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They Like Me, They… What?

Posted by on Sep 25, 2012

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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41 Comments »

Hiya Mitch, in my opinion we’re never going to get rid of the robots and automation, they obviously do something worthwhile for someone otherwise they wouldn’t exist. Some people like collecting followers on Twitter so it’s perfect for them. As people get more and more savvy though I think the situation levels itself out. I think I have 65 followers on Twitter and of those half are robots which unfollow me after I don’t follow them back after a predefined period. Ho humm.
Roz Bennetts recently posted…Kristen Stewart on How to Speak ‘More Good’My Profile

September 25th, 2012 | 7:09 PM

Roz, that’s one of the reasons I hate all that automation. You don’t know who’s human and who isn’t sometimes. I guess on Twitter you can find out to a degree but it’s still irritating.

September 25th, 2012 | 9:42 PM
Claire:

That is why I never follow anyone on Twitter unless I know there identity. There are just to many robots out there and following them will end up flooding your mailbox with spam mails.
Claire recently posted…Kim Kardashian Ranks High on the Forbes ListMy Profile

September 26th, 2012 | 3:51 AM

It’s the smart thing to do Claire. I check out everyone that decided to follow me if I’m thinking of following them back. Some accounts, well, you know they’re either fake up front or nothing you’re interested in so I don’t even bother in those cases.

September 26th, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Hey Mitch, I never did try out Empire Avenue but I’m not surprised people have found a way to game the system.

Many times I wish I was one of those folks who could figure out how to get over on these things, but at the same time I’m glad I’m not. I want to succeed, but that’s not the way I want it.

That said, we kind of talked a bit on Twitter a while back about the auto-DM situation. You and someone else mentioned that they automatically unfollow if they get an auto-DM. I’ve also seen the sentiment about how this is social media, etc. paraphrased by many others.

Personally, I disagree with the auto-unfollow when you receive an auto-DM. I think it’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction that actually accomplishes the opposite of what you want.

I mentioned in our Twitter convo that I used to do the whole auto-Dm way back in the day, too. Why? Well, because I was told to by the big guns -none other than Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner explained how he was able to build his Twitter following that way.

So I went for it, but quickly canned the whole experiment because I didn’t like sending out those auto messages. At the time I felt like I was committing a sin, because who was I to not follow the instructions of the A-Listers?

Now this approach is demonized by those in the know. That’s why I say to cut these folks some slack. They may be acting on old information they received from the A List and don’t know any better (I don’t follow any of the big players anymore, but it would be nice if they publicly denounced the auto-DMs. Maybe they have).

Anyway, if someone follows you and you go to follow them back, you should be checking out their stream anyway. I assume you would see something worthwhile in them or you wouldn’t choose to follow in the first place.

When you get the auto-DM, THIS is the time for you and others to be sociable, and shoot that person a tweet asking them about their auto-DMs. Try to engage them and possibly educate them to the situation. Maybe find out who told them to do that. They really might not know how annoying it is to some people.

If people start doing this, maybe in one “Twitter-generation” we could actually take back those DMs.

Finally (sorry I know this is long), but I mentioned above how people are always riffing on the “Social Media is supposed to be social” theme. If that were true not many of us who read this site would be using it at all. We’re all pushing something.

I have friends who truly use Facebook and Twitter just for social reasons, they don’t have a blog or business agenda. Shouldn’t they be pushing us out if it were supposed to be all social? We’d be the ones messing up the paradigm.

Social Media is just a buzz-phrase that really doesn’t mean anything. So I don’t really feel beholden to the spirit of a term that isn’t easily definable anyway.

I don’t see many auto-DMs anymore, but then again I don’t accumulate followers that quickly, so that’s probably the reason. If I do get them it doesn’t offend me. I just ignore it. I don’t unfollow them, but I think now I’m going to start taking my own advice and just see if I can find out why they thought they should do it, and if they feel it’s working for them.

