Hot Chicks Dig Me On Instagram… Not Really…

Almost 4 years ago I wrote a post talking about how much I love Instagram. For the few of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an app you can add to your smartphone where you can upload images you take with it and also look at a lot of pictures other people put up. Since I love looking at pictures of all types, this bad boy was meant specifically for me. 🙂

Motivation Board
My new motivation board

Or at least it “was” for me. Over the last 4 years there’s been a lot of changes, some for the good, some irritating. For instance, there are a lot of people who are trying to do business on there by posting motivational messages along with advertisements… those aren’t really pictures. Instagram also now allows advertising of the video variety, and though I don’t like that I understand that companies deserve to make money (it’s owned by Facebook).

There’s also a lot of trolls and nasty people who say and do a lot of hateful and disgusting things that makes part of the experience become diminished a little bit. I’m not getting anything close to that kind of attention so it’s not a problem for me, but sometimes I’ll look at the comments other people write on some of the pictures; it’s just like reading the comments section of a local newspaper.

Nope, I don’t get that kind of attention. But I have been getting a lot of attention lately, which I don’t understand. In the vernacular of my youth, a lot of “hot chicks” are suddenly following me there. I’m not lying; these are some very attractive ladies, very young… and they’re following me!

That part is confusing enough, but the majority of them are Russian or Asian, and they’re coming out of the woodwork. What the hey?

Being older, I don’t just up and follow every pretty face that graces my fiend of social media vision; being married stops that also. lol However, I do check out people when the follow me, just to see if they might be real or not.

The accounts that have 7 or so pictures that have all been posted within a few days of each other are easy to figure out that they’re some sort of spam or something. Those usually have a hidden link that they’re hoping you’ll click on; don’t click on those thing… ever!

What I’m seeing mostly lately are women with tons of images on their page; that’s unexpected. I don’t see a link on any of them either. What I do see… and don’t see… is interesting though.

What I see are tons of hashtags for almost every picture. Since I’m someone who rarely uses more than one, that’s a bit odd. What I don’t see is any kind of explanation of what the picture is about, which kind of fits if it’s all face or body shots, but wouldn’t you think that some of the images would have some kind of explanation, or a quick word on what they were thinking at the time they posted the image?

I’m asking this as someone who has one friend on the site who posts a picture of herself every couple of days without any kind of explanation. It’s always the same pose; only the clothes change. I asked her about it and she said that seeing herself smile as she improves her life makes her feel good. I can buy that. However, she also posts a lot of other pictures of friends and family, and lots of food pictures (something I usually love to see but I don’t like a lot of her food lol).

I mentioned that most of the accounts are Russian or Asian women; but all of them aren’t. I get followed by a lot of fitness women also; that one’s confusing because I’m certainly not the icon of fitness… sigh… I do post a lot of pictures of my food, some of it homemade, and I’ll use that as a hashtag, but a lot of that stuff wouldn’t be considered healthy either… well, I guess it’s healthier than the stuff I buy out as most restaurants… sometimes.

I don’t end up following the overwhelming majority of these people. The same goes for restaurants, which also seem to follow me, but those have business logos. Like most of my social media accounts, I have way more people following me than I follow.

It’s also strange that as I’m working towards more peace and happiness by reducing the number of people I’m seeing on social media sites (this weekend was spent going through LinkedIn) that more people are starting to follow me on some of these same sites. It’s like I’m dealing with Newton’s Third Law of Motion, where the more I try to kill the more people there are trying to connect with me.

What are the bulk of you seeing as it pertains to your Instagram account? Is it as confusing as what I seem to be seeing or do you believe your accounts are just fine? I’m not worried about any of it; just seems strange is all. Let me know; I’m outta here. 🙂
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mitch Mitchell

It Only Took 7 Years To Follow 1,000 People On Twitter

Okay, it’s not even quite 7 years yet but it’s pretty close.

I joined Twitter in May of 2008, not having any idea what to do with it or even whether I wanted to do anything with it. I was kind of reluctant at first… now I’ve come to love it.

