I had lunch with a friend on Friday and we got to talking about how hard it is to build a viable author platform because of all the ‘noise’ generated by social media. Twitter feeds, Facebook, Mention, Instagram, Tumblr, blogs, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer, Tailwind, Pinterest – we’ve toyed with them all, with mixed results.Do we feel like tossed weebles? Yes.


My 13-year-old hip-hop dancer TV actor grandson has a private Instagram account with over 400 followers. After months of posting quips and quotes about the writing craft, I have 11. Pathetic. Do I want to devote more time to amassing photo-followers? Nope.

Then there’s Huffington Post, which attracts hungry freelancers who’ll work for free to get their name in print. I’m not knocking that as a way to start, but as a business model, devaluing writers and other creatives represents that dark side, in my view.

A typical ‘get off my lawn’ kind of guy, Harlan Ellison is a curmudgeon, but a clever one. In this short video, he captures much of the frustration of those who toil in the shadows, fighting to produce quality product without getting buried under the avalanche of stuff pumped out every day.

His message is powerful, funny and oh, so accurate!

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