Sorry again for the long comment!
John Garrett recently posted…Let’s All Do The BitTorrent TogetherMy Profile

September 25th, 2012 | 8:45 PM

Love the long comment John; I doubt my response will be the same. lol

Here’s my thing John, and we’ll talk Twitter. I have it in my profile not to do it. If it’s a real person that’s adding me, they should be looking at my profile as well as if I’m talking to people or not. If they don’t, then it’s on them, not me. When I look at people I look to see if they’re social, but I also look to see what they do. I often click on links if I think it’ll take me to a blog; I’m just that kind of guy. So I’m paying attention; there are some people who are social that I still won’t follow based on what I see in the profile.

You say the term social media doesn’t mean anything. I disagree with that. I agree with your other statement more, that being that maybe actions that some of us take will help change things for the better in some fashion. Sure, we’re all selling something, but often it’s ourselves that we’re selling. Networking, getting people comfortable with us, helps a lot, and the more social we are the better opportunity we have for business. Sending me an insincere DM or other message means nothing to me, and tells me that I mean nothing to you, just like no one else you’re sending that DM to means anything to you.

Overall we teach people how to treat us; I really believe that. If I allow auto-DMs it means you’re allowed to treat me any way you want to; that’s how I see it. I just can’t do it. However, you should let us know how your experiment goes.

September 25th, 2012 | 9:50 PM

Yo! I CAN see where you’re coming from, but I still disagree. lol I gotta be stubborn.

I maintain that Social Media really doesn’t mean anything. It *could* mean anything. Take a look at LinkedIn for example. They’re always lumped in with “Social Media”, but they don’t define themselves that way.

A network purely for business networking? That’s not social, but they routinely come up in every discussion, every website roundup, every icon pack. I know, who cares what some icon pack maker thinks? Well, if not them, who? Who defines it? Mari Smith? Darren Rowse? Michael Stelzner?

Would I care if they did? They’re arguably the biggest social media personalities out there and I don’t read them anymore, but they’re all about business.

Social Media is so ill-defined that it could mean anything, and therefore could, and usually does, mean nothing. It’s just a useful marketing buzzphrase. It’s not an ideal or a spirit that has to be lived up to by anyone, and shouldn’t be invoked when trying to determine what is and is not acceptable behavior.

If you don’t like what they’re doing, that’s more than fine. It doesn’t mean they’re betraying the (non-existent) principles of Social Media.

I don’t think that anyone firing off an Auto-Dm to you means in any way shape or form that they’re trying to belittle you and say you mean nothing to them. Nor do I think it really harms anything. I don’t think it means that much at all. Much ado about pretty much nothing.

Oh, I’ve bemoaned the auto-dms in the past, too. “Oh, darn these auto-dms!! So annoying!” But I think a lot of people over-exaggerate how harmful the practice is. If it’s really that harmful, wouldn’t these people try to do something about it?

When you do an auto-unfollow, you’re willingly becoming an automaton yourself. You’re making the same decision based on an event that happens. But you don’t know the criteria of that event, or why it happened. You just do the same thing every time.

Then, when you don’t try to find out, you’re being the exact opposite of social, which is what you say you want. You just cut them off by ascribing motivations to them which may or may not be true. You have no way of knowing but to ask, but you don’t reach out and ask. Yes they may just be on auto-pilot trying to play the numbers game, searching on key-words, but they could be a good person who’s just using a bad technique told to them by someone they trusted, but probably shouldn’t have.

You take deep offense to a practice that YOU yourself could change, little by little, with the help of others willing to reach out and be sociable to folks who may be headed down the wrong path.

If “Social Media” really should mean something, then I’d have more respect for it if people like us were kicked off. No networking or selling yourself with the intention of doing business. Just leave it to the kids talking about Justin Beiber or fighting over the Kardashians, or people trying to hook up with each other -THAT’S social.

I definitely plan on asking the next person I get an auto-dm from, assuming they aren’t a bot. Although I suspect as more and more people see my comments on this one, my influx of followers will slow to a trickle lol.
John Garrett recently posted…Let’s All Do The BitTorrent TogetherMy Profile

September 25th, 2012 | 11:30 PM

Alright, a real discussion! lol

Let’s get this one out of the way; social media is what each of us determines it is. In your opinion it means nothing; in mine it means being social. LinkedIn is definitely social; it’s somewhat limited to business purposes but have you been in any of the groups on LinkedIn? Even if everyone in the group is in business in some fashion all the discussions aren’t business related. It’s just like business networking in person, only worldwide; it’s definitely what social media is about, even moreso.

