Social Media.

One of my favorite books is Tintin. By now I’ve read it so many times I almost know it by heart. The imaginary events happen in the safe distance of the imaginary past, it’s soothing to see the familiar characters do the same simple thing every night when I use the book to put me to sleep after my complicated day of the complex modern times.

But then I slowly discover that the book is not that disconnected from the present. It turns out, the annoying character Jolyon Wagg from the Rock Bottom Insurance is a radio amateur. You know that character, right? Jolyon Wagg who wants to be at the heart of every conversation, quoting his uncle Anatole, telling and laughing at his own jokes, while trying to sell you his crappy insurance, you know that guy? Well, the way I started to see it, Jolyon Wagg is the first Social Media type. He desperately wants to be connected with other people, forcing his company on people who don’t seek it. So it is no surprise he is a radio amateur.

My uncle Jānis was a radio amateur, too. He would work for weeks to build an apparatus that would receive and send radio signals. It was illegal in Soviet Union to have such an apparatus unsupervised. But Jānis still took the risks. Sometimes by chance I would overhear what he is talking about to other radio amateurs. It was not about much, sort of ‘what are you doing there’ kind of thing.

I realize now what Jānis and Jolyon Wagg have in common with millions of Facebook users – the understanding that there are amazing amounts of people who are doing something just as you are doing something too, and curiosity to find out what that other thing that they are doing is. A strong desire to synchronize the simultaneity.

The problem with Jolyon Wagg is that he projects his personality on everything his hears through his radio. He is incapable of hearing a serious call for help. Like in the panel below:



Facebook is a tool to synchronize simultaneouty. Instead of milking a cow or going for a walk in a Owl’s Head park we all are on Facebook, clicking, liking, sharing, commenting in almost synchronized actions.

Like Jolyon Wagg, a lot of Facebook users try to sell something, tell tacky jokes and dont hear a call for help. Recently, I became one of such users.

To explain such a deterioration of the state of my Facebook matters, I have to explain the financial matters of “Rocks In My Pockets” : we are $30 000 short and won’t be able to finish the film without that money. The Grand Plan is to have a 30 day Kickstarter campaign in January. But as I had mentioned here before, knowing 200 people that would give $10 each is not going to do. We need to know 3000 people who’d give $10 each. Besides, Kickstarter takes 5%, and we’ll have expenses of running the campaign (postage, time, rent, internet access, PR advise and what not), so we have to make sure we raise at least $40 000 to get the $30 000 we need. It means we have to reach out to 4000 people. As I said, I know only 200 who would give their hard earned $$ to “Rocks”.

So I went to the smartest person I know about Social Media matters – Reid Rosefelt – who’s panel at Woodstock Film Festival on how to manage Facebook to the most benefit for your film at just blew me away. Reid gave me a really advise and is guiding me through the difficult water of mastering Social Media, namely, Facebook.

It means: creating “Rocks In My Pockets” Facebook page and pleading for ‘likes’. For a person who can make 80 drawings a day this seems VERY unproductive and out of her control – I can make 80 drawings any time I want, but I can’t make people ‘like’ this page.

It means: creating some funny pictures that people might want to share. What people want to share on Facebook is shrouded in mystery to me. Cat pics? Yes. Cute baby pics? Yes. Artwork? hmm… Can I post cute cat pics to advertise my film? is that even legal? Would cats sue me? Here’re a couple of pics I thought people would like to share. What do you think? Is THIS shareable?

Other uses for Food

Caption This!

It means: putting those pics on Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest. Does anyone care? A dead silence from those Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest people. My art sucks.

It means: spending 12 hours a day looking through the 14 short films I’ve made and screen capturing the stills for future Facebook posts. Extremely unproductive as this is looking at the past rather to the future. I don’t care much for the past. On the hour 8th of such “work” I am ready to EXPLODE.

In the last week I haven’t produced anything worth of noting. If this continues, I’ll truly lose my mind. Being productive is what keeps me sane.

Also, in the times where one is not considered seriously if he/she doesn’t have Social Media on his/her side (Obama went on Reddit, Romney didn’t and see what happened at elections 2102) even a more mentally stable person indeed is in danger of losing his/her mind. At the Facebook age we are forced to ignore Dunbar’s number. 150 is the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with at a level of mental and emotional comfort. Everything above that stresses us out and endangers our well being. I have 1400 Facebook friends. I had sent 87 personal emails to 87 people yesterday. I am losing my mind.



