Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cash and Platitudes

So I'm now on Twitter. I resisted for almost as long as I resisted getting a cell phone, but the Iranian Twitter Revolution and my wellness networking group convinced me. The wellness networking gals said, "It helps your business; you can tweet at your clients when you're having a special, or have a free booking," and that made some kind of sense. Before that it just seemed like extreme narcissism.

About ten minutes after I signed up for my account, I had four followers. Then seven, then fifteen. I was thrilled. Finally, the lurkers were coming out of hiding! People actually DO read my blog! And now I get to find out who they are!

Then I started taking a closer look at profiles. Turns out about half of them were people doing ''affiliate Internet marketing," which is basically social-networking spam, and the others were spewing bulk platitudes "in order to raise the consciousness of the world." Although my loathing for purveyors of platitudes is well known, I signed up to follow a few of them anyway. Sometimes a timely platitude is all right, provided it's coming from a neutral source in a timely manner.

Because like so many others at the moment, we are having serious financial Issues. We have a new baby, a $10,000 deductible, and have been living off credit since January. Both of us are working part-time jobs at the New York Minimum Wage, for lack of anything else. Both of us wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to get back to sleep for worrying, despite new-baby exhaustion.

So the platitude that rather caught my eye was from Jim Kitzmiller: 'Suffering is wanting what you can't have or resisting what you must have. Love what is.'

That, at that moment, helped.

What helped a little less was wasting time on affiliate marketing websites that promised 'Cash for free! Just an hour a day set-up time, and you can make thousands!'

These things are always tempting to look into, even if you Know Better. And maybe they do sort of work, sometimes, for some people.

But I must accept that I'm not one of those people. Because every time I contemplate doing something like that, I come smack up against my True Nature, which is that I cannot, cannot, cannot put energy into creating a system that generates cash without creating value.

Affiliate marketing is about using people, in the most direct and cynical way. You get a Twitter account, 'follow' several thousand people, get them to 'follow' you back, and Tweet about sites which pay you for advertising them. Yuck. If I'm going to 'follow' anybody, it's because I actually like them, and actually want to pay attention to their lives. I can't do that for thousands of people.

So now is the time to econclude with some sort of platitude, about Value, and Alignment, and What Really Matters. But I can't really think of one, and anyway they're coming at me in tweets at about two or three an hour.


Franklin said...

You can cut some of the worse ones off at the e-mail stage. Good:

You're now being followed by shakti98:
Updates: 165
Followers: 45
Following: 88

Not good:

You're now being followed by shakti98:
Updates: 2
Followers: 5
Following: 1397

Chris Rywalt said...

Since I joined Open Salon (because I saw you joined, PL) I've been getting OS spam. The only messages I've received are from "women" who want to "hear from" me. Uh huh.

Pretty Lady said...

I got that exact same spam when I first joined OS, Chris--from "women" who want to "hear from" a wealthy single man who goes by the moniker of "Pretty Lady." I'm guessing they're not too discriminating.

Sorry to burst your bubble...

Chris Rywalt said...

I'm beyond even the formation of bubbles, so you don't have to worry about bursting them.

the proprietor said...

I have the same problem with the use-people-to-get-something-for-nothing game.

Although donations are cool, since you're being up front about it. (Alas, I have no Paypal ... and I need the cash as much as you!)

And I love what you're doing with the ads for witch doctors and transsexual mail-order brides. I'd have no problem using sites like that. In fact I'm thinking about snagging some of those ads myself ...

BTW, I found you via the Aardvark.

- The Author

Pretty Lady said...

That Aardvark, what a sweetie! Tell him I said hi!