Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alive and Well and Living in Cyberspace

A month ago, maybe 11 and a half years late, I took the plunge and made my presence known to the 21st century. That would be, my internet presence, characterized by blogging, tweeting, and redoing my (previously) woefully inadequate website. Characterized by becoming a goodreads author and the proud administrator of 35 sparce but avid facebook fans.

Characterized by an obsession with numbers.

I remember when checking Amazon all the time in the hope that my most recent book's ranking was closer to 7 than 3,000,000 was the beginning and end of my numbers issue.

But no more.
Now I have to worry about how many potential readers have designated my new book "to read" versus "wish list" on goodreads and "like" on facebook and wonder what the subtle differences mean.

I have to wonder what happened on the day that 85 people decided they wanted to read the book that made it so different from the day 6 people signed on.
I have to wonder why I am being followed on twitter by an Irish job-hunting service and a person who describes himself as an actor/wastrel but not by the youth services librarians and YA bloggers and writers whom I follow with great interest.

The notion of followers and members is already a bit odd, not to mention the designations are a bit at odds with each other, one suggesting that I have suddenly taken to roaming the internet with long robes and gallons of Kool-Aid prostelatizing about my wonderfulness, the other that I have become the gatekeeper of an exclusive club with lackeys beating down my door.

The fact being that now, for reasons relating almost entirely to a newfound obsession with keeping score and boosting my numbers into the stratosphere, I pant and pine and long for zillions of members and followers -- men, women, children, large fuzzy mammals, pest-control aficionados from the Southwest, and folks who would appear to be inviting me to visit their pornographic websites. It’s all in the numbers, baby. (And while Baby’s at it, put down that pacifier and follow, follow, follow.)

I am seriously crazed. When the number of goodreaders wanting to read Where It Began lurched toward 1,000, I wanted to take out an ad. I don’t know where, but probably not on my 18 member blog. (How do I love my 18 members? If it wasn’t creepy to get their home addresses, I’d be sending them little gold boxes of chocolates, that’s how much.)

How seriously crazed? All I can think of is the time, in bygone years before public schools became sensitive to everybody’s self-esteem, and you didn’t have to send a valentine to everyone in class. There you sat, wondering how many valentines you would get, hunching over your little stash and trying to look nonchalant, wondering if your final number was going to be closer to 7 than 3,000,000, watching the popular, cute girl virtually inundated, her desk buried under a mountain of lace-backed red hearts.

Only this is more public. The whole world -- or in my case, 18 members; 35 fans; 151 followers; and 1079 goodreaders – is watching.

Photo credits: Bingo by Salvatore Vuono; Box of Chocolates by Simon Howdon; Calculator by Michal Marcol; Child on Computer by Clare Bloomfield; Cupid Aiming at Heart by digital art; Cuori in Festa by Idea go; Hands on Computer Keyboard by Stuart Miles; Heart by jscreationzs; Social Networking by jscreationzs; Woman's Hand Pressing Social Network Icon by Sujin Jetkasettakorn.


  1. This is my first time to your blog. Found you through Verla's. I'm loving that book cover. Now you can add one more to the number of people who want to read Where it Began (though I'm not on Goodreads.)

  2. I've found so much good stuff, and so much useful info at Verla's -- love the Blue Board! And I'm very glad that Where It Began sounds good to you.

  3. Well, you have 20 now, including me. :)

    I know I was obsessed with numbers when I first jumped on the platform train. Now, not so much--I'm content at my growth. But, I still find it interesting when there's a huge leap in stats, and I do wonder why. I know once I have a book to promote, I'll likely get all number obsessed again, lol. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  4. Yeah, Angela. I thought I'd somehow exorcize the daemon by writing about it, but no such luck. And yay, twenty! I'm pelting you with cyber-candy at this very moment.

  5. I can totally relate. Totally. (Found you through my pal Jen Klonsky.)

  6. Hi Luisa, I just visited your lovely blog at Kashkawan (through Novembrance). Thanks for coming by and thanks to Jen! Ann