A Minor Conundrum

In today’s Journal

* A Minor Conundrum (and Your Opinion Counts)
* Of Interest

A Minor Conundrum

Despite my having checked the box at MailerLite to “send only when there’s new content,” today it actually sent a BLANK email that contained only the header and the unsubscribe information. Because, um, there was no new content. If that isn’t a human being snubbed by a machine, I don’t know what is.

And when I tried to click the minuscule Help link at the bottom of the page at MailerLite, it was greyed-out and unresponsive. Its little eyeballs were rolled up in its head, its skin was grey and clammy, and it had no pulse.

So I can’t even ask MailerLite why, after I jumped through the hoops and checked the right boxes, It Doesn’t Work. Ahem. Great customer service.

I really don’t mean to sound grumpy, but I’m old enough to remember a time when your word as a company mattered and the customer mattered. Dinosaur, that’s me.

And yes, I also understand that’s how practically every company is run these days because they know chances are a lot of people will take their crap, beg for more, and still send them money. I would have to simply accept it if I continue to use their service. But I don’t have to use their service.

So I’m considering a few alternatives. All three include canceling my MailerLite account because, frankly, it’s as worthless as unnecessary appendages on a boar hog.

Alternative 1 is that I continue to post regularly at hestanbrough.com OR even to move the Journal back over to my “big” author website at harveystanbrough.com. Just thinking out loud here, if I choose this option, I could even let hestanbrough.com go away because it currently exists only to host the Journal. So one fewer websites to keep updated. Hmmm.

Either way, with this option, you would no longer receive the Journal in your email inbox.

Then (fingers crossed) those who enjoy or need my silly little blog will bookmark it and stop by to read it. (And I guess those who use a “reader” can still have it delivered directly to them by subscribing via RSS. Whatever all of that means. I’m not being flippant. I’ve never used a reader so I don’t know.)

Frankly, Alternative 1 is the most attractive to me personally at the moment, and it seems to be the trend lately anyway. And it’s what I do myself. I stop by Dean Wesley Smith’s blog (religiously), the Kill Zone blog, The Passive Voice blog and a few others each morning unless I’m off wandering the Lower Gila Box Wilderness in southwest New Mexico or something.

Alternative 2 is switching all of you subscribers And The Journal Itself over to Substack. For subscribers, it should be as seamless as switching over from MailChimp to MailerLite, so no real worries there. You’d still (ostensibly) get the Journal in your email inbox, but there might be a few days’ downtime as I get used to the new setup over there, get the graphics reset so they’ll work with Substack, etc.

For those who currently stop by to check the Journal when they think about it, they would do the same thing but at a different URL. I don’t believe Substack is set up so I can post to my own website but have the article also appear on Substack.

All of which is fine, but I suspect I will be in for more of the same unresponsive, the-customer-doesn’t-matter BS over there. After all, Substack also is a company in the 21st Century in the United States.

The only other concern I have is, as a friend mentioned awhile back, I don’t like pitching my tent on someone else’s turf. If they close-up shop, do I get to pack up and get all my crap outta there? (Of course, I always save the latest post to the PDF archives, so there’s that.)

Alternative 3 is, to me, the least attractive. In this one, I would take the Journal onto Facebook. I mean, does anyone who’s reading this (other than me) NOT have a Facebook account? Seriously, I’m asking.

If all of you would be good with that, I might do that instead (or in addition to continuing to post the Journal on my website but not have it sent to inboxes).

I could even open a Facebook account, then post to the Journal as I always have, and then “share” it to my new Facebook page. If that’s even a thing. I think it is, but I dunno.

Of course, we’ll all have to wear our flame-retardant undies if we actually express opinions or even actual facts on Facebook. If you write that “two plus 3 is  V,” someone will say you can’t mix English text with Arabic numerals or Arabic numerals with Roman numerals because Cultural Misappropriation or something.

And again there’s the thing about putting my content on someone else’s turf. But on the other hand, maybe we’d even get more folks following the Journal. Then again, they might “join” only to chuck rocks at us. I think that’s more likely.

Okay. So anyway. this is your chance to be heard. And unlike 99+% of yer federal politicians, I actually care what you think. PLEASE let me know.

