Before I start telling you these rules, let me tell you why they came to be.
I'm from the old school of the internet. The way you probably know me, might be from disability advocacy.
Other people know me from
search engine marketing, reputation management, consulting with PR or creative agency, social justice activism, Black womanism, poetry or my social media maven days.
I'm one person so I refuse to split my social into many identities.
There's a history behind it, a time in social media when many of us subscribed to a transparency philosophy - i.e. be who you are everywhere, because very soon there isn't going to be social online and social offline, just social.
Anyway, depending on how the news cycle is going, maybe there's ten people talking to me in private messages, maybe there's 2000.
No I'm not exaggerating. I have gotten 2000 pieces of relevant non-spam mail in one day.
This has led to problems with people doing THEE most when trying to get help from me. You can read about some of that here.
In response I have established some boundaries.
They are non-negotiable. If you don't like them you can you can always get help from someone else.
First, when I am sick, I don't take requests one at a time.
Instead, I have established instead a once a week thread in Twitter where you can leave me a reply where you can ask me for social media help. (and later in Mastodon, attempts are being made but so far not working)
You can follow this link to take you there:
Yes, it's the same as the one above and that is the level of beginner some people are so please just let the repetition slide LOL.
If you would rather do it manually, search on twitter for the hashtag #MutualAidThread. You will find, like always, that when hashtags for a specific purpose other people jump on the bandwagon, not realizing that if they don't do all the work, they won't get the same views.
So don't be discouraged by that. At the end of the search add
- you'll then see only posts I created.
Now that views and posts themselves are public on Twitter you can look for yourself how the more people follow my advice in my free crowdfunding book, the more they are able to get views on their fundraisers.
Second, I no longer answer DMs from people who are not my friends outside Twitter. Just. No. If we're truly friends outside Twitter, maybe we hang out in Chronic Loaf, you have my direct cell (not my public number), we kicked it IRL once, we talk on the phone.
That doesn't mean I don't love my Twitter only friends. It's just there are 52K of you just on Twitter, and just the one of me.
Also a lot of you keep writing me about things I have clearly stated I don't do and why.
I do not want unsolicited advice of any kind. If I wanted it I asked you a direct question, usually by text or email.
I'm not going to 80 people's pinned tweets. And it's not fair to just yours. Don't ask me.
I'm broke. Sending me money requests tells me you're a scammer and a soammer because why would I have money and be reading money. So you did no research. And I hate that.
Third, if you want more special treatment than that, Patreon members above $10 can ask me to boost any fundraising link any day.
Why all the rules?
I am fatigue. I have cancer. I have brain fog. I have fibromyalgia. I have Long COVID. AND ten other major disabling chronic illnesses and conditons that are frankly none of anyone's business until I want tthem to be.
Frequently I have urgent health care matters where I can't meet or talk on the phone or use the internet without a screen reader. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm trying to be efficient.
Sometimes I only have the strength to either retweet the 25 new submissions of the people who followed all my rules
write yet another email, text, direct message, tweet or social media post BEGGING people to observe the full set of rules for our community mutual aid thread.
I can't both help people and keep reminding people how to act right.
And in the event that I can personally not retweet those people now, I can wait until I have the energy to queue all the organized request from one place into my six accounts, and help everyone a lot, instead of one person a litte.
But the main reason is
I said no. No is a complete sentence.
I really don't have to explain to anyone.
And if you don't understand why I don't want to spend twenty years building a reputation so strong that a former President, writers and editors from every major mainstream publication follows me?
Just so I can piss it all away on a sketchy person who just met me asking me for a favor in the middle of my conversation with someone else?
I'm not the person you need help from and that's really fine.
DOs and DON'Ts to Expedite my attention
DO: Share a Tweet via DM GROUP on Twitter
I will happily reshare a tweet. Again, I do not take requests to write threads or tweets for people.
And I run several projects that have their own handles. So if you're lucky? You might get a LOT of retweets by making this easy for me.
DO NOT: TAG ME FOR BOOSTS
I allowed people do that in the past, and they abused me terribly. That's over. About three people are allowed to tag me to ask for labor.
None of them are you. It is the number one reason I skip/mute/block people.
I have brain fog and other cognitive/ neurodivergent/ other issues that cannot deal with being tagged thousands of times a week as a way to take in projects or information that needs to be acted upon.
Please don't. It will be the last tweet of yours that I see, whether that means muting your or blocking you.
DO: Nudge me gently a week later if you need more help.
I'll un-retweet and re-retweet your same tweet again after a week ONCE. To get that, just update in the old reply you put in the Mutual Aid Thread. After that post in the new thread.
No, I cannot do it more than that. My goal is to one day be able to help all people who ask for it, on the day they ask.
For that I'll need to have at least one assistant to queue them up for me after I review. The faster I get to having most people comply with my guidelines, the more people I can help.
For example, when I first put these up I went to being able to help a max of 25 people a day to being able to help up to 75 people a day. Now I can help 200+ people a week.
DO NOT send me to your pinned OR expect/ask me to do any other additional labor
It bears repeating that I can't write your thread. Not for free. Because no matter how many times I say it, people will ask.
NO, I can't go get your tweet from where you pinned it on your profile. Dozens of people ask me to do that per day. It adds up to time I could have been helping more people who could have taken five extra seconds to share a tweet with me.
So please, just cut and paste the link to the Mutual Aid Thread. If you're fatigued ask a friend to do it.
This goes for friends, acquaintances, princes, duchesses, strangers, colleagues, unicorns, everyone.
If I did labor for every person I could help, I could not help myself
No. I'm not doing that. I will skip you so I can help more people get help.
DO: Check my pinned thread for recent updates
You want a favor that brands would pay me cash for? Then YOU do the labor.
You will get helped faster anyway. I sometimes cannot physically do the labor, it's not JUST a preference. Having to stop and tell you these rules or ask you if you read them is again taking up time I could be using to help someone or myself or sleep or work.
And my help works. That's why you want my help, right? You heard. But you want to now why it's working, after all these years and through every algorithm change?
Because I have proven to my community that they can trust me, and brought people who WANT to help people together with people who NEED help. And the more people need help, the more they are willing to do a few common sense things to have the most help.
Scammers are the ones who tend to protest that I have guidelines the most. But I don't owe anyone anything. I CHOOSE TO GIVE. It's not an obligation. For it to work, I must have boundaries.
How will you know if I can't do extra labor? You should really just assume that means always.
I am never not disabled.
I am never not chronically ill. But there are times when things are worse than usual, so it make take me longer to get back to you.
Normally you can tell, again, from my pinned tweet.
For example: if my pinned tweet is about fundraising for myself, I'm in a state bad enough where I can't help you. Weird that I have to state that, but apparently that's not obvious, despite the fact that crowdfunding for oneself is a full time job.
And I only fundraise for myself if I have no other options. I must be flaring or recently in the hospital or something has changed about my health or the cancer is back.
That limits my daily activities - and sadly that happens several times a year.
BUT. The Mutual Aid Thread is forever. It's for ANY request.
When in doubt, add the hashtag #MABCrowdfund and one of the volunteers will try to help you before I can. Please don't use the hashtag AND contact us another way.
It will just get your tweet un-tweeted while four people check with each other to see who vetted the tweet. And then possibly never again, which is what happens when someone screws up our process.
Also I'm also struggling, just less than you.
I'm not a damn bank. Being a verified user of several platforms does not give you an automatic revenue stream. The fact that I do things for other people is to show that if someone in my situation can do all these things, with no resources?
People with lots of resources can do ONE thing. The goal is one day to have hundreds of us all doing our small things working together in the same direction for the same thing.