Getting Followers on Gab

Gab is a Twitter-like social media outlet which has taken a firm stand for free speech. A great home for people like me, who have seen friends suspended or banned from Twitter or Facebook, largely for expressing Christian and/or conservative opinion.

I first got on Gab when some of my friends in the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance (CFLA, a FB group which has migrated to MeWe) recommended Gab as a social medium. But when I first got to Gab it was dull. It took me a while to realize it was because while I had hundreds of friends/followers on Twitter and Facebook, I had about 25 in those early months on Gab— and some of those are now inactive on Gab.

How do you go about getting followers on Gab? First, POST. Post to your own followers, but also post a few things in popular Topics, where other people can see them.

What are Topics? They are classifications for public posts— posts that the whole Gab community can see. Members can create their own topics, and most of those topics fizzle out. Some topics are dumb, or rude, or even hostile to different groups of people, from Jewish people to Trump supporters. Since Gab is popular with actual conservatives and also with some non-liberal extremists, liberals/progressives try to band together with topics, while others post in the topics of News and Politics and find support for their opinions.

Since I’m not on Gab for the politics, I started my own topic called Books and Authors. I’m hoping to encourage a more literary form of discussion on Gab. I’ve posted about some of the books by my author friends from the CLFA, and a few other people post there as well. I get a little response, and I hope to post at least 1 thing to the topic every day to keep the topic alive and encourage others.

Another way to meet people on Gab is to join one or more Gab groups. You have to be a paid member of Gab to start a group, so I can’t start one of my own— too low-income to be a paid Gab member. But I have found one or two groups of interest.

Once you are regularly posting on Gab, you see people you might like, or share opinions or interests with. They may start following you, in which case you can follow back unless they are hookers or nasties or something. But don’t be shy! If you keep seeing certain people when reading or posting on topics, follow them! They may follow you back.

Since Gab is a free speech medium, and since it has public topics to which anyone can post, you may see opinions you don’t care for. Anti-semitism, for example. On Twitter they claim to be censoring for things like that. But the term ‘kill the Jews’ was trending on Twitter some time ago, so Twitter is full of not-nice people too. It’s just that on Gab, because of the open topics, you can see such people, while on Twitter you have to search for and then follow them to see their posts.

I don’t like anti-semitism, so I put an Israeli flag into the middle of my username on Twitter, and on Gab and MeWe as well. If I really was sensitive about seeing things like that, I would  not look at the topics, and would instead confine my Gab activity to some safe Catholic and Christian groups, and maybe the cat picture group, and to my Gab friends. But personally I feel that just because a person has some wrong opinions it doesn’t mean I don’t think they should enjoy freedom of speech, and I don’t think ostracizing the ‘Nazis’ will make them fit into society better.

I think that Gab has a lot of potential for authors who want social media presence without having to become the kind of progressive zombie that modern society seems to approve. You won’t get your account suspended for posting the wrong Bible verse, at least. And Gab members call themselves the Gab family— we like each other, even if we don’t always care for one another’s opinions.

 

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Social Media: Using Emojis on Gab

Gab is a smaller social medium— like MeWe— that is in competition with Twitter and Facebook. It is more free-speech oriented, and I never hear of my friends being banned or suspended on Gab (or MeWe) like they so often are on Twitter or Facebook.

But when Gab was recently taken down and a lot of Gab-users temporarily migrated to MeWe, we figured out what it was that Gab is missing: Emoji! MeWe is really great for emoji— in fact, you can ‘like’ (or unlike) someone’s post on MeWe with any one of a wide variety of emoji. You can use a smiling cat face 😺 to ‘like’ someone’s cat picture, for example.

I wish Gab had that, too. People on Gab, like those on Twitter, sometimes are too intense about what they are posting. I think they could use a smiley face😀, a red heart❤️, or a kitty-face 🐱 once in a while. But I found a work-around and am now using emojis all over Gab!

The first thing you need is to go to the web site Emojipedia and add it to your bookmarks bar. Then, when you are on Gab, have one tab open to Gab and another to Emojipedia. Cut and Paste an emoji you like into your comments or posts on Gab.

The reason emojis took off on social media is that they were a way of showing emotions— like tone-of-voice when you are talking in person. People are very likely to misunderstand what you say on social media— so early on people learned to add a smiley face to make it clear they weren’t trying to be mean or critical of other people.

If you a writer or blogger, and that’s why you are on Gab, to promote your blog or book, positive emojis are essential! You don’t want to have people thinking you are trying to be mean or rude. Sometimes just adding a nice red heart emoji will make it clear that your comment was meant to be encouraging.

What about negative emoji? What if someone praises a left-wing politician you just can’t stand, or claims that Pope John Paul 2 was the Antichrist, and you want to post a thumbs-down or a frowny-face or a poo emoji?

Don’t do it! You don’t want to get a rep as the rude guy who is always fighting online. The best rule— especially for writers/bloggers— is to praise what is good on social media and ignore the rest. Like the song says, accentuate the positive!

  • My social media strategy for Gab is to post Bible verses (in English ✝️ and Esperanto 💚), cat pictures, and stuff in the I Support Israel 🇮🇱groups. I avoid the politics section. I am seeking more followers/people-to-follow on Gab in various groups.

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Are you on Gab? Follow me there, I follow back, usually.

Gab: https://gab.ai/nissalovescats

And also:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nissalovescats

The Making of a Popular Blog Post

I follow a Twitter account that purports to give people advice about social media and how to use it to make your blog or web page get more visitors. They had a post this morning about making your blog post go viral. And I read the whole blog post. It told a lot about why making your blog post go viral is good for your blog or your business or whatever. But the one thing it didn’t tell you was what they promised on Twitter they would tell you: how to make your blog post go viral. You had to buy an ebook from them to get that info.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! They missed the point of blogging there! A blog gives out interesting or useful information for free. It doesn’t just promote some ebook at the audience. And promising something in your blog post title— and in a Tweet or other social media about the blog post— just makes readers mad. Don’t promise what you aren’t willing to deliver!
To create a popular blog post, first think about your reason for having a blog. For novel writers, it is often to attract readers who might be moved to buy that writer’s books. But they aren’t going to buy because some stranger whose blog they just landed on shills his book at them! No one likes to be advertised at when they had anticipated reading a blog post that might be interesting.
Other bloggers blog to express their opinions about politics or about their religious or anti-religious faith. Or about which recent movies really suck. Or why Star Trek is better than Star Wars. Whatever. To create an interesting blog post, you have to think about what kind of people will be interested in what you are blogging about. And don’t say ‘everyone.’ No one attracts an audience of everyone, and to think what you write appeals to everyone might make it harder to the readers you have a real chance of catching.
Your blog headline must raise curiosity in your readers, and your blog post must fulfill those readers. If you write a blog post on the ten best ways to create story conflict, you have to give those ten best ways. All ten. For free. Because that’s what blogs do.
When you write a post, think about this: why are you qualified to write about that topic? If you have been writing and reading how-to-write books for years, you have a good background for writing posts about writing. If you just decided on becoming a writer a few days ago when this year’s NaNoWriMo began, you probably don’t have knowledge to share yet. Though you can share your experiences as a newbie writer.
Your blog headline must be well thought out. There are loads of things on the internet that will tell you how to write better headlines. But you can also tell by your own reading habits. What headlines have made you click on  a link in social media and read a whole article or blog post? And you must also think— is this potential headline an accurate one, considering the content of the post as a whole?
These days a blog post must have a picture. It doesn’t even matter that much what the picture represents, so long as it doesn’t contain nudity or anything gory. When in doubt, I’ve used random pictures of one of my cats. It’s better than no picture at all.
I’ve seen some blogs— recipe blogs, often— that are filled with video ads, pop-up ads, and pictures and videos to the point that I, with my second-hand computer, can’t even stay on the page long enough to read the post. Maybe these bloggers are somehow making money from all the people who get onto their page and then immediately jump off. But I tend not to go back to blogs that threaten to crash my computer with loads of visual stuff. I’m a reading-oriented person— I can actually read a blog post, I don’t need a video. And no one needs multiple pop-up ads.
The popularity of your blog posts will depend on whether you can write well enough that you are not a pain to read. This means you need to possess the kind of skills that used to be taught in the schools— like correct spelling and English grammar. You also need to have a readable writing-voice. Mostly that means being yourself and avoiding bogging your work down with big words to show off how many big words you know. Read the work of some popular bloggers in your niche. They usually have a friendly, easy style, and they also may be able to organize their subject material in some logical fashion.
What about controversy? Sometimes the way to get online attention is to mention controversial issues. And I do that myself sometimes, so I don’t discourage that. But I believe that if you want your blog to be popular, you’ve got to be relatively civil in disputes. Others may get attention by calling Jane Fonda a traitor. Or, more commonly, calling her a f—king traitor b-tch. But a lot of folks out there don’t believe that kind of harshness is appropriate, especially against a woman. Better to say that Jane Fonda has been not that loyal to the United States. No name-calling needed.
The next step after writing and posting your blog post is to link to it on social media. Now, when people are on Twitter they are not constantly stopping to follow links and read blog posts or articles. But I have noticed that when I share on Twitter my blog posts get more reads and my blog gets more traffic. Since I am on WordPress . com, I can set my blog to post to Twitter automatically. I can also tweak the Twitter post by adding hashtags and such before I click ‘publish.’ But since Twitter is like an ever-flowing river, people that follow me on Twitter may not be on when the Twitter post goes up. So I use Buffer to plan some Tweets of my blog posts over the hours of the day. I have heard it is recommended to Tweet your blog post a couple of times on the day you publish, and then a few times over the next several days. Buffer makes doing that easier. I also Tweet some older blog posts from time to time.
Facebook, on the other hand, is not so friendly to the automated Tweets from WordPress or from Buffer. And Facebook has made Facebook pages— like a Facebook author page or a page for your blog— almost unusable if you lack money for constant Facebook ads. I do post on my Facebook sometimes— but it doesn’t seem to make any difference in my blog stats. I also use newer social media like Gab and MeWe, but I don’t have enough followers in either place yet to make much of a difference.
Here is the REAL secret for getting more blog readers— post good posts. More than once. And feel quite free to post more than once in a day if you have more than one thing to say. Just make sure it might be of interest to your reader base, not just another buy-my-books advertisement disguised as a blog post. You can MENTION your books, but please, don’t try to make your blog readers choke down a post that’s just an ad. Remember, your readers want to read what THEY are interested in. They need to get to know you and your blog, and even when they do, it’s better to be more subtle, less hard-sell, when you mention your books.
For most of us, building up a blog readership and/or an author brand will take time and work. We can’t create a viral blog post at will. In fact, in my experience, the most popular blog posts are never the ones I predicted would interest anyone! So keep on blogging. In time it will pay off.
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I often use this space to share some of my social media accounts to get a new follower or two. But with this post, I want to know more about YOUR social media. Please drop a comment on what social media you use to promote your blog posts, and feel free to share a link to your social media account. I will certainly consider following you, and hope other readers do likewise.

