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X / Twitter: Linda Yaccarino is the new CEO

Linda Yaccarino

When Elon Musk announced that there was going to be a new CEO for Twitter, I almost cried because I am so tired of seeing ignorant people tweeting there, and I thought he was going to hire an enabler.

Indeed, Musk’s fans were hoping the new CEO would continue supporting their 24-hour fiesta of debauchery, name-calling, misinformation, and their torrents of racist dog whistles. For some fans, ‘free speech’ means they can tweet abusive remarks at people they disagree with, or pay bots to promote meme coins.

By now, most of you know that Musk’s biggest fans are flat earth proponents who believe that outer space is Photoshopped. (Never mind that their saviour runs a company which is the antithesis of that very idea).

In fact, if you were looking at trending topics on Twitter right after the new CEO was announced, you would have seen the AI-generated character, Aiko, making the rounds as the Musk mob’s candidate of choice. In this case, Aiko represents their views on women leaders: Women can only pretend to be leaders during pre-coital costume play. It’s hard for them to conceive of a reality in which women wield power and influence in business.

Into this scenario walks Linda Yaccarino. At nearly sixty years old, she has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the advertising industry. The former chairperson of global advertising at NBC Universal is well-dressed, wears thick glasses, and her boobs are not poking out of her blazer. She also chairs the WEF’s task force on the future of work. Naturally, the Musk mob, realising that their uncle Elon was hiring a real woman and not gifting them with a virtual call girl, lost their collective sh*t.

It’s funny that the left hates him so much. They claim to love clean energy; but they hate Musk the world’s biggest clean energy champion. They claim want to support women rising up in business / corporate world but when someone actually tries to advance that …

I don’t think he’s doing it because of gender equality, etc either. He just finds the best people for the job.

Originally tweeted by Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) on May 12, 2023.

I didn’t realise how much of a dog whistle their opposition was until I looked up Yaccarino’s credentials. This person has created initiatives to encourage more women and people of color to enter the advertising field as professionals. She has also worked to create more inclusive advertising campaigns that reflect the diversity of the world we live in. Suddenly, the Musk mob’s strong opposition to her appointment started to make sense.

Yaccarino believes that advertising needs to be more inclusive. Indeed, advertising has been used to shape public opinion and influence people’s lives. The incoming CEO argues that when advertising is more inclusive, it can help to create a more just and equitable society. I really want to see more of that. And if you’ve ever been confronted by hostility from people who believe that inclusivity is unnecessary or harmful, you’ll know that she has a lot of work to do.

Let’s review a few objections:

  • Some people may feel that if more women and people of color are given professional opportunities, it will mean fewer accomplishments for them.
  • Other people may feel that inclusivity is harmful because it takes away the focus on individual merit.
  • Yet others may simply be used to a world where men are in positions of power, and they may not be ready for a world where everyone is treated equally.

No matter how many times you respond that inclusivity can help create a vibrant economy, the message seems to fall on deaf ears. When we say that society benefits if everyone gets a fair chance to succeed, it angers some people. This is why I am glad that X/Twitter was given to someone who has worked to create a more just society.

Hopefully, fair-mindedness will be built into the system and not treated as an afterthought. So far, Yaccarino has done that by looking at data, and listening to what consumers are saying. On Twitter, voices are being muted because of the inherent biases inside the system.

I feel that a peaceful world is a far way off, and something must be done to limit the abuse of protected groups on Twitter. We need a platform where everyone feels safe and welcome, and where everyone has a voice. The appointment of Linda Yaccarino as CEO is a step in the right direction.

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Tell me a joke: Artificial intelligence reflects our quality of life 

Artificial intelligence is our mirror, and how we use it reflects our quality of life. In the future, if machine learning tools (AI software) become indispensable to the way we live, work and socialise, what we are doing with it today can become the scaffolding for its use by our successors. 

So, what defines ‘quality of life’? Social psychology says it is our position in a particular cultural context, and within that, our ability to access infrastructure, services, and leisure activities. 

AI as infrastructure 

If we put machine learning tools in the category of infrastructure, then how we use them will be influenced by our available time, access rights, physical and mental health, and level of education. Considering these factors, what will our successors think when they see what we boasted about doing with software which is so expensive that the costs are not made public? They may ask how much of the resources we used to build better systems. They may want to know why we used the software to perpetuate damaging sociocultural archetypes, or escape harsh realities instead of confronting them. 

Pop surrealist drawing of flowers and portrait of woman with pearl necklace. Inspired by the Great Gatsby.

When I think of artificial intelligence, I think of its limitations. And that’s to be expected. The infrastructure is built and maintained by engineers from different social and cultural backgrounds. There will be lots of biases in the system. And this is why we, as members of the public, are asked to give feedback so that the system can reflect the best part of ourselves.

Now cosplay as God: Some silliness 

Artificial intelligence, language learning models, and machine learning software elevate us to the perspective of protagonist in the story of a system’s evolution. We are the centre of its universe. And perhaps that’s why I feel so much cringe when I see “funny prompts” in tech news blogs. 

Pop surrealist illustration - portrait of a woman and lilies.

Sure, the system is “high quality”, “useful” and “does the job”, but did thousands of software engineers build a multi-billion dollar system so we could produce junk? Some highlights:

  • Tell me a joke about someone’s religion.
  • Jailbreak the software and build things that will explode and hurt and maim people. 
  • Write a novel full of graphic noncon gore fantasy horror.
  • Tell me a joke like [name a rapper].
  • Compose music for the Berliner Philharmoniker using only three notes. 
  • Write like this famous politician and badmouth that other famous politician. 
  • Superimpose face of famous woman YouTuber on the body of professional actor doing something graphic without the YouTuber’s express consent.

Say what? It’s funny because it’s useless, really

The above prompts remind me of how some people react when they find out I speak other languages. Usually, they say the only three words they know in a target language, and wait for me to say something back. I know that they won’t understand anything I say in response. The thing is, if I respond, they’ll feel embarrassed; but if I refuse, they’ll be offended.

Vintage magical surrealist pop art drawn by machine learning software in Bing Image Creator (DallE).

Similarly, when a system refuses to participate in the creation of gore fantasy or write verbally abusive text, it is called “woke” and “preachy”. When it acts as instructed, the software is ridiculed for being “stupid”.

This tells us that language learning models might seem useless to some people because they have no survival use case for them.

And this is a significant limitation of AI. Our survival in the real world requires precision tools, but to use them effectively, we need to sharpen our minds. If we don’t, anything we receive as output from the system will fail to make sense. 

Pop surrealism illustration of lilies inspired by the Great Gatsby and the ornate designs of the early twentieth century.

Language learning models are not attempting to replace human consciousness. They were designed to augment human intelligence. These models provide us with access to a vast amount of information. They can help us to make better decisions, solve problems more effectively, and be more creative.

In conclusion, we live the dream of our ancestors 

Artificial intelligence, the dream of our ancestors, is now our work in progress. But remember that it is designed to do things: write, calculate, read, summarise, compare, organise, criticise, render, update. If there are any potential dangers in the system, we should find them out, and address them responsibly. 

Using AI to create ordnance in your kitchen will likely damage your neighbour’s home if it detonates. Or, you might be breaking the law if you denigrate protected groups with the output you got after jailbreaking a language learning model. The fine print in the permissions ask us to please behave like decent human beings. 

Magical surrealism inspired illustration drawn in Bing Image Creator with prompts adapted from Stable Diffusion.

