Boy, those Wiki administrators are touchy.

04 Nov 2007


[Accidentally deleted this post earlier. Maybe I should've left it alone, as it's not the greatest post in the world. As an update, I'll just say that the Tic-Tac thing has been resolved amicably. ]

It's another exciting Saturday night here in da burgh. Naturally, I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop. I'd planned to write on my NaNo novel, but my wife and I got into a major motherfucking row over a pack of Tic-Tacs and we both stormed away from each other all pissed off. Too bad, as it'd been kind of a nice day up until that point.

So, I decided to just surf the Wiki. I'm really in one of those "fuck everything" moods right now, to tell you the truth. I know y'all don't really know me very well. I suppose my personality comes through on some of these posts, though. I'm usually in a pretty good mood -- joke around a lot, fantasize about dating Zooey Deschanel, read ur blogs, make comments, etc. But I tell you, every now and again I just get all apathetic. Honestly, I don't think it's my own fault. But, I realize that most people think this way and, often, it is in fact their fault.

Anyway, enough psycho-babble. After a while of just reading articles, I thought I'd add a link or two to the aforementioned Wiki. So, I reviewed my vast collection of online compositions here at BSUWG and decided to screw around a little bit -- learn the system, etc.

Now, I'll admit, adding that link about my fantasy date with Condi Rice to the Condi Rice Wiki page was probably not a great idea. But a few others were, IMHO, kind of grey-area links. For example, I thought linking to my 2005 novella, The Pirates of Pamlico Sound, would actually be relevant to the Wiki article about the Pamlico Sound (near the Outer Banks in North Carolina). I could see how others might view that addition as self-serving, but the fact is that the book covers quite a lot of history of the Pamlico Sound in particular and is also freely downloadable (as in no charge ).

I didn't think it was exactly spam because, well, how many freely downloadable novels could there possibly be with the words "Pamlico Sound" in the title?

Another way I make no money, btw, is from running ads on this site. I don't mean that I run ads but make nothing from them; I mean specifically that there ARE no ads on this site. So it's not like the traffic is going to help me, either.

Want to know my entire royalties to date, btw, from my little self-publishing foray (i.e., the books appearing along my right-hand margin)? I'll tell you: $3.74. It's so low, I can even drill down into that figure: I made two bucks when my sister-in-law bought "Tales from the Midwest" and a buck-seventy-four when my sister bought "Pirates of Pamlico Sound."

I'm not saying that to bitch, though. Years ago, I read an interview with one of the BoingBoing editors about the merits of giving away your writing free as eBooks while simultaneously making them available as printed books. It was kind of a complex argument that made a lot of sense to me, so I did it (and will continue to for the foreseeable future). Though I'm a marketer, I'm not sure I have it in me to publish through normal channels. I'm too controlling, I think. It'd piss me off to no end to have some editor question every damn comma, you know? And hell, I also don't take criticism very well.

No, that's not the reason. It's really just so damn overwhelming. It's like cold calling. You start with a query letter to someone you don't know and rarely arouse interest. Or its that old Catch-22: You need an agent first, and no agent wants to waste time on some unpublished nobody. And, admittedly, I just don't see any of my works to date as potentially world-class. If and when I churn out something absolutely spectacular, I'll likely pull out that Literary Marketplace and search out an agent. But for now, Lulu is kind of fun for me.

Anyway, I didn't dispute some dude's pulling of my Pamlico Sound link from the Pamlico Sound page. But, I'd also added a link to my article about the " Pittsburgh Left " to the Pittsburgh Left Wiki page. The same guy pulled that link as well. By that time, I'd noticed a warning on my "talk" page stating that I was flirting with being banned from the system. Still, of all the links I'd added during this experiment (a half dozen or so), I felt this one was absolutely relevant. So, I undid that guy's changes, reasserting the relevancy of my link.

I watched the page for a few minutes, refreshing every 10 seconds or so. Within a minute, the link was gone. Same guy, some chode from Alabam'. Had it in for me, I guess. But, as I said, I was (and kind of still am) in that "fuck it" mood. So, I went to undo his edit again but got a new screen. Seemed I was banned from changing the Wiki. At first it said "indefinitely," but it looks like he's downgraded that to a 2-day ban. Yep, I pissed off an admin. Funny thing is, once they ban you, you're also banned from protesting. I bet that guy really enjoys booting people from the system.

One could argue, based on this ridiculously long tirade, that, despite my proclaimed apathy, I do actually give a fuck about all this. But, the truth is I really do not. I've got enough shit going on in my life to care about editing an online encyclopedia. Important things like arguing about Tic-Tacs. Sorry for rambling. I suppose I'm just a little tired. It's 1:57 a.m.

[Oh, and we have a winner in the "Guess the Mouth" contest. More on that next week.]

Original Comments

Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On November 4, 2007, Jim Dee wrote:

Anan- Wait, am I the pissed off guy or the anonymous pleeb? (Guess I was a little of both in that story. In a way, I strangely enjoyed the confrontation.)

On November 5, 2007, Grant Miller wrote:

I hate chodes from Bama.

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