Thomas Wictor

Power is an addiction

Power is an addiction

After Scott Thunes alerted me that Mike Albee was a fraud, I began trying to teach myself as much as I could about creating my online presence. My Meniere’s disease prevents me from making appearances or doing book tours. Now I’m up to my neck in social media and online marketing. I’ve discovered that the people in control are off their rockers. Power is an addiction.

I was completely unfamiliar with social media, which was why Mike Albee and Becca Pilkington promised to take care of it for me. They lied. Since I trusted them, and since I was in the middle of my mother’s suicide, trying to fix my shamblistic Website, and trying to finish the Ghosts Trilogy, I didn’t check Facebook, Twitter, and Google to see how my social-media outreach was going.

There was no social-media campaign. It didn’t exist. I’m doing it all myself for now, and it takes up a lot of time. Still, I prefer this than making appearances. At every book signing I did for In Cold Sweat, demented and belligerent people showed up to insult me or babble incoherently. For years I’d had a strong premonition that I’d be murdered at an appearance, so in some ways being housebound is a blessing.

The only unpleasant aspect of using social media is that it’s very tribal. I don’t respond well to tribalism. Groupthink, customs, traditions, and culture all bother me. The net result is that they erode our individualism. I can defend myself against one person, but a mob is unstoppable. Unless I had one of these.

You know why they’re legal to own? Because they cost $215,000 each and fire fifty bullets per second. Each bullet goes for about 50¢; that guy just burned through about $450. They’re so unwieldy and expensive that no criminal in his right mind would have one. A few are in the hands of collectors. Wealthy collectors.

Today was long and dreary. I had a nagging question I needed answered, and I finally figured it out. The answer is this: The guys who run Google are obsessed with control.

To even show up in Google search results, you have to have a Google+ account, a Facebook account, and a Twitter account. This tells Google that you’re “important” enough to include in their sanctified search-engine results. Then, each time you post on your blog, you have to include a certain proportion of keywords, you have to have meta descriptions that include the keywords, you have to have meta tags, and each post has to be somehow connected to the overall theme of the Website.

One of the things that people writing blog posts want is a “rich snippet.” This includes your photo and byline.

Tests have shown that rich snippets are clicked 150 percent more than plain snippets. To get rich snippets, you have to jump though a whole bunch of hoops at your Google+ account, but it’s worth it, right? Because then you get your coveted rich snippet.

Wrong. Even if you do everything Google wants, they still won’t give you rich snippets if they don’t feel like it.

Google will only show authorship in search results when we think it will be useful to the user.

Got that? Google decides when to show your photo and your byline based on…whim. They offer no criteria whatsoever. There’s a tool that verifies whether or not your posts are to be granted the honor of rich snippets. My Website is all ready to go, as I proved by using the structured data testing tool.

See? There’s my face and name. But Google has arbitrarily decided that my posts aren’t worthy of rich snippets. There isn’t a thing I can do about it, so now I no longer care. Those who thrive on wielding power over others just make me laugh.

The reason I laugh is because power is a double-edged sword. It makes people insane. The more power they’re granted, the more they want. Consequently, the more powerful they become, the unhappier they get.

An aside.

Almost every single person who screwed me during the creation of my Extravagumbo Website has tried to friend me as my online presence grows. The mind boggles.

Here’s a little secret about control freaks: They’re all—every single one of them—enraged and terrified that they’re going to die. All the bullshit they pull on us is a pitiful attempt to deny their mortality. Despite the vast wealth, fame, and influence, they can’t conquer the ultimate equalizer, which is death. Dying is a loss of control, and they can’t stand that. It’s not right!

So I continue my struggle against irrational forces, but I do it with good cheer. When I can’t change something, I put it out of my mind. And it gives me pleasure to know that regardless of how many people must bow to your will, we all have an appointment with this guy.

That’s why I don’t mind people having power over me. When my time comes, I’ll be happy and interested in seeing what happens next. All these gazillionaires with their economic and political sway, on the other hand, will thrash and wail.

Won’t do them any good. They can shout, “I deny you rich snippets! I’m the boss! Do you hear me?

And the scythe will swing down anyway.

I’ll see you when the wheel turns, boys.

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