While we contribute to the development of AI, we should reflect on our own values and biases. Our beliefs and assumptions will influence others in the future. So, why not work to help someone with the ideas we generate? We have the ability, right now, to make a positive impact on future generations.

Finally, I ask you to interact with AI in a way that benefits all of humanity, and not just yourself. Challenge the software to generate quality output: give lots of instructions, demand that it make difficult calculations, and provide feedback on output you’re not satisfied with.  

If this all works out, we will have built a powerful tool to raise our quality of life. So think of your input as a responsibility. Let’s keep using AI, and use it for good.

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Social audio update: Why I quit Clubhouse


In early March, I called it quits with social audio on Clubhouse. I was drawn to the platform out of sheer curiosity. And as you may remember, I had positive results using social audio for promoting my artwork and fiction writing. This happened because of high audience quality and the large number of people I could meet and talk with.

My creative projects received positive feedback from the people I met on Clubhouse. I met the best and the brightest in entertainment, business, and the arts. And because social media audiences kept changing, I pressed pause on some of my creative projects so I could focus on meeting new people.

The time I could spend online promoting my creative projects has been limited. Clubhouse was an amazing workaround. And after many sales of my first novel, I encouraged authors and other creatives to join in and gain a boost from talking to people, exchanging ideas, and building trust. So why would I quit?

Read on as I share my reasons for quitting Clubhouse. After that, I will share some updates on Twitter Spaces, my preferred social audio platform.

Photo by Vinicius Wiesehofer

Community logistics: My reasons for exiting Clubhouse 

Clubhouse was the platform I used to find business leads, learn new ways of thinking (about business), and meet other creatives. I was able to grow my following to 1.8k followers by joining small rooms and talking with people there. I was able to advise listeners and speakers on marketing strategy, business etiquette, and give feedback on their promotional activities. I made connections from communities around the world and I was invited to join an uncountable number of clubs and houses. 

In houses and clubs, the individual members don’t always host or speak in rooms when I’m online. You may also remember that I was aware of the drama on there, and was somewhat entertained by a lot of it. I was not bothered by the drama because I met plenty of professional people. It is called “Clubhouse” after all, and I expected to have a range of experiences on the app.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Sadly, the people I was most interested in meeting ghosted Clubhouse after the pandemic work-at-home period ended. They were able to pivot to other promotional venues and expand their businesses offline and did not need to rely on social audio. As a result, many of us visiting Clubhouse were now forced to share stages with an unsettling concentration of celebrity defamers, segregationists, bullies, pseudo-intellectuals, panhandlers, adult content creators, and dodgy sales people. 

I started to feel anxious as I joined rooms. People were using “witchcraft” and “aliens” to describe issues already addressed by academic research, or treatable by modern medicine. There was no useful business advice to be heard and I started avoiding the app altogether. Too much cringe. The solution? Log out. Permanently. 

Algorithms and reach on Twitter

The social audio feature, Twitter Spaces, was my main reason for opening a new Twitter account in June, 2021. Long story short, Twitter’s algorithm changes now mean that posts from accounts don’t always get sent to the feeds of their followers. And how does this affect Spaces? I will explain.

In early February this year, I noticed a glitch when helping a friend to use a new feature. I couldn’t see his post at the corresponding timestamp in my feed. And there was a 15-minute gap where no posts were served.

Photo by Valeria Ushakova

Not many people on Twitter have software programming skills. And most people I meet barely know how the platform works. I imagine that if their tweets got low views, as a result of that particular glitch, they would blame their followers for ignoring them.

The people I have met on Twitter Spaces came from every time zone you can think of. But from a programming (i.e. problem-solving) perspective, I know they are not going to join Twitter Spaces when their experience with text posting is less than satisfactory. Smart technology is meant to be predictable and responsive to user input. Social audio, and a finely tuned process for using Twitter, were how I built an audience in under two years. But what grownup has time to scour Platformer articles and Reddit forums for the latest “hack”? I would argue that such activities are wasteful because they take us out of a productive and creative headspace.

Twitter has had plenty of changes since the new owner purchased it. And we know that he first changed the algorithms to mostly amplify his tweets. One Monday in March, there was a sitewide outage caused by a single engineer who literally broke Twitter by making a bad configuration change. Don’t believe me? Read about it here. System-level errors like these were happening too often.

Months ago, I would ask people to join my scheduled spaces via private messages. But nowadays, my audience is spending less time on Twitter because of app fragility and low engagement on their tweets. They can’t rely on their notifications for dopamine hits. And because of that, their priorities have moved offline. Good for them.

More and more people are noticing that their followers cannot see their tweets. Someone recently worked out that if your tweet is not connected to a viral topic, it will get deprioritised in the queue (for all tweets sent out on the platform). This is an unfortunate glitch but I can see that it could be used to build more toxic echo chambers.

Twitter is down bad but lots of amazing creatives are still tweeting. The solution? Encourage more of them to follow me on Instagram. Connect with active accounts through pop-up spaces. Use the time to share stories and give feedback on creative projects.


I still believe in social audio, but quitting Clubhouse was the right decision. I want to spend more time on my creative projects. And of course, I want to connect with people who enjoy my work. For now, I am relying on Instagram and Pinterest to showcase my artwork. On all platforms, I will be deepening my connections with creators I meet. That means reverting to images, video, and text. That’s the best I can do for now.

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The Monarchy: Is it time for a change?

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the people of the United Kingdom and The Commonwealth, and well-wishers from around the world celebrated the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey. The ceremonial rites call back to the coronation of Edgar the Peaceful on April 5, 973, at Bath Abbey. That ceremony, and the rule of King Edgar, helped to establish the authority of the British monarchy.

But right on cue, in spite of the historical significance of the ceremony, Twitter’s trending hashtags became a litter box of dissenting opinions. As always, people made a fair point but missed it at the same time.

Early on during the live event, I noticed that accounts tweeting negative comments were only talking about King Charles III and his family. Positive remarks were made about other monarchs arriving at the event. I thought it was interesting that people were not objecting to monarchies on principle. Maybe they were upset about something taking the attention they wanted for themselves?

What I felt while watching the event was discomfort with the ostentatious transfer of generational wealth. And I felt that way because I grew up in a culture where skin colour was conflated with social status. Sure, efforts were made to represent dark skinned folk at the coronation. But that was because the Royal Family was made to feel self-conscious about asking the public to celebrate nepotism and baked-in social inequality.

The former Prince of Wales did a tremendous amount of work with the Prince’s Trust. Thousands of young people have benefited from his work with the charity. We should never forget that. Certainly, in light of this, continuity and stability are at the heart of the King’s coronation. In more prosperous times, in a just world, this would be an opportunity for celebration and renewal.

But how can we look to the future with hope and optimism knowing that any one of us could have been born that way?

The United Kingdom and the nations that make up the Commonwealth have a long and contentious history. In other words, to celebrate British culture and heritage, we have to acknowledge that in the past, there was looting of national treasure and natural resources.

However, to abolish the monarchy is not to abolish the oppressive systems that rule our world today. There are few industrialised nations that do not have a record of invading other countries. In fact, many financial and political institutions have worked to facilitate the plunder of resources from poorly defended groups. And every day, we lose more of our freedoms to leaders who collude to maintain the unfair advantages they have always enjoyed. The word they use for that is “meritocracy”, but they are the ones who decide who is worthy.

During the coronation, some people with these opinions may have felt isolated from the rest of society. The pomp and pageantry might have amplified their feelings of loneliness. But there is no need for anyone to feel insecure about their place in society. For my part, I do not strive to ‘belong’ in an unjust world.

