blog 9

Spamalot or Not (Also Known as "My Obsession with Coffee Shops")

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When Austin Kleon advises us not to “turn into human spam” he is saying that we need to be productive contributors to the community we are in. We can’t just bombard others with our work and not offer up anything to them. We can’t do the opposite either though. We can’t simply comment on other people’s work without offering our own up. There needs to be a balance of give and take between you and the community you are interacting with. We can’t expect people to help us if we don’t help them.

Show Your Workspace

The Facebook Narcissist

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I think it was one of my friends who once told me that they no longer used Facebook because it was for narcissists, and I think sometimes I definitely agree with this mentality.

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Austin Kleon says that "They don't want to listen to your ideas; they want to tell you theirs...At some point, they didn't get the memo that the world owes none of us anything" (124). I think what Kleon means by this is that technology, especially social media in particular, is sometimes overused.

SPAM

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The term "spam" makes me think of the folder in my AOL email account that collects emails about Viagra, a free travel insulated bag from the AARP, and tips for hooking up with hot women (with subject lines that are a little too detailed). Obviously these aren't from anyone I know because I'm not a male senior citizen who's interested in women. The filter looks for certain key words that appear frequently in spam emails, such as Viagra, and email addresses that don't look real, such of deanofadmissions@leathermotorcyclejackets.net (yes, that's a real email on my block list).

Share but not too much!

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Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work book discusses the horror of becoming human spam. As he explains it, being human spam is selling too much of your own work and not taking the time to look at other’s work. This is a very important thing to learn, especially with writing. It is important to look at other works in the same genre and see how they tell a story and taking that and using it in your own unique work. It is also important to share your work with others in order to get feedback and criticism and hopefully learn from that criticism. My favorite example of working with others and not being human spam is C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved reading Narnia as a kid, and I love reading it to my nephews still. I’ve always loved Lord of the Rings and all of Tolkien’s short stories.