The Emoji Battle (as decided by my Twitter followers)

Recently I was watching television as I prepared an outline for some revisions for my novel. Even though I was only half paying attention for most of the time, this atrocity came onto the screen and demanded my full attention.

That’s right, kids. In a not-so-subtle effort to compete with Coke’s personalized named bottles, Pepsi got emojis. It’s terrible. I hate it. The commercialization of emojis already annoys me, but this just offends me. But enough about my opinions, let’s go to my Twitter followers for their opinions.

You see, as soon as I saw this stain on the already poor integrity of marketing, I of course went to Twitter because I go to Twitter for everything. I set up a poll to see how others felt about the Pepsi emoji because I wanted everyone to agree with me that Pepsi has the worst emojis. But, instead, I discovered that my Twitter followers are terrible.

poll results

That’s right. The hatred for Droid emojis is so prevalent that it beat out both Pepsi and Samsung. I do applaud the one person with the courage to vote against Apple, but c’mon. Pepsi’s emojis aren’t even real. It’s a poor marketing ploy living off the skid marks of Coke’s successful campaign. And Samsung? MSN had better emojis in 2002.

MSN-Emoticons
Really this was the pinnacle of emoji.

I personally don’t understand the hatred for Droid emojis. They’re cute lil potato people with far more personality than the flat-one dimensional Apple emojis. But we can understand why this poll was shifted using the magic of ANALYTICS and KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE.

yay!
YAY CONTENT STRATEGY!

Now my Twitter followers are great. Since a majority of the followers who interact with my tweets are people I know in real life, for the most part they play along with my tweets and my joking polls. One friend even got me coffee after I tweeted about it (Bless you Ariel). If we look at previous polls I’ve held, you can see that my followers play along and make me feel good about my jokes.

poll2

So with that information, we can assume that the four followers who voted for Pepsi are following the usual routine. Thank you, four followers, for following not only myself but the rules as well.

The one brave soul who voted against Apple is either in this category of playing with the joke or they just dislike Apple emojis. Because I stalk my own tweets, I know that this vote was the third vote after two votes for Pepsi so it was not in sole defense of Droid emojis, which had zero votes at the time. I honestly have no idea who this brave soul is or their motivations, but again bless you for your service.

The zero votes for Samsung is probably out of apathy for the product. No one knows or cares about Samsung emojis for them to even vote against them.

Now the mega coalition against Droid emojis has two possible reasons. Number one, the most likely reason, is that most of my followers are Apple users. Apple users are venomously defensive of their product. It’s the work of effective branding and no matter what the situation is, they will always defend their product. In this case, the defense of their product is going against the main competitor: Android. I couldn’t even begin to list the amount of Android vs. Apple think pieces there are on the internet. Just Google it yourself and dive into the rivalry.

apple versus android
You’ve got some options.

The second reason goes back to my first point: most of my interactive followers know me. They know I’m a proud Droid user and they know that I will defend my Droid Mini to the very grave I used to curse my old iPhone to. By voting against my lovely Droid potato emojis, they fulfill two ways to annoy me by 1. Voting against something other than the obvious answer and 2. Voting against the one I clearly preference.

Or, perhaps, maybe Droid emojis are the worst emojis and I am, indeed, the wrong one.

no!

Either way, according to my poll, that means Samsung emojis are the best emoji to use since no one voted against them so congrats Twitter followers. Your precious Apple, Pepsi, and Droid emojis are futile. All bow down to the choice emoji of both my Twitter followers and Microsoft PowerPoint.

samsung
You asked for this, heathens.

Follow my Twitter to participate in future madness like this. Or check out my YouTube channel, which is actually The Maddness.

An Introduction to a Writer’s World

If you’ve been paying attention to my twitter these past couple of weeks, you might notice a few tweets with the hashtag “Pitch Wars.”

collage
By “few,” I mean “a lot”.

For all of my writing friends following me, it was just another pitching contest. You see some new WIPs pop up and get to know your mutuals’ MCs a little better. Some people are even lucky enough to find a CP for their WIP through Pitch Wars. Either way, it’s a fun time for everyone regardless of participation and it’s a great break from the querying trenches.

