quid pro quo

Quid pro quo (“something for something” in Latin[2]) is a Latin phrase used in English to mean an exchange of goods or services, in which one transfer is contingent upon the other; “a favor for a favor”. Phrases with similar meanings include: “give and take”, “tit for tat“, “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”, and “one hand washes the other”. Other languages use other phrases for the same purpose. – Wikipedia

Have you ever noticed on social media sites like Facebook that famous writers want you to join their stables of followers but once you join, you never hear from them? They often seem to have a clique of friends they respond to in comments to their posts. Everyone else is chopped liver.

They never stop by your profile or wish you happy birthday or even say, “Wow, thank you,” when you tell them how much you enjoyed their last book.

I expect more of a quid pro quo in the social media; otherwise the BIG TIME WRITERS use it for advertising while the rest of us talk to each other, share recipes, commiserate over tax bills, and in general, try to support each other in good times and bad. Facebook alerts us to birthdays and says stuff like BIG TIME WRITER is having a birthday today. I look and see that they haven’t stopped by my profile since sliced bread, so I’m going to wish them a happy birthday when hell freezes over.

Yes, I know, when hell freezes over I’m going to have a long TO DO list.

I’m not very happy when the government mucks around in everyone’s personal business. But as long as they’re doing that already, I’m proposing new legislation: When an unknown writer buys a book from a big time writer, that big time writer must buy a book from the unknown writer.  

It’s the right thing to do, tit for tat and all that. If you’re a famous writer, click on the image below to get yourselves right with the universe.


Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing


Facebook Author’s Page

Amazon Author’s Page

Endlessly Scrolling Through Twitter and Facebook

Writers often use Twitter and Facebook as part of their so-called media platforms, perhaps a necessary evil and/or a worthwhile publicity/networking part of the business that’s apparently indispensable to everyone who isn’t James Patterson or Alice Hoffman or Dean Koontz. Yet, as I read Damyanti Biswas’ recent post How much Time Do You Spend on #SociaMedia? How is It Affecting You?, I wondered how much social media time as necessary and how much was an addiction.

True, I have unblocked myself from my novels in progress by endlessly scrolling through Twitter and Facebook. Likewise, I’ve done the same thing to break cycles of clinical depression. Yet, I can also say that there are days I got little or nothing none due to some mindless need to keep up with the latest social media stuff more than necessary. Part of being a writer is keeping up with the business, supporting other writers, and learning more about one’s craft by “talking” to other writers and following blogs like Damyanti’s.

Obviously, at some point, too much social media time is too much and it’s getting in the way of the stuff we’re supposed to be doing whether it’s writing or anything else. The easiest thing to do, I think, is to set time limits. We can decide, can’t we, just how long we’ll read bloggers’ posts and Facebook status updates before leaving the Internet for the day and turning to our real work. I’ve known people who kept their TVs on 24/7, tuned into one network news feed or another to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Some folks seem to look at social media the same way. But seriously, what are you going to miss that’s more important than your own career and your family’s needs?

One mistake here, I believe, is assuming that whatever’s happening on Twitter and Facebook is more important than whatever else we might do with our day. It’s almost a phobia, this feeling that our lives will be ruined if an important tweet or post goes by without our knowing about it instantly. Meanwhile, to satisfy the infinite demands of that phobia, our own work is sitting there undone, and at the end of a day of “too much” social media, we feel really down about ourselves pretty much the same way a drunk feels after wasting another day being drunk.

When I worked as a technical writer for large corporations, management would occasionally subject us to time-management courses that showed that a large number of us spent too much time focusing on what wasn’t important. Among other things, we tended to clear low-importance stuff out of our in baskets before working on our primary projects. Now, I see many of us who write doing the same thing with social media. We handle it first and then we finally get around to our major priorities.

As important as social media can be for promoting our work and networking with others, they are not our primary mission. Social media tweets and updates and posts represent what others are doing, not what I’m (supposed to be) doing. I need to remind myself of that from time to time.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”





Social Media and Glacier: Upcoming Lecture

from NPS Glacier:

From road and campground status, to park interpretation, fire, and search and rescue updates; learn the realm of communication possibilities through social media in Glacier National Park. On Tuesday, April 6th, from 12 – 12:45 pm at the West Glacier Community Building, Dave Restivo will present how Glacier National Park is joining in on social networking sites and how you can join in on the conversation.

There is no substitute for experiencing the park first hand, but with the ever increasing popularity of social networking media, thousands of visitors are having a virtual experience that can be very rewarding. With more than 375 million Facebook users to-date, Glacier‘s staff are actively finding new visitors “where they are at, and where they expect us to be.”

David Restivo is a Visual Information Specialist with time split between Glacier National Park and the Intermountain Regional Office developing new media interpretive products. He is the recipient of several 1st place awards from the National Association for Interpretation in Interpretive Media and was awarded the National Freeman Tilden Award from the NPS for excellence in Interpretation.

These Brown Bag lectures are made available by Glacier National Park’s Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center.