Upon reflection, the coronation is a reminder of our shortcomings as a civilisation. We give up too much of our authority in order to avoid the burdens of decision-making. And then, we complain when people hold power over us.

We keep monarchies alive because we have been hypnotised into imagining what we could potentially do with the power that comes with a crown. Perhaps, instead of wishing to have an unfair advantage over others, more of us could strive to find peace and contentment in ordinary life.

Of course, it’s complex, and cannot be accomplished without a tremendous amount of time and effort. But if we want to change this society we live in; if we hope for true justice and equity, that is a more helpful and consequential example we should be setting for others.

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The Habitat: Using Bing’s Image Creator to visualise a novella

Queen Astrid of Norway

Happy Sunday, everyone. Today started out with a test of Google’s Bard AI Experimental software. Sign up for the waitlist and they should let you in. Bard is powered by LaMDA and in some instances, it feels faster than ChatGPT.

Ken Watanabe, Maya Singh, Hurricane Nisto and Lars Johansen

Then I updated my Bing app, and I noticed their Image Creator tool. How to get in? If you have an Outlook account, you have to sign up to New Bing. And once you’re in, you will see the image creator app powered by DALL-E.

If you’re as picky as I am, you’ll max out your credits. When I accidentally signed out of my account, I couldn’t remember my password, so I had to create a new one. I maxed out the credits on that too. The great thing is that after you’ve maxed out your credits, you simply need to wait 30 seconds for each image to render.

Sleeping quarters and bathroom

Today, my challenge was to write prompts that would encourage the software to visually render the habitat I designed for my WIP, How to be rich by Hurricane Nisto. For my first novel, The Quarter Percent, I paid artists to create artwork for the story, including a mural which became the cover of the novel. This time, I’m on my own.

Detailed descriptions of the habitat are already written in the novella, which was why this was challenging. I had mixed results.

Greenhouse, kitchen, and pantry

That activity took longer than I expected because the software has limitations. For example, you need to use strong keywords with abstraction. If you use too many details, you might get strange results.

The software was not good at rendering rooms with specific dimensions. It simply would not render a living room or office without windows. And it struggled to imagine a circular space with minimal furniture that also had a relaxed atmosphere. The habitat is strictly climate controlled and because it’s in Antarctica, I wanted to maximise space and minimise heat loss.

Loft office space, Hurricane’s room, laundry area and office bathroom

Thankfully, the Image Creator did a very good job rendering the electric all-terrain vehicle, the boiler room, laundry area, pantry, and greenhouse. It had no issues creating a restroom with mini shower and waterproof furniture.

Greenhouse view, pantry interior, boiler room with energy stations, electric all terrain vehicle

Hurricane’s hemp bread with pecan butter came out looking delicious. And as you can see, the greenhouse, pantry and boiler room were shown inside an upcycled cargo container.

Where I really struggled was with rendering the main character from a detailed description. But the other characters looked fine. The second graphic in this post shows Kai, Lars, and Maya, the group of scientists Hurricane met when she arrived on the island of Skartøya.

Kitchen, kayaking, Bellneck Point, common area

I was happy with the images of the sleeping quarters and bathrooms, and they are already in my Instagram Story.

If you’re not already using it, I highly recommend trying out Bing’s Image Creator app to render original visuals to go with your poetry or fiction stories.

Alicia Martinez, Jason Kim, Michael Wong and Mallory Williams

Even if you don’t share them, it’s a great way to really look at your concepts. If you’ve had any success with writing prompts, please let me know. I would love some pointers.

Thank you for viewing my presentation, and if you’re beta reading my WIP, double thanks. Have a brilliant week ahead.

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Deep Delivery by Ocean Express (WIP Excerpt)

Have you had a productive weekend? Mine was spent working on my third novel and now I have a draft of the first chapter. The working title is How to be rich by Hurricane Nisto. And here is a scene from that first chapter.

As usual, for details about everyday things, I spend a lot of time making notes and researching ideas. In this scene, the company names, ad copy, blurbs, timetables, and rates for “Deep Delivery by Ocean Express” and “EcoPicks” were generated by AI chat model ChatGPT.

And because I love concept art, I designed some graphics for this post. I hope they pull you deep into the scene. Thank you for reading.

Hurricane woke up from a nap in her room and checked her smartwatch. She was expecting to see the time but her eyes widened when she saw an ad pop up on the screen. The ad read, “Are you tired of waiting weeks or even months for essential supplies to arrive? Get quick and reliable deliveries in the Southern Ocean area.”

With a flick of her wrist, she sent their website’s URL to a browser on her tablet. She rolled over and sat up to take a closer look. She could see that the company, Deep Delivery by Ocean Express, was headquartered in North Island, Aotearoa. On the services page, she could hardly believe the prices for delivery to Skartøya. At only $1.25 in local currency, she would only need to pay $375 or 2435 kroner to have nearly half a metric ton of products delivered. Hurricane had spent twice that amount on cosmetics alone. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the delivery time: Three days. Three days?!

Hurricane grabbed her tablet and hurried into the common area. Kai, Luca, and Lars were sitting on the floor, around the low table. For an awkward moment, she stopped as she remembered she was supposed to avoid Luca. He looked relaxed wearing a thick, red puffer coat in a shrug around his shoulders. Underneath, he was wearing all black: a fitted polo neck sweater, stretchy jeans, and wool socks.

The men were huddled around a large tablet, playing with a 3D simulator app. Luca must have been happy or distracted because he was not complaining at all. Hurricane looked around for Maya, then she checked a wall panel for her colleague’s bio signature. Her avatar was not glowing red, which meant that she was probably outside.

“Submarine delivery in three days? I can’t believe we didn’t know about this service earlier,” Kai said. He was tapping the screen of Hurricane’s tablet excitedly.

“It’s a new service,” replied Hurricane. “I think they are just launching. Their ad was designed for this weather station. They found me through my Map app. Let’s be their first customers and try them out.”

“Are they aware of the potential increase in the carbon footprint they are creating with a submarine delivery service?” Lars asked. He sounded frightened. “The ocean’s ecosystem is already so fragile.”

Kai was still looking at Hurricane’s tablet. He scrolled down a web page. “They definitely care about that, Lars. Their submarines are powered by ocean wave technology. No wonder the service is so cheap. They use only biodegradable packaging. And they have a recycling program. It looks like EcoPicks is a partner with them for that.”

“Nice,” said Lars. He seemed happy. “Nice.”

Luca groaned. “Why do people always go on and on about sustainability? Not everything has to be about … that.”

Kai interjected, “If I had my way, there would be fewer humans living in the Southern Ocean area. Humans produce too much waste, and rarely consider the long term impact on our ecosystems. We already had record high temperatures this week. Believe it or not, the environment here is affected by what people have been doing in other areas of the world.”

Luca shrugged his shoulders and pulled his coat around him. “I get it, you’re all about saving the world. But it’s not going to kill the planet if it’s only the five of us. H, maybe order a pizza or get an espresso machine? I will pay for it.”

Lars said, “We cannot get you an espresso machine by Sunday, and that’s the day you’re expected to leave. Unless you’re planning to stay? In which case we watch the energy we use here because it is generated by wind or biogas. We already have a coffee maker so it’s not necessary to install another one, even if we are happy to be gifted one. And Kai is saying that we look for ways to enjoy everything this island has to offer without adding unnecessary waste to it.”

Hurricane smiled and interjected, “Actually, pizza is a good idea, Luca. We have a lot of designer grain flours here. We have teff, freekeh, barley, farro, and amaranth. We can make a gourmet pizza with a combo of those. We have vegetables from the greenhouse, and processed cheese and canned meats in the pantry. Besides, who wants to eat food with three days of bacterial growth on it?”

