Demystifying social media panel

Demystifying social media - selfie by Alan Baxter featuring Nalini Haynes, Helen Stubbs, Satima Flavell, Jim C Hines and Alan Baxter

Demystifying social media – selfie by Alan Baxter featuring Nalini Haynes, Helen Stubbs, Satima Flavell, Jim C Hines and Alan Baxter

June 7, 2014 at Continuum X, the panel demystifying social media starts taking selfies. Just to educate the audience, y’know.

Alan Baxter spruiked his new book, Prometheus UnBound. He’s giving away advance reader copies, one per panel. At this rate I figure everyone will have a book by launch date.

We discussed twitter, including awesome conversations that have led, for example, to Jim C Hines writing a story about goblins vs zombies.

Alan Baxter is also a fan of twitter but he’s very disciplined in his use of social media, making sure he meets his fiction-writing quota for the day first.

Being the party pooper, I informed everyone I took a subject this semester where use of twitter was compulsory, a sure sign twitter is in its death throes. However, I still use and recommend twitter – until its replacement is established, at least.

Satima enlarged upon her love of Facebook, the way it helps build relationships and has facilitated sales for her new book.

As the resident Jeremiah, I said Facebook is the reason I have a website. In 2011 after Supanova I had over 9,000 visits to my Facebook page in one week. Shortly after that, Facebook reduced page views to under a hundred because Facebook wants money for advertising. This is why I got on the website wagon.

Helen talked about blogging and using all the things in conjunction with each other.

Everyone except moi seemed to feel that blogging and social media enhanced their creativity. I was the only person on the panel who seems to feel that blogging and social media uses up my words.

We discussed bullying, trolling and Wheaton’s Law (“Don’t be a dick”). Alan queried whether “Don’t be a dick” is really Wheaton’s Law, to which someone replied that Wil Wheaton said “Don’t be a dick” in a speech in 2007 so it’s been around for a while.

Alan replied that obviously people were allowed to be dicks prior to 2007.

I said there’s a scientific theorem that says that scientific theorems aren’t named after the person who should take the credit; the Bechdel Test is a case in point.

Alan laughed.

We discussed trolls. The bigger you are, the more the trolls want to take you down. This being the case, Alan deferred to Jim as the person with the most experience. Jim talked about giving people chances and malleting them.

Jim also discussed making mistakes, needing time to process new ideas and apologising or acknowledging error after considering new ideas.

On the subject of trolls and bullies, I cited this article by John Birmingham:

Section 474.17 of the Commonwealth criminal code creates an offense, punishable by imprisonment for three years, of using a carriage service, and yes the internet counts, in such a way that a reasonable person would consider it “menacing, harassing or offensive”.

When I’ve been repeatedly bullied and harassed via email or comments on my website I have tracked down the ‘anonymous’ harasser’s internet service provider and given the ISP’s name and address to the bully. I have told the bully that if he or she continues harassing me, I will take further action. To date this has been sufficient to stop bullying.

At that point our time came to an end. Alan Bound a person to him with paper and ink then we departed.