Writing365 #13 – A game of chance

Today’s 365 days of writing prompt suggests parodying an article, blog post or other item. As the last writing101 assignment was being inspired by tweets, I’ve been stuck in that frame of mind (and looking forward to receiving the next brief).

The image below was sourced as a ‘found image’ in the tweets of a professional social media marketer (marketeer?) In appropriating this material I have ‘parodied’ the image and its content.

I’ve written a piece on my other blog for my writing 101 coursework relating to it, but also have a parody type piece of creative writing in mind, inspired by today’s wri365 prompt.

Whatever might be said about social media and the importance of social media marketing and self-promotion, it seems to me a game of chance. There’s the chance someone might even see your tweet in their feed. There’s a chance someone might hit the little star of like to ‘favourite’ your tweet. There’s the chance of maybe gaining a follower etcetera. There’s every chance of nothing likely to happen at all.

Studying the tweets of a particular twitter user, who will remain unidentified to protect their professional reputation, has proven interesting, inspiring and informative to how a platform like twitter can be used. From this and other research my main character for this parody is drawn – I haven’t decided a name for her yet.

She is an expert in Search Engine Optimisation, web-site development and a proficient writer of copy. She can pitch a convincing presentation in person and is also conversant in community regeneration, government funding and local partnership working. She’s benefitted in previous years in securing her future professional entrepreneurship and her client portfolio appears impressive enough.

So how is it that she now works her fingers to the bone for sixteen hours or more a day hitting at a tweet or retweet icon? She hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in as long as she can remember and naps for three hours twice during each twenty-four hour cycle.

Her one major client has minor celebrity status and should draw more ongoing success than has resulted from his patronage – he states similar disappointment from his side of the arrangement.

Sustaining existing client satisfaction via her proven methods is the least of her worries, but definitely a niggle. She repeatedly has to remind them to ‘please tweet me your #quote or #art picture so I have something to retweet for you!’ That’s a drain – as are ‘bespoke packages’ of penny-pinching minor contracts and a long list of two-a-penny-tweet-to-dos every day with some negotiated mutual retweeting in lieu of higher payment.

Her sleep deprivation and desperation to obtain new clients have impacted her taste and judgement. She now tweets a steady mix in borderline amateur-style of what she believes should be attention grabbing ‘popular’ images, quotes, trivia, and mostly kids cartoons in the misguided belief that this meets her professional function. She mistakes teenagers enthusing that they love this tweet of Bart or Family Guy or ‘this is hilarious, love it!’ as successful social media marketing engagement.

She has an impressive number of followers reliably bought and paid for, so why are interaction numbers in the can count on her digits column? She doesn’t understand why crash-tagging #Florida #NewYork #SaudiArabia amongst her #quotes #art #socialmedia #google #alltheetceteras #cheese isn’t bringing the results she should expect from all her hard work.

She looks around her two-up, two-down terraced house and thanks heaven for saving some of her furniture.  She misses her swish city apartment with impressive skyline views and handy reach for the city centre. She had to move home when her funding stream dwindled.

To keep up the appearance of still holding her professional head above water and maintain client confidence she has to rely on her personal savings to pay for taxis she can’t afford and client entertainment costs. She spits feathers for not being allowed those as expenses now tax rules have changed. That came as quite a shock having over-spent on such costs and now her clients expect such treatment it’s a difficult issue.

She dreads having to catch the tram and manage this day and night routine from her cell-phone on the way to meetings or to her managed office space. She must remember to remove her rag curlers before setting out and to change out of her slippers…

(So, that’s not the ‘story’, just a kind of idea synopsis… probably not a good one! I had wondered there might be more in the future from this spark of a something… but best left there for now…)

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