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Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

Paige Nick on writer’s block, writer’s envy and writing sex

To celebrate this year’s Homebru Selection – which showcases South African authors – Exclusive Books has been hosting a series of Twitter Town Halls.

During the Town Hall, anybody is able to ask the authors questions, using the hashtag specific to the Q&A.

Bontle Senne (#BontleTalks) was first up on 8 June, and Paige Nick (#PaigeTalks) and Alex Eliseev (#AlexTalks) took to Twitter today to discuss their latest books.

Next up will be Keryn Krige and Gus Silber (#Disruptors) on 22 June at 12 PM and Mpho Tshukudu and Anna Trapido (#EatTing) on 29 June at 12 PM.

A Million Miles from NormalThis Way UpPens Behaving BadlyDeath By CarbsDutch Courage


Paige Nick is the author of a number of books, most recently Death By Carbs and Dutch Courage, which is featured in the Homebru Selection.

Read what Nick had to say about writer’s block, her earliest reading experience, and her favourite authors.

She also has some valuable advice for budding writers:


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Great stories are found in unexpected human contact, not online – Rahla Xenopoulos

Rahla Xenopoulos

How is the online world depriving us of great storytelling? Do you think we can’t find good stories online? Why is truth so important in good storytelling? Should brands apply the same principles to their storytelling?

TribeAt the 2015 Digital Edge Live conference, African adverising mouthpiece Adlip sat down with writer Rahla Xenopoulos to ask these important questions.

“I think, as human beings, we are losing one another. We’re losing the connection that we need to have with one another to find great stories,” Xenopoulos says.

“I think you find the great stories in the eye contact you get with the man who sells homeless talk on the side of the road; you find the great stories in the coincidental account you have with the woman who packs your groceries at Pick n Pay.

“It’s unexpected meetings, where you have communication, where you find unexpected great stories.”

However, she is not dismissive of all time spent online. The author goes on to say that she believes there are aspects of great stories online, vignettes even, but warns that real inspiration can only really be found “with one another”.

Xenopoulos’s latest book, Tribe, was published by Umuzi last year. In this video, she explains how the book highlights the negative side of our ever-expanding digital addiction and how it offers a possible solution to the problem.

“We need to disconnect in order to be human, and in order to connect. The book I brought out now is very much about a group of people who are trying to connect in a disconnected world and they know that they have to plug out to in order to plug in with one another.”

Watch the video:

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Emma Sadleir on the DJ Sbu Forbes Cover Drama: Why Retweeting Creates Responsibility (Podcast)

Don't Film Yourself Having SexDon’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media co-author and social media law expert Emma Sadleir spoke to Stephen Grootes about the recent drama surrounding DJ Sbu, where he retweeted and broadcast a doctored image showing him and his Faya bevarage on the cover of Forbes magazine.

Sadleir explains why disclaimers such as “tweets are my own” and “retweets are not endorsements” in Twitter bios are “not worth the internet they are written on” and says that DJ Sbu’s defence does not hold. In layman’s terms, Sadleir says:

“If you can stop the publication, but you choose not to, then you are responsible for it.”

Listen to the podcast for important insight to intellectual property, copyright and social media law – specifically relating to reposts, retweets and sharing other people’s content on your own platforms:


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Lauren Beukes to be Featured as One of Many Prolific Authors in 2015 Twitter Fiction Festival (11-15 May)

Broken MonstersLauren Beukes, author of Broken Monsters, has announced that she will be taking part in the Twitter Fiction Festival this year. This is the third time the festival, which is held entirely on Twitter, will take place. Beukes was part of the festival, curating

Authors and ordinary people take part in the celebration of writing and creative story-telling. This year high-profile participants include Chuck Wendig, author of The Cormorant and a number of horror, fantasy and science fiction books and screenplays; and prolific prize-winning poet and novelist and most recently author of MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood. Other featured authors include Jackie Collins, Lemony Snicket, Beth Cato, Eric Jerome Dikey, Celeste Ng and Ian Doesche.

View Beukes’ Facebook post in which she shared the news:


The 2015 Twitter Fiction Festival takes place online from 11 to 15 May. An open call for submissions to be featured as a participant will be made on March 2nd and the entire twitterspehere is invited to “create fiction on the spot” using the hashtag #TwitterFiction.