So let’s talk about this auto-DM thing, since you’re defending these people. Do you really think these people care so much about each of us that they want to send up these auto-DM’s that give us the link to their blog or their product or their newsletter? That’s mainly what I get; it ain’t social, it’s marketing, plain and simple. The thing is I’ve already seen their website on their Twitter page, so I don’t need the extra DM. Our buddy Brian H won’t even look at DM’s anymore because of all the junk he gets through them, and he’s not alone. Someone busted on Chris Brogan last year because he decided to delete all the people he was following because of all the auto-DM’s.

That’s why I keep the count low of the people I do follow. You’ve seen my post on my criteria of people I follow, and you probably saw my post about guest posting on my one blog and how it irks me that people won’t even read it & follow the contact rules. In my mind, if you ignore such a small thing then you don’t care about getting to know me, you only want to sell to me.

I could be wrong but I’m willing to take that chance because for every one of those people, there’s a few other people who contact me because they saw something I said or did and want to connect with me for me. Yeah, I’m not naive to believe some of those folks might hope I’ll buy something from them some day, but as I said I look through lots of messages on their Twitter page to see if they’re engaging so I do some homework.

One last thing. Assumptions are what they are, and we all have them. We also all have only so much time in our lives. So I treat the people who treat me right very well. I respond to comments on my blogs because I appreciate that someone took the time to write them, and I delete any comments that’s spam or looks like spam. I talk to everyone that talks to me on Twitter and I’ve had some great conversations both with people I’ve just met & people I’ve known a long time. I participate in the groups on LinkedIn, and I talk to the people I connect with on Facebook when I can; hard to find those people all the time. If one sets criteria based on certain information, then it’s an educated assumption and thus that’s not so bad. If one sets a criteria based on something out of a person’s control, such as skin color, how much hair, clothes, then there’s nothing educated about that; it’s bigoted at the very least.

So, my assumption is that those folks don’t really care; doesn’t bother me in the least, and it won’t bother them in the least either because none of us are under any obligation to follow or be followed. But if anyone reads what I wrote in my Twitter profile, and there’s no mistake in what I’ve written, and still violates my own principle, it’s not on me, and it’s not my obligation to suss out their motivation. I don’t have the time for that, and they’re not going to stop doing it just because I said something.

Unless they read this blog that is, and start thinking about how irritating it is. lol

Now, come on other people, get into the conversation!

September 25th, 2012 | 11:54 PM

Well I don’t think anyone else is going to chime in after all this!! LOL.

If social media is what each of us determines it is, I don’t need to read any more. It’s exactly what I called it: Ill-Defined.

I “defend” the auto-DM people because as I mentioned, I was given that very same advice by an A-Lister who runs one of the biggest sites in “Social Media”.

I certainly didn’t (and still don’t) want to fleece people or spam them. The rationale at the time was to provide a link to a post or something that will add value to someone who is following you. In Stelzner’s example, he wrote about white papers and he assumed that people following him would be interested in white papers, so that’s the link he left after someone followed him – to his article on white papers.

Obviously it’s gone way too far these days since people are SO maligned, but my point is that many of these folks are probably just operating on bad info, and have no intention of bothering anyone or telling them that they’re nothing.

When you tweet your own link is it because you care so much about us that you want to give us a link to your blog? Maybe you thought your post could really help someone? Maybe they thought theirs could help someone, too. But the delivery vector just riles people up unnecessarily.

My bottom line is as such: I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s blown way out of proportion, and I think it’s pretty funny to auto-unfollow someone because they auto-dm’d you. Whether you auto-unfollow “by hand” or using a tool it’s the same thing, the same response happens every time no matter the quality or nature of the other person’s personality.

A few clicks and you could have a cool online “friend”, but instead to throw it away in the name of “social”?

But hey, in the immortal words of one of my best friends…”if it makes sense to you…”

Sorry folks, I co-opted the comments section, how many indents can this comment section handle?? -jump in here, y’all!! lol
John Garrett recently posted…Let’s All Do The BitTorrent TogetherMy Profile

September 26th, 2012 | 12:23 AM
anshul:

Hi Mitch!
i agree with you you hate automation like me but we don’t know who is and why do this perhaps collecting the follower is the passion of that person. i think people who are on twitter some of them may be robots and automation. i like your blog.

