January 12, 2023

Rhetorica in Portugal

I wish every member of my massive audience a wonderful New Year!

Mine is off to a good start — in Portugal 🙂

I now live in the beautiful town of Aveiro in the north of Portugal on the coast.

No other changes to report 😉

November 21, 2022

The Whole Social Media Thing

With the situation at Twitter (what, exactly, is the situation?), it seems a timely move to reassess my “social media strategy.” The quote marks indicate a certain irony 🙂

Twitter wasn’t doing it for me. Or, rather, I was bad at Twitter. So I have decided to make it a consumption platform only. I’m drastically cutting back who I follow to just my most trusted sources for news and information about documentary films. If you follow me there, you may unfollow at any time. I tweeted my last tweet there this morning.

As noted on Facebook last week, I’ll use my wall for personal stuff only — communicating with friends and family. I am trying to build a page there that’s primarily focused on my documentary work, which will continue after I retire in about four weeks.

Instagram is, and will increasingly be, all about my move to Portugal and promoting my documentary and nonfiction video work.

YouTube is go-to right now. Please “like” and “subscribe.” Unironically 🙂

I’m giving Tribel a try as a self-promotion platform similar to how I was using Twitter.

And then there’s Rhetorica — an old-fashioned blog. Blogs are kinda dead, I think. I keep this up for nostalgia. It is one of the oldest, continuously published blogs on the interwebs. Hit the link to Archive.org for all the old stuff (that I lost awhile back in a server snafu).

July 26, 2022

(self) Promotion in the Current Moment

I used to know how to jump start a blog (soooo 2004) from zero through noticed to important in a matter of weeks.

Times have changed.

I’m always on the lookout for good publicity photos — whatever those might be 🙂 Is this one good? I like it. Made a cartoon of it just for fun. Just made it my Facebook cover photo.

Still looking for just the right banner for my YouTube channel. The extreme horizontal shape makes it a bit difficult for my representational desires. The current image is a contact sheet of photos of my grandfather Grant.

I posted this one to my Instagram yesterday. It’s a college selfie circa 1976 and was made as part of an assignment in my black & white class at RIT in Rochester, New York.

I used Google Photo Scan on my phone of the original print I made back in the day. Works slick. Not sure this one does me any favors 🙂

I feel like I’m just stabbing around in the dark. I used to know what to do.

July 17, 2022

Eight Episodes In Plus An Update

I’ve posted the eighth episode of Our Expat Journey to Portugal on my YouTube channel. Just passed the 200 mark for subscribers. Growth has been slow since I posted the first episode on 21 May. I am actually trying to do things (some things, anyway) the “right” way regarding content and presentation. I may go into that a bit more soon.

First, I have to return home — later this week — from my current trip to the East Coast. And I’ll have more to say in my developing series on “what is a documentary”?

July 4, 2022

The Whole Comments Thing, Again

Somehow this seems like a fitting topic for this Independence Day 🙂

So the previous post was about comments on the internet. And I have written many times over the years about the folly of my original “learned” opinion about such things back in the day.

If you want to take a look at recent content of mine that’s received a few rough comments, check out episode 5 of Our Expat Journey on my YouTube channel. You’ll notice I did answer one of them because I detected respect. I think the reply represented misunderstanding. I then chose to drop it.

As far as I can tell, there is no downside to ignoring comments on most social media platforms. I have joined and tested most of them over the years because some of these platforms can be used by journalists, so I need to know them at least as well as my students. My testings and knowings should not be mistaken for mastery. And I have rarely given platforms much deep thought except the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Many I have subsequently ignored. SnapChat, for example.

But TicTok? Hmmmmm… this one is interesting. This one is evil.

I’m not talking about the question of what use the Chinese government makes of this app. The data privacy horse left the barn a long time ago. I’m talking about finally understanding something about TikTok that, well, 99 percent of you have known for a long time. It’s just so damned obvious. And evil.

[Note: I’m using “evil” in a non-spiritual sense. I mean to indicate TikTok, intended or not, exploits us. I know I packed much into that statement. Maybe I’ll go into detail sometime.]

OK, here’s my “the dumbass finally gets it” revelation: TikTok is all about feeding the trolls.

As far as I can tell, it doesn’t matter what kind of content you post (although there’s a range of typical stuff that gets attention). The way to achieve greater attention from the audience and the algorithm is to feed the trolls. You’re specifically and intentionally rewarded for this. The big three don’t operate this way. Ignoring trolls costs you little. Feeding them gains you little.

TicTok is all about attracting and feeding trolls.

So, yeah, you’re asking yourself just “how stupid is this guy?”

Well, I’ll tell you how stupid: I actually used TikTok for a bit. My username is @docfilmdirector. I was trying to do documentary film reviews. Yes, I know. What a snore! And you can guess the results.


If I were interested in TikTok success, the formula is rather easy: Do whatever, but make sure you understand and deliver clickbait. Then feed all the trolls. Also, according to a student of mine who has a successful channel: post every day, a few times if possible.

You know… kinda like the early days of blogging 🙂

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