Social Media, Technology and Magic

Posted on November 1, 2012
Filed Under Magic | 2 Comments

Recently Jason from the Wild Hunt reported that Scarlet Imprint is leaving Facebook. Scarlet Imprint offered their own explanation of leaving Facebook as well as a critique of technology. Finally here is a report on how Facebook’s changes in terms of reach have affected people and businesses, specifically in terms of cost involved in order to reach your entire fan base. I don’t care for how Facebook has changed the ability of a given business or person to reach his/her followers, which is why I think its important to use multiple social media, but I’m also not going to write FB off just yet.

Scarlet Imprint decries technology and social media as a dumbing down of magic and claim they wouldn’t be online if it wasn’t for the press. Perhaps they wouldn’t be. They go on to argue that people who discuss their magical work online are diminishing their work. That’s the gist of their message. It’s ironic then how much modern technology they do use, but they likely have realized that a business that isn’t online is less likely to be discovered.

They’d no doubt be appalled that I take a different tact. I’m one of those magicians who likes incorporating technology and pop culture into magic. I’m one of those “low” magicians. I think Facebook and other social media can be useful for sharing information and I think its good to get the information out there to people who might otherwise never be exposed to it. I even think its possible to apply magic to social media (a subject for a book). I don’t think its wise to write off social media and while I think they make some valid points it all comes off as elitist. That may be a compliment for them.

I’d definitely like it if Facebook went back to letting businesses reach their fans without charging for it, but I’m still going to post on Facebook and on social media in general. After all, its thanks to social media that I have really found my fan base. Pre-social media, I honestly wondered who was reading my work and/or what they were doing with it. Social media showed me what people are doing and gave me a chance to answer their questions and comment on their work. I don’t see that as a diminishing return, but rather as a chance connect with people who appreciate my work and want to stay dialed into what I am doing.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

2 comments
Justin Patrick Moore
Justin Patrick Moore like.author.displayName 1 Like

I read Scarlet Imprint's blog post on this and was quite impressed.  You won't find me on Facebook, though I do use some other social media like podcasts and a blog.  I also use Google+ on a limited basis, but that's probably because I already have my blog feeds and email through their other services. I also am stepping into Goodreads which is another social media site -but one where the focus is on books. The reasons I'm not on Facebook specifically are numerous and I won't go into them here. I'm pretty much in agreement with what Scarlet Imprint said about "cognitive load". Some people might be able to handle that kind of load better than others. For me there is also  And while the open source movement definitely has its perks, a lot of great innovation comes from isolating your company or yourself to really hone in on what you are creating. Doing things in "secret" while in the development stage has its advantages. Yet once something is out I think its good to share it. The internet has made that easier, and I really like being able to communicate with other Mages whom I might not otherwise have ever come in contact with. I just prefer to do it over blogs and in forums where the focus is often sharper. 

I do think magic can be applied to technology. And I'm also a fan of Pop Culture magic, though most of my tastes are generally pretty different from what many might consider Pop Culture. I go to the avant-garde for the most part, but I've had magical experiences with Doctor Who and have learned a lot from pulp-ular science fiction and fantasy novels -dammit if it ain't some of the best literature out there. 

I recommend to anyone who would like to see the potentials of the internet be realized while avoiding some of its inherent pitfalls the book by Jaron Lanier "You Are Not A Gadget". He critiques much of the social media sphere from the point of view of someone who has worked extensively with programming, computers, and virtual reality. 

As you can see I am not an Adept at expressing myself in 140 characters or less.