September 26th, 2012 | 2:43 AM

Thanks anshul. I hadn’t thought about their collecting information but I do think it’s a way to be as lazy as possible.

September 26th, 2012 | 10:12 AM

I light motive in my comments related to social media is that social media works only when you are social. There is wide possibility of leverage, but without a doubt there are some basic rules that is good to follow. I also played EA for a while, but I found out different strategy of using it which usually guarantee good results, when it is done at the right time.

September 26th, 2012 | 3:31 AM

Carl, I’m with you that social media needs to have more “social” in it. As for EA, I’m not sure if my strategy is great or not but at least I’m moving forward.

September 26th, 2012 | 10:14 AM

Well, my strategy is fine too, but mostly it work well for brand building. Traffic quality from EA is rarely good at least from what I can track.

September 27th, 2012 | 8:43 AM

I don’t get any traffic from EA Carl, mainly because the way they’ve set things up it’s difficult, or not encouraged, for people to do so. No one gets any benefit from visiting another person’s blog for the game, although from time to time, if I have some extra time, I’ll check out a few blogs here and there.

September 27th, 2012 | 11:04 AM

{Chiming in}

Truth. Perception. Results. Of the three, the one upon which you most focus determines your alignment with or against just about everything you do.

Notice, I restrict this assertion to action. Everyone has an opinion but, if they don’t base that opinion on experience, we can dismiss it as ivory-tower / philosophical posturing.

When you DO something, perhaps your motivation is business-related. Since the topic is automation, let’s concentrate on the motivation to automate.

As you both know, I’m a firm believer in automation. The motivation for me has always been simplicity. One of the simplest ways to initiate a conversation is to welcome a new person.

Mitch, when you joined Empire Avenue, did you get a welcome letter on your account or in your email? Was it automated?
Automation, in and of itself, is not evil. Spambots may plague your blog, but you don’t call all commentators spammers.

If you, John or I focus on different aspects of automation, our assertions, arguing points and counterpoints will rarely be in alignment. Being human, we tend to disperse our focus: think of how John felt about using Auto-DM: at first, he was looking for RESULTS. Then, his PERCEPTION evolved into a dislike of performing that action. He defined his own TRUTH about Auto-DM – so much so, that he doesn’t care what the so-called A-listers might have to say about it!

From the many conversations you and I have had about building an email list, I know that your PERCEPTION differs from mine. The RESULTS we seek from our audience is different. I can only speak to the TRUTH of the process based on my experiences, such as building my dad’s movie trivia list from scratch to 42 people in two months. LOL That’s way better than any of my business lists, so I have an idea of what targeting can mean for list-building.

At the end of the day, I always refer back to my own ivory-tower post about Fruitless Debates. The biggest issue is definition of terms. In the case of Social Media, John, I’d have to agree with Mitch. In fact, Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter has what I consider to be the best definition, as it perfectly balances my sense of Truth, Perception and Results:

“People are obsessed with social but it’s not really “social”. It’s making better decisions because of decisions of other people. It’s algorithms based on other people to help direct your attention another way.”

I linked to my post where I go into much more depth…

Cheers,

Mitch
Mitchell Allen recently posted…Keep Your Ize on the PrizeMy Profile

September 26th, 2012 | 9:27 AM

Great stuff Mitch!

First, I couldn’t tell you if I received an email or not from EA; I don’t remember. However, I’m thinking that’s a much different thing than someone looking at my profile, seeing my message saying don’t do it, then doing it anyway. In that instance I voluntarily signed up for something knowing (kind of) what was coming.

I’m not saying automation is evil per se; I’m saying that there are times when it’s major league irritating and I’d rather not deal with it. Kind of like getting a free report for giving up an email address means I’m going to get follow up emails, but 4 or 5 in one day from that person is overkill, no matter who it is. I don’t get that many news alerts from CNN!

