“Badnecklace Unclasped”: Episode One

Check out the first episode of my off-the-cuff pop culture video blog! I chat about Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones and Sarah MacLean’s The Rogue Not Taken, and also give a “meh” to AMC’s Into the Badlands.

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Quit Being a Twit: a Social Media Tip Sheet

I have been on the Internet for 18 years, used everything from IRC to AOL chatrooms to EGroups to Twitter, and probably made every rookie mistake you can think of in that time. Thus, I figured I would impart some of my hard-won wisdom about engaging on social media. This primarily applies to Twitter, because that’s where I live, but can just as easily be common sense for Facebook, Tumblr, etc.

1. Decide whether you are a company or a person, because those accounts should be approached differently. A business account is solely to promote a company, a brand identity and a product. That is not where you want to post cat videos and bitch about your co-workers. A personal account is more suited to talking about your work in general terms, your fannish peccadillos, grievances and how wasted you got last night.

Vampire-Diaries-drunk

2. Be yourself. If you don’t know who you are, Twitter is not the place to figure it out. Go for a walk. Journal. Make some “RL” friends. But don’t have a journey of self-discovery entirely on the Internet. Because it will be awkward, and the Internet never forgets.

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The Mistress of My Domain

There comes a time in every writer’s life when they must put up or shut up. For me, today is that day. After four years, I’ve finally attached a domain name to this blog: badnecklace.com. I actually leaned more heavily towards “.net” initially, because it has a more poetic ring to it. However, when it comes to sheer practicality and name recognition, a “.com” has a certain pull. Maybe just a dash of gravitas, too. It means I’m serious. You hear that, self? I’m serious!

This will continue to be my drop zone for pop culture meandering, occasional food nattering, and intermittent rantiness. But, now, it’s less like a rental and more like a home! So, pull up a chair, grab a seat on the couch (you can’t have the papasan; it’s mine) and join me for a house warming party that never ends!

2010 in review (this is kind of cool!)

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,700 times in 2010. That’s about 23 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 134 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 446 posts. There were 35 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 29th with 222 views. The most popular post that day was These are the gays of our lives….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, facebook.com, 1000worlds.wordpress.com, gaydaytime.proboards.com, and eskimokissproject.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the princess and the frog, princess and the frog, jo weil, outlander fanfiction, and mala bad necklace.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

These are the gays of our lives… March 2010
12 comments

2

The Princess and the Frog hops to it December 2009
2 comments

3

A bittersweet goodbye to Ugly Betty April 2010
6 comments

4

Outlander, we have your woman! May 2010

5

The Mahabharata: a neverending story December 2009
2 comments

My moral qualms, let me show you them

This is kind of ironic, given that I posted a few months ago about Candace Sams and the nature of criticism, but I’m starting to feel pangs of guilt for writing about books.

For my day job, I get paid to offer my thoughts on daytime television, and there’s a certain amount of distance in doing so. Sure, I interact with many of the people whose work I’m critical of, but it’s not personal. It’s not like I socialize with General Hospital head writer Robert Guza, Jr. or Trevor St. John, who plays Todd Manning, a One Life to Live character I’m never shy about lambasting. But nowadays, I am getting drawn into a circle of romance writers. And anyone who’s hung out with a group of creative people, either on the Web or in real-life, can probably empathize with me on this: Tact becomes a key issue. There’s very much a Cult of Nice, where honesty is not the best policy.

And the more involved I get in the writing community, the more I’m going to have to bite my tongue, smile and nod…and fight off the guilt of “trashing” someone’s books. Of course, rationally I know that writing reviews isn’t really “trashing” anyone. It’s just an interpretation of a text, and not a moral judgment on that text’s creator. Hating The Notebook doesn’t mean I think Nicholas Sparks (or Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) is a terrible person who should die in a fire. Loathing OLTL‘s Todd doesn’t mean I think his portrayer should be shoved off a cliff. It’s just an opinion about fiction, and, at its worst, an opinion about someone’s writing style.

However, the fact remains that what I do for WEEKLY is my job; this blog is my choice. So should I make another choice to sit on harsher thoughts in the hopes that I don’t make waves? Should I muzzle myself or be myself? Personally, I think that I have a responsibility to be as honest as I would be if I were writing for the magazine. If I’m a fair-weather critic, who’s going to be nice just because I made friends with the author or may meet them in the future, then I can’t really stand behind anything I write, can I? Everything I say becomes suspect, because I might be operating under a sort of emotional payola situation.

So what do you do in a situation like this? Has anyone faced a similar internal debate?

The facts of a critical life.

In an embarrassing instance of “when authors go apeshit,” genre writer Candace Sams began a mostly one-sided wankstorm over a few negative reviews of one of her books. Within hours, it had hit Twitter and even romance blogging site Dear Author, with people basically pulling up lawn chairs and popping popcorn to watch this woman dig herself deeper and deeper into a hole of thick-headed insanity.

Good God, y’all.

Criticism is tough to take. There’s no doubt about that. And lord knows, a book is like your child, so seeing someone say the time you spent birthing and raising it wasn’t well-spent probably hurts like a bitch. But you know what? You bite your tongue or you go curse a blue streak with your door shut. You do not let people see you sweat. As someone who both dishes it out and takes it, I feel pretty qualified to say that.

Think every “Miss” I’ve written for our Critical Mass page in WEEKLY. Imagine all those scathing Soapbox columns. Never once has something I’ve written kick-started a furious personal back-and-forth with the powers-that-be. There’s a tacit, professional understanding that this is how it works: You take the good, you take the bad. It’s just the nature of the industry, especially when it comes to arts criticism.

And, as I said, I dish it out but I take it, too. I’m a Google fiend and a message board junkie. You think I haven’t read less than complimentary things about myself? Some of it borders on the ludicrous, because it’s so far off the mark about who I am as a person and what I believe! 

And you can’t let any of it get to you. Especially not in a public forum like the comments of an Amazon review. People may have picked up Sams’ book before, not really knowing who she is or what she’s about. Now? With all this really unflattering light she’s shining on herself, she’s become a spectacle and, in doing so, she’s made her book secondary to herself and irrelevant.

And that’s just sad…to put all this time and effort into birthing and raising a book, only to have it become overshadowed by its momma.

Ouch.