They Like Me, They… What?

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.

A little overtanned?
radioher via Compfight

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?
 

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Verify Information That’s Not Yours

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.

See, short post, short video; I can do it. 🙂
 

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Thank You, But… Don’t Do This

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?

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4-Hour Work Week’s Not-To-Do List

I found myself taking a few hours to read the book 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It was an interesting book that maybe one day I’ll write a full review on. Suffice it to say, I found things I liked about it and some thing I didn’t quite like about it as well.

One thing I felt I wanted to add my own comments to is what is listed in the book as The Not-to-Do List: 9 Habits To Stop Now. In Ferriss’ mind, by eliminating these things you not only improve your efficiency but you reduce stress as well. I’m going to list his topic, then add my own opinion, if you don’t mind.

1. Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers. I adopted this one in full at the beginning of this year, but I’d actually started it for the most part late last year. I have two lines into my house, and for the last 3 or 4 years I never answer the personal line if I don’t know who it is; actually, I often don’t answer it if I do know who it is since it’s almost always for my wife. For the business line I didn’t answer if it was an 800-number of some kind but always answered other numbers, then realized that most of those are sales calls as well. Now I don’t answer any numbers I don’t recognize; my mind’s at peace with this policy; that’s why I pay extra for voice mail.

2. Do not email first thing in the morning or last thing at night. This one I’m probably not going to change. In his book he talks about having to get used to losing some business for the sake of living the life you want to, and that you’ll find yourself enjoying your time more than what you might lose out on. Truthfully, I start every morning checking email since my hours are erratic, and I get all other work done during the day and love trying to get to the rest of my email in the evenings. I might work at some point to limiting late night email, since I’ve written some stupid stuff at 3AM, but my mornings are staying.

3. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time. Working for myself I have a great handle on this one, which eliminates almost all early morning meetings. I do have to get better at other meetings that I know won’t produce income or contracts, though.

4. Do not let people ramble. In his book, he offers up suggestions for how to help people get to the point such as telling them you only have a few minutes for them. This works well, and is a technique I’ve often used. I think we all have to gauge when to use this or any other techniques and when to let the other person just talk.

5. Do not check email constantly – “batch” and check at set times only. I had to break this habit, and I’d say that I’m about 80% there. I plan my days with free time built in and that’s when I get to emails and other stuff I want to do instead of have to do. Of course he’s only checking email for an hour a week; I don’t see that happening.

6. Do not over-communicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers. This one is hard when you have a finite number of customers, but I understand his point. He loves talking about the Pareto Principle of 80/20, and it makes a lot of sense. Eliminating those people who give you the most grief and turning your attention to those people that give you the most benefit is not only stress relieving, but sometimes you find you don’t have to deal with the folks left all that often because they were satisfied to begin with. Any assistance you give them makes them better, and thus all you usually end up with is improvement and satisfaction.

7. Do not work more to fix overwhelmingness – prioritize. No, that’s not a real word, but he used it. lol This fits in with the principle that says if you know something’s broken fix it so you don’t have to keep fixing it and can get on with other things.

8. Do not carry a cell phone or Crackberry 24/7. He’s not saying don’t have these things at all; just limit your usage of them. I don’t have smartphone, so I’m good thing. And very few people have my cell number so I’m good there as well. But there are a lot of people we all know who seem like they’ve forgotten how to interact with people they’re with because they’re constantly messaging someone or talking on their cell phones, no matter where they are.

9. Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should. Yes Virginia, there is a work/life issue, and I’m living proof of this. When I was an every day employee, I went until I was 37 without taking even a week’s vacation; the longest I ever took off was 2 days; isn’t that a shame. I only took a week off when I got married, then the next year on our 1st anniversary. It wasn’t until the middle of 2000 when I finally took 2 weeks off in a row and found how relaxing that was.

However, since I’ve worked for myself, I haven’t had a vacation or any time off. It’s harder when you work for yourself, but I’m going to be dealing with that issue this year in some fashion; more on that at a later time. The main concept here is that you need a personal life, and you should substitute your work life for it because work is just that, work.

Those are my thoughts; what are yours?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell