For the second time this year I gave up the Monday spot for my I’m Just Sharing blog to my business blog, this time because yesterday was the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and I had something to say. Y’all know how I can be.
Most of you know I love the plugin called CommentLuv. I’ve been a fan of that plugin since 2008, so much so that I went ahead and paid for the premium version, which comes with a few more bells and whistles.
Lat year, I noticed that it wasn’t working on this blog. That occurred after an update, which the premium version has at least once a month so it was easy to spot. That it only stopped working on here was odd, so I contacted customer service for help.
After going back and forth in a few emails, turns out the problem is that I removed the footer here years ago because it had this bit of code in it that was falsely indicating what the blog was about. Most websites don’t have this as a problem but most blog themes come with a footer where, if you want or its an option, you can add even more links to your site. I couldn’t add anything to it, and I had problems with any alterations, so I just removed it. The blog works perfectly without it, and I never looked back.
However, the upgraded premium plugin needs the footer to do its job. For me, it kind of stinks, as my theme is pretty old, but which I’ve modified over the years, and I’m not in the mood to get a new one. During testing I swapped to one of the current WordPress themes to see if it would work, and it didn’t. So, whether it’s the footer or not is still out there, but the reality is that I had to load a previous version to get it working again and I’ll just have to be happy with that for now.
What this points out is that the latest and greatest isn’t always so for everyone, and holding onto something old isn’t always the best way to go either. I’m sure there are still many XP users out there who think it’s the bees knees (does anyone say that anymore?) and swear they’re never going to switch up, but last year when Microsoft finally stopped supporting it. If anything goes wrong you’d best be ready to pony up some big bucks for someone to come fix it, as most have moved on to newer operating systems, or be ready to totally wipe your system and load the disk that came with it, without knowing if any of the updated files will still be available.
Back in the early 2000’s the big thing most people wanted was some kind of flash on their websites. It was pretty, bold, and, well flashy. It also didn’t look good for everyone because sometimes it didn’t match up with what their business said they did. I’ve seen a lot of those websites over the years, and most of them have no rankings whatsoever; so sad… As a matter of fact, I’ve removed Flash from my computers, which is problematic because I’m a major fan of Firefox and none of the Flash content on other sites will play on it. However, Chrome seems to be converting all Flash stuff to HTML5, so if I really want to see something I just paste it there.
This is why you need to take a look at your website and your blog every once in a while to make sure everything’s working the way you want it to, as well as to do an evaluation as to whether it’s really getting the message across that you’re hoping to get out to the world. Remember my post about another plugin that started giving me trouble?
It doesn’t mean everything has to change, but it does mean you need to know what’s going on so you can make the determination as to whether to keep on the straight and narrow or make some kind of modifications here and there.
I just finished reading the book below, Twitter Marketing, and found that I had some things I wanted to talk about as it concerns using Twitter as a marketing tool as opposed to just a conversation piece. This isn’t a book review as much as it is a look at the ethics and possibilities of using Twitter to market oneself and their business.
The book pointed out some very interesting things, some I knew, some I didn’t. One, it seems that the majority of people using Twitter are between 35 and 44. that’s somewhat surprising because I’d have thought more young people would be using the technology because my mindset has always been that it’s younger people who are drawn to it. What I hadn’t taken into account is that this is the age group that was really the first group that grew up with the technology as close to the technology of today. In my very early 20’s, we had Space Invaders and Asteroids, which were relatively simple (I was my college’s Asteroids champ in 1980), and only 5 years later there was this more interactive game of the guy who dressed like a knight and had his adventures (Dragon’s Lair), and my mind couldn’t deal with it, yet the younger kids took to it like walking.
The second thing I knew was that, overall, less than 10% of everyone who signs up for Twitter could be considered an active user. What I didn’t know was that around 37% of those who are considered active users are actually bot accounts, which means that no actual person is ever tweeting a single thing. I’ve always wondered about that one, and now we have a figure.
The third thing I knew, but didn’t have any figures for, was just how fast bad customer service might bring you down, and some of the lingering effects. The writer, Hollis Thomases, pointed out the big Motrin fiasco, which I’d heard about but never knew what it was, and a potential Crocs episode that was nipped in the bud, but had the CEO so rattled by this weird attempt at extortion that he went to his blog, then to Twitter, to state his case before this woman, who apparently ended up with great fear that something bad could happen to her, followed through on a threat that was unwarranted.