IMG_0786
Tim Dennell via Compfight

Why do I love Twitter so much? I’ve talked about it often on this blog but I love the idea of engagement. I’ve talked to a lot of people on Twitter from all over the world. I’ve talked to some famous people also, most of whom followed me first. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about good people and bad people and see some folks crash and burn. I’ve seen news break on Twitter before the media got it. I’ve seen so much…

Why do I hate Twitter? Because there’s a lot of hatred and mean things that a lot of people say. Luckily, one can block those folks. There’s also a lot of noise, aka blather, which means lots of people selling stuff constantly; you can block those folks also, especially the bots.

I have over 3,800 people following me. At the time I’m writing this I’m actually following 999 people; I expect that when this drops I’ll probably finally be at 1,000, since I’d never hit even 999 before. Milestones aplenty this year. 🙂

What’s changed? Well, to get there we have to look back at why I’ve been so perspicacious with the people I’ve been following.

Engagement; remember I mentioned that earlier? For all these years, after the first six months or so, I decided I had to have criteria for the types of people I was going to follow. I’m big on criteria; gotta have rules so I’m not just adding people I could care less about and who I know could care less about me.

The criteria for people I wouldn’t follow? Here we go:

* listing your religion in your profile
* listing your politics in your profile
* listing stuff I had no interest in on your profile
* posting nothing but pictures
* posting nothing but sales links
* not having an avatar
* never talking to anyone

That’s it; those 7 things have governed the people I’d follow on Twitter… although I’d modify from time to time.

For instance, I’d follow some local people who might have violated some of the criteria because I knew them. Also, if I’d talked to someone elsewhere I might go ahead and connect with them on Twitter, even if something irked me.

Twitter Stream
Dan Slee via Compfight

The criteria has served me well. I’ve been able to talk to all sorts of people, have fewer people to follow, and pretty much move on with a pretty good Twitter life. Also, I never had to worry about Twitter wondering if I was only following people who followed me and dinging me for it; I didn’t even know that was a thing until I saw people complaining about it, including a couple of friends of mine.

For the most part I’d kept the number of people I was following under 900; I took pride in that in fact. Even at that number, I could keep up with anyone I wanted to see, and sometimes everyone. Pays to be a speed reader, and also that not everyone posts at all the times I was looking at the entire stream.

What’s happened to change things?

My post on March 2nd talked about my new social media strategy to help increase my online influence and get more people to know who I was. It’s been working wonders; way better than I could have imagined.

What’s happened is that on both LinkedIn and Twitter I’ve had a lot more people wanting to connect with me. As it pertains to Twitter there were suddenly some fairly well connected people who were noticing me and wanting to connect with me.

That was pretty cool. I had a couple of problems though, based on my criteria.

One was the religion thing. It’s never really occurred to me how many people feel the need to put their religion in their profile; trust me, it’s a lot. I had to figure out if that was criteria enough to stay totally away from people.

The second one had a lot to do with figuring out the first. The second criteria was engagement. I had to ask myself if my criteria of engagement was too strict. I mean, it wasn’t that people had to talk to me, it’s that I wanted to see people at least talking to someone. Then, as I started getting more attention, people sharing more of my stuff, people adding me to lists… I wondered if that could count as engagement.

Also, a lot of folks whose pages I was looking at had some pretty cool things they were sharing. Frankly, I found myself interested in a lot of it. And, as part of my new strategy, I wasn’t only sharing my own stuff but stuff of others, and I found that there was a lot of content I could be sharing with others that I was interested in. And, while going through the pages, I looked to see if any of the people who listed their religion mentioned it too much for my comfort.

IFA 81
Blogging Dagger via Compfight

Some did and I didn’t follow those folks. Others were fine; I could handle it here and there.

I decided it was time to open myself up a bit more and started following more people. A fully thing happens with that; more people start following you that are following some of those other folks. Yeah, I knew that happened already but it wasn’t something I dealt with in a long time.

Still, I did what I could to keep it down, kind of my own challenge. I checked to see who wasn’t following me that I was following and dropped those folks. Turns out it’s almost no one; just one person actually, and he’s my favorite Syracuse University player ever so he stays. lol

Then I started dropping people who hadn’t been on Twitter for a while. That worked some but it turns out I’ve been good at following people who still participate on Twitter over all these years, even if I don’t always see them; wow!

So… I had to talk to myself, smack myself across the face, stuff some cookies into my mouth (okay, that I enjoyed) and decide that this arbitrary number of less than 1,000 had to come to an end. If I’m going to expand, I have to be willing to expand everything (except my waistline; I’m still working on bringing that down).

