THE BLOG
03/12/2013 02:24 pm ET Updated May 12, 2013

Social Media and the Author

Look, I'm just going to come out and say this early: I'm a dickhead and this isn't a useful post for someone like you who is doubtlessly looking for real insight. Sure, I have real insight, as I am also the senior editor for an online social media magazine, but I won't be giving you any of it, so just stop reading right here and save others from reading your comments about how I "mislead you and then wasted your valuable time."

Now that the whiners are gone, here are five great tips to enhance your literary stock on social media... haha sucker. You just stuck around because you read that last sentence. I swear, I am not writing anything interesting or useful to you. Now go away...

I bet you didn't leave though. I bet you are certain by this point that I am just trying to get rid of you so that I can educate other, "less deserving" people, and you're too smart to fall for it. Well, you are in for a real letdown.

Social media is a tricky business. There is no set answer for what brings the masses in to listen at your knee. That's not rocket science though, so don't act as if I taught you anything there -- I didn't.

There's this fascinating little statistic I wrote about recently (no, I won't tell you the post because I also don't want you to learn anything tangentially from this article), in which I observed that the mere thumbnail image on YouTube of what appears to be a young woman in the shower attracted something like 243,000,000 views (and counting). That's more than most viral videos usually pull in, and all it has going for it is the appearance of pornography (she's actually shaking up a bottle of soda). So I guess what I am saying is: as an author, social media-wise, you have a much better change of success if you take up porn. If implied porn gets 243,000,000 views, actual porn would have to at least double that (I'm banking on the repeat views that the other video likely doesn't get). Again, this is not a useful tip, so don't think you pulled one over on me. "Doing porn" will not earn you the esteem of your peers (unless your peer group includes Erica Jong, and even then, the whole feminist debate over what porn means for women really puts the kibosh on that whole ploy).

Twitter is another interesting social tool, but they haven't really seemed to figure out how to make money, so there is that issue. Things that seem useful but don't make someone money don't last. Crystal Pepsi highlights this maxim nicely. So good luck being the most subscribed person on Twitter (Justin Bieber)... all the money in the world didn't save John Jacob Astor during what was the Crystal Pepsi of transatlantic ocean liner disasters. Again, this might seem like knowledge I am bestowing upon you, but it isn't. This is what should actually be called "un-knowledge." Telling you things that don't work is hardly the same as giving you good advice. If I pointed to a person in a crowd and said, "That person isn't a vampire," there is hardly anything you could do with that knowledge, is there?

Before we get too much further into this thing, perhaps I should explain why I am so hellbent on making sure you learn nothing? I mean it's almost sociopathic, right? Especially considering that I have valuable knowledge to give. You don't spend months at a pissing festival without at least picking up a few tricks to enhance your overall "stream aesthetic." But I assure you, kind sirs and madams, my motives are "pure."

You see, my family was murdered by an author who was looking for social media tips, and as I, the lone survivor, recovered (taken in by an old gypsy woman on her way to a pissing festival), I realized I had to set a trap. It might seem too fantastical to be believed, but I have been going from blog site to blog site setting out traps in the form of social media articles, hoping that one day, the killer would stumble in and I would somehow snare him (or her). Admittedly, my plan doesn't make much sense, but I warned you at the beginning that I am a dickhead. Impressively though, it seems I have trapped you into reading this whole article, so answer me this: did you murder my family?

Subscribe to the Culture Shift email.
Get your weekly dose of books, film and culture.