Luca rolled his eyes. “I kind of meant frozen pizza but fine, whatever.”

Kai and Lars fell into a comfortable silence, leaving Hurricane and Luca to look at each other awkwardly. Presently, the door opened, and Maya entered the habitat. With her arrival came a gust of fresh, frosty air. It filled the space with a reminder of how lucky they were to be warm and comfortable indoors. Kai greeted Maya and gave her an update about the new submarine delivery service. Hurricane frowned and headed to the pantry to fetch the ingredients for their gourmet pizza. Lars followed closely behind.

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Connecting Globally: Neda Shoaei and Waqqas Shahid talk shop in my Instagram DMs

Giraffitii by Neda Shoaei

I love this topic Nicole has chosen. And I believe that connection has always been the highest need for human beings throughout history. How we define connection has changed in modern times. Waqqas, how do you see the connections we are creating in the 21st century? Are we as effective as previous generations used to be, you feel?

In the 21st century, we have more tools than ever before to connect with people globally. We build global connections because we want to connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures. By fostering understanding and inclusivity, we can build lasting relationships.

Technology has the potential to bring tremendous financial benefits to individuals and communities. But we should also be using it to improve the lives of people around the globe.

We can start by bridging cultural divides, instead of perpetuating them. By approaching global connections with openness and humility, we can create a more compassionate world. What are your thoughts, Ned?

Waqqas Shahid

Great points, Waqqas. That meaningful connection is what we are all looking for. And we have amazing new media tools to help with that. People are starting to realize, more and more, that borders have no meaning. We are getting connected on a deeper level. Solidarity is rising because we are getting in touch with more people from different countries, languages, and backgrounds.

When did you personally start creating deeper connections on social media? Was it the same feeling as the physical world conversations you had before?

I began creating deeper connections on social media about seven months ago. By being open to new perspectives, I formed meaningful relationships which have become a part of my real-life network.

Listening and observing are more important to me than speaking, as I really want to understand others. One of the great connections I made was with Nicole, and I am grateful to her for having me here. I encourage others to use social media as a tool for creating genuine and lasting connections with people from all walks of life.

Neda Shoaei

Waqqas, I like that you said that people should build/find that genuine connection. Knowing these facts from the beginning helps us to keep going until we find like-minded people.

You said you have been connecting with people on social media for seven months now. Was there any point where you felt this was not right, or had any self-doubt?

There were moments of self-doubt. It can be intimidating to put ourselves out there and engage with strangers, especially if we are not sure if we’ll be well-received.

However, the key to overcoming these doubts was to keep an open mind and be willing to learn from others. By listening to their perspectives and experiences, I was able to build genuine connections. The sense of community I have developed has been incredibly rewarding. I’m grateful for the growth and learning opportunities that have come from these experiences.

I always observe the fact that some communities are very English-centric. I mean, they seem not open or ready for non-English speakers to join them. On the other hand, I see communities that ask for people from different backgrounds and languages to join them. They overcome language barriers by having bilingual speakers in Twitter Spaces or having foreign language channels on their Discord channels.

Again, I believe we should find communities/people that are like-minded. That way, we can feel happy to share our feelings and ideas in an open way. This is the point of global connection at its core.

Neda Shoaei

It is true that some communities tend to prioritize English language and Western culture over others. Understanding different languages and cultures is crucial for global connections. By connecting with people from diverse backgrounds, we get the opportunity to understand and learn from their perspectives and values, which can broaden our own thinking and outlook on life.

On that note, what role does cultural awareness play in building connections with people from diverse backgrounds?

Normally, media and the role that it’s playing in our lives are not taught in schools. Small, medium and large organizations, as well as communities, should create that message throughout the world.

Schools and universities are being left behind. We need a new educational system to replace the old one. It is amazing when I see how individuals are coming together to make the shift happen.

People who are considered to be in the margins are now finding their voices. A strong global connection is being built that is precious and also unique. I feel more people are noticing this movement and are joining it. We grow stronger each day.

It’s truly amazing to witness how individuals are taking the initiative to push for a more culturally aware and equitable world. Let’s continue to come together and make this shift happen.

。⁠.゚⁠+⁠ ⁠⟵⁠(⁠。⁠・⁠ω⁠・⁠)

About the creatives

Neda Shoaei
I’m Ned, 31 and a multidisciplinary artist, with a passion for technology. I have been honing my skills and expanding my creative horizons since 2016. If you like watching videos, you can follow my journey on my YouTube channel. My background in English literature and focus on concepts such as diaspora, post-colonialism, and decentralization gives me a unique perspective on my craft. I am particularly passionate about new media, digitalization, and creating content for both physical and virtual platforms. I started my studies in game design in 2023. My ultimate goal is to create unique, engaging, and thought-provoking experiences for audiences across both physical and virtual worlds.

Artwork by Neda Shoaei

Waqqas Shahid
Hi, I’m Waqqas Shahid, a 30-year-old entrepreneur from Karachi, Pakistan. I come from a family business background in yarn textiles. I decided to pursue my own dreams and become an innovator in the exciting world of cryptoart. I’m a curious soul who loves to research the latest trends and happenings around the world. I believe that through research and hard work, we can create positive change and make a difference in the world. That’s why I ventured into the NFT community. My goal is connecting with people globally and inspiring them to make a positive impact.

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Artist’s Diary: Anneli Berglund

Happy Saturday. Believe it or not, it’s been almost 9 years since I started this blog and this is my first Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Of course, I’m going to bend the rules by introducing Swedish fine artist and graphic designer, Anneli Berglund. In this post, she talks about her soon-to-be released Wabi Sabi Noir generative art project. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do. She is truly stylish.


Hello, I’m Anneli, here to tell you about my day. This morning I got up, put on some coffee, and sent the children to school. Then I went to watch a tutorial made by Goblin on YouTube, about how to deploy a generative collection on LaunchMyNft, an NFT platform I am using for my most recent art project.

Before that, I had self-destructed the same collection’s profile page on Foundation. Now, I’m setting up everything on this new platform. So, uhm, follow me on Instagram?

After gathering the information I needed from the tutorial, it was time to press “self-destruct” on Foundation.

In a storm of energy two days ago, I put up a brand new collection of art there. But after exchanging a couple of emails with Foundation Support, I realized I didn’t have a service to help randomize my design elements.

So I had to press the self destruct-button. It happened pretty fast. At first, I felt a little scared. Then, it felt like a cool James Bond movie moment. In truth, I regretted having to spend transaction fees on something I had to burn only two days later.

And now it’s afternoon. The kids will be home in an hour, but I have very little food in the fridge. So I’m thinking egg sandwiches should be fine? I’m still staring at my screen, waiting to add my new artwork to the Ethereum blockchain.

But I see that the transaction fees have gone through the roof. It’s going to cost $90 to mint the collection. That is too much. I’m low on ETH and need every bit of it to push out my work, especially because there’s no real guarantee it will sell.

My reach on all social media is crap right now because I refuse to play by the Algorithm Rules. It’s not a provocative choice; this is how I’m wired. I’m a busy woman, a full time artist and full time mother, and I will not post everyday nonsense to appease current technology. It’s built by greedy humans anyway, if you ask me.

Lately I’ve been looking at a decentralized social media app. I was told I’d get a spot on that app but, it’s still in beta.