For all of my non-writing friends on Twitter, that last paragraph probably made next to no sense to you.

I’ve been brutally aware of the distinct separation between the writing world and the non-writing world since I started publishing my book.  It probably didn’t help that I didn’t tell anyone I wrote a book until I finished it, but even then my real life writing friends are few and very far away. (Hi Sarah! Hope China is swell.) I would anguish to my roommates on how one of my top agents rejected my query only to be interrupted with an abrupt “What’s a query?”

false disgusted

While this double-life of mine sort of makes me feel like Hannah Montana, I know it can be frustrating if you follow my Twitter during a pitching contest or happen to sit in on one of my writing rants. So here are some basic translations so you can survive the writer’s world too:

WIP: Work-in-progress. Generally refers to whatever manuscript the writer is currently invested in. Personally I have about nine unfinished manuscripts that I haven’t thought about since writing the first couple of lines, but I’m probably only going to talk about the one I’m working on now with about 50k words. That one would be my WIP, but some writers are talented enough to continually write more than one manuscript at a time so it depends.

MC: Short for main character. Some writers can’t shut up about theirs. I’m forcefully restrained because no one knows I’ve written a book.

CP: Critique partner. Basically your writing friend who encourages, motivates, and destroys everything you love about your book. They’re awesome people who dedicate an ungodly amount of unpaid time to your unpublished book and must be loved. It’s generally expected that if someone is CPing for you, you should CP for them as well. See Beta.

Query: The bane of every publishing author’s existence. It’s a one page, 200-250 word business letter that is supposed to make an agent/editor/publisher/other professional writer person fall in love with your book enough to represent it and later publish it. There are literal books written about this thing.

Querying Trenches: The affectionate nickname for the soul-crushing act of querying. Publishing is a war zone now. Every author is vying for their manuscript to be the best in an agent’s “slush pile” (inbox) and more often than not, it ends in heartbreaking rejection. Some authors spend years in the querying trenches. Others give up and write another book to submit to the querying trenches. It really is one of the worst parts of publishing so if a writer is venting about it, please be gentle and listen carefully. Even if you don’t fully understand, it’s good to at least try. It gives us hope that someone cares.

Pitching Contests: Yes that would mean #PitchWars, #PitMad, #PitchtoPublication…all of it. It’s an alternative to querying and it’s much less soul-crushing. You make friends, you connect with agents and other people in the business, and you improve your manuscript. Some pitching contests even allow the opportunity to pitch to agents through tweets! If you see those tweets (#PitMad, #SFFPit, etc.), it’s advised to not favorite it. I know that manuscript looks kickass, but favoriting is reserved for agents. I usually don’t yell at friends who do this because, you know, I have to write a whole blog post about the secrets of the writing world to get them to quit whining, but other writers aren’t as nice. I’ve seen some pretty nasty tweets to newbie writers who favorited tweets they liked rather than the accepted form of retweeting. It’s a harsh business.

#amwriting: The general writing tag. Most of the thread is people promoting their blog or book. You can favorite these tweets. The only bad thing from that is that it might encourage that writer to never shut up about their WIP or manuscript.

#amediting: The general editing tag. Different than writing because there are more tears.

Agents: Although not exclusively of the secret variety, these wonderful people represent a writer and their work. They don’t publish or edit, unless stated otherwise. They just take a small commission and ensure that a manuscript is shown to the right people to get it published. Writers have to make sure to query the right agent. Agents typically only represent a portion of the market.

Editor: A person hired either by the author or a publishing company to polish a writer’s manuscript. They don’t publish books either.

Publisher: These guys publish the books. Depending on what a writer wants for a book, writers can either talk to a big publisher through their agent or contact a small publisher themselves. Sometimes a writer can even publish their book themselves and that is known as “self-publishing.”

Comp Title: Also known simply as “comps,”  it’s short for comparison titles. Writers use them in their queries to give the agent/publisher/editor a better understanding of their to-be published book by using already-published books. For example, Chronicles of Narnia would be Lord of the Rings The Bible.

