so long as they understand you. I read it all. I try not to personally attack anyone. I stay calm (my doctor tells me I’ll live longer that way) and rest firm in the knowledge that when in do read a bad article, or blog, I know that after a big plate of bullshit there’s nothing like a good cigar!