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. 🙂
 

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Are There Other Twitter Re-Tweeting Rules To Follow?

As some of you know, I participate most of the time on a weekly Twitter chat on Wednesdays called Community Manager. It’s pretty neat sometimes, and today it was on the topic of blogging communities, something I like to talk about often.

Days ago I asked people if they comment on blogs they share via Twitter. It’s gotten a lively discussion and has even sparked conversation on other blogs. Well, something else came up today that begs the question as to whether people should ever be retweeting content that goes on through a Twitter Chat.

Actually, this came from someone who wasn’t even part of the chat. As I’d mentioned in the original post on chats, some folks don’t really like it when a group of people take up an hour or two for these chat sessions. I debated with myself how I felt and decided that I wanted to participate and that pretty much is that.

His gripe was that because each chat already has hashtags, which means everyone who’s participating is already into the chat, that there’s no reason for anyone to retweet anything while in the chat. His two points were these:

1) Followers (who aren’t chatting) see tweets out of context, becomes blather
2) It’s redundant to people who ARE following chat

Of course we debated this for a bit, and he included someone else in his diatribe who didn’t appreciate it and said she was going to do things her way and that he could just unfollow her if he wanted to. I’m going a different way; he’s a good guy, so I’m going to state my point of view here.

To his first point, he may or may not be correct. Let’s talk about blather for a minute. When a study was done a couple of years ago, it considered these categories:

News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Conversational, Pass-Along Value, Pointless Babble

The “pointless babble” part was the only piece considered as blather; it accounted for 40% overall. Babble was defined as “These are the “I am eating a sandwich now” tweets.” Not very scientific but it fits for now. If one is in a chat and one happens to RT something that found profound enough that someone else said, is that considered babble by the definition of the study? Nope. Does it matter whether someone is in the chat or not? Nope.

Is it irritating? Well, on that front it might be. I see these things all the time, chat or no chat. However, I also share a lot of things. In this particular chat I was guilty of at least one official retweet, and some messages where I selected retweet so I could respond to a group of people all at once and forgot to remove the RT in front of the message; oops. But the retweet I did I felt was so profound that I wanted other people following me, friends of mine, to see it whether they were on the chat or not. I tend to do that with RT’s in general, and this was no different in my mind.

Now let’s look at his point #2. Is it redundant to people in the chat? Could be, but also might not be. This is a very active chat. Last week in an hour there were almost 700 messages. Today’s topic was “blogging and community management”, something I know a lot about obviously. I posted a couple of thoughts, and the next thing you know I’m getting all sorts of people writing me directly. I won’t say it was overwhelming, but it was comprehensive. To a degree, I couldn’t keep up with every single message in the chat while also responding to everyone that was writing me directly. So, often I caught a retweet hashtag instead. Redundant for some readers? Absolutely. Redundant for me? On a day like today, not even close. On other days when I say almost nothing; yeah, I’d have to agree.

My overall conclusion? It’s actually the same thought I had when I first talked about chats. Some people aren’t going to like it at all. Some people aren’t going to like aspects of it. It’s like the PC/Mac argument. Based on how I use it will I stop doing it my way. Nope, ain’t happening. Based on how others use it will I stop participating or get upset about it? No, because then I’d be a hypocrite, and I’m certainly not that. When I get irritated by a behavior I either drop someone or I move them into another bucket. But I can take it for an hour, so I have no issues at all.

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Another Blogging Research Survey; Following The Hashtag

Yesterday I wrote a post basically asking myself if I was using Twitter wrong. My thought was that I really wasn’t using it in a proper business way, and thus could be impeding my progress in getting more clients and business through there.


Emotional Chaos by Byron May

In particular, I decided that maybe something I should be doing was following the hashtag for “blogging” so I could see what people might be saying. It didn’t start off as a survey or research in any way, but I was kind of amazed at what I found, what happened and didn’t happen, and other types of stuff, and I figured that since I always say that if people paid attention to what’s going on around them that they’d always have blog posts, and I do, that it would be intriguing to share some of what I came across. If not, well, at least it’s a post. lol By the way, the stats aren’t absolutes, but pretty close to what I came across.

To start off with, I tracked the blogging hashtag over a 12-hour period. That’s a long time, and one would have thought there would be tons of blogs to see. There were a lot of blogs, but it seems that most of them were retweets of those blogs using that hashtag. Probably half of all the links I saw were retweets. And at least 35% of those were retweets for big name bloggers such as Darren Rowse or sites like Copyblogger. And one more amazing thing was that on Problogger, none of the posts that were retweeted were written by him; all were guest posts. Of course Copyblogger has multiple writers, so that makes sense.

Next, about 30 to 35% of the blogs that were being shown were Disqus, Intense Debate, or some other style of blog that required one sign in or create an account. As most of y’all know I don’t do Disqus blogs, so I didn’t even read any of those. Yeah, I know, I might have missed something good, but if I’m not commenting I’m not really sharing either; after all, that was a part of the adventures, commenting then sharing the post, which we talked about a few days ago.