Beta: A critique partner, but more in-depth? To be honest, I’ve never really understood a difference. Both contribute critiques of your book, but beta’s just get a first look at it.

Now hopefully we can all be like Miley at the end of Hannah Montana: The Movie and only have a small crowd of people realize our secret double lives. The whole world doesn’t have to know the secrets of the writing world, but it’s sort of nice to have a small crowd that understands without being directly involved. So just chill it out, take it slow, and rock out the show because now you get the best of both worlds.

If you want to see another term on this list or need clarification, comment below or tweet at me. Together, we can rule the galaxy help the writer world look more sane to the non-writing world!

The Maddness Outline – REVISITED

Ah yes. After weeks and weeks of endless amounts of homework, studying for hours on end, and making ritual sacrifices to appease the transcript gods, the school year is finally over and what do we have for it? Three months to work our butts off or beg our family/the government for money to pay for the next year of school.

help-me-im-poor

But, we also have an education and educations are usually useful. For example, this semester I took a lovely class that taught me all of the secrets of the internet and now I’m the queen of the internet.

058
Bow down to the queen of the internet/rock pile.

Okay that’s a slight exaggeration, but I did learn a lot and so I shall revisit this post about my web presence and see how my social media has improved after this class. Twitter: Oh look it’s still my favorite social media platform. Yay! For improvement, I’ve increased the quantity of my tweets, but as a sacrifice I receive less “favorites” now because now people are used to my tweets and they are no longer entertained. People still reach out to me to compliment me on my twitter, but I haven’t had a tweet with more than four favorites in two months. #SadDay There was also a period within the past semester where a surge of verified accounts started to follow me. I have no idea where they came from, but one of them was the guy who created the Pixar Theory so I was pretty stoked about that.

 how you doin

YouTube: There has been grand improvement on my YouTube channel since I took this class, which is great because I love my YouTube channel! I’ve gained 20 subscribers over the course of this semester, the average weekly view count of a video has gone up 10 views, and I’ve started networking with other smaller YouTubers. For example I happened to stumble upon Steve the 414th Oldest Nerdfighter’s YouTube channel and after commenting a couple times on his videos, he started commenting on mine and subscribed to me as well!

the only commenter
He’s also the only commenter on my videos other than me, but WHATEVER I’M TRYING.

The next step is to expand my channel from just one weekly video a week to multiple videos in different popular YouTube genres, like BookTube or Gaming. However that would involve heavy amounts of editing, which I cannot do because I don’t possess a sufficient editing program. Expansion will come soon enough, but not as recent as I would like. Instagram: It’s still very cute and it’s still very much not my scene, but I’m trying. After the success of the marketing campaign for “How to Survive a Writer’s Block,” I’m trying to market my YouTube videos on Instagram better. I’m also trying a new thing where I post my calendar for upcoming videos on Instagram every month and it’s moderately successful, but I still can’t grasp the hang of it.

004
Now the world shall see my terrible handwriting

But I was surprised to see I’ve somehow obtained over 80 followers on Instagram, so that’s great. I’m not very good at Instagram, so I’m just happy I have more than like 20 or something. LinkedIn: I got one and I made a whole big post about it. Facebook: At the beginning of the semester, I thought I would never ever get a Facebook page until I at least won my first Oscar. Now, at the end of the semester, I’ve not only created a Facebook page, but I’ve also made a video to promote it, held a contest for it and use it as my cumulative bank of announcements, blog posts, and YouTube videos.

EFF

If you don’t want to miss anything I’m doing, my Facebook page is now the place to go. It was a horror to set up and it’s even worse to market, but it’s currently the only place that serves as an index of everything I do on the internet in the name of The Maddness. I could go on, but believe it or not I still have five more social media accounts to talk about so I will leave those five for Part Two of my Maddness Outline: Revisited. In the meantime, check out all of my social media as listed above and let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts!

