The Three C’s of Medium: Clap, Curate, and Commiserate
People of a certain age, ilk, or (unfortunately) experience are familiar with the clap. And if you’ve been around since 1996, probably have heard of the clapper — a device for the lazy, arthritic, or not-quite-legally blind to turn on a light. But, come on, to clap? Put your hands to together to the beat of music, applaud after a rousing speech, or give a standing ovation at the end of Hamilton? So why when I link my story to Facebook (FB) with the message please read, share and clap if you like it (I even add the clap emoji) — all I get are hearts, thumps up and smiley faces. I mean, seriously, the meme is at the left-hand side at the end of a story. My brother didn’t even clap. My sister said she didn’t think of it. So, after a piece recently got accepted to Crow’s Feet (has had about 30 reads) I had to text my go-to person to read it, just to validate I’ve been heard, seen, and valued. To know someone actually liked it and assuaged my ego — she’s my only guaranteed clapper. And alas a clap appeared right away. Sigh. I’ve been reading the entrants in the recent writer’s challenge (I entered three -just in case you want to read, follow, and clap) and have seen like 221 hand claps on one story — I don’t even know 221 people (I think I have 120 friends on FB)! But then a read an essay noting that someone can clap more than once for a story (but not for yourself I found out the hard way, oops). Yes, guilty. As like other newbies to Medium, I’ve been gobbling up tip pieces on expanding my base and getting curated. But curated, really?
I’m not bragging but I scored in the 98th percentile on the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) for graduate school and I didn’t even finish the damn thing. I’ve logged about 10,000 grains of rice in the Free Rice Vocabulary Game app, and have read a book or two in my day. But curate? I had heard of a museum curator but never gave much thought to the word’s origin. So, I called my sister (the non-clapper) who does daily acrostics, cryptograms, and has a 136 IQ (I know not quite Mensa material) and I asked her if she knew the definition of curate. I think she said something like to add but then admitted she didn’t know. I, too, had to look it up I told her — thank god for Webster’s online. It’s a word bandied about (now understandingly why) on Medium like the ten most frequently words used in the English language (the, you, that, et.al.). So, I learned it means to organize, administer (or from the Latin one having a [spiritual] charge) — like clergy over a flock. And then the light…