Sunday, February 17, 2013

Admins are people too!


As I ponder this awesome accomplishment of humankind, to expand the World of Digital Experience, I am also reminded that this information age is a double edged sword. While on one hand it has the capability to link like minded individuals together to accomplish great things, on the other hand it can become the very thing which can pull us apart. 

The misplacing of a word, the wrong phrase, and what was supposed to be a complement can be easily misread and seen as a dig. The next thing you know the context of a message has been twisted and someone is left feeling jaded, stepped on and abused, which leaves me thinking that; 

They really need to invent a sarcastica font


If you are a writer reading this, then you may relate with me more for the moment. Type “Writing Groups” into Google and you will come back with more than 125,000,000 results!! 
That's right I said it, over 125 MILLION.

From groups claiming to teach you how-to write (If you’re looking for this, perhaps it's time to seek a new venue) to pages strewn all over, that claim to help on the sales and marketing side. Now if you’re an Indy Author, like me, the last part looks like a great idea, to find a Community of like minded people, who want to network, share not only their own work, but their experiences as writers, publishers, and editors of their work. See I and many other authors do believe in different definitions of the term Independent Author. Some believe it means you are simply not tied to a traditional publishing house, others see it as using POD (that’s print on demand), using Amazon KDP, or Smashwords, etc. These venues are useful, they are helpful, and of course, they offer Editing, formatting and marketing services which cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Making it seem to the average reader as though they have all the connections of the Traditional author.

Which perhaps makes their work seem more credible, more real. Yet at the end of the day, they are Independent Authors, just the same.

But so too are those who take a different direction.... For me and many other Indy Authors the word Independent takes on a more comprehensive stance. Albeit a less than popular one. We have engrossed ourselves in the process of publishing our work. From the writing, to the edits and formats. We alone take on the work load, which means that it may never be a polished as a Traditional Publishing house could get it to be.

But we knew that when we took on this role, and set down this twisted highway.

Is either way wrong? I don’t think so, we are, each of us, as writers unique. Some prefer the Oxford Comma, others detest it. Some use contractions in expositionary text, others see it as amateurish. Me? I flip flop, depending on what I'm writing.

But what is my point? You may be asking your self if you've stayed with me here this long. You may be wondering has S.I. gone on another one of her long winded roads to nowhere? I promise you that I have not, bare with me here. There are points to be made and questions to be answered.

Still here? I hope so, but if not, I will continue as I like the sound of the voice in my head......

What does this have to do with you? Well honestly? EVERYTHING and NOTHING! It really depends on where you sit in your World Wide Web. Ask yourself this, do you belong to any groups? Author Pages, support groups, associations to help feed starving children in Eastern Africa? Anything like that? 
You DO. Really? Can you tell me when the last time you did anything with that group was? I don't simply mean sharing some petition that if it gets enough "Likes" claims it will do some extraordinary thing for some (Insert Proper Noun Here), only to see it again 3 months from now, still without results. Seriously, think about it. We join these groups, and of the tens of thousands of them out there, maybe 10 will actually accomplish their goals. 

Oh, I'm not blaming anyone in particular, so please don't get your knickers in a bunch.

But I think you are starting to see my point. We bog ourselves down with things that are so far off. Sure those kids in Eastern Africa need to eat, but what about that neighbor who's driveway is full of snow a week after the storm? That one who you've seen day in and day out have a nurse come to check up on them for some illness you've never even cared enough to ask about? The one who because of all that pretty white hell, hasn't had that nurse come since it happened. Have you knocked on their door? Probably not, but you will go right on a head and sign one more petition to stop animal cruelty and feel vindicated. 

Again, I'm not blaming anyone, it's just a sad truth. That we are in a world and a time where we can do so much and yet, we really don't do much of anything. We have these great things like, the freedom of speech, and we use it to throw ugly at each other. 

Sorry for that, the above was my family for a week, and I had to holler it out somewhere. Back to the point I was gonna make. 

As Independent Authors, we find that there are thousands of groups that claim to be there to help. To let you share who you are as a writer. To help you reach more readers by sharing your posts, fees, tweets, etc.  They are administrated by often just one person, occasionally more than that, but for the better part, it is dominated by one. This one, seemingly is more seasoned. Has been out here pounding the digital pavement far longer, and thus whether they realize it or not, they have become a leader to those who follow and engage them.

As leaders, they have an obligation to well, Lead. They must control their groups, come up with ideas on the fly and readily be available to their members. This is time consuming, exhausting, done for free and often is wildly UNAPPRECIATED. This is why groups often sink, or fade away. It is sad, that this happens. And it goes on more often than you can imagine. For a multitude of reasons.

Lack of content, trolls, spammers, bullying, it all happens. The more people you have in a group the more often it occurs. Law of statistics and all. The Admins try to stay engaging, but often people will join a group and expect to get their work posted everywhere and never actually contribute anything other than their purchase links. Never trying to do anything to add richness to the group that they joined, only to be angry and surprised when they suddenly find themselves no longer a part of that group. I've come and gone from a few because of instances like this. Or worse, the administrator who only rides the backs of their members to push their own work. Do they have the right to share what they are doing? 

Absolutely. 

It’s their group, they can do as they damn well please, but shouldn't they be holding themselves up to the same standards and rules as the members who are sharing in this community they have created. 

Again I say absolutely!

I mean the very definition of Community should say it all.
Community: A social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the  ): the business community; the community of scholars.

And gasp! A community of writers. 

We should be acting as a community, helping each other,  and that means as members we are each responsible for one another. We should not be tearing each other down, rather lifting up, we should not just push ourselves, but help to share others as we wish to be shared. And this includes our Administrators, some who can feel guilty for just sharing their own work.  

How deplorable that sentiment is, that some one who has worked so hard to help others actually feels guilty for saying “Hey, could you re-post this for me...?”

Think about that the next time you get ready to blast anyone for how they work as an author, we are all each and everyone of us hard working, passionate and even if it doesn't seem that way outwardly, thin skinned when it comes to our own work.  

Please, be kind and until I rant next!


Happy Writing!