The Maddness – The Outline

Twitter: My favorite form of social media and personal preference to interact with people.

-Pros: I’m able to directly interact with people and make connections while also entertaining my followers with engaging tweets.

-Cons: I don’t engage with it to its full potential and often enter into long, endearing Twitter conversations with my friends which risks the chance for potential connections.

How to improve: Interact directly with my followers more often while engaging with more hashtags to increase my online presence.

twitter

YouTube: This is sort of my primary site since this is essentially the source of my online brand and the rest of my social media sites revolve around it.

Pros: I post a video weekly which is very engaging and I’ve allowed open comments again so that people who watch my videos can engage with the video as well.

-Cons: It’s YouTube. The comments section is infamous for being terrible. I try to engage in the comments section as much as I could, but I actually had to shut down my comments for a couple months due to an uncomfortable incident.

How to improve: I can always be more selective with the videos I post rather than just posting every single video I make onto my channel. I can also encourage more interaction with my videos.

youtube

Instagram: It’s cute, but it’s just not my scene.

Pros: Everyone loves pictures. Pictures are easier than words.

-Cons: I’m not very good with pictures so I’m not very encouraged to use it.

How to improve it: Use it to promote videos, tweets, blog posts, etc. in a unique manner.

instagram

LinkedIn: I don’t have one, but my grandma wants me to connect with her on it.

Pros: It’s a chance to make a professional connection with potential employers, partners, or clients.

-Cons: I don’t have one. I also lack a super-professional headshot if I did get one.

How to improve: I can improve my LinkedIn experience by actually obtaining an account.

linkedin
One day…

Facebook: I hate this website and I would’ve deleted my personal profile ages ago if it wasn’t for the fact it’s the one place I can stay connected to most of my friends and family.

Pros: I can abuse it to get support for my projects from my friends and family.

Cons: Facebook pages are flawed in the fact that not all of their content is shared unless a monetary fee is paid and I am broke so I’m never going to pay that fee. That means that even if I got a Facebook page, I couldn’t rely on it for my primary source to share content.

How to improve: I could get a Facebook page so I can quit spamming my friends and family with my posts about my projects. I could also be more active on my Facebook profile. I’ve discovered that I only change my profile picture twice a year, which is probably a problem.

facebook
Please don’t make me.

What is The Maddness?

Boredom doesn’t settle well with me. Life is too short to allow boredom to take a precedent in it. I aim to have the most fun in life as possible and my online web presence reflects this belief.

This is the band Fun having fun. Yay.
This is the band Fun having fun. Just like me. Yay.

The videos I create for my YouTube channel are all videos I had fun making and truly believed other people would enjoy to watch as well. But I still struggle on finding a balance between what I like and what my audience likes. Some of my favorite videos that I had an absolute blast making are my least watched and the videos that were absolute pains to make are my most popular.

Bitter.
Slightly bitter.

There’s a lot more flexibility with my Twitter. Occasionally I’ll go on a rant about the lack of female superheroes, but I mainly use my Twitter to post the occasional interesting or humorous thought. In fact, people approach me in real life to compliment my Twitter and how they look forward to my tweets. But I do have a nasty habit of tweeting to celebrities and promptly deleting the tweets five minutes later when they don’t respond. Sorry celebrities.

Other than my YouTube and Twitter, I’m a relatively private person on social media. I only use my Facebook to let long-distance family members know I’m still alive, Tumblr and I have a love-hate relationship, and I’m just getting started on this blog. All-in-all, I just want to make people smile and that’s what I aim for on my social media. I want people to have the same amount of fun I have when I create the content. I could always improve on my interaction with my audience. Most of the time I just post my content and leave it there for people to interact with at their discretion. I never try to force people to watch or comment or anything like that, but that often leads to low amounts of interaction.

Seriously ONLY 60 VIEWS?!
*cries 5eva*

Overall, I just want people to think positively of my content. I want them to look forward to the next time I post content because they know it’ll make them smile. Most of all, I want my content to alleviate my audience’s boredom. Even if it’s for a second, I just hope that my content lets people have fun.