All that said, it brings back these interesting questions about marketing on Twitter; is it ethical, and just how does one decide to do it.
On the first one, I believe it is ethical to market on Twitter, as long as it’s done properly. I don’t know a single person who enjoys immediately receiving an automated private message about buying something or signing up for something once you’ve decided to follow someone. Even the messages offering me something for free irk me because I don’t trust them. I immediately stop following those people, figuring I haven’t invested anything in them, and they really haven’t invested anything in getting to know me first.
But what about other marketing? If I have all my blog posts immediately go to Twitter, that’s marketing, and I believe it’s ethical, but is it? I think so because I’m really advertising my opinions and rarely advertising a product. I’m looking for readers for my blog; if money ends up coming in some fashion later on, I won’t be depressed by that.
The how of this question is a different matter. The only other marketing I ever do, which is rare, is when I announce my office hours. It’s rare that I do it because I’ve only ever had one person take me up on it, which tells me it’s probably a major waste of time, but I still pop it out there from time to time.
But other marketing? Truthfully, even though I see how some people do it, I can’t figure out if it really works for them or not. Yeah, they might get clicks, but are they irritating people? For instance, if you see a headline that looks intriguing enough to click the link, and you’re taken to one of those pages where you have to put in your name and email address to get any information about it, how do you feel? Or if the topic looks like you’re going to get information, and instead it takes you to a product; how do you feel?
I guess overall I don’t have a problem with marketing if two things occur. One, I know it’s a marketing message instead of a set up. Two, if that’s not the only thing a person’s doing with Twitter. Because when all is said and done, at least in my mind, they call it “social media” for a reason. It might not be everyone’s primary motivation, but they should at least try. Am I wrong?
I have an Epson Photo R200 printer. I like this printer a lot, so much so that I bought my wife one, and I even recommended it to my mother and a friend of mine, both of whom bought the same thing.
I do have a problem with it, though. It doesn’t like to print envelopes. Actually, the printing part is fine; it’s the feeding the envelopes through the printer part that it won’t do. I have to literally push the envelope into the feeder and hope that it takes it to get envelopes printed. If I’m only doing one envelope at a time it’s not such a big deal. But when I’m doing some of my marketing and I’m pushing through between 20 and 40 envelopes, it’s very irritating.
As I started to think back on it, I realized that every printer I’ve ever owned has been an Epson, and I’ve always had the same problems. That’s over 20 years of envelope problems, yet I keep buying the same thing. I know I’m the loyal type, but I’m thinking that’s a bit ridiculous in retrospect.
Then I started thinking about other tech things as it relates to my computing, or in some way interacts with my computer, and things I’ve tolerated over the years. For instance, I’ve had a Palm of some type since 2002. For the most part they’ve all worked pretty well. But every one of them invariably had an issue. And, oddly enough, I realized that at some point I sent each of them back to the company because something had failed; how weird is that? I love the fact that I can carry all my addresses and passwords and music and calendar and the like with me easily enough; but have I really gotten my money’s worth and had my time be really efficient in the long run with some of the technical issues I’ve had to deal with?
And then there’s my computer itself. Some of you remember my tale about getting my old computer fixed by the computer guy and the subsequent story the next day. The computer I had before that one was a terror as well. As a matter of fact, for all the complaints I’ve had about Vista, the truth is that this is still the best running computer I’ve had since the very first computer I ever had, my double floppy special back in 1987 that I never wanted, and look at all the trouble it’s led to in my life. 🙂 And I have had a few problems with this computer that I’m not sure are Vista related that makes me wonder what it is with tech companies to begin with.
I mean, is it that they’re all following what we know as the Microsoft Principle, which means put it out there even if it’s not perfect and we’ll try to make it better as it goes along? Yeah, I know, nothing’s perfect, but is there anything that any of us have bought that we can truthfully say we’ve never had even one little glitch with it?
I’ve had to replace my scanner four times. I’ve had to replace the battery pack to my laptop twice, and the hard drive once. My GPS unit just won’t update itself online through this computer, even though it’s supposed to, which means that was a waste of $65 to update the maps. I tried to update the software for the transfer of files between my cell and the computer and ended up losing access to my computer for a few hours until I figured out how to get back into it and do a system restore; thank goodness I could do that. I had to buy a USB headset because my previous headset and my microphone suddenly wouldn’t work. One of my external hard drives has bit the dust, and it was considered a highly ranked enclosure when I bought it. I can’t count how many hard drives I’ve lost over the years. And I’ve had to replace two monitors in my lifetime.
