Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simply complicated

My Twitter gadget is broken. At least that's what Blogspot tells me. I feel very Internetishly incompetent. Everyone else has cool buttons that work when you click. I have links and pictures and windows, but very few buttons. Now I have one less, because Blogspot recommended I delete my Twitter button because it was broken.

When I clicked the "why-is-my-gadget-broken" link, Blogspot told me that I was a stupid cyberly illiterate caveman, and don't blame them for the broken gadget. It didn't exactly use those words, but whatever it said in Internetese only heightened my virtual insecurity. You can read about my other widget woes here. So for now, if you want to follow me on Twitter, you have to do it the hard way. Go there and search for Beebewitz. [update: I found a couple of Twitter buttons that acually work, so now you can follow me AND tweet my posts. At least until the buttons break again]

Side note 1: I think it was really the cyber gremlins that broke the gadget, but Blogspot won't likely acknowledge that possibility.

Side note 2: if you are a spelling freak, you may find lots of misspellings in this blog. I used so many non-words that I may have missed a few accidental misspellings while sorting through the spell check.

A word of advice. When the instructions say a process takes only "a few easy steps," . . . . beware. This is true in the real world as well at the virtual one. Take the infamous ink cartridge for example. The instructions say filling them is a piece of cake . . . a walk in the park . . . as easy as installing a Twitter gadget on your blog. I could sue for false advertising.

After years of trial and error (more error than trial) I filled an ink cartridge today. By now you'd think I would know to don a full hazmat suit before cracking open a bottle of that deadly stuff. The white bathroom counter looked like an American flag that ran through a meat grinder. The only reason there wasn't yellow mixed with the cyan and magenta was that the cartridge didn't need yellow. I did win in the end, but only after prolonged and deadly battle.

Speaking of Twitter, I'm still trying to figure out what it's all about. Facebook is more my speed . . . find friends, invite them, and enjoy a nice, ambiguously virtual relationship. It doesn't require talking, and links easily to my blog. And it is friendly even to members of IIA (Internet Illiterates Anonymous). The perfect social networking experience for the virtually challenged.

Social networking is like an Internet Amway. Making friends is like buying and selling. You get to know the products (or people), and purchase (or friend) the ones that suit you. That's Facebook, Amway style. Twitter, on the other hand, focusses on following, which is like sponsoring . . . where the real bang for the buck comes. It's like an Amway where no one cares about the product, but everyone wants to earn capital by following, and especially being followed . . . . which is like sponsoring. Being followed is the key to Twitter success.

I'm sort of getting the hang of it, I think. I take excursions into Twitterland, which are more like marathons of reading through hundreds of tweets that make no virtual or unvirtual sense to me. I finally find one that turns my crank and click follow. If I was looking for a get rich quick scheme, Twitter is not the answer. Come to think of it, Amway never turned my crank either.

I'm not giving up on Twitter just yet. Those eight followers were hard won. Well, at least a couple of them were. And you never know, I might just hit the jackpot someday.

On a happier, more successful note, check out the "popular posts" section at the bottom of the page. It lists my ten most viewed posts to date. The links work, and it only took a few easy steps to set up. Really.

I love the Internet. Sometimes.

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