I have my bit of automation with new blog posts; that shows I’m not totally against automation. But you know me; even with my newsletter I’ve never purchased an auto-responder service or program to help me with any of it. Could it hold back my business? It could, but it hasn’t. And my not having auto messages going out to people who comment on this blog saying “thanks for commenting; I’ll get back to you soon” hasn’t hurt either, but I wonder how irksome it is to others, as it is to me, when they get that automatic email after you’ve left a comment on a blog saying you’ve asked to subscribe to new posts from that blog when you did no such thing, and saying to click on the link to confirm when you didn’t do that in the first place. Subterfuge or trying to be courteous to your visitor? Perception, right?

When all is said and done we’ll like or dislike whatever based on our own code of conduct and live with it. And y’all know me; I have my parameter of rules that suit me just fine. lol

September 26th, 2012 | 10:29 AM

Well, said. My most fervent wish is that folks who enter the world of blogging do so with their experimental hats on: only with experience can we discover what works for our needs.

Cheers,

Mitch
Mitchell Allen recently posted…Gmail Smart Labels Handle BulkMy Profile

September 26th, 2012 | 11:32 AM
Holly Jahangiri:

AMEN to that! I agree with Mitch – we all have our own code of conduct (though if we’re wise, we test and revise it and are a bit flexible as experience gives us reason to be). But I get so tired of all the arbitrary rules folks impose on themselves and others – for what? Why do humans so LOVE to control one another?
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Yeah, I’m a Twit, Too!My Profile

September 26th, 2012 | 1:24 PM

Because we do! lol Think about it, you try to control your kids (I know, you’re going to say that you’re their mom after all) and when they’re adults you’ll still try to control them in some fashion because our parents do the same thing. We like things our way, we’re comfortable with it. And when we offer our opinions, we truly believe we’re showing “the way”.

Of course, no one has to ever accept any opinion I give, but I’m still going to give it, at least on this blog and at least on non-specific issues. Now, if asked whether someone should date someone else…. how ’bout them Cowboys! lol

September 27th, 2012 | 10:57 AM
Holly Jahangiri:

You know what? I actually have very little desire to “control” my kids. That is, once they’re adults and have learned to be responsible and accountable for their own actions. Sure, I want to keep them safe and don’t want them to do anything heinous that would reflect TERRIBLY on me as a parent – but beyond that? I just want them to be healthy and happy.

We, as a society, have a certain need (and a right) to control behaviors that would be detrimental to other people – you know, like outlawing murder, rape, theft, etc. I think, though, we have too many laws on the books that are purely “controlling” and largely unenforceable, and they never get trotted out except to club someone over the head – virtually speaking – when they don’t “do it our way.” I just find it interesting how many “rules” we seek to impose here on the Internet. Some, like laws against cyberbullying, are long overdue. Others, like “never auto-DM anyone” should simply be left to natural consequences (like “everyone you really care to impress will unfollow you”). People will learn what works for them and what doesn’t.

At least one blogger I know has “throw-away” Twitter accounts, auto-DMs people with invitations to come leave their backlinks on their blog, and wonders why they get accounts closed by Twitter. And certainly Twitter has the right to do that – it’s their playground, just as your blog is yours. (Then again, I’d say NO ONE reads comment policies before commenting – you might just as well delete any you don’t like, and sum any “policies” up as “I can do what I wanna – it’s MY blog!”) People can choose where to play, and with whom.

I generally look at auto-DMs like this:

If it’s friendly and thanks me for following and leaves it at that, fine – whatever;

If it invites me to a blog or to connect on another network, well – maybe, and…whatever;

If it offers me a freebie as a sign-up thank you gift, I roll my eyes and about 90% of the time, I unfollow – if that’s the first contact we’ve had;

If it suggests I’m smart or sexy or special for following and tries to sell me anything at all, I reply with something sarcastic, AND, if I find that they’ve unfollowed me before I can even reply to their sleazy sales pitch, and I’m unable to DM them back? I hit report/spam while muttering under my breath things best not repeated here. 🙂

I don’t ANNOUNCE these things in advance – I don’t need to! Someone’s presumed something, when they auto-DM me, and they get the reaction they get; you take people as you find them, weird hang-ups and all. That’s what happens in the real world, too.