Am I expecting too much in my tech, or do many of you feel the same way? And, not that I’m going to change all that immediately, but is there a printer out there that’s not a HP (let’s not even go into why I’m not buying a HP) that will easily load envelopes so I can remove that bit of minor stress from my life in the future, that also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?
I came across an article that was actually a guest post on a blog called . The article was titled 10 Ways Social Media Will Change In 2010. I thought that since the post already have 50 comments and the writer hasn’t responded to any of them that I would comment on what she wrote here and let them have the trackback, if they’re predisposed to accept them. By the way, going unprofessional for a quick moment, I think she’s hot. 😉 Anyway, you can read the same article on her site, and it’s pretty good; pick your poison.
Anyway, here are her top 10 predictions:
Social Media Will Become a Single, Cohesive Experience Embedded In Our Activities and Technologies – This is a very good prediction, and I think it’s right on. I think we saw a lot of this already in 2009, and I think it’s even going to be bigger. Facebook is actually trying to go that way by finding a lot of different platforms and integrate with, so obviously they see that as the future themselves.
Social Media Innovation Will No Longer Be Limited By Technology – I’m not so sure that this one will be able to take place in 2010, but I think it could be very close to happening. Everyone doesn’t have to wait for new technology to do things these days, and I think that’s been evidenced by how many sites seem to crop up trying to copy something that’s already out there.
Mobile Will Take Center Stage – I think this is a bold prediction, but one that will probably take at least another 3 years or so to really get there. Right now, we still have issues with access, dropped calls, and overall costs. Are you one of those folks already paying $150 a month for your iPhone?
Expect an Intense Battle As People and Companies Look To Own Their Own Content – I think this battle has been going on for years, but it all ready started to change up in 2009 with news organizations such as Rupert Murdoch’s companies (which I’ll call “faux news”) griping at Google for linking to their content. I think that’s a stupid move because Murdoch seems to believe that people will just go to his site without first finding the link on Google; ain’t gonna happen. Of course, another minor controversy on this front concerns who actually owns comments on blogs. Stay tuned.
Enterprises Will Shape the Next Generation of What We’ve Called “Social Media” – I had to think about this a little bit before figuring out what side of the fence I was on. The truth is that many large companies are now hiring people with the title of “director of search” or “vice president of search”, which would’ve been unheard of even going back to 2008. Also, more large companies are hiring internal people to not only write their blogs, but to write posts for them on Twitter and also to check streams for any time their company names are mentioned. So, I think she’s on point with this one.
ROI Will Be Measured — and It Will Matter – I don’t know that this is anything new across the board, as companies, especially in 2009, have been taking crucial looks at the bottom line. ROI has always been a buzzword in business, so I’m not sure exactly what supposed to change.
Finally: Real, Cool and Very Bizarre Online-Offline Integration – She paints a very interesting picture with this one, but somewhere in my mind I’m still not sure we have the technology to do this efficiently yet, or cost effectively yet. That plus I tend to think that we just don’t have enough people even now who are computer savvy enough to even manage the Internet, let alone some of these other things.
Many “Old” Skills Will Be Needed Again – Man, am I hoping she’s right on this one. How many people are there who can still add up a string of numbers in their head without needing a calculator to do it? For that matter, what if we let people write it down on paper and figured out? And isn’t it a shame that when you go to a fast food restaurant everything is now in pictures rather than numbers on a cash register?
Women Will Rule Social Media – The funny thing about this one is that when blogging first started, it was mainly women who were doing it. Men passed women when they figured out they could make money from blogging. Now social media takes into account so many things that it’s hard to determine who is really running what. So, it’s possible women are already ruling social media; I’m not sure where to find any real answers on this one, but I don’t have any real opinion either way.
Social Media Will Move Into New Domains – This is another bold prediction that possibly may have already occurred, at least in some fashion. I have to admit that I’m amazed at some of the people and some of the businesses that have finally figured out what social media is and what it can do for them, but there’s so many more people and companies to go. Personally, I think my main business would profit greatly if more of them were into social media, especially since I rank so well for those main search terms. Once again, I really hope she’s right on this one.
There is my commentary; what are your thoughts?
Blogging, Social Media, Writing, Motivation and General Stuff