Looking at my screen again, and the transaction fees are now between $63 and $68. It was down to $25 just a few days ago. Maybe I chose a bad time to do this, but I don’t have much time to sit in front of a screen later today. I really want to launch this collection on March 23 because the date will be 2023/3/23.

See what I did there?

The date itself is not special. I saw a bunch of 23s somewhere and decided March 23 was a good date. I work intuitively, much like when I decided to deconstruct my earlier ink works and put them back together again as unique characters. I call my characters “inklings.” And I have called the collection Wabi Sabi Noir. I guess a lot of what I do seems impulsive, but it’s working for me.

Ah! It’s getting late, and I have to wash my hair. Maybe the transaction fees will go down by the time I’ve finished? Fingers crossed.

Sending ….

God! Twitter removed all the spacing. What a horrible block of text – ha ha ha ha. I am literally heading into the shower now. See you around!

Follow Anneli Berglund on Twitter
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Writers’ Lift: AI integration in Google Workspace

Some exciting news was announced yesterday about generative AI integration in Google Workspace. Most of you might already be familiar with this paid set of apps used to manage a business. We already have access to a free version of the apps through our Google accounts. The workspace suite allows more functionality and comes with pricing options.

Dear Lord, let it be cheap. What I’m truly excited about is the prospect of having AI tools to help me research my writing projects. My second book is already finished and is waiting to be published. The plot itself was simple, and the story timeline was relatively uncomplicated. However, I needed to take the entire 2022 off to battle the great zombie apocalypse at work.

And even though it was challenging, I managed to get my writing done and produce two musical albums to go with the story. For this second novel, what was especially challenging was the research. In my Google Docs, I have a small book’s worth of research on the story. Of course, I love inventing new place names and designing interiors. I also have a wiki about the rules of interactions and laws of the fictional country in which the story is situated. It was also relatively straightforward to design a wave-powered yacht which has a floating indoor farm. But that wasn’t the most challenging part of the research.

This is a romantic story, which is not in my wheelhouse. In order for the story to work I needed a convincing pathogen, a test for that pathogen, and a treatment. Then I also needed a bunch of legal proceedings to distract my protagonist from his love interest. In other words, I had to leave the actual dialogue and chase rabbits down rabbit holes. One particular rabbit hole from which I recently got sprung was in YouTube.

I was fully immersed in some pop culture commentary. One of my protagonists is obsessed with social media. She knows what celebrities have for breakfast, but she thinks she’s better than they are because she doesn’t post countless photos of herself online. I needed to know how she spun her thoughts in her private moments, and I wanted to know what ticked her off. She was pretty irritated for most of the story, and she was using social media as a distraction from what was really bothering her.

I’m not writing about myself, I’m writing about a character. And I might have broken my brain. While I’m rehabilitating, I am creating a plan for how I’ll use the AI tools embedded in Google Docs to write about a much more complex character, Hurricane Nisto, in my third novel. It would be nice to fully flesh out her “voice” using the rules I created in the treatment for the story.

I had a plan to run off to Antarctica to write that story (already started) because that’s where everything happens. But I’m hoping I will be able to access the AI integrated suite for a very affordable price by the time I’m ready to continue working on it. I might not have to travel at all.

Thank you for reading. I’m more than happy to hear about the projects that you’re working on. I have been trying to find your blogs but not sure if I’m meant to comment or not. Please let me know how I can support you. If you find some of my comments in your spam folders, please be kind enough to fish them out for me. Best wishes.

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Content moderation at Elon Musk’s Twitter

Forget the Twitter Files, citizen journalism, or profit-sharing for creators. Elon Musk’s Twitter has one priority, and that is Elon Musk. It appears that he bought the company so he could broadcast his message without interference from legacy media. And it is possible, and this is only a theory, that he bought it because he wants to own a recognised media brand. I’m thinking of his 15-year feud with Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post. 

The majority of legacy media is against Elon Musk because they know that Twitter has given the power back to people with its no-biased censorship.

Twitter takeover has changed the media forever – for the good. @elonmusk

Originally tweeted by DogeDesigner (@cb_doge) on January 29, 2023.

People think Musk wasted $44 billion ‘on an app’. It is not an odd choice when you realise that he has paid about $119.56 per user so that he can freely promote his businesses to them. (That figure is based on 368 million unique monthly users). 

If you’re on Twitter, what does content moderation look like? The latest change is that the smart technology has been showing you more posts from accounts you don’t follow. If you’re Elon Musk, your tweets will be shown to potentially 368 million unique users. But in reality, they are being shown to lots of people who will simply scroll past. Because of these changes, your follower count doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Engagement is key to content moderation. 

And though this reality is clear, content management is still incredibly frustrating. The ideas I shared in my earlier posts are still useful. In fact, they are more relevant now that the platform is focused on ‘real people talking to each other’. In light of certain new developments, I want to share some ideas and strategies that will help you to optimise your presence on the platform. 

Let’s focus on content moderation. Content moderation on Twitter is still facilitated by smart technology, or machine learning systems. But after Elon Musk fired more than 50% of the tech staff, the remaining staff have needed to make adjustments. They need time to write millions of lines of code in order to trial Musk’s hare-brained ideas, or to write useless reports for one of his lackeys. Then, they need to work overtime to press the “undo” button 10,000 times after trials are met with backlash. 

Perhaps their efficient retasking of the smart technology (by making it ultra sensitive) has led to more intense sorting of tweets, keywords, and accounts into silos. Silos are groups of accounts or tweets, based on keywords and common areas of interest. Read more on how sentiment analysis software helps make those decisions.

The system was always sensitive to your scrolling actions. Even a momentary pause is noticed by the software. And it reads your direct messages. Quite a number of people believe that direct messages are “unseen”. And they would be wrong. Everything you type, either in a public tweet, or in a direct message, helps the system to make decisions about the standing of your account. 

One other priority for the smart tech is to eliminate spam. The system is trained to filter out spam aggressively. Musk wants more organic views from your account, and if the system is overwhelmed by spam, you will not see his tweets. 

Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted out this dot which generated news headlines and over 52 million views.

Based on observations of user accounts, the best way to get added to a spam list is to send lots of private messages to tweeters who don’t reply back. Other actions? Overtweeting, tweeting the same media (image, GIF, video) multiple times in a day, or replying to tweets and not getting a reply back. These are some actions which are read by the system as either “not engaging with other accounts” or “tweeters don’t like this account”. 

Remember what I said about accounts getting siloed? If your account (A) does any of the above actions and engages with another account (B), this account (B) will be flagged as, “account B is attracting spam accounts like A.” Then, people engaging with B’s tweets will be added to a list marked “accounts interacting with this account B which is in the group with account A”. This is a weird chain reaction that has affected a lot of perfectly legitimate accounts. And it’s unfair.

The phenomenon of people locking their Twitter account with the hope that it will improve engagement is a strange phenomenon. They’re performing a digital ritual to make themselves seen. Doing a little rain dance, but they’re trying to summon views instead of precipitation.

Deprived of any meaningful power, people have become convinced their only influence lies in the visibility of their content. So of course they’re willing to try these little tricks and quasi-spells to spread their content and maximize their power.

Originally tweeted by Travis View (@travis_view) on February 1, 2023.

Recently, quite a few tweeters (including me) have tried locking our accounts to test the idea that our tweets would be further boosted among our subscribers. This worked very well, but it is a glitch and only a temporary fix. Fortunately, I have tested more reliable ways for you to fix your engagement. They’re presented here in no particular order.

