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This will be the second time I’ll be giving a mention to wattpad.com on this blog. The first time, I concentrated on the people behind the platform. I have taken time to socialize on the platform and this time around, I will be beaming my torch light on the people using wattpad and the Animal Farm complex that hovers just below the surface.
Animal Farm?
For those who missed out on when the education system was designed to educate, Animal Farm is a literary masterpiece that depicted the inequality that is inherent in any society.
Wattpaders are symptomatic of this Animal Farm complex in subtle shades. Come with me as we walk into the social dynamics of ‘these’ people. You are going to enjoy this but put at the back of your mind that this is still about reviewing a website/platform and seeing how it can be optimized to give out its best to users.
Basic Info: How Wattpad Works
It is a platform that brings readers and writers together, making readers out of writers and writers out of readers, allowing for both osmosis and diffusion to take place within a singular state of different concentrates (I challenge you to come up with a more original description).
Heavy Vs Lite
There are people who have chalked up to half a million reads/eyeballs. That is, what they have written and posted on the platform has been read at least 500,000 times. These are the heavies.
Then there are people who have less than 30 reads. These poor souls are the extra lite.
Yet again, the heavies have some huge following while as you will expect, the extra lite as so lite that you can drink 15 crates without felling tipsy. What does this difference imply? A lot.
Follow/Do Not Follow dichotomy
People who have so mush (sorry, I meant to say much, although I think it should actually be many) people following them tend to follow fewer people (too few) when compared to those following them. It is like twitterverse 2.
The massive number of reads means they will get massive and increased following. At the same time, they are no longer obliged to follow those that follow them. Neither are they obliged to personalize their messages. Rather they use Blackberry Broadcast to announce one thing or the other (BTW, a word of advice to wattpadders that want to join the heavies, slow down on your broadcasts and go for personalized messages PM. And if you want to tell everybody or all your followers something, use the bottom page of your next update to do so or go back on your last posting, click on edit and place it at the bottom, bold it so that it would be different from the story).
This reminds me of twitterverse culture where all the star has to do is twit and beehive of followers will buzz round their every character.
In case you do not know (i.e. talking to the heavies), you are perpetrating a subculture, importing something that should not be because the makeup of wattpad (where everyone is a potential writer and reader) implies that a more socially homogenous and integrated system should apply. That is, come down your high horse and interact with your fellow writers and readers.
Drawing/Fishing for Relevance
Simple. All you need do is read a chapter and post and incisive comment. It may be a one liner but this is not usually the case. That said, what you should focus on is the incisiveness of your comment. Being flippant or sounding trite DOES NOT WORK HERE. This is not to say people do not do and get away with it.
If you can do this, you would be throwing the right night into the sea and you could catch a ton of fish (too bad you cannot currently look at stats to see how many people check out your profile page, that will give you an idea of how relevant you are becoming, aside from you followers. For the record, I was only joking about adding the G+ profile page view stat).
Drwing/Fishing for comment/stars
There are some who actually ask you to read. And there is nothing wrong in doing this as long as you do not come off sounding beggarly.
The golden rule applies here. Do unto other what you want done to you. so it becomes a tit for tat issue. I scratch your back and you scratch mine. This is vain. Ideally, it should not be the case but politeness (well, it is polite to return a ‘favor’), personal interest (they will come back to vote on your next installment), we-are-the-little-guys/us-against-them mentality and other issues compels this tit for tat to continue unabated.
So what the we have in a nutshell?
A platform that is on its part to completely replicating our offline societal structure of the Haves and the Have Nots.
A platform that allows for soft scheming as one of the unstated basis of interaction between members.
A website that is streaked with a competitiveness that is not yet bordering on the unhealthiness (emphasis on the not yet).
It piques my interest to see how they will nip this at the bud and that is dependent on whether they see these things as issues to address.