unkering down for the third week of quarantine and making scans of Hulu for just about anything watchable. Found something called Fyre Fraud which looked curious. It’s a documentary about a total failed (and pretty fraudulent) concert that dumped thousands of Millennials on some desert island in the Bahamas.
Good flick. Yes, I’m old enough that I didn’t know anything about this – totally off my radar. But what was really interesting was how the Fyre organizers (and their legion of support staff, social organizers, investment opportunists and social gadflies) did this.
I’ve had my brush with fame and self-promotion. To me, it was excruciatingly horrible. To come up with a way to pull attention, clicks, views, all that crap to you and convert it to book sales is less than a thankless job. It’s one part court jester, one part bald-face liar. I’ve sat in enough book shows and watched people slide by, glancing and then demising me as uninteresting. Yeah, sucks.
But part of Fyre Fraud was about the “influencers”, people who have amazing presences on the internet, millions o f followers and clicks, just because of the image they broadcast. If they mention you, you’re an overnight success. They are like the lead fish in the school who determines which way the group will dart and swirl. They live a fluttering life, bars to clubs to events to destinations, a living clickbait.
And then there were the media specialists, the people who know how to make viewers pause and look at your site. Most people are thumbing quickly through their phones – how to stop them? How to make them pause, to consider, to like. Colors, pictures, online-buzz, all that.
To me (a happily unsuccessful writer) it seems a ghastly pastime, sorta like being a forensic pathologist or a dentist. But that’s what makes an online presence, a true image that will cause thousands of millennials to fly to an island in the middle of nowhere and self-maroon. So, if you are thinking of becoming a published author, all that fame and fortune, you’re going to need to come to grips with it. It’s not about writing, probably never has. It’s about your image, your brand, your positioning, your pricing, your web presence, your endorsements and reviews.
And I’m finding It’s not what I enjoy doing.