Stay updated by following @TWfictionfest on Twitter:

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Imran Garda: The Media Should Not be a Megaphone for ISIS (Video)

The Thunder That Roars“How should we tell this story?”

Al Jazeera Plus (AJ+) journalist, and author of The Thunder That Roars, Imran Garda recently asked this very important question about how media coverage of events relating to the militant Islamic group ISIS should be handled.

Garda explains the manipulative nature of the images and videos the group allows the international media to see, and further asks how media organisations, such as Al Jazeera, should report on ISIS if the only material they have is fed to them by the group themselves, and independent journalists on the ground are killed left, right and centre. “If this is our generation’s information war, how do we win?” Garda asks.

“What ISIS does is of significant news value, but we don’t want to be their megaphone,” Garda says, after sharing the different ways in which ISIS have tried to alter public opinion of them, from posting selfies with cats on Twitter to broadcasting brutal murders.

Executive editor of AJ+ Bob Calo joins Garda to explain why the network has decided to no longer react to propaganda from ISIS: “We are talking about it without being part of the theatrical presentation.”

Watch the video:

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Live Twitter Chat with Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex Authors Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer

Don't Film Yourself Having SexEmma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer recently participated in a live Twitter discussion about their book, Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: And Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media.

The authors and social media law experts invited questions and covered the following topics: Social media and the law, social media risks for employees, employers and companies, social media risks for children and general questions about the media.

One participant asked why the lawyers decided to write about this topic and De Beer replied, “Cause people have no clue that they can be fired, expelled or go to jail for what they say on social media!”

Kim Rudman-Peters asked, “Do you think social media has had a positive or negative impact on freedom of expression?” Sadleir said, “Both! Social media gives everyone a voice, but sometimes that voice is used recklessly or maliciously.”

Follow the discussion on Twitter:


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Vital Advice on Social Media at the Launch of Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex

Book Launch: Don't Film Yourself Having Sex

Don't Film Yourself Having SexWelcoming guests to Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s launch on Wednesday, Love Books owner Kate Rogan said Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex is the book she’s been waiting for.

As the mother of “digital natives” (as the glossary describes people who grow up with social media) Rogan acknowledged the difficulties of explaining to them the consequences of overstepping the boundaries on social media. She mentioned the example of Paul Chambers, whose story appears in Chapter 2: “If it’s not on Facebook it didn’t happen”. He tweeted his frustration with travel delays from an airport in 2010, ending by saying he would “blow the airport sky high”. Two years of lawsuits followed. Rogan described the book as sassy, witty and an enjoyable read, despite the seriousness of the subject matter.

Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex was written by Sadleir and De Beer, two South African lawyers and friends, both of whom have Master of Law degrees from the London School of Economics, specialising in media law. They now do educational work with companies, schools and universities on the responsible use of social media. They consult on defamation, privacy, data protection, revenge porn and online reputation management.

Sadleir noted how dramatically the way we communicate has changed in the last few years. When she was at school (not so long ago) the only way to be heard was to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper: “Nowadays everyone with access to the internet has instant global power”. But people need to understand the laws and the delicate balancing act between freedom of expression versus the right to privacy and dignity, Sadleir said.

De Beer explained that the book contained four key sections. The first deals with the law, privacy and intellectual property. The second is a common sense section, from which they chose the title for the book. One of the examples used here is that of a young woman whose then partner filmed them having sex without her knowledge. Five months later, after they had parted, this sex video appeared on porn-sharing web sites and mentioned her name and the company where she worked. Her only recourse was to change her name. This section also has chapters dealing with online dating and what happens to your information when you die.

The third section concerns social media in the business world and the workplace. Sadleir mentioned the case of a first-year candidate attorney who loaded a photo of her desk on Facebook, showing the pile of work she had. Unfortunately the names of two of the firm’s top clients were visible on the top of the pile. British Airways emerged as an example of a company who sends CVs of all job applicants to a company who specialises in digital clearances. There are serious consequences to breaching your company’s good faith, which extends to its clients and your colleagues as well. Sadleir cited the case of a woman who was involved in a road accident and loaded three photos on Facebook with the caption, “F*****g K****r Taxi …”. She happened to work for a prominent company and was fired by 10 AM. Another casualty was the woman who tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Only kidding, I’m white.” She was met by a hostile “lynch mob” at Cape Town International Airport.

