Thursday, 5 July 2012

Winning the Internet

I like to play with the Internet and I suspect you do as well, oh Faithful Reader. I watch for interesting things and I forward them along to amuse, enlighten, and inform my friends, family, and followers. If I'm really good and very lucky, I'll do all of it to all of them at the same time.

I aspire to Internet greatness. I want a Google Footprint that can be seen from Outer Space. I want Wil Wheaton to ask me for tips on how to get more followers, I want George Takei to ask me to pass a funny picture along for him. I want to crash web servers faster than Neil Gaiman. I want to be in videos with Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day (and who doesn't?). Let's face it, like all the rest of you, I want to win the Internet.

I think everybody who wastes too much spends a lot of time on the Internet has their own way of winning. Let's face it, there are good Internet days and bad ones. For me, the good ones include laughing at something clever that my friends did or saw (or in some cases wrote or invented), contributing an idea or two here and there, and maybe getting a new friend, follower, groupie, or tweep.

I have my little strategies, I will set aside time in my busy day (Busy doing what, you ask? Well, Girl Genius isn't going to read itself after all, and Super Hero Squad Online has a hold on me that neither love nor money can break) to surf for good material to share. I am very lucky to have a wide and varied group of online friends and correspondents so my reach is long and my surfboard is mighty.  Also I cheat by checking out sites like Neatorama. Incidentally, Neatorama is where a friend of mine recently found this little gem of a Gotye Filk, The Star Wars That I Used to Know.

As a savvy Internet user; when a friend (or even the occasional fan) passes me an interesting bit of news, trivia, information, or political/social commentary, I spend a few minutes tracking down another source for corroboration. It's embarrassing to pass along a hoax or an outright lie. I'm not saying I haven't done it. In fact, posterity will show some real howlers of mine. I'm saying I try not to do it. A quick side trip to Snopes or Wikipedia has saved me many a #webfail. Sometimes I so desperately want that Onion article to be true. Alas, they have always been just a joke. So far.

Next I check for coverage. Maybe someone else in one of my social circles has already posted this and I can re-share their post.  A side benefit of re-sharing something from a friend is giving them credit. If I can help someone win their own Internet, a winner is I. Besides, it's fun to come up with four or five different synonyms for shared. I stole this from Bob, who ganked it from Jane, who bogarted it from Mabel, who can reliably claim to have liberated it from Todd in a Leverage/Sneakers style high tech caper. Incidentally, on precisely two occasions I have posted a thing before the social media big fish found it and blew me out of the water. I take my celebrity where I can find it. Oh, and I've learned the hard way that if George Takei posts it, that $#!7 is covered.

It's not all work, though. Believe it or not, you can play around a lot on the Internet too. And I'm not just talking about games either. I like to play with the Internet itself. I'm hardcore that way. (And yes, that is probably the only way that I'm hardcore.)

One of my favorite Internet games is Media Racing. I post some allegedly juicy tidbit on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter at the same time and then bask in the glow of my own ego as I see which outlet reposts, shares, +1's, and likes it fastest. So far Facebook is the most frequent winner, but I think that's been established elsewhere, and besides, it's fun just to watch them run.

I also like to watch the sales on my various personal creations. I've got an e-book that sells irregularly through numerous channels and I have an interactive novel/game thingee for both iPhones and Androids. I like to watch them race too, especially because races where you make actual money are even more fun. It's like watching people fill out online invitations to my birthday party, which by the way always makes me feel simultaneously popular and obsessive-compulsive. And for those who are curious, right now Verdigris for the Android is winning, but I still love all my literary children equally.

Speaking of Verdigris, I really get a kick out of corresponding with folks who have played it and asking them which choices they made and why. One of the best parts about role playing games is getting live feedback from the players, and Verdigris is my chance to play a role playing game with everyone who ever reads it. Or should that be everyone who plays it? I'm never sure what verb one uses to describe the experience of an interactive novel. Read this game? Play this story?

But I digress.  Where was I? Oh yes, how I play the Internet... This very blog is my favoritest favorite way to play the Internet. It is here that I speak directly to you, oh Faithful Reader. Getting the occasional comment or even discussion going here make me feel like a Social Media creator and not just a pass through. So even though my output here is less frequent than I would prefer (I'm still pretty darn lazy and easily distracted ... mostly by the Internet, but I think I'm digressing again) I'm still here and I'm still trying to win the Internet.