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  • Well, Ray, you've hit the jackpot. That's exactly what I, and I'm sure many other cowbirders, feel. I'm glad some one else out there feels the urge to lower the bar.
    Now, I think most people take cowbird most seriously when they first join. From then on, things starts to slope downhill. The ideas are endless. Stories constantly prick at your conciousness and flood your head and you just need to keep spitting them out, one after another. You see a broken egg on the ground and your brain just automatically clicks; Oh! That can be a cowbird story.
    This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It allows you to see the greater detail and story in everything; But that can get out of hand and reach the red on the scale, the "too much" area. Your stories just can't be as good when they flip through your head and are spit out every minute, with no time to think. That doesn't sound like Cowbird. Cowbird is about thoughtful storytelling.

    Then there's the button issue. After a while, a cowbirder can get ambitious and start to click wildly on stories and skim through them, quickly love some more, and then click the "audience" button hoping the victim will choose to check them out and do the same. It can turn into a contest. Who has the biggest audience? The most popular story? The most dedications? Some people might feel a sudden, raw hunger to be shown on the front page of "people", along with the other big-time audiences. That's NOT how cowbird works. I'm sure you know. But sometimes, the urge for higher ranking is unresistable. But this love-with-out-reading issue is mostly done with the best intentions, I've learned. Some cowbirders just want to pay back someone who was being good to them: Loving their stories alot, Sprouting, dedicating, ect.
    The cowbirder pays them back in loves. But sometimes, they just don't have the patience to read and soak up a long, thoughtful story and end up clicking "loves" randomly before reading the whole thing, Knowing no-one will ever know.

    Heck, even I sometimes do it. In the times when I'm taking time to show my appreciation to fellow cowbirders, I will come across a long story that I just don't have the patience or peace of mind to get through. So, I have a strategy. I'll read the first couple paragraphs and when it just starts to drone on and on, I skip to the end lines and read those. Then I'll paste the two together and if I like it, I'll "love" it.
    Maybe it's a human trait. We're presented with an endless column of words to read and understand, and the energy is just sucked from us. Maybe the human mind can't pay attention to something that won't move for too long a time. Maybe we the humans just don't have the same energy and excitment to read other's stories as we do to read our own work. Maybe we don't like the work and energy it takes to read a long, long story and keep a narrow focus on what we're reading, without having our minds slowly wander elsewhere; and then having to decode the meaning out of all that detail. We like it short. Those are my theories.

    All cowbird people are different. Different life stories. Different cultures. Different interest. Everything. Some have had difficult lives and are just pouring it out into long episodes of stories. Others can package it up quickly, with the meaning of what they wanted to say squeezed into a couple of sentences or paragraphs. And some just can't get enough of the soundtrack thing.

    But no matter how different we are, we are all people. We all have had hardships. We've all had good times. And, short or long, we all have stories to tell.
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