The fourth section deals with children. Parents are often too quick to give their children powerful communication devices without the tools to keep them safe. De Beer mentioned the dangers of cyber-bullying and how anonymity allows a greater degree of malice, which is permanent and inescapable. It is also much more public and has led to children committing suicide. This section also mentions “sexting”, where children as young as nine are sending nude pictures to each other. The law regards this as pornography and a 17-year-old was recently convicted for doing this. The reputational harm this causes cannot be undone, the authors pointed out.

There are new laws coming into effect, such as the Protection from Harassment Act, which can provide some online protection, and sites like give step-by-step instructions about how to delete online content. However, the authors advise that anything posted online should be treated “like a tattoo”. There is no “untweet” button. There is the potential for anything to go viral. In the digital age, everyone is a celebrity and every potential employer is Googling you. “Apply the billboard test”, Sadleir said. “If you don’t want everything you post online to be seen on a billboard on the side of the highway, don’t post it.” As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says, “Privacy is no longer a social norm.”

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Book Riot Moots Dream Cast for Broken Monsters TV Series (Plus: Upcoming Reddit AMA!)

Broken MonstersWhen Lauren Beukes left the United States after her book tour recently she revealed on Twitter that a TV deal was “in the works” for Broken Monsters. Now Book Riot’s Jenn Northington has put together a dream cast for the potential show.

Beukes says there are still “dots and crosses to be made” on the TV deal, but Broken Monsters fans will agree that the book is imminently filmable.

Book Riot’s as-yet-imaginary cast includes Rosario Dawson as Detective Gabriella Versado; Amandla Stenberg, of Hunger Games fame, as Layla; Vincent D’Onofrio as Clayton and Devon Sawa as Jonno:

This douche-nozzle of a journalist is a bit harder, just because there are so many decent choices. I almost picked James Franco, but then I’d really never be able to watch the show. Sawa captures the “slightly hotter than average, slightly scruffy, but still cute enough to get what he wants” look that I imagine for Jonno.

Beukes wrote a response on her blog:

I love, love, love her suggestions – especially Clayton. I think they’re spot on and I’ve actually forwarded it to the awesome production company who have optioned the rights, but who I can’t talk about just yet.

Which Northington responded to on Twitter, and Beukes retweeted. Ah, the glories of social media:

In other exciting news, Beukes has announced that she will be doing a Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”, a form of Q&A with users of the popular-if-slightly-underground social network) on Thursday. Don’t miss it!

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Lauren Beukes: Winning at Twitter

Broken MonstersLauren Beukes has been making waves on Twitter, getting a rave review from Stephen King of her latest book, Broken Monsters, while also participating in an Exclusive Books Twitter Town Hall, which had the social network buzzing with excitement.

Legendary American horror author King became an instant Twitter celebrity when he opened up his account in December last year, and has quickly amassed almost half a million followers. King, who recently recommended Sarah Lotz’ new novel The Three, has apparently developed a taste for South African genre fiction.

Yesterday he tweeted some high praise of Broken Monsters, receiving almost 500 retweets and over 1 200 favourites, consequently deeming Beukes, who had just arrived in London for the Nine Worlds Geekfest, “speechless” (although not tweetless).

Meanwhile, Beukes also participated in an Exclusive Books Twitter Town Hall, during which fans could ask the author questions and follow the discussion at the hashtag #EBTownHall. Beukes chatted about the research she undertook for Broken Monsters, her favourite authors, and even offered some writing advice, saying: “Writing advice? Finish the damn book. Nothing else matters. MAKE the time. If this matters to you, do it.”


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Charlie Human Discusses Apocalypse Now Now in Twitter Interview

Apocalypse Now NowCharlie Human has just launched his debut novel, Apocalypse Now Now, and Men’s Health caught up with him on Twitter for an interview.

Human listed Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, Perdido Street Station by China Mieville and Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan as the books he’d most like Apocalypse Now Now to share a bookshelf with and he named Anton Yelchin as a good candidate to play the role of Baxter if the book were to be made into a film.

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