Do What You Do And What You Know No Matter What

Last week I was listening to an online review of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. There were 4 people talking about the movie. Three of the people absolutely loved it; one guy hated it. The guy who hated it owned up to the fact that he’d never read any of the books, nor had he seen the other movies. So, he was lost, looking for action, and hoping the movie would entertain him even if he didn’t know anything about the series.

I remember when the first X-Files movie came out there were a lot of people who were saying the same exact thing. No matter that the movie did have excitement (heck, it had explosions within the first 5 minutes) and even aliens (man, a movie with aliens that also makes sense is my kind of movie), but people were upset because they didn’t know the history behind the show or the characters, felt left out, and thus rated the movie lower than it deserved.

Sometimes I think people just don’t get it. Everything in the world isn’t for everyone; that’s just life. I remember a review of a John Denver concert years ago where the woman who did the review stated up front that she hated John Denver and left the concert feeling the same way. In my opinion, how could she even think of writing a fair review if she went in already knowing she didn’t like it? Was she expecting him to do something special so she’d say “wow, I was wrong all these years” if she hated it?

I’m bringing this up because of the subject of influence and being “liked”. In yesterday’s post on Twitter Chats, I talked about how some people didn’t like others using Twitter in that fashion and the resulting dustups that end up with some people losing followers and others gaining some. Just as the concept of Twitter chats isn’t for everyone, neither is every blog for every person.

Well, maybe that’s a bit much. I like to think this blog is for everyone, but I know that every post isn’t for everyone. If I write about sports and you don’t like sports, I don’t expect you to stick around long. I know I can write about cleavage (especially if I add an image) and Sire‘s going to be there, but if I write about string theory, chaos theory and the calculations of quantum physics that says they’re possible (ugly stuff to be sure, but kind of fun in a way) it might not grab his attention as much, but there might be someone out there intrigued enough to read it all.

I know there are times when I talk tech and some folks stay away in droves because they don’t get it. i also know I go to blogs that talk about cars or other things that my mind can’t always figure out either. I certainly don’t always understand “mom” blogs, being neither a mom or a parent.

When there are things that don’t appeal to my sensibilities, I don’t sit down and gripe about them at that moment; I leave. Whether or not I come back is irrelevant. It’s obvious at that moment that a particular thing wasn’t written for me or to me, and thus I don’t have to try to force it into what I want it to be. There are plenty of other outlets, plenty of other people who’d appreciate my time, and those people who are doing something I’m not interested in are going to appreciate that I didn’t stop by and rake them through the coals because they weren’t my cup of tea at that moment either.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re in a niche that not everyone can get behind. Those that do get behind it will be loyal to a fault, especially if you return that loyalty. And don’t beat yourself up if someone comes to your blog and leaves comments, yet you visit their blog and find yourself kind of lost. I think anyone who’s expecting me to stop by a punk rock blog just because they stopped by here and posted a comment is kidding themselves, just as I know I’d be kidding myself if I thought everyone should be watching and listening to every opera video I posted.

If you’re creating something, whether it’s a blog or website or book or music, create what you want, then find your particular audience, or they’ll find you. Don’t cater to someone who hasn’t invested time to learn what it is you have to offer. Sure, there are times when you might have to take a step back and give some background before moving forward. But like Harry Potter, X-Files and John Denver, if your stuff has been out there for awhile and a newcomer stops by and slams you for their ignorance, don’t bite; just go on with your bad selves. And if you’re wondering where that comes from, check out a clip from one of my favorites, the Muppets:

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas



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Twitter Chats

I’m on Twitter often, although I’m not always saying something or reading something. I keep TweetDeck open most of the day, listening for the sound telling me that someone’s either writing me or mentioning my name specifically, and occasionally checking in to see what’s going on at that time.


by Ivan Makarov

I started noticing that some of the people in my Syracuse stream were writing a lot of posts with these hashtags after them. For the uninitiated, hashtags are when you see the number sign (or pound sign; I keep forgetting that’s what they call it now) followed by some word or series of letters or numbers. This signifies a certain topic or thread that people either are or aren’t specifically following. That looks goofy in print, but many people will add a hashtag to finish a thought, knowing that no one is actually following that thread.

Anyway, I wondered what it was all about, so I decided to open up another column to follow this particular chat to see what was going on. In this case it was #cmgrchat, which stands for Community Manager chat. There are people who are employed to handle the social media aspects of their companies or clients, and once a week, Wednesdays at 2PM Eastern time, then get together on Twitter from all around the world and talk about a specific subject. For instance, last week’s topic was how community managers handle vacation time or days off when they might be the only person doing that job. A previous conversation was about SEO and social media; I participated a lot in that one. I’m not technically a community manager, but I do manage a couple of websites for some clients; that plus you don’t have to be a community manager to participate in a chat.

Here’s where the controversy comes in. During the time that a chat goes on, some people might post a lot of material. Sometimes others who are following those people don’t like that hour being hijacked away from them; their words, not mine. If you’re following someone who’s participating in a chat and they happen to have a lot to share, the number of messages from one person could get overwhelming during that hour, so much so that you might miss a message from someone else you follow. Some of the back channel talk has been, well, inflamed if you will, with both sides feeling they’re correct and standing firm on their positions.

I hadn’t realized I had taken a position on it until I reflected on the fact that I participate in at least the one chat and I enjoy myself. After all, Twitter‘s intention was to actively promote conversations amongst people who weren’t in the same location, and what better way to manifest it than doing it in this fashion? I mean, look at how I joined this one; I’d have never known about it if I hadn’t been curious about the hashtags.

I’ve seen some other chats, but haven’t participated yet. And there seems to be at least a couple hundred of them; here’s a link to a list of Twitter chats that someone shared with me. They’re all over the place, and I have to admit that some of them look like fun. I just don’t have the time or memory to participate in most of them.

Do you have a thought on this type of thing? Would you participate, or do you think it’s terrible that a group of people would hijack the stream of a follower like this for an hour or so? And, if you were irritated enough, would you just stop following those people who were participating? By the way, I notice that whenever I participate a lot in one of these things I end up with a lot of new followers, people who were on the chat who must have liked something I said. Since I only track people when they sign up, I couldn’t tell you if anyone has dropped me because of this, but the numbers seem to indicate it doesn’t happen during the chats.

Set of 10 Battery Operated Wizard of Oz Dorothy Red Slipper LED Christmas Lights

Set of 10 Battery Operated Wizard of Oz Dorothy Red Slipper LED Christmas Lights






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