How to use Free Speech social media like Gab

Freedom of speech. A lot of people don’t really believe in it any more. They want their social media cleared of ‘hate speech’— which often includes conservative speech, and quoting Bible verses about homosexuality. But social media can’t afford to have a human evaluator (censor) read through every potential post before it gets actually posted. And so many criminals like the synagogue shooter have Twitter accounts, and for some reason in spite of Twitter’s anti-hate policy he got to stay there— where some of my conservative friends got suspended or banned.
If you have heard media reports about the social media Gab, you have probably been lied to. Gab is not a racist/antisemite haven— I’ve SEEN sites that are racist/antisemite havens when I was researching extremists for a writing project. Gab is a FREE SPEECH oriented social media. I got on it when some conservative-libertarian writer friends of mine recommended it. On Gab I have seen antisemites, but I have also seen Jewish people and pro-Israel people. I have seen ‘racialists’ [actual racists who admit they are racist] and liberals and members of the US Republican party— the party that freed the Black slaves. I’ve seen smutty naked posts and devout Christian clean posts. That’s what FREE SPEECH is about— people are free to speak their OWN minds, not just reflect what other people think is right.
NOW: I am sure there are some of you who presume that I am racist, antisemitic or ‘ALT-RIGHT’ myself. I don’t like to hear racialist speech because I have Ottawa Indian ancestry and I wouldn’t be pure enough for that type. As a Christian, I don’t care for antisemitic remarks because my personal Lord and Savior is a Jewish dude! As for ALT-RIGHT, the few people I know who use that as a self-description don’t mean it the way the media does. I’d need way more information before I personally would demonize the ALT-RIGHT. And as for the real bad guys like Neo-Nazis— will taking away their FREE SPEECH make them into nicer people? Are they better off only speaking their mind in secret, hidden Nazi forums? Or will they become better people if they are free to interact with the rest of us? I despise most of what such people say, but as the saying goes, I will defend to my death their FREE SPEECH rights to say it.