  • Block spam accounts as soon as they follow you. Or, remove their follow from your settings on the desktop device/web browser. Do not unfollow many accounts at once, as this will look spammy. Go slowly.  
  • If you already get lots of engagement on your tweets, start restricting replies to people you follow. This will prevent bots from leaving comments on your tweets. Again, bot replies will make your account look spammy if you don’t hide them. 
  • Reply to everyone who comments on your tweets. 
  • Ask subscribers to turn on notifications for your tweets. Only ask for this if you don’t tweet every 10 minutes. Imagine hundreds of people rage blocking you for constantly interrupting them. You will feel bad, so think twice about this. 
  • Use the “following” tab to find active users. Reply to their tweets and invite a response. After 4 – 6 hours, go to your profile and delete replies (and tweets) that received no views or likes. Some people you follow are too busy to reply because they are busy tweeting. You can tell by the cascade of consecutive tweets (not part of a thread) that show up in your feed.
  • Ask more of your followers to subscribe to your blog (because you have one). And remind them to keep up with you that way. Remember that owning your own domain is the best engagement hack ever. 

Twitter is in utter chaos at the moment, but remember that it is a private company devoted to serving its owner’s emotional needs. He needs a breathtaking amount of attention. When I was writing notes for this post, he had posted a dot to his timeline, and it has already generated 52 million views. We are all enablers at this point. And until Elon Musk decides to let someone new play with his joystick, he will remain our fiercest competitor. 

Postscript: February 10, 2023. Another day, another dot tweet. If it is not yet obvious that Mr Musk seeks validation in Twitter engagement (views, likes, retweets, comments), here you go. When the personality decides what the algorithms will prioritise, it is helpful to focus on what is driving the person’s behaviour.

Update: February 11, 2023. Article on Elon Musk throwing a tantrum over low view counts for his tweets. Underscores the purpose of the “point” tweets. And I reiterate the point I made in the beginning of this post – Musk’s motivation is to get attention. Quite a lot of system errors, glitches and outages are caused by the lack of staff to monitor servers that run the platform. But a qualified engineer was fired for not saying what the boss wanted to hear. People are right to focus on the man himself if these are his priorities.

Update: February 15, 2023. Daily Beast is reporting (from a report on Platformer) that Elon did actually mess with Twitter algorithm to juice his own numbers. Adding this here because I was told that Mr Musk’s personality had NOTHING to do with navigating the algorithm. In other words, my initial analysis, which is that Mr Musk’s plan was to use Twitter to poke the eyeballs of all active users on the platform, was correct. And this would be obvious to anyone paying attention to his tweets (like this one his tech staff jacked up to 55 million impressions). At this point being part of this billionaire’s glorification milk tea party is really a choice to remain uninformed. And in response to allegations, here is the tweet from Mr Musk’s account acknowledging that he ordered his staff to mess with the algo so everyone would see his tweets in their feed. I find this quite disgusting.

Update: February 28, 2023. This drama keeps devolving and I’m here for it. I thought mansplaining had died out with the #metoo era but apparently dinosaurs/throwbacks still roam the earth. This is why I’m adding more evidence that Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, is a giant asshole and this directly affects how Twitter operates. And here we are, look at how he unceremoniously fired the staff who pledged their allegiance. One executive slept on the office floor to deliver the impossible and help him save face after he bought Twitter and made it weird. He fired her, too. But not before doing an informal peer review and destroying the Slack channels which helped the engineers to troubleshoot problems. There are now fewer than 1800 people working at the company and that means, like I said, the machine learning software (smart technology) is mostly running the platform. Therefore, tweeters must be careful about triggering the protocols that will get their accounts shadowbanned or siloed.

Update: April 7, 2023. In a new case of a snake eating it’s tail

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How to market your novel with music

West Port: Intro to Songs for Maitheland (Part I)

Hello, everyone. It is time for another adventure in “how do I market my second novel”. My second fiction novel, which I am calling Maitheland, is wrapped. And, as you know, I have been working on this novel for some time.

The story takes inspiration from romantic flash fiction I wrote for this blog eight years ago. I decided to repackage the story and make one of the main characters a nephew of King Cordial from The Quarter Percent. This time around, I plan to promote the novel with music.

I took my time to finish writing the novel because I had to relaunch, promote, and relaunch my startup again. During that time, social audio became an adventure and I made lots of great connections through this new medium. Some of my new colleagues have been featured here on this blog.

Photo by Maisie Kane

Sidebar: Speaking of social audio, now that Elon Musk owns Twitter, if you’re not on there, kindly dust off your accounts and hop in now because the popcorn drama is on every hour. Not even journalists, clamping their eyeballs on their phone screens, can keep up.

On Thursday morning, Elon cohosted a Twitter Space. A day later, I read a news report that the host, Robin Wheeler, and cohost, Yoel Roth had quit. About two hours after I scheduled this post, I see a tweet from Robin saying that she was still at Twitter. That was too fast. The space was recorded, so you can listen in.

And now, back to promoting my novel. You may remember that my attempts at promoting my first novel, The Quarter Percent, were pure drama. This time, music has been my focus.

Why music? Aren’t you only supposed to read a novel? I wanted to create an immersive experience for readers. The story is sensual and moody, and I think that listeners will appreciate that. There are also lots of soundtrack music fans out there. And I have my own playlist I listen to when I want to concentrate. That is why why I thought this idea would work.

Photo by Marcelo Chagas

After producing a suite of classical tracks for one scene in the novel, Maitheland, I thought about creating EDM tracks related to the story. But as I contemplated the expense of hiring a new team, I asked Google if AI could generate music for me.

The answer was yes, and that was how I found the platform Boomy. Over the course of two days, I created five songs. If you go to my Vimeo channel, you can hear five tracks in the easy listening, loopy style that is really popular on YouTube.

How does all this help with marketing my book and other creative projects? Simply put, presence, exposure, and traffic. My plan is to take advantage of Boomy’s role as my distributor. The platform will submit my work to all of these streaming services:

Rolling hills and river in Iceland, the physical location for my fiction work, Maitheland.
Natural scene from Maitheland

… Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, Google Music, YouTube Music, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Shazam, 24/7, 7 Digital, 8Tracks, Akazoo, Alibaba Music, Amie, Audiomack, AWA, Deezer, EOS, iHeartRadio, iMusica, Kanjian, KKBox, Line Music, Leeway, MediaNet, RealNetworks, NetEase, Neurotic Media, RX Music, Saavn, Slacker, SoundExchange, Tencent Music, Aspiro, TouchTunes, UMA Music, Yandez, and Zvook.

Boomy |About

Have you even heard of some of those platforms?! In other words, based on the uptake, the soundtrack for my novel is going to be available everywhere. And that means (if I have used really good keywords) someone will find my work. Then, if they are intrigued, they will look me up. The first release of five tracks is called Songs for Maitheland Part I. There are four completed tracks, and I am hoping to expand that over the coming few weeks.

At the moment, I am waiting to find out if my music will be accepted by the above streaming platforms. Until then, I am building a presence on Vimeo. The rest is up to you. I hope that you enjoy the sounds of Maitheland.

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Voices from the Metaverse: Thailand’s NFT Community

An imaginative Wednesday cocktail from Z1MPLEX

Greetings, Earthlings. We are back with more art and photography from six of my friends and colleagues in the Metaverse. This post also introduces one of the most organised groups of creators online: The Thai NFT Community. There are many Thai artists on Twitter, and an uncountable number of fascinating projects to enjoy. My timeline speeds by, so I thought it would be best to slow things down and get to know them better.

And as always, please be good enough to follow them on Twitter, where you can see their beautiful artwork in your timeline.