About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
This entry was posted in Fundraising, The Work in Progress, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Social Media.

  1. Jud says:

    Hehehehehee… Welcome to the frustrating world of social media!
    BRB- gotta go friend you on FB!



  2. Og Nogsby says:

    Facebook will be the death of us all!

  3. Esteban says:

    Hey Signe,
    We’re connected on LinkedIn. There’s a lot of hype about social media, but the truth is, “Likes” and “Followers” doesn’t really mean much. People on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., like and follow hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles and their walls are littered updates. Getting any real interaction from places like that is like trying to sell t-shirts in a mall.

    The best example of social media explained to me was this: Think of it as a stream of water that you can put your feet into. When you want to know what’s going on, step in. But trying to chase it and you’ll end up in the ocean.

    You do this with your blog; when you have something to say or share, you post. It’s meaningful and worth more than a constant blast of redundancy.

    Social media is over rated. Just be authentic.


    • Esteban, I completely agree!
      I do want to use social media to connect with people who like the kind of work I do and have similar sense of humor (peculiar). There is a lot to learn…
      Thank you for your thoughtful message!
      see you on Facebook!
      : )

  4. Kate says:

    It is frightening to think we’re all turning into self absorbed Jolyon Waggs! Of course the frustration of all this social media is making me swear like Captain Haddock.

  5. I feel like I wrote this! I’m certainly living it. Make art or post pictures and manage email lists??? Ugh.

    • Is there another way to do it?
      I am trying to see the positives in this tragic waste of time – that I am forced to formulate/communicate what I do in 16 different ways… I hope it makes me more intelligent, although it feels dumb.

      • animjunky says:

        The up side is that if I can get my rhythm down to post weekly on the progress I’m making it can be very encouraging. The down side is how depressed I get when it gets away from me. :). So. . . I’m trying to make it “one thing” that I do packaged in 16 different ways (or maybe just 3 or 4) The problem is when I begin to connect “likes” with the fate of my film. Done well I think FB can take the edge off the isolation of independent film making. It can even grow interest and a potential audience. Weather it can be the central funding mechanism remains to be seen. Ultimately I think my funding will have come from a combination of grants, donors and crowd sourcing.

      • YES my funding also comes from a combination of grants, donors and crowd sourcing.
        Crowd sourcing, though, is the tricky part. The key is in the name ‘CROWD sourcing”. You have to have an enthusiastic crowd to do that kind of funding.

      • Esteban says:

        When I started out in music, one venue told us that we needed to bring our own crowd to shows or we wouldn’t get paid. As a new band, no one had ever heard of our music, so how were we to bring a crowd to a show?

        One of the musicians that I still admire to this day said something like “the songs are the menu, but the show is the meal.” Even though we had songs online, photos, Twitter and Facebook posting, the reality was that no one knew nor cared who we were. What helped gain some notoriety was touring. Playing at shows, no matter how small, got ourselves out of the online space and into people’s faces.

        That’s the problem with social media. There’s a loss of connection to you as an artist, and them as a viewer. Crowd funding is the same way. The Goon was able to get successful funding from Kickstarter because it already had a fan base via the comic books. But how does an independent with limited resources bring a crowd and shine above the well established places?

        I think fund raising requires that personal touch. But I’ve never successfully funded anything. :/

  6. Oooh, Esteban, you are so painfully right!
    But FB is still a good place to rile up people who had seen your work in the past – I looked up the FB page of Gogol Bordello, they have loads of fans and they engage with them on that page on almost everyday basis….

  7. Blue says:

    I’ve read numerous comments by other artists who say they’ve never sold anything via Facebook or Twitter etc…. it’s also strange to think that you can stand on any street in NYC and see more people passing by in a few minutes than people in medieval times saw in their entire lives…. in these times when everyone is using social media, everyone becomes a blur in everyone else’s lives…my current strategy is to use my time and energy to make contact with specific people who I think could be helpful to my career, and I to theirs… as you say, I’d rather be creating than “socializing”….

    • Blue, that is so true – that “everyone becomes a blur in everyone else’s lives”.
      I have stood on West Broadway selling my art, the analogy of stream of people passing by is familiar. It is not unsimilar to fishing. You stand by the stream for hours and when you catch the fish you have a chance to establish deep meaningful contact. Fish stops being just a blur and gives you food.
      : )

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