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  • Nelda Bedford Gaydou


Moving along, it was time for the next terrace of my own SMP, to wit, mastering the use of hashtags. What is SMP, you ask? No, it’s not Statutory Maternity Pay (which I could have used back in the day), Survival Multiplayer (a server my gaming grandchildren might use for playing Minecraft) or Symmetric Multiprocessing (computerese for an architecture in which two or more processing units share the same memory). My acronym stands for Social Media Purgatory.

Calico (my teenage granddaughter’s artistic alias) had already guided me through setting up a public Instagram account, choosing a name and attaching a profile image. Now she held up her hand, palm out, before I could put pen to paper.

“You can’t just put whatever. First, we need to look at popular hashtags already in use”.

Ignoring my blank look, she fiddled expertly in her own Instagram account.

“Here we are. Remember, the words should be run together—no spaces. Mind you, you shouldn’t use more than three or four in each post.”

She began rattling off suggestions and I obediently took them down:

I timidly put forth some of my own ideas for my graphic novel for her approval:

“OK. You’re getting the idea.”

“So where, exactly, do you put the hashtags?”, I asked.

“They can appear in any part of the post."

"However,” she warned, “you are still not ready to start posting. You need a good post to introduce yourself and your work, and then maybe each book.”

Needless to say, that brought me up short. I had to come up with an appealing image and a short, snappy, and yet captivating kickoff for my account. I decided to let the ideas stew in my subconscious for a while before trying to put something together.

Meanwhile, I did some busy work to feel productive. I copied and pasted images of all my book covers into the Poster Purgatory document on my computer, along with their respective Amazon links. A photograph of all my published books together would be useful. What would be a nice background? Should they be side by side or fanned out? Sigh…

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