1. If I simply post the Journal either at its present location or on my author site, but don’t have email subscriptions, would you still stop by to see what’s going on? (Is it worth my time, one to two hours per day, to continue posting at all if there are no email subscribers?)

All I really need is a Yep or a Nope (and if you vote Nope, please mention whether you would prefer Alternative 2 or 3, ’cause I’m pretty sure that’s the only way either of those will come into play).

To vote, you can either leave a comment below this post at  https://hestanbrough.com/a-minor-conundrum/ or email me directly at harveystanbrough@gmail.com.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “The Last Sale” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/the-last-sale-2/.

See “Using Weather to Convey Mood in Fiction” at https://www.janefriedman.com/using-weather-to-convey-mood-in-fiction/. An extremely good article.

See “Writing Through the Impossible” at https://www.janefriedman.com/writing-through-the-impossible/. Just in case some of you need this.

See “The Despicable Kids For Cash Scandal” at http://dyingwords.net/the-despicable-kids-for-cash-scandal/. Read. Shudder. Pound your desk. Write.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1070 words

Writing of The Stirchians (novel, tentative title)

Day 1…… 4106 words. Total words to date…… 4106
Day 2…… 3505 words. Total words to date…… 7611
Day 3…… 2392 words. Total words to date…… 10366
Day 4…… 3336 words. Total words to date…… 13339
Day 5…… 3227 words. Total words to date…… 16566
Day 6…… 2821 words. Total words to date…… 19387
Day 7…… 2900 words. Total words to date…… 22287
Day 8…… 1288 words. Total words to date…… 23575
Day 9…… 3584 words. Total words to date…… 27159

Total fiction words for October……… 35361
Total fiction words for the year………… 155743
Total nonfiction words for October… 16130
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 169350
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 325093

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2022 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2022 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 68
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this Journal, among many other things, I promote Writing Into the Dark. WITD greatly increases productivity and practice, and provides a rapid ascension along the learning curve of Craft. This is not opinion. It is all numbers and facts.

22 thoughts on “A Minor Conundrum”

  1. I’m firmly in the “Yep” column concerning Alternative 1, and even more firmly in the “Nope” camp with respect to Alternatives 2 and 3; the less you cede to the whims of someone or something you have no control over, the better, and I’m of the opinion that whatever little you might gain in the way of visibility on Facebook or Substack would be entirely negated by the grief that seems inevitable there. The only downsides I can see to moving the journal to harveystanbrough.com and abandoning hestanbrough.com entirely would be the one-time tasks of moving it over from the latter to the former and eliminating the latter from your signature block.

  2. I don’t have a Facebook account, and G*d willing, never will. (Nor do I have Twitter, Instagram, or anything else.)

    I prefer the first alternative, naturally, as that’s what I do with all the blogs I read.

    • Thanks, Peggy. Interesting. I thought pretty much the whole world had been assimilated. (When he renamed Facebook Meta, I wondered why he didn’t just call it Borg.) (grin)

  3. Sorry to admit but I probably won’t read it on Facebook. The hatred swirling around the site is overwhelming

    • I don’t blame you, Lisa. That’s why I don’t have a Facebook account. So I’ll count that as a Yes to Alternative 1. 🙂

  4. I vote for some version of #1. I’m a bit lazy and like getting it in my inbox, but I always go looking for it. So I’m sure I can train myself to go look at your website every day. Just let me know which one to check and when to start!
    Thanks for doing this Harvey. I get a lot out of it and really look forward to it.

  5. I prefer alternative # 1 as I read selected blog postings every morning without subscribing. Have been reading yours for years but only subscribed recently because they weren’t coming through for a time.

    Not on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  6. Fun to read the comments. As long as your name appears somewhere, I’ll click on it. The only reason I’m on FB is because of three grandkids who post pictures. Otherwise, I skip FB. Option #1 is my choice. I have to go back and see what Option 1 said, now. (I tend to forget anything thing that is 2-days old!) Something to do with my mental executive function and Parkinson’s. That’s the excuse, anyway. My wife says my mental roll-a-dex needs lubricating. Hang in their, Harvey and keep writing.

    • Thanks, Sam. How you bookmark something depends on your internet browser. You’ll have to check with your browser. Or your tech guy can help you.

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