Writing Online is like Facebook and X Factor

a writing by Paul Butters

My sister’s broadband has been off since Saturday morning. There are some signs of “life” now but I am still cut off from the internet. I miss it!

When you think about it, literary websites are rather like social networking sites such as Facebook. You are encouraged to “make friends” who then view your pieces. Everybody visits and chats with everyone else, and the website makes lots of money. You talk with people by making comments on their articles and communicating with them on a forum (where there is one). Meanwhile there are advertisements everywhere tempting you to click (and make even more money for the website owners). Tea’s here!

I’m back. As I said to Margaret Tones the other day, writing on the web is a “right game”! Most of your “earnings” come from advert clicks which have little to do with your content. As someone said to me on a forum, our articles are but advertising-boards or billboards. Point made. Out.

PS – the internet connectivity mystery has been solved: one of Promise’s seven 6 week old pups has chewed through the key wire.

PPS - in a way literary sites are like Big Brother or X Factor. People vote and somebody gets voted off until you are left with a winner. Even cookery programmes do this now. Everybody votes and chats and the telephone and internet companies make a bomb. At least Voicesnet does not pretend to pay us or draw us into the game.

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