There you are; the tale is complete. I’m breaking down the bonds. Some of my criteria remains steadfast. Some of it is now modified. Time to connect with some of the bigger names on Twitter who connect with me first. I mean, I’m not a snob! 🙂

What do you think of this? Do you have a Twitter strategy? Let me know; comment!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

Who And How Do You Check Who To Connect With On Social Media?

Every day, those of us who are on social media get contacted by someone who wants to connect with us. Occasionally it’s us reaching out to someone else because we want to connect with them; kind of makes sense, right?

Arizona Flickr Meetup - Sam's Cafe
cobalt123 via Compfight

Most of the time I think the majority of people on some social media platforms add everyone who they know adds them. I think that because I see some of the numbers and every once in awhile look at some of the people that people I’m following are following; I hope you kept up with that. lol And often I see them connected to some folks who I’d consider either kind of shady or someone who’s never going to talk to them.

Yet, I know that there are some folks who I’ll check out “just because”, even if I don’t end up adding them to any of my lists. Why? Well, let’s look at this topic in general; we’ll get to it.

I’m going to start with LinkedIn because it’s the easiest one to talk about. I can’t remember the last time I reached out to someone I didn’t already know on LinkedIn; actually that’s not quite true because I do remember. It was back in January when I was trolling for potential business contacts. I looked for people in my industry, looked at what they did, and if they were someone I figured could use my services in some fashion or might know who could I reached out to them.

What about people who reach out to me? I have some criteria, though I’ll admit it’s not as strict as in other places. If there’s no picture and I don’t know them, it’s an immediate rejection. If I do know them then it depends on how well; obviously those are local people and I can often gauge who wants to connect because of sales or because of networking; most of those people I reject.

Everyone else I have to check out because I need to see what people do and try to figure out why they want to connect with me. If there’s nothing written on their profile except positions, I turn them down; I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t fill any of their information in. If there’s some kind of business connection and they wrote something in their profile, I’m probably going to go ahead and connect with them. After all, you never know who they know until you do, and you never know where opportunities lie right?

Next, there’s Twitter. I’ve written about this one often but not in a long while. I look at every profile where someone has connected with me and I look for a few things to make my decision. If there’s no picture, nope. If you haven’t talked to anyone in at least 2 weeks, nope; and thanking people for connecting with you doesn’t count as conversation. If you found it important enough to put your political or religious feelings in your profile, nope. If most of what you write is in another language, nope.

This probably explains why I not only have fewer followers but my ratio of who follows me to who I follow is almost 4:1. When I had a “Twitter friend” that, unfortunately, was discontinued, that allowed me to check those who were following me here and there to see how they were acting online I could eliminate some folks every once in awhile, but now that it’s totally manual it doesn’t look like I’ll have as much backend control; thus, I’m choosier than before in who I connect with.

We Are The Many, Occupy Oakland Move In Day (27 of 31)
Glenn Halog via Compfight

On Facebook it’s rare that people want to connect with me; well, it’s the most rare out of the main social media platforms. In that case the criteria begins with who we’re both connected with; I like to try to have some idea of how people might have found me. I also check profiles, and lately I’ve noticed that more of the profiles reaching out are just sales sites; ugh! My ratio for accepting people there is 50-50, but since Facebook set it up where people can follow you even if you’re not connected to them it’s harder to keep people away from your stream unless you’re really paying attention.

On Google Plus… well, here’s where the rules differ a lot, and where I’ll own up to something that I’m betting everyone does in some fashion. G+ tells you if someone had added you to their circle. This happens often, and the first thing I look for is how many people we’re connected to and who they are.

If it’s people who I feel I’m more communicative with I’ll check out their profiles to see what they share and how current they are. If the last submission was more than 3 months ago, no connection; why are they even bothering me now? If all they post are their blog posts or on topics I don’t care that much about, nope, not connecting. If they’re connected to only a couple of people and those folks aren’t people I connect with often, yet put into a circle anyway, I’m probably not bothering unless… Okay, here it comes.

