Just up on BuzzFeed: “In Defense of Vaguebooking.”


We read them every day in our Facebook feed. “I can’t right now,” my former student proclaims. “I don’t understand the decision-making process,” a colleague writes delphically one morning. A famous writer tops quips with an ominous “Bored. Waiting on 10 things.”

Stripped of context, these status messages befuddle and intrigue readers at the same time. We have had a word for this: “vaguebooking.”

Defined by Urban Dictionary in 2009 as an “intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to ask what’s going on or is possibly a cry for help,” the vaguebook is perceived as the needy, less hip counterpart to the “subtweet,” in which someone is dissed anonymously on Twitter, and the “supertweet,” dubbed in a recent story in The Atlantic by Ian Boghost as a tweet “meaning to be clear to everyone, but to feign concealment from its target.” Boghost cites Azealia Banks’ sidelong tweet about “Igloo Australia” (i.e., Iggy Azalea) in the wake of the Eric Garner and Michael Brown killings as “the most famous supertweet.”

Vaguebooking’s reputation has has reached rock bottom in the past couple of months. Unlike “shade,” celebrated in the New York Times as “the art of the sidelong insult,” vaguebooking has been met with almost universal revulsion. Tech blogger Dave Parrack shot one of the first salvos a couple years ago with “What Is This Imbecilic Art of Vaguebooking?” in 2012, and the anti-vaguebook has only intensified. The Tumblr Vaguebook.org (its tagline reads, simply, “ugh”) showcases screenshots with such vague classics as “Sometimes it’s not what you expect, but it’s ok,” “Feeling irritated and annoyed by certain people,” and that old chestnut, “Sometimes you have to learn to just walk away when things are not healthy.”

But I am here to suggest that vaguebooking deserves a second look, not only as a valid way to communicate, but to keep our privacy. It’s already happening: Results from a study released this past March by the MRS Delphi Group revealed that teenagers, far from oversharing, now take an active role in safeguarding their privacy by “dirtying their data” with “social coding” such as in-jokes, false personal data or, yes, vaguebooking, all so their messages are understood only by their intended audience.

Read the rest on BuzzFeed

I have some bonus stuff as well, which I post soon.

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Just up on Poetry Foundation: “Behind the Sound,” on W. Bliem Kern’s Meditations. Here are some bonus materials.

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Just up on Poetry Foundation’s website is my appreciation of Meditations, W. Bliem Kern’s sound poetry book/cassette collection from 1974, which I have held onto for years as a private inspiration. Read the piece here.

Above: a slide show of images I collected in my research, and a few snapshots from visiting Kern in his Upper West  Side apartment last winter.

I recorded Kern perform a number of poems in his apartment. “Vulcan” is linked in the piece itself, but I have a bunch more. Below is a link to a SoundCloud collection I made with most of the performances.

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I’m reading tonight in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


It’s my Twin Cities reading debut! Well, I did read as part of a job interview in St. Paul, but that’s another story.

Anyway, I’m reading tonight, across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, as part of #AWP15 Festival of Language. There are several sets and I’m part of the last, 8:30pm set tonight. Lots of other cool writers, too.

Details here. Say hi to me if you are there. Or just say hi in the comments.

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Just up on Medium’s Human Parts: “The Long Good Friday.”


Several lifetimes ago, I was an ardent Catholic. I was an altar boy, a church janitor’s helper, a bible reader. I prayed every night and went to confession and defended my faith and went on day trips with priests.

I would say the high point was playing Jesus in my church Passion Play. That above photo is from a more recent production.  I remember it fondly now, and tell the story in my new book. Shader.

Here’s an excerpt, just up today, on Medium’s Human Parts.

William F. Buckley makes a cameo.





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Sign up for Daniel Nester Shameless Self-Promotion Disguised as Newsletter Email List!


If you were an avid listener to the Serial podcast, you heard those super advertorial MailChimp ads at the beginning of each episode. It wasn’t too long after that I started getting invitations to sign up for people’s email lists–writers and artist friends who like to keep in contact with their audiences. They all used MailChimp, an email newsletter web app.

Well, I’ve joined those ranks. I like writing to people and I have some things coming out soon, so why not join the MailChimp ranks?

Update: Well, it turns out MailChimp is for corporate people, or tech-heads, or whatever. It’s way too complicated. So I’ve switched to TinyLetter, which is owned by MailChimp, but is more for, like, human beings.

I’m calling it what it is: Daniel Nester’s Shameless Self-Promotion Disguised as Newsletter. I was going to call it a DanZine, but that’s a little too cute.

Sign up at tinyletter.com/danielnester.

I promise I won’t fill up your mailbox with a million things. I’ll send weekly emails at most, probably once a month.


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