Now, between friends, a little explanation is a kindness (as in the case of your not sharing/commenting on certain posts of mine – which is fine, and I’m not at all hurt by it because I UNDERSTAND it).
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Yeah, I’m a Twit, Too!My Profile

September 27th, 2012 | 8:20 PM

Now there’s a comment! You gave John and Mitch a major run for their money. lol

I figure it all this way, which I’ve pretty much stated previously in another comment. We have our blogs because it gives us a voice. We will find those who agree and disagree with what we say, but we still get to say it. I don’t see it as a method of control because we’re not leading any of the people who read what we write unless they wish us to.

With that in mind, I hate the auto DM’s and will rail against them. I hate the auto emails thanking me for leaving a comment and telling me you’re going to respond to it later; just respond to it later. I also hate the sneaky auto emails saying I want to subscribe to posts when they know that all I did was leave a comment. I always uncheck that box if it’s available so I’m certainly not asking for it to even be considered.

Is it a sense of control? I was kind of playing around before but truthfully, if it’s control it’s our own way of controlling how we’re going to react to these things. I unfollow because I tell everyone on my profile that I’m going to unfollow. No one can say I’ve misled anyone and that they weren’t warned. As I said to John, it’s not my place to have to contact any of those folks to ask them why they did it; truthfully, I see more arguments coming out of that than by my just dropping them.

So, I’ll stick with my own policy, control my own protocols, and, as Forrest Gump says, “And that’s all I have to say about that.” 🙂

September 27th, 2012 | 11:05 PM
Holly Jahangiri:

I use automation tools on Empire Avenue. But if I say “I like you,” using them, I’ve been hacked. 🙂

I usually say how many shares I’ve bought and tell people to have a great day/week/lunch… 😉 My account is not automated and I don’t use it like some – buying one share and posting a paragraph of spam! (I’ve “muted” a few people for that.) I may invite people to check out a “Mission” or stop by my blog to say hello. And sometimes, I even respond in person – as you know.

I used to ALWAYS respond in person, if at all. Then I caught on to how others were playing the game – and it IS a game – so to some degree that’s fine, and I can play it their way. Doesn’t mean I automate EVERYTHING, and I try not to spam anyone there. If you own shares, my points contribute to yours… I felt, in a way, that I owed it to other players to at least try to PLAY the game as a game, too.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Yeah, I’m a Twit, Too!My Profile

September 26th, 2012 | 1:22 PM

Holly, I’ve pretty much stopped writing to anyone who leaves me a message saying they bought shares because no one has ever responded, which makes me think they’re all automated. I do have this one guy writing me a private message but he’s irritated because I won’t just buy his stock daily regardless of what his price is; tough being him. lol

September 27th, 2012 | 10:54 AM
Holly Jahangiri:

Hey, I responded!! Newbie. 😉
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Yeah, I’m a Twit, Too!My Profile

September 27th, 2012 | 8:22 PM

Oh yeah, I respond to posts on your blog when I can; just not on someone else’s blog. lol

September 27th, 2012 | 11:06 PM

Lol Mitch. Thank you so much for that. I just joined, like 2 days ago, andI got a ton of messages. I diligently responded to them all in an effort to connect. Yeah, won’t be wasting much time doing that again. BTW can we googla hangout so you can offer some simple guidelines on Empire? I was gonna try and figure it out this week, but, uhm, ya I have other pressing stuff.

And every single tutorial I’ve found is long and complicated *sad face*. Anyway I agree with ya. The automation thing works in moderation. automating my twitter and facebook direct messages and interactions seems lazy and disingenuous so I won’t be doing it! Nice perspective.
Mys Palmer recently posted…Do this, Don’t do that…yet-Step 4 Social Media (done right) –Ugh do I have to?My Profile

September 27th, 2012 | 2:59 PM
Holly Jahangiri:

Mys, there’s this: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70323

That’s a very readable guide to playing Empire Avenue, written by Alan Jobe (e)libdrone (I’m (e)hgj by the way – nice to meet you!)
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Trockle Says, “Come Color Me YOURS at Color Me Mine!”My Profile

September 27th, 2012 | 8:25 PM

Thanks Mys. Sure, send me an email which is listed on my contact page and we’ll set it up. As for answering all those automated things, I think we all learn our lesson eventually. 🙂 And the over-automation… hate that but there’s always hope.

