If Social Media Is About Relationships, Medium Has Its Limits

Too Much Relationship Management Feels Like CRM

I’M NOT GOING TO CITE the chapter and verse, but really, there’s a limit to how many friends one can really have. I’m talking about deep relationships, not superficial acquaintances whom we stay in touch with just because we hope they’ll keep reading our stuff. Or forking over money for a seat at our webinars.

What’s really going on here?

I just finished watching American Gangster (Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe), which is full of scenes of the seamy side of New York with its pimps and hookers. I intersected with that world first hand in the early Seventies. It has a glam side as well as some ugly realities.

It’s easy for innocence to miss it, but once aware you’re attuned to what those guys are doin’ on that corner, and that one in the window, and why she’s dressed like that and why that guy is leaning against the wall there in the alley. They might as well be waving flags.

That’s what this community has become. I’m referring to Medium. At least that’s the feeling I’m starting to get when I read How To Make More Money In Less Time Than You Can Blink, and How To Get More Followers to Pay You What You Deserve and How to Gain a Six-Figure Income in 12 Months By Doing What I Did.

Believe it or not, money really does grow on trees if you use the right kind of seeds. (Send your seed money to my PayPal account for a basketful of secrets I’ve gleaned from the Oracle at Delphi.)

CRM means Customer Relationship Management. Businesses buy software to do this. If I’m looking for a relationship with a writer, I definitely do not want to discover I am being managed by their software.

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of the writers I’ve been following are AI-generated identities. I already receive Google alerts in which it’s apparent that some of the “news stories” were created by bots. During the last Olympics more than 400 news stories were created by feeding data into the AI machinery.

Two years ago I retired from a career in advertising, and none too soon. They say robots will be taking over this career as well. Future displaced admen will have little left to do other than write poetry.

Oops. Robots are writing poetry now, dagnabbit. Check out the first poem on this page in iambic pentameter, with its throwback tribute to the Greeks. And Gwern’s isn’t the only capable AI poet, though Google’s poem generator left me cold, however, with silly couplets like this one:

She’s not alone she brings a tower,
a pet kitten, and lots of eisenhower.

Alas. Here’s my return volley:

I still prefer Rilke, seasoned with Blake;
The Google endeavor was a hideous mistake.

It looks like I’ve been sidetracked here, so I’d best bid adieu. Hopefully you caught my drift.

For a good read on AI-generated poetry, check out Y.A. Trentini’s 2017 Medium post Computer Generated Poetry Will Knock Your Socks Off.

Hasta la vista.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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