Happy Sunday! I’ve had a busy week and I would apologize for only posting one blog entry but I suspect that you might be thanking me for not adding more items to your in-box. Several creative projects filled my time last week. First, draft 2 of Ripple progresses. To kick off Draft 2, I switched Chapter 4, my weakest chapter, with Chapter 2. Then I gutted it, and as petulant as I felt about tearing down the foundations, the end product pleases me.
In the new chapter 2, I introduce one of my main characters, Helen Thompson. She is a fun character to write:
“Holy fucking Christ,” thundered the voice as the glass door slammed shut, narrowly missing the young associate who scurried out of the hotel’s conference room. Her voice echoed into the corridor behind him.
“I needed the witness list two hours ago! The trial is in a week, Ashtray! If you can’t get it to me in the next fifteen minutes, you might as well grab a fucking cab to the airport and catch the red eye back to D.C.”
Helen Thompson glowered around the room, imperious, her orange hair and bellowing tone resembling Queen Elizabeth I. If Queen Elizabeth could make a man move before finishing a sentence, Helen could make him run.
In addition to rebuilding the opening chapters of Ripple, I became a part of an organization called Rebel Thriver. The concept behind Rebel Thriver is to thrive, rather than survive, despite your circumstances, and this reflects the theme of Ripple. Helen, her daughter Phoebe, and Helen’s attorney Cassandra will push through great difficulties and by the end of the novel, they will have laid the foundations for a healthy and happy (albeit imperfect and uncertain) future. I am proud of Helen, Phoebe and Cassandra, just as I am proud to be a part of Rebel Thriver.
Another topic, the business opportunities presented by the missteps of Facebook, dovetails nicely with Kristen Lamb’s new social media site: WANATribe. I wrote about Facebook’s IPO a few weeks ago, and explained how Facebook’s need to maximize its stock price would lead to an increased advertising presence that would affect those of us with fan pages. Little did I know how soon this would come to pass, or how deleterious of an effect it would have on my business model for Running from Hell with El.
Facebook has always been free, and it has developed its revenue stream by seeking advertisers. At $3 billion a year, their revenues come nowhere close to justifying their current stock price. Facebook has never charged its 900 million users a fee to post status updates, but now it is.
What this means is that posts made by my Page, with its 5,500 fans, no longer reach the majority of those fans. When I post something, Facebook limits my reach to 10-15% of the fan base I worked so hard to build. My audience has been decimated, as has been the fan base of all Pages. To reach 100% of my fans, I would have to pay $300 per each post.
Don’t get me wrong: Facebook is within its legal rights. They own the website. If they want to charge users, we may choose to pay or to find another social website. Small businesses, artists, writers, creative people and charitable institutions cannot afford to use Facebook as a means of reaching an audience anymore.
That is where WANATribe fits into the picture. Created by Kristen Lamb under the auspices of WANA International as a modern version of the old-fashioned salon, WANATribe brings together creative people from all disciplines in a collaborative social media network. Graphic artists will meet writers. Architects can talk with and be influenced by interior decorators. Fiction writers will find playwrights and screenwriters. The salon known as WANATribe will provide fuel for synergistic artistic interaction.
How does this relate to Facebook? Like all massive corporations, Facebook has lost sight of its initial mission: to unite friends via a free network. It is never wise for a business to start charging for services it once gave away. WANATribe for now is a niche for creative people but as it grows, so too can grow its user base.
Please stay tuned for future developments. I should state for the record that I am not an official spokesperson for WANATribe. I am, however, an enthusiastic ambassador for this exciting new network.
What are your thoughts about Facebook? What would you like to see in a social media network?