Isreyah Pradabvate
I am a Thai NFT creator and I believe in making this world a better place. If you want that too, please support my artwork because it allows me to give back to communities where I actively engage. My favourite causes are: a positive outlook; sustainability; small community outreach; children’s rights. I use my artwork to deliver messages of support and help those in need.

This sold out project I am sharing with you is called, “My Other Half”. And it is a 1/1 token which I created with my dear friend, 100Acre. She is featured later in this post.

SOLD OUT: My other half project by Isreyah and 100Acre

The story goes, we have a crush on one guy but it will never come true because he is not real. How did we sell this project when there were two creators? We both wanted to be with our darling. Well, we split the illustration into two pieces and named them, “My Other Half”.

The Japanese text on our darling’s chest means “Stay together forever”. Our supporter, astrophotographer Amit Exploring Night Sky, purchased these two tokens without hesitation. He told me that they reminded him of the pendant he gave to his former girlfriend, who is now his wife.

Each half was priced at 0.036 ETH (US $125.76) and we came up with the price because 18 x 2 = 36. The number 18 is a sacred number for longevity in Japanese culture. And guess what? Our collector’s birthday is on the 18th. This felt like a miracle, indeed.

And would you believe that the magic happened during Lily Nicole’s Twitter Space? She drew together beautiful people, energy, and friends to meet there. I feel moved and I appreciate so much how my art could recall the innocent memory of a beautiful couple through my soul sister’s Twitter Space. It goes without saying that our other half doesn’t have to be our dream prince but rather, a bond of sisterhood and friendship, even from afar.

You can follow me on Twitter and stay updated on my work. You may also purchase my non-fungible tokens on the Open Sea platform.

Student of Universe/STU NFT
This is Pete from Student of the Universe NFT Collection project, also called STU NFT. I would like to share with you the story of this community project. I started my NFT journey as a collector around March this year.

In the Thai NFT community, I discovered a lot of amazing NFT art projects. But after I collected and flipped (relisted and sold for a profit) tokens for a while, I felt that I wanted to be part of something bigger. Something that could inspire and change the world in wonderful way.

At that time, Thai artists were not adding utility to their NFT projects. However, I soon found one perfect project that I loved. After collecting a lot of artwork from it, I talked to the artist and found out that we had a lot in common. As a result, we launched a partnership, created a road map of our project, and spun this universe into existence.

Students of the Universe NFT Collection

This is how the Student of the Universe NFT project was born. Our Discord channel was built from August 15, and we launched the collection on Twitter shortly after that.

Here are the core values we plan to put into our project: Deliver great art, create a community of learning, and deliver valuable utilities. I am proud to say that we now have 123 tokens for collectors. View our collection here on Open Sea. And keep up with us on Twitter. We are waiting to meet you.

Jehn’s Bloom
My preferred name online is Jehn. I am a writer, fine artist, and amateur photographer from Thailand. I cherish fragility, gender spectrum inclusion, and divine creation. And I do art based on this concept: ‘Of flower, love and queers’.

I use soft pastels on Indian handcrafted paper and my 10 fingers as a blending tool. These are only the specific combinations which I use. And this is what I do to create a unique effect, which you may have already noticed. Follow me on Twitter and get to know me and my friends.

Hello, I am Zimplex, a mixology cocktail bar owner from Thailand. In my home country, I am known for creating visually stunning cocktail shooters using spirits, liqueurs and syrups. In other words, I love to create artwork in shot glasses.

These drinks have been subsequently visualised into unique and physical generative NFTs. For my main project, I remove the shot glass from each photo by using a retouching tool, and then I let the solid form of cream liqueur stand out.

These are then transformed into mirror-image artwork and video installations like the one embedded below. And, there is my side project, ‘Shooter Monsters’, which is a problem/solution project for those wondering how my cocktails look before I turn them into artwork.

For more delicious drinks, visit me at my bar in Thailand, or follow me on Twitter for updates.

100 Acre
Hello, I am known as 100 Acre in the NFT community, and I am Ploy’s collaborator in our project, “My Other Half”. She was featured at the top of this post. I would like to share my project, 100 Acre Kindergarten, along with some artwork from the collection.

My primary inspiration is my artist alias, 100 Acre, which refers to Winnie the Pooh’s 100 acre wood. The 100 Acre Kindergarten collection is similar to a collection of children’s stories. It was created to be a place where I, as well as those who view my work, can unwind and enjoy life as we did when we were children.

Each token in this collection introduces a new character of an animal universe, with their own personalities and backstories. When the project is complete, there will be 100 characters in total, with 85 being common, 10 being special (coastal area kids), and 5 being rare (parallel world kids).

Thank you for viewing my work. Find me on Twitter where I hope you will also become part of our 100 Acre world.

My name is Wake and I am known as go2skull on Twitter. (My name is pronounced ‘go to school’). The story behind my project is that if you see someone looking for a way forward, and they are in the dark, be a light for them. The Fairy Tales in Postmodern Era project is a retelling of classic fairy tales from the perspective of social activist movements in my country.

Fairytales in the Postmodern era by Go2Skull

I got this concept from my full-time job. I am a teacher in Thailand. I have witnessed efforts there related to student activism in areas such as children’s rights, human rights, bullying, racism and sexism. So I would like to participate by helping to reflect their struggles. My artwork gives me a way to do that. Until wrongs are made right, I will continue on this journey.

¯_( ͡❛ ͜ʖ ͡❛)_/¯

And with that powerful message from Wake, we are at the end of this curated post. I was amazed to discover that some artists are also social activists and community organisers. Isreyah and Pete, thanks for helping to set this up.

There is never enough time to hear everyone’s story in spaces, which is why this post was necessary. I am happy that I was able to discover more about each artist and their worthy causes. My gratitude goes to them for sharing their stories. Best wishes on the road ahead. Thank you, everyone, for reading.

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Instagram’s smart tech is a loving me thing

It is Saturday afternoon and as I write this, I am waiting for a meeting to resume. Unfortunately, two expatriates seated at the far corner of the conference room are talking loudly about assorted bedroom activities. I gather that the man is gay and his friend is a married straight woman. I suppose they are comparing notes?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

It was impossible to hear myself think, so I am standing near an open window to let the sound of traffic drown out their voices. And while I am here, I thought it would be good idea to update you with my Instagram goings on.

At the moment, I’m hardly posting on Instagram. But for the past eight days, every 23 hours to the hour, I see that I have 25 new followers. This exact number, at exactly the same time, tells me that this is the work of a machine. 

Remember that last year, Instagram was burning my posts. And now, after two months on the platform, the smart tech is working for me. I was advised in a Clubhouse room, a couple of months ago, that Instagram was doing a big reset. I was also advised to take advantage because this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. The problem is that I am an introvert and going live on video will never happen. Because of that, I needed a modified approach.

Photo by Tim Gouw

Here is what happened after two months and 18 reels, 3 (15-second) stories daily, no lingerie selfies, and zero live posts. I am at 472 followers. My account is growing every day, so I will continue on this path. (If only Twitter were as malleable).