Speaking of which, something else that was interesting is that around 80% of the blogs that were shown and then retweeted didn’t have a single comment on them, and the rest that did didn’t have a single comment from any of the people who had retweeted it; well, only one did, and of course it was our friend Pat who’d beaten me there. Isn’t that kind of bizarre overall though?

On the day I found 9 blogs that I felt I could comment on and then retweet. Out of those 9 blogs 5 of them moderated my comment; y’all know how I feel about moderated comments as well. I didn’t get a single response from any of the blogs I commented on… well, not totally true. From one blog I did eventually get an automated response thanking me for leaving a comment and saying that it would be reviewed and addressed later on. Frankly, I’m thinking that’s not friendly enough for me, so y’all know I won’t be subscribing or going back any time soon.

Finally, obviously I read some good stuff, and some stuff that bothered me slightly but it was still good. I wouldn’t have retweeted anything I absolutely hated. I did retweet a couple of things I just couldn’t leave a comment on because they left me with nothing I could add to the conversation, and I mentioned that in the retweet. There are some pretty talented people out there that we don’t know about, and it’s too bad. But we’re not all meant to agree with everything we see and everything we comment on; we’re meant to add to the discussion if possible.

In the end I’ve decided that’s not a great hashtag to follow. There was more blather there than anything else. I really wonder if those folks are reading any of what they’re sharing or not. At least I did some reading and some sharing, and if nothing else happens I think there will be a few more people who will at least know my face and name because of my commenting on their blogs.

Sometimes, that’s the best you’ve got coming to you.

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Am I Using Twitter Wrong?

By now there’s no question that I enjoy being on Twitter. I’ve written about it enough and talked about it enough and even given tips on how to use it for business. There’s really a lot to Twitter that can work for us, even though I still say it’s probably not for everyone.

tweet me something
by Policarpo Wood

However, I’ve been having this feeling lately that I’m not quite using Twitter properly. Of course some might say there’s no proper way of using Twitter and I may or may not disagree with that. After all, I’m the guy who wrote on the mix of sociability and business on Twitter as well as telling a story about the power of Twitter.

According to all the sources that give Twitter reports and the like, I’m considered an almost perfect user. I have the mix of being social as well as sharing information. Klout, which I’m still unsure about, lists me as a thought leader, saying I understand what my audience wants to hear. And according to Twitter itself I’m in 244 direct lists, which means that many people are actually looking to see what I have to say and want to participate with me. Out of around 2,800 followers, that’s somewhere around 5%; I’ll take that.

It’s the first point up there that I’ve been wondering about, however. Business and sociability. I know I’ve got the sociability part down, but the business part bothers me. I’ve started wondering just what type of business stuff am I doing that could either drive people to my websites or get people to communicate with me to possibly work with them.

What am I doing? Well, let’s see… Every blog post from all of my blogs shows up on Twitter; that’s a little bit of marketing. That might work for my business blog but it doesn’t do anything for any of the rest of my blogs. I talk about all types of concepts and stories on the other 3 blogs, but none necessarily help me hype any business I might do. Every once in awhile I post a link to a page on one of my websites highlighting a business process I can perform, but that’s really rare, as I’m not one of those people who’s popping out “me-me-me” every 5 minutes; ugh!

This leads to the question of how one can do a proper mix of sociability and business on Twitter using the same account, because some people get around this by creating two accounts. What happens with that for the most part is that people either forget which account they’re on when they communicate with someone or they end up posting everything twice because they remember and then switch to the other account because it might have different followers. I know some people that have 4 or 5 Twitter accounts; I figure I’m schizophrenic enough having 4 blogs.

Probably the best thing I could do for business would be to follow certain hashtags, as I talked about when I wrote on Twitter chats. It’s the major recommendation for large businesses, that they follow not only their business name but whatever their industry happens to be to see what people are talking about.

I don’t follow any hashtags consistently, but have mainly stuck to seeing what’s going on in my community unless there’s something big going on in the world. I need to think about which 3 hashtags I should be checking on a more consistent basis that makes sense.

For instance, it would make no sense following the term “writing” because that can be used so many ways that it would become a major mess. I could follow the term “blogging”, though, not necessarily because it would lead to business but because it’s a topic that would be easier to follow and would lead to a lot of blogs that write on the subject, giving me more opportunities to spread my influence.

Just to mention this, I have gotten work that came directly from Twitter. There was one person I was consistently writing for last year, and I got a minor speaking engagement, locally so it was free, from it as well. I’ve also been interviewed many times by my friend Beverly because of our Twitter conversations. So I’m not totally deficient; I just feel I can step it up.

If you’re of a mood to be using Twitter for business in any fashion, what do you think of my beliefs in the process of hashtags? Are you doing something different, or are you even trying to use Twitter for business in any fashion?

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