May 2, 2008 Jill

I never wrote anything for television that raised this kind of passion.

On Blue Murder, Cal Coons and I wrote a two-parter about a string of abortion doctor murders. that came down hard on the pro-lifers. Blue had an audience in the million range back then and the thing still airs. Nary a hate mail.

When I was on Metropia, which admittedly had a far smaller audience, we used 50 euphemisms for cunnilingus. Even the broadcaster didn’t blink.

But put a character on Facebook and send out an offer of friendship to people?! That created a furor.

To be fair, it wasn’t just any people Ali and Simon friended. They friended the entire writing community and a lot more strangers without consequence. It was when they friended new-media-marketing-guru-types that the controversy started.

One of the most offended, Eden Spodek, states her case in this post on one of her blogs, One Degree.

I know lots of people are afraid of making friends on the web. But thourhg the internet the world wide community of writers connected, communicated and become more cohesive, especially during the WGA strike. It is an atmosphere of creative support. Through this blog I have built friendships with some fantastic writers around the world. Their generousity amazes me.

The social networking gurus and evagenlists? Not so much.

Worth considering if you’re thinking of creating for the digital space.

Comments (8)

  1. Eden Spodek

    I’m in awe of your talent. I’m not sure I was one of the most offended, just one of the most vocal.

    I think if you got to know some of the social networking community better, you’d see we’re a pretty friendly bunch. Perhaps we’re a bit more rule-oriented though.

  2. admin

    You’re absolutely right, vocal is a better word.

    We have rules too, but they’re just different ones. And our jargon is different too. The trick is going to be to learn each other’s cultures.

  3. I’m a new media type (not sure about the marketing) and I think your work sounded genius!

    I’m sorry narrowed-minded types at Facebook shut down the fun and really inventive use of the medium.

    This has all happened before several years ago, however, with Friendster and the “Fakester” controversy.

    Perhaps this is all the growing pains of a new medium? Perhaps you started the equivalent of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast?

    Either way congratulations on your really innovative, creative work. I hope there’s some way to keep track of your future projects, as I’d love to know your next one!?!

  4. It’s the end of a very busy Friday and my Facebook friend Bill Cunningham just sent me a Tequila shot to signal Miller time…

    But it’s not a REAL Tequila shot. It’s like a picture of one. How does Facebook ban fake people but allow the serving of fake alcohol?

    Not only that, but then they tell all of Cunningham’s friends and all of mine that Bill just sent over a drink. Some of those people probably now think we’re GAY! What gives Facebook the right to let everybody know who I’m having pretend cocktails with?

    Even if I did or didn’t check some box they have, there are privacy laws in Canada that the government isn’t forcing Facebook to adhere to. How come my fake happy hour is up there for anybody to read but any fake character I create is not?

    And while we’re talking about fake alcohol. Is the trading of said drinks allowed for Facebook members under the age of 21 in most states, 19 in Ontario and 18 in a couple of other provinces? Does this practice not encourage the use of alcohol by minors?

    Or is that part of Facebook trying to appeal to some of its marketers?

  5. Kelly

    The reason everyone I know has migrated from MySpace to FaceBook is that MS is overrun with fake profiles and bands looking for “friends”, and FB still works as an actual social networking site.

    It’s been a while since I signed up at FB, but what does the TOS you agree to say about fake profiles?

    In sum, while it sucks that your work is gone, I don’t see this as some huge wrong committed against you.

  6. Kelly

    Wow, I hadn’t read the posts you linked to before my above comment.

    I’m really taken aback that you describe the One Degree author as “one of the most offended”, a term that certainly verges on implying that you think she’s unreasonable. Her post, in actual fact, strikes me as completely neutral in tone.

    On the other hand, where you describe Hey Writer Boy’s post as being full of “passion”, I would probably use other words, like “seriously cranky”.

    For the record, I had no prior acquaintance with either blog.

  7. admin

    I think you’re right and I think I must have misused the work offended. It was the wrong word and really cranked up the stakes. I thought the word was more neutral than it is and I didn’t mean it to inflame the situation like it did. As a writer, I should know better.

  8. MJReid

    In response to Kelly, the fact that Jill’s work is gone IS a huge wrong committed against her, and I continue to be amazed at her tact, diplomacy and forbearance. It’s also a huge wrong committed against anyone who was involved in those wonderful, clever first steps, as well as anyone who might have gotten enjoyment from them at a future date.
    That’s what many of the ‘marketing crowd’ are missing. It’s a disconnect between the money people and not only the creatives but also the audience (sorry, CONSUMERS) they’re supposedly concerned with.

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