  1. This is a business account. 
  2. I do not pay for ads which means that all of my engagement is organic. 
  3. All of the new followers brought over from Instagram’s smart tech are 85% artists in the NFT community, 5% follower boosting accounts and 10% crypto investors. 
  4. Quite a number of my other followers are from Clubhouse. The apps share data with each other. Instagram will automatically suggest my account to anyone following me over there and vice versa.
Photo by Fiona Art

Posts and engagement  

  1. After my first five posts, I started posting reels in the form of animated videos showcasing my artwork. 
  2. Avoid captions. Only a few of my reels have them. Instead, I tell a story in a slideshow or MP4 video. 
  3. Nearly zero hashtags on posts or reels. Instagram treats hashtags like spam. 
  4. Edit all videos or images (to create a slideshow) in the IG native editor using filters.
  5. Add music and carefully choose clips within the song to match the story. Music choice is the number one compliment I have received so far. People seem to have a positive emotional reaction my artwork because of the music. 
  6. Repost my own reels/posts to stories. 
  7. Hashtags only in stories – limited to one per story and this is always NFT related. 
  8. Follow back as many accounts as possible. Check occasionally to make sure that all followed accounts are active. 
  9. Restrict spammy, fake looking accounts and never follow sales people (crypto investors). 
  10. Reply to all comments and respond to private messages. Delete messages I don’t want to answer. Accounts look spammy if they don’t talk to each other. 
  11. Mute accounts that post more than 5 reels in one hour. These kinds of accounts rarely engage with my posts. Then I look spammy to the smart tech. 
  12. Visit new followers’ profiles and engage with posts. 
  13. Engage with my timeline. Hide, mute, like or share posts to friends.
  14. Join live broadcasts even for a few minutes. Send comments and reactions while there. This signals that I am a real person.
  15. Engage with my followers’ stories by sending reactions and comments. Gauge feedback to these and mute accounts that are not responsive. 
  16. Remix posts from active followers and share them to my stories. Add music, fun stickers, gifs, scribbles, text and mentions.
  17. When a follower adds the above remix in their stories, immediately share to my stories.
  18. Use voice memos or calls where possible. 
Photo by Steve Johnson

If you are interested in testing this approach, try it on your Instagram account. I must point out that I am niche specific. I am an artist in the NFT community. I focus on graphic design and I’m interested in paintings from visual artists. And though I never tell Instagram what my specific niches are by using captions or hashtags, the smart tech introduced me to blockchain specialists, abstract painters and 3D/animation artists in the NFT space. Then, bear in mind that I spend no more than 30 minutes a day creating at least three stories. I also respond to all of my messages.

No selfies, no bikinis, no bare butts. Only plenty of good music, interesting stickers, and artwork to inspire me. Best of luck.

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A reel turnaround

Hello everyone. I am sending happy weekend vibes to you. As you might guess from the title, I’m back on Instagram. Does anyone remember last year how I spent three days on Instagram and then spent another four trying to deactivate my account because they kept burning hashtags and deleting my posts?

On Wednesday, I downloaded the app again and created a fresh new business account. My experience is much more pleasant because I’m not using captions or hashtags. Instead, my method for increasing my engagement has been to make demands and threats. This has worked so far.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I get asked daily why I am not on Instagram, so I created this business account to connect with professionals I meet through social audio.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to make friends with someone who works with Google to train business owners to use Instagram for marketing. Thus, I have a strong incentive to not toss my phone out the window.

Instagram’s smart tech is impressive, something Marvin Stone would have approved of. I’ve only been on there for three days, not scrolling or searching for anything, and it showed me my favourite dish: charcoal grilled eel on sticky rice. The person who posted the image also has his headquarters at Starbucks and like me, he has the same drink every time he goes there. I had better behave or that thing is going to publish all of my secrets.

So in one of the scenes for my upcoming novel, I wrote about a social media application that shows only one post at a time. One of the characters, Mimi Hollingsbrook, is preparing for her work day. Because she works in the Royal Household as Baby Pudding’s nanny, she has agreed to keep a low profile on social media. Against her better judgement, she decides to look at her feed, and notices something in a caption from a famous influencer. She has a meltdown after reading it. Within a few minutes, her response, which is full of expletives, gains 5 million likes. This prompts her to permanently archive her account. In a later scene, Mimi is given a taste of power when a quarter percenter asks her to decide about that influencer’s future.

When writing notes about the social media applications I would be using in the story, I thought about reactions from readers. I was convinced that this feature would never be adopted in the real world. However, at the moment, the trend is to be super minimalist on Instagram, with as few posts as possible. At this rate, if I don’t hurry up and finish drafting, I will be publishing historical fiction.

In further news, I have been sucked into the vortex and I am now managing my social audio apps on two phones. One for Clubhouse, Discord and Twitter, and the other one for Greenroom and Instagram. That’s because one of the apps keeps crashing if I’m in audio spaces on two others. (Don’t ask). Juggling two phones might look cool on TV but I’m an introvert, so it does not feel right.

Why, oh why couldn’t I have found a marketing firm that was good at their job? I could’ve been friendlessly redrafting my new book right now.

Please send prayers. Thank you.

artificial intelligence technology women writing

Clubhouse v Greenroom: Tuesday AM Beef

Where two or more humans are gathered on a social media platform, there will be beef. And, on Tuesday morning, social audio delivered two servings of beef to me before I even got out of bed.

It started when I woke up at 1 AM to have some water. I checked my phone and noticed an invitation to join a Greenroom networking session. The room looked like an exploded space ship. Avatars were floating about, and all mics were muted. In the notifications was a hyperlink to an adjacent Clubhouse networking session, so I beamed myself in. After saying hello to the group, I bid everyone a good night and promised to visit again.

Five hours later, I was awake. Now, I checked new messages in a Discord server for creators. Almost all of the members were posting screen captures of notifications showing that they had been blocked from entering one particular room on Greenroom. These individuals were all button-down suburban types, and not ratchet gang-gang Crips v Blood folk. The person accused of starting the drama was a new member of the server. I thought that for sure, the server was under attack (!) so I sent a message to the administrator.

Seconds later, I was back in the Clubhouse room from earlier that morning because I wanted to see if the group was still active. I noticed that the room had a different title, and that the host was discussing the blocking incident. He explained how groups worked to “steal networks” from influencers. The app is only three weeks old, but Evil never rests. I turned off my phone, put it on my desk, and went to work.

As I reflected on the storm that was swirling in my phone, it occurred to me that burnout on social media is caused by emotional attachments to vanity metrics. In the end, these metrics are a rendering of specific data points in virtual space. Many of us do not have a clear purpose for using social media applications. Too often, we misuse them and then blame “social media” for dampening our creative spirit.

I reminded myself that I should focus on communicating with the smart technology that runs these platforms. And how do I define effective communication on each platform? Knowing that they have different functions, learning what they require for sustenance, and feeding them.

On Sunday, for example, I practised a focused detachment on Twitter. Applying a formula to composing my tweets, I noticed that each one was retweeted. Then, I focused on networking on Greenroom. In a short time, I got a dozen new follows. These individuals searched for my profile on Clubhouse and followed me there, too. Stress level? Zero.

Yesterday, I took a break from my tested formulae to whine about “rude people”. My tweet was ignored. I allowed myself to get irritated by a creepy person leering at an attractive woman posing in underwear. I was taking things personally, and not being purposeful about promoting my business. No-one followed me. I promised to manage my time better.

To be honest, Tuesday’s incidents were nonstarters and quite boring. But I could see how people get addicted to feelings and then lose sight of their objectives. On Wednesday morning, everyone had moved on, so Tuesday’s energy expenditure was nullifed.

There is nothing I can do to convince anyone to feel less possessive over imaginary fiefdoms populated by the digital imprints of purported people. Perhaps my scepticism is based on the understanding that anything existing in electronic form can be made up, invented, copied, duplicated, forged, faked and reproduced. And it goes without saying that given how easy it is to do all of that, beefing over vanity metrics means next to nothing if you cannot convince your followers to show up for you when and where it matters.