I’ll admit this; if it’s a good looking lady I’ll always take a look; go ahead, call me a pig! lol It’s the only platform I’ll do it on, and I’m not sure why. Thing is, I believe most of them are fake because I almost never add any of them. Why? Often they’re like Facebook folks who are only posting sales stuff. Often they only have the one profile picture and, well, I just don’t always believe it’s them; sometimes I know it’s not them because just how many women look like Gwyneth Paltrow anyway?

Overall I look at social media like this. Sure I want to be recognized, and I may want to be more influential, noticed, seen as an expert, etc. But the act of just connecting with people who connect with you for no other reason except to raise your numbers makes little sense to me. I can’t possibly even keep up with all the people I’m connected with already and those folks have intrigued me. If I connect with everyone, those folks totally get lost, even if I create specific lists to track some of them. I’d rather not go through that process; how do you feel about that?

Anyway, that’s how I do things on social media; what about you? And do you think my criteria are too high or too low at times, and what do or would you do different?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

What Will You Do For More Followers?

Once again it’s video time. The premise is simple, but I’ll lay it out in words, then let the video take over from there.

Those of you who read this blog know that I’ve talked often about the concept of influence. In my mind, influence brings you so much more than when people have no idea who you are. Influence is money; influence can be power, or at least having enough pull to get things done positively or negatively. When people trust you and see you as an authority, there’s nothing that can stop you, not even those people who inevitably won’t like you just because of who you are.

With that in mind, I ask the question and talk about this concept of just what will you do for more followers. This ponies off a conversation I was having with someone who’d canceled another meeting with me, which led me to ask the question about priorities and people, and a response she gave me that I countered later on. That part’s not in the video, but something else is.

So enjoy the video, think about some things I say, then let me and everyone else know what your opinion is. Go ahead; don’t be shy. 🙂


 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Twitter Numbers; What The Hey?

I’ve been on Twitter almost 3 years now. When I first joined, if a person had a lot of followers they had just under 20,000 people. Now if you don’t have followers into the hundreds of thousands, you’re pretty much considered a loser.

I guess I’m a loser. I have around 2,700 followers, and I’m following just over 1,000 people at the same time. In general, I’m thinking that’s not a bad ratio, and for the most part I’m okay with those figures.

For the most part, that is. I get a lot of requests each day from people I’ve never heard of saying they’re following me and giving me the option of following them. Actually, I guess it’s more accurate to say Twitter sends me these messages. What I do is look through almost every one of them to see what these people are all about, and how they communicate with others.

You know what? For the most part they’re junk. I mean, sometimes you have a profile that had lots of messages with fewer than 10 words. Sometimes they’re only quotes; often they’re just sales messages. Most of the time they’re links or retweets. That’s certainly a lot of Twitter blather.

Nothing really wrong with that, I guess, but is it, well, social? Actually, let me go back and say there is something wrong with it. Something I don’t like is that I know that most of these people are automatically signing up with each other and not looking at anyone who’s following them. They may not ever even go to Twitter and read any messages; they may not ever respond to anyone who sends them a message. Instead, they just hook up with everyone else and end up with some fantastic numbers.

What kind of numbers? I regularly am being contacted by people with at least 5,000 people following them. Often I have people with more than 20,000 others following them. And you know what? Some of those have never even posted a single message; what the hey?

I’d be jealous if I really thought these people were popular. One of those interesting things is that these people end up with very high Klout scores, and maybe that’s one reason I’m not trusting Klout at all. I wish I could remember who did it, but one guy actually set up a false account with software and did an experiment where it automatically not only went out searching for people to follow but automatically followed anyone who followed the account. Within a week his new account had over 5,000 followers, and it hadn’t send out a single tweet. And that account’s Klout score was over 65; it was amazing.

He then set up the account to automatically start posting messages, which were all links, and within 3 days the follower count increased to 7,000, and at the end of the week the Klout score was around 75.

Frankly, if it’s that easy to game the system, I’m not sure I want to deal with it. Sure, I want more influence, but at what cost? Is one being influential if they’re actually talking to no one? And if one’s posts are being retweeted but none of those people are ever stopping to check out the links, then are you really influential or just feeling a false sense of the word?

By the way, this isn’t a Twitter bash. I have lots of fun on Twitter, and I know that by posting my blog links to it from time to time that I’ve encouraged people to stop by my blogs for a quick visit here and there. I will say, though, that I lament much of the technology that’s made it kind of a mess here and there by people who could care less.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell