This is a rewrite of an article I originally wrote in 2009. I’ve left the only comment I got on this article previously because Peter (who used to go by Sire) was the first person who ever purchased this product from me. Also, this article has an affiliate link, which is underlined in blue. It’s the same product as the one over there in the right sidebar. I’ve read often that if you write a review post about a product you actually use and like that it will drive sales of that product. Let’s see how true that premise is.
Back when I was warning folks about hidden messages in email, I mentioned Mailwasher for the first time. I wrote this review originally because I was trying to let people know that there was a safe way of checking email that protects their computers as opposed to downloading email and then looking at it. There’s not a lot that’s changed since that first review except a few things about how it looks; that and I can update the review a bit since I’ve purchased the latest version. Continue reading →
A week and a half ago, on a Friday afternoon at 1:55 my computer crashed 5 minutes before I was supposed to go on a conference call. I needed to get my computer working because I had a file I needed to access so I could conduct the call. I tried to reboot my computer but it didn’t work. Luckily the conference call went well even though I didn’t have the file in front of me. Mental preparation works; unfortunately the computer did not.
My computer, which is running Windows 10, went on a reboot loop of something called automatic repair. It did that loop pretty much for 24 hours, which was awful. At one point I figured out how to get into the repair area and tried to load a previous system restore point. However, somewhere along the line my computer had erased all my restore points, which I didn’t think was possible. This began the battle and research and eventually led me to doing a full reset near the end of those 24 hours. Continue reading →
Those of you who have read this blog for awhile know that one of the few games I play online is this game and page called Empire Avenue. It’s kind of a social media stock market game where you trade on each other rather than specific companies or products.
One of its features is that you can leave what’s called “shout outs” to people to either thank them for buying your shares or respond to those who write you. As my stock price has gone up I’ve been getting a lot of responses, and I’ve been responding to a lot of people who have purchased my shares. I’m not as good at thanking people who buy my shares unfortunately, and I thought that maybe I needed to work on that.
I “thought” about it, that is. I was dismayed about a month ago when I learned that almost all of the messages I get are automated. I didn’t even know one could do that but it seems that I’m not really as popular or as well liked as I’d thought after all.
I probably should have noticed it earlier because it was the same response every single time, and I knew that, based on doing it once, the page will reject a message that it considers a duplicate if you’re writing it. So, it seems automation can get people around that.
It also explains why no one ever responded when I sent them a message back. I mean, if everything’s automated, why would they even have to consider responding back to anyone right?
About a month ago I talked about over automation and gave reasons why I don’t and won’t do it. On my Twitter profile I have a message that says if you add me and I follow you and then you auto-DM me I’ll unfollow you immediately, and I stick with that. These days almost everyone new I connect with on Twitter has connected with me first, and I’ve learned that many people are connecting with me via automation, looking for keywords in messages I post and therefore bypassing my profile entirely. It also probably explains why so many that connect with me disconnect with me, usually within a week. Hey, that’s their prerogative.
Here’s my point. Social media is called that because it’s supposed to be social. Over-automation basically makes social impersonal. Sure, there are lots of folks saying that we love getting greetings or thank you messages because they make us feel special. Think about it; how special do you feel when you get an automated email thanking you for leaving a comment on a blog without a response back to your comment with it? As a matter of fact, outside of getting confirmation that you either signed up for or left something, how often do you enjoy getting something automated anywhere?
Does someone actually like you if it’s not them telling you so? Do you care?
Well, yesterday was an interesting day in this country, at least in Florida. I decided that I needed to address this issue, especially on this blog, and further decided that it needed to be a video. The title speaks for itself; anyway, here’s the video:
I hope I got my point across, and I’m doubting there’s anyone who can dispute what I said there. Yeah, I know, it might take some time here and there to do it, but in many cases I think it’s important enough to do. You never know who you might hurt by not doing it.
Many of us write about blogging and social media in general. We hope we give pretty good tips on how to treat your audience, the people who visit your blog and the people who follow what you have to say on social media sites. We love the fact that so many people are looking for a way to thank people for doing this or that online. I’d say it’s all appreciated, but I’d be lying.
by Lars Plougmann
Truth be told, there are some things that, I’m sorry to say, are kind of irritating. I know it’s done with people in mind, and it’s supposed to be somewhat positive, but it’s not. Instead, it creates clutter, irritation, and a sense of not really caring about us as much as going through an automated process that someone said “we” wanted to see. Untrue, I hate to say. What am I talking about? Let’s look at some of these things.
1. Please stop sending me messages from your blog thanking me for leaving a comment. If you’re not going to respond to the comment, or you have it in moderation, then go that route, although I hate being moderated. I see that I left a comment, and that’s all I need. If you decide it’s not worth commenting on, trust me, I’ve moved on. You’re just making me delete the email in my Mailwasher program (great program by the way; if you don’t believe me ask Sire, who purchased it from my link); don’t waste your time.
2. If I decide to follow you on Twitter, don’t send me an automated message through the direct messages area thanking me for following you. At the same time, don’t send me a link to your latest free ebook or product or blog or anything else. If you really care, send me a real message through the normal channels first, and then if we’re talking share something with me. Almost all the time I get one of those things, I immediately drop you from my account; you’ve been warned.
3. Please don’t automatically add me to your email newsletter just because we’ve connected somewhere. If I didn’t subscribe, I’m not downloading it, and I’m going to be looking to see where we might know each other and possibly dropping our connection. I don ‘t just go around adding people to my newsletter… anymore. By that, I did used to add internet marketers that I know I didn’t subscribe to that suddenly started sending me stuff to my newsletter, but that bit of run wore out quick. If I want to subscribe to your newsletter, I will.
4. I covered this one a couple of days ago when talking about LinkedIn, but I’m not going to spread it to Facebook. If you want to connect with me as a friend on Facebook, at least add a message as to why you want to do it. I’m pretty accommodating, but I have to tell you that if you’re not connected with any of my “real” friends already, I’m probably not adding you unless you give me a reason why. Now, I’ve reached out to the few people who aren’t my friends that are following my Facebook business page and I’ve told them why in the message I send them; that’s how it’s supposed to work.
5. Please, everyone, stop following everything one of the big time internet gurus told you they do on their blogs. Stop popping up the notice asking people to subscribe to your newsletter. Stop with all the toolbars that we can’t get rid of. Stop with the videos or music that automatically starts playing when we stop by your blog. I get it; you’re trying to engage me, and you’re trying to make sure I know about your newsletter, and you’re trying to help me retweet all your stuff, or list it on some other social media site. Can’t you just add a Facebook like button like I did and move on, or a blurb about your newsletter in a sidebar (heck, I removed my newsletter link; gotta get it back on there) that people can see? And the other stuff… no more!
I think that will cover it for now. I decided not to go on the Twitter Follow Friday rant again, since I wrote about that already, but that’s another one. What have I missed folks?