Muting and Blocking

How do you use a FREE SPEECH social media like Gab? The first thing is to learn how to mute or block other users. Gab makes it easy. I routinely block people who mostly post photos of private parts. I don’t necessarily bother to block all Neo-Nazis. If they are in the Gab topics or groups I use, I may well correct the things they say! On a Christian Gab topic, an antisemite blamed ‘the Jews’ for the martyrdom of the Apostles. I pointed out that Jesus and his Apostles WERE Jewish people, and that early martyrs got persecuted by the Romans as well as local Jewish authorities. Gab went down temporarily not long after I posted that so I don’t know if he responded. If he persistently annoyed me, I would have blocked.
I know that a lot of us are scared of the consequences of free speech. We get told in the media daily that wrongspeech causes ‘hate crimes.’ But they aren’t too worried when left-wing media personalities literally call for the assassination of the current US president! It’s only wrongspeech that won’t vote for them that worries them. The fact is that unless there is FREE SPEECH, none of us is safe. Facebook and Twitter, social media which are known for taking down alleged hate, takes down a lot of innocent conservative and Christian posts, but if you are conservative and someone on Facebook tells you essentially to eat sh-t and die, and steals your profile picture to do it, Facebook won’t do dick about it. I have a conservative FB page about man-woman marriage, and I’ve been told I’m crazy, a liar, a fraud, and that my (now dead) disabled kitten was ugly— with a lot of dirty words mixed in to the insults. I really think the only reason that page hasn’t been taken down yet is that I admit I have same-sex attraction (‘gay’ or ‘ex-gay’ identity) and though I also admit I’m chaste, I might still be a protected ‘minority’ and that protects me from FB persecution.
The lesson of the Gab takedown is that we need to defend FREE SPEECH, and we need to protect those social media that don’t ban alleged ‘haters’ and that really allow free speech. If you want a social media presence, as writers and bloggers need to survive these days, you need multiple social media. Any social media could arbitrarily ban you, any social media that advocates for FREE SPEECH can be taken down overnight. You need a backup, and, yeah, that means more social media work. But we can’t afford to put all our social media eggs in one basket.
Currently, Gab is still transitioning to a new hosting provider after widespread attacks on that social media. Twitter, however, is not under immediate threat in spite of the fact that the synagogue shooter had a Twitter account. The Gab service does still have a Twitter account, so you can follow that account to be updated as to when Gab gets up again. It’s also an opportunity to get Gab’s point of view unfiltered by the biases of the news media.
I recommend that once Gab gets back up, you prayerfully consider starting an account there, just to show your belief in FREE SPEECH. If you do believe in it. You don’t have to actively use Gab a lot. Just try it. Get to know the reality of it. It does not have the wide user base of the censorship media like Facebook and Twitter, but it does have a band of very loyal users. Once Gab is back up, I plan to research an article on how to use Gab more effectively.
Check it to see if Gab has gone back up yet. And when it is, feel free to ‘friend’ me there. I ‘friend’ back most accounts without naked stuff or swastikas.
 
