The whole idea of liking and following is deeply vexed, and yes, I know it's increasingly fashionable to be remote and mysterious and unsociallymediated but this isn't about that. Openly dissing the whole thing will probably piss some of you off, but then I don't know... if you made it through the first paragraph you're more than likely feeling some sympathy with this bat-winged sentiment. Don't get me wrong- I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read my work and decided they were interested enough to come back- don't think I'm bitching about that. I love you for it. It's just that the prevailing terminology really should be reviled by any critical, self-respecting adult.
It's patronizing to both sides of the equation, as though writers compose for clicks and eyeballs, and as if the audience sweats in the pit, blinded by their radiant celebrity. To the vast majority of the actively creative, this budget majesty is especially galling, given the generally low esteem in which which we are held, no matter how many people claim to respect the occupation. Respect is a demonstrable thing, and the fact remains that we're generally not respected to the extent that our efforts can support a reasonable or even any standard of living, no matter how hard we work. There aren't many starving plumbers and most people probably wouldn't just like and follow the person who paints their house or walks their dog. Many consider artistic expression frivolous and treat its practitioners accordingly. What could be more fitting a tribute to that trifling esteem than a grid of selfies and shitty icons clagging up a sidebar?
I'll never ask my readers (and I even feel bad using the possessive here, lol) to follow or like me here. I'd much prefer you to consider or enjoy or revile or discuss. Privately, even, because I'm so hardcore like that. 'Like' is just such a piss-weak word anyway... if they gave us an adore or a detest button, I might consider it. If you enjoy my work and would like to see more and want to give feedback that matters, practical support is the most meaningful way you can express that. Read the book, buy the book, tell other people.
So I'm sticking to the good old RSS feed for the peeps who like to browse and check back regularly, and I encourage you to use it yourself. For those who aren't sure what it is (and there's no reason you should know, for all the love it gets), the RSS feed is the little white badge at the top right of the page. You click, sign up very briefly and painlessly, an app monitors your chosen websites and one glance tells you when each one is updated. It's discreet and grown-up and won't bother you with alerts or nag you to read anything- I hate that shit too. But it's a great way to collate material from a number of sites that you would otherwise lose track of and/or don't want cluttering your bookmarks bar. It's a sort of 'perhaps have a look at this when you have time' button.
Give it a try if you haven't already.
For antiRSS-ites (and I am told you're a powerful tribe) who want to keep tabs on what's going on here, there is always Tumblr. I really fucking dislike Tumblr but I find it's the least intrusive/tentacular way of standing on the side of the internet with a cardboard 'will blow you for attention' sign. If I post something cool here, it usually ends up there, so if you're looking for a regular tipoff you could do worse. If you'd like to (sigh) follow me on Tumblr, there is now a button under the RSS badge. Usually. It comes and goes. I'm the Blackthorn Orphans there too so just look that up if all else fails.