Earl Gray

Earl Gray
"You can argue with me but, in the end, you'll have to face that fact that you're arguing with a squirrel." - Earl Gray

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Future Passed

Earl the Squirrel's Rule #95
     As mentioned in "The Future", poetry's currency is not money but audience.  For the most part, that means video which, in turn, means a repository (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) where the file itself is posted and, often, a pointer drawing our attention to it:  social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or a blog.  For the sake of simplicity, we'll concentrate on YouTube videos being referenced by Facebook.  We'll also presume that you don't want to spent hundreds of dollars to have your videos featured on YouTube. 

     To reach a sizeable audience you will need people to not just "Like" but "Share" your link.  You will need more than 10%--probably more than 20%--of you friends to "Share" with theirs who, in turn, will "Share" it along.  Towards this end, you'll want a wide array of Friends with varying interests.  No, you do not need them to be poets.  Indeed, it might be preferably that they aren't.

Earl the Squirrel's Rule #72
     Take a moment to think about what Facebook entries people enjoy enough to "Share".  Start with yourself.  Typically, poets will "Like" almost any poem written by a friend but will tend not to "Share" it.  Why not?  Because they don't think their non-poet Friends will appreciate it.  (Think about what that suggests about the viability of poetry presented as poetry.  Obvious conclusion:  Do not post poems.  Post stories, jokes and other compositions that just happen to be verse.)

     As for what others will "Share", your list is as good as mine but, in case it helps, here are the ten most common Shares that I encounter, listed in descending order of popularity:

1.  Humor - One can rarely go wrong with dry wit or, better yet, something piss-your-pants-wet funny.  Come up with a joke or anecdote--steal one if you must--set it to tight rhymes and pounding rhythm and you may have the next viral video.

2.  Animals/Kids - There's nothing cuter than puppies, kittens or kiddies.  Add some equally charming words and you might have something people will see, say "Aww...!" and forward.  Alternatively, you might speak of a tragedy, past or impending (e.g. an endangered species).

3.  Songs -  "Anything too stupid to be said is sung."  (Voltaire?)  Obviously, song lyrics don't set the bar very high.  If you don't have any musical talent form a partnership with a musician.  There's one on every street corner, no?

4.  Recipes - Okay, this one's a tad outlandish but if you can write a recipe in verse it might help people remember the ingredients and prep instructions.

5.  Rants/Insults - Who doesn't like a good rant?

6.  Deaths (i.e. recent celebrity deaths, elegies) - When was the last time you read a decent elegy about a well-known contemporary figure?

7.  Occasions/Events (i.e. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Superbowl, inaugurations, etc.) - If you can rise above triteness, this should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

8.  Online Games - Perhaps not a great subject for verse but a sardonic look at time-wasting Facebook games might find an audience.

9.  Stories - A fascinating narrative can be told as easily in verse (albeit with far more subtle rhythms/rhymes than humorous doggerel) as prose.

10. Appeals - Entreating people to adopt a certain attitude or cause without resorting to ranting may be the most challenging task any poet can assume.

    Your path to fame may require a number of successes.  George Takei's status as a social media maven wasn't built in a day.


¹ - Do not cajole or guilt people into "Sharing" your posts.  It's a turnoff.

    Your feedback is appreciated!

    Please take a moment to comment or ask questions below or, failing that, mark the post as "funny", "interesting", "silly" or "dull".  Also, feel free to expand this conversation by linking to it on Twitter or Facebook.  Please let us know if you've included us on your blogroll so that we can reciprocate.

    If you would like to contact us confidentially or blog here as "Gray for a Day" please use the box below, marking your post as "Private" and including your email address;  the moderator will bring your post to our attention and prevent it from appearing publicly.

    We look forward to hearing from you.


Earl Gray, Esquirrel

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments and questions are welcome.