human spam

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

Human Spam

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According to Urban Dictionary, human spam is "Individuals who approach one on the street with unsolicited literature or requests, such as free newspapers, The Big Issue, flyers, requests for money, 'Charity Muggers', religious apologists, petition carriers, etc. These individuals in Britain have replaced the now banned practices of cold calling, email spamming and junk mailing, as the only thing charities/companies don't need permission for any more is invasion of personal space and public harassment." This focuses on the in-person aspects of human spam but it can also be related to online.

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.

Human Spam—Best Blocked

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What do we do when spam enters our e-mails? We delete it, and we tend to do the same—or should—for the human version Austin Kleon writes about, as association with this type of people is constricting.

This was my takeaway from the discussion of “human spam” in chapter 7 of his book Show Your Work! E-mail spam isn’t beneficial, and neither is human spam.

Toeing the Line

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"I call these people human spam...you should feel pity for these people and their delusions. At some point, they didn't get the memo that the world owes none of us anything." - pg. 24, "Don't Be Human Spam," Show Your Work

Reading others minds

First of all, I love how Austin Kleon just doesn't mince words in this section and really tells us how he feels about human spam. We all have that one Facebook friend or person we follow on Twitter who overshares—and in today’s social media-obsessed world, it’s easy to become human spam.

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.

Don't be Human Spam

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human spamNo one likes the "over-sharer." Austin Kleon's chapter titled "Don't Turn into Human Spam" addresses this problem entirely too well. The human spammer is known for posting their work a lot... too much, in fact. These people don't just "share their work," they are their work. One example I've come across recently is not entirely applicable to the topic of writing, but it sure is a great example of over-sharing. I've come across entirely too many pictures of people I know on social media posting about their weight loss achievements... With pictures.

Cannibals!?!?

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The term span automatically makes me think of the folder inside my email address, or the kind you put on a sandwich. According to Clive Thompson, human spam is a real thing. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean the spam you’ve smothered on your sandwich is made of human entrails. Cuz that would be just gross.