There is a group on MeWe for stranded Gab users: https://mewe.com/group/5bd5abc24b3f5711bb37a60b

 

Learn to use MeWe, part 1

What is MeWe, anyway? It’s a new social media which is an alternative to Facebook and Twitter. Why do people even want that? Because Facebook and Twitter are run by people who find it weird and suspicious when people don’t share their viewpoint and their politics.
I’ve known a lot of conservative and Christian people who have been unfairly banned or suspended by Facebook or Twitter. Often it’s for some minor thing. Or they never tell you why you are in trouble at all. I’ve heard of one FB user who even got his post deleted because he mentioned he was on MeWe and used the hashtag #MeWe.
On the other hand, what happens if you are conservative or Christian on FB and someone bullies you? I had some left-wingers steal my picture from my pro-traditional-marriage page, and use it for a post on their FB page which essentially told me to eat sh-t and die. I reported that FB page, which did nothing but personally harass conservatives. Nothing got done about it.
Now, I know a lot of people get tired of being told that they have to be on different social media. But when your social media is failing you, and you may lose your account unfairly, you need an alternative and you need to get started NOW, and not wait until you are in trouble with Facebook just when your new book comes out, or when you have a great blog post that needs promoting.

Starting Your Account

Open an account on MeWe. You will need a profile picture and a cover photo, just like for setting up on Facebook or Twitter. I used the same ones as I use for Facebook. I use my name: nissaannakindt as my ID there. If you are a writer and trying to gain a platform, use your author name, real or pen name. Use a profile picture of your actual face. On the other hand, if you are a blogger and advocate for your point-of-view under a patently false name (‘The Deplorable Guy’ or ‘Socialist Nancy P.’ or whatever) use that name. Whatever name you need to build a platform for.
Once you have an account, you will need contacts: that is, friends or followers on the site. How do you get contacts? You recruit them from the people you already know from FB and Twitter. Take these steps to get started with contacts:
  1. Use your list of email addresses. Send an email to your email-connected friends and invite them over to MeWe.
  2. Tweet about it! Tell your Twitter followers you are on MeWe and why, and give the link to your profile page on MeWe. Use the hashtag #MeWe when you do this. Do it more than once.
  3. Tell your Facebook friends about it. DON’T use the hashtag #MeWe on FB because they do take posts down for that ‘sin.’ If you have other pages on Facebook, make a post about MeWe there as well. Again, make posts like this more than once.
  4. Add your MeWe profile’s link to your pages on various social media and to your blog or web page.
  5. Write a blog post about MeWe— whatever aspect of MeWe you like. Include a link to your profile page on MeWe and invite your readers to become your contacts.
  6. Become active on MeWe: when you write a blog post, share it on MeWe. Post pictures of your cats on MeWe. Check your MeWe page regularly like you do your FB and Twitter. Comment on stuff. Don’t be quick to give up on MeWe because you don’t know many people there yet. It takes time.
  7. Set Goals! At first, when you start out, make your goal getting 10 new contacts. Then 20, 30 and so on. It’s like on FB and Twitter— you need to make ‘friends’ on the new site or you are just talking to yourself.
Now, don’t expect all of your friends to jump on the MeWe bandwagon and join you there! Be low-key about it. They may find their own reasons to join in a few weeks or months. In fact, spending time on MeWe may be a bit of a gamble for you. It may be the coming thing, and it may not.
The important thing for the blogger or writer who wants to use social media to build a platform is to avoid being in the FB/Twitter rut. You need more social media than just those two! And if you are at risk for ‘offending’ the gods of Facebook or Twitter by failing to conform to Left-wing political agendas, you may someday really need to be on alternative social media.
Feel free to request to become my contact on MeWe. I will accept requests so long as they are not from porn-filled accounts. I will be your guide— or maybe you will be mine— through the unexplored wilderness of MeWe. This is my profile page: mewe.com/i/nissaannakindt
Part 2: Joining MeWe groups— coming soon!

 

Getting bullied over the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism

 

OK, maybe I’m just weird. But I hate being expected to be a feminist and love feminism just because I have female genitals. I mean, are guys expected to be ‘masculinists’ and vote for male candidates when they hate those candidates’ policies? Unfair!

On Twitter, I used the #womenagainstfeminism hashtag once, and boy did that unleash the trolls. One woman roared that women like me ought not be allowed to vote. Sorry, I’m going to keep my vote– and I thought feminists were in favor of votes for women. But maybe they want to limit that to FEMINIST women— so women will not have equality unless they support the full feminist bill of goods, including abortion and including biological males calling themselves ‘transgender’ and being allowed to compete in women’s sports. (If ‘transgender’ men can’t compete with other men in sports, maybe they should have a sports classification for themselves. Because some biological women want to have women’s sports for some reason.)

