no spam!The horror. The frustration. The wasted bandwidth (do people still talk about bandwidth?) It’s the spam. Damn spam. Damned spammers.

Blocks of ???? or gibberish too long to bother reading, ‘I so exited read your good blog’ and similar entries so disjointed that Grammarly online couldn’t proofread and correct, entreaties about sunglasses, knockoff handbags, name brand shoes…I have to log on to my dashboard a couple of times a day just to delete the damn spam. The thing is, it’s not just one page – it’s usually several of them. How do they find me? It’s hard to believe that some robotic word-grinder gets any benefit out of clogging up my comments box. Askimet has stopped 804 spam messages – yet every day, I receive another 20-35 that slip through. Doesn’t seem to matter that the discussion setting requires commenters to fill out a name and email. The little droids do that – with garbage entries in a variety of non-English languages.

Pocket transistor radio, late 1960s to 1970s, ...

Pocket transistor radio, late 1960s to 1970s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me back up a bit. I’m editing my novel for The Final Approach. It has taken far too long for a process that I used to get paid for ($65 a week – squee!) as a textbook editor straight out of university back in the day before there was anything electronic except transistor radios and NORAD. Oh, I’ve got reasons for the delay – summer, work, social media, entertaining, family, gardening, sleeping, social media. 

But in all of that social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +,, innumerable blogs – I’ve unearthed some great reference material about building an author’s platform. So that’s what I’m trying to do. Establish my ‘brand’. Boy, is it difficult to slash through all of the clutter, though. Should I post to Wattpad and share my writing so that I can build an audience, er, ‘fan base’? Do I throw some short stories into an anthology and self-publish on Kobo Writing Life just to get my name out there? Do I expose my words on Goodreads and risk being trashed by trolls who move their lips when they read?

Google+ seems to work fine, as does LinkedIn. The thing is, some of this platform building reminds me of high school, with the cool kids hanging in one group, the jocks/jockettes in another and the nerdy honour roll kids (me, me!) on the outside looking in. Obviously, I have to get out more, electronically speaking. And start online groups. Figure out what I want the groups for and what they want from me. Produce. Move those three books out of my hard drives and into the air.

<sigh> This is tiring stuff. Think I’ll go stroll Pinterest for a while.


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