I don’t understand people like that. If I disagree with people on Twitter I usually ignore them or unfollow them. Once in a great while I do express an opinion, but I try to be polite. Except when I’m dealing with a bullying ‘athiest’ I do correct spelling!

If you are on Twitter and you want attention, do try the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism . It ticks off all the right (Left?) people!

My Twitter page: @nissalovescats

My MeWe page: https://mewe.com/profile/5bb89aaca40f3041e094d560

My (neglected) ‘gab’ page: https://gab.ai/nissalovescats

I do intend to use that ‘forbidden’ hashtag more often. Because of the ‘speaking truth to power’ thing. And because I no longer care if I get banned from Twitter.

Your First Problem on Wattpad

Many writers find Wattpad a useful resource. For beginning writers it can be a way to get feedback on your writing from other people without paying some internet stranger for a ‘critique.’ For more advanced writers, even well-known writers, it can be a way to gain new readers— often younger readers who can’t afford to buy many books right now.
When you start up on Wattpad, your first problem is finding Wattpad friends. I think when I joined, I got to add my Facebook and Twitter friends who were also on Wattpad. Alas, most of them did not stay active on Wattpad. And you need a core of active Wattpad friends who will at least read the first bit of your story.
If you ‘follow’ other Wattpadders, they might ‘follow’ you back. Or not. But be selective! If you are fairly serious about what you write, avoid following a lot of teenagers who write nothing but cheesy fanfiction. Or, worse, smutty cheesy fanfiction. [‘Cheesy’ is just another word for ‘low-quality’ or ‘second-rate.’]
You want to follow people who are writers-like-you. If you write science fiction, don’t follow a load of romance [or sex-romance] writers. If you are Catholic and put Catholic things in your fiction, Christians who are Evangelical and have biases against Catholics might not be good choices, but Evangelicals who won’t mind your Catholic faith as long as you seem to know the Bible are fine people to follow. If you write lesbian romances, you don’t want a straight, conservative follower who is uncomfortable with lesbians or who fears lesbians as people who might lose him his job.
One way to find Wattpadders to follow is to read the works of others on Wattpad. If they have written works you like or can stand, follow them. Also make encouraging comments, and very kind criticisms if warranted. But this can be hard as many of the stories are weak. Keep trying, though.
Make sure your author photo and description are set up early. Also, don’t let your author bio be generic. Tell the things about yourself that are unique, and even things that some people might not like, such as your political or religious/antireligious convictions. You want to attract the like-minded and scare away the other kind.
My author photo is an older one, since Wattpad is a very ageist, youth-oriented zone, and anyway I have few recent photos of myself I wish to share with the public. I also have a ‘cover photo’ of a kitten in a boot. I like photos of kittens in boots. [Note to self: remember to take pictures of my current kittens in a boot while they are still small enough to fit.]
My profile page https://www.wattpad.com/user/NissaAnnakindt is not perfect, but at least I haven’t left important things blank, which would signal to other Wattpadders that perhaps I wasn’t serious about Wattpad and didn’t intend to stay active there.
Being active on Wattpad is the best way to meet more Wattpadders. Writing something on Wattpad, and posting to it regularly, is another way to get attention there. Wattpad stories are like the old movie serials [that I am not old enough to remember.] It’s exciting to the readers to experience a story part-by-part as it is posted. Though some more experienced readers pick only stories that are finished to read, since many Wattpadders lose interest in a story and quit writing it.
If you think Wattpad is for you, you might want to read ‘The Writer’s Guide to Wattpad’ by Benjamin Sobieck, and co-written by many Wattpadders. It will give you some advice to get started. There are also Wattpad guides on Wattpad itself, and some of them are worth reading.
If you join Wattpad, or are on Wattpad already, please feel free to follow me there: https://www.wattpad.com/user/NissaAnnakindt  Currently I am following everyone back that follows me, though in time I may unfollow some (and I hope they will unfollow me back) if we are very incompatible. I am currently working on ‘What Do Readers Want?’ which gives some writing tips in what I hope is a faintly amusing way. I also have some old stuff that I need to work on at some point, or take down.