September 27th, 2012 | 10:42 PM

Frankly speaking Mitch I would never like an automated response just because the comment I am putting on a post is not automated. It made me think and I felt it before commenting on it, so accepting an automated response would be an insult to my efforts. And to be honest I take social media seriously, so whenever I discover that I have been getting automated responses I stop interacting or commenting.

September 28th, 2012 | 3:17 AM

Thanks for your view Jordan. I’m a lot like you. Putting something out so that everyone knows you have something new is a good way to automate. Sending people everything you can think of just because they’ve connected with you in some fashion is unnerving when it’s automated. At least to me it is.

September 28th, 2012 | 11:06 AM

Thanks for a very interesting article Mitch, I too have been wondering of late whether anything on the internet is real. Very often comments I write are not acknowledged, this probably understandable as it would be hard work to reply to everyone, but I also write very original articles and have had them rejected because of “duplicate content” which is frankly untrue, and I believe that this is an automated response.
So yes I would love to deal with real people too!

September 28th, 2012 | 3:58 AM

That’s interesting Sally. The only time I ever had something I wrote rejected as a duplicate was something I’d actually written years earlier that the company said was okay to submit because I was the original author. Turns out they decided they didn’t want that, even though it was in their policy terms, and I discontinued my association with them. And yes, it looked like an automated message both times.

September 28th, 2012 | 11:08 AM

Getting an automated comment or message is about as meaningful as getting Valentines from everyone in your third-grade class. If there’s nothing behind the act, there’s no reason to feel anything about it. I really like that photo you chose.
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September 28th, 2012 | 10:27 AM

Thanks Charles, and I like that picture as well. Nice analogy there, except that sometimes back then you also got candy, although I always hated those hard heart-shaped things. But chocolate; I was your friend for life! lol

September 28th, 2012 | 11:14 AM
Jeevan Jacob John:

That’s the exact point I have been trying to make, Mitch (unfortunately, some people just don’t agree).

There is no value to complete automation – both actual and perceived value.

Sure, you might send me an Auto DM (for the matter, let’s take share – auto sharing my content).

I appreciate you sharing my content, but my appreciation for it is far less when you auto-share it (the perceived value of the action is far less because I can see in Twitter how you tweeted it; whether you used an Auto tweeting client).

What I really care about is the networking. You don’t need to share my content for that. A simple hello and conversing is more than enough.

But, beyond all that, there is something called Time, right? We all lack time, so semi-automation can be acceptable (I mean, it should be as long as you are taking active effort to make those connections, right?)

September 29th, 2012 | 12:37 PM

Great comment Jeevan. The only automation I do is when my posts go live, since I write a lot of them in advance. There was a conversation we were having in a FB group where the recommendation was to set each other up to auto-share each other’s blog posts. I declined because I said I only share what I read and what I agree with. Now, there are folks who share some of my stuff, but most of those people also come here and comment eventually so that’s not an issue. Still, since I’m never really sure I’d rather wait, comment, then share.

September 29th, 2012 | 10:26 PM

Curious that you posted about this. I surfed into a twitter account yesterday and was astonished to find a link in the guy’s profile to a page that wasn’t a website but was a long, long list of his twitter policy. It was astonishing what he regards as things he won’t put up with, but what made me laugh was when he mentioned automated messages, as earlier on he said that he schedules all his tweets so can’t respond to anyone in real time!

I haven’t had any auto-DMs (yet) but have had quite a few bots finding me. I have no idea what they’re picking up on, but boy do they ever find me!

September 29th, 2012 | 9:25 PM

Val, bots are set up to respond to certain words. It’s amazing what they’re set for, but that’s how it all works. And you’re right, it is ironic that he doesn’t like automated messages, or whatever his rules were, but says he won’t respond to people in real time. I’d drop that kind of jerk in a heartbeat; how phony!

September 29th, 2012 | 10:21 PM

I’m not a big fan of automation at all. I would rather get a personal email when joining than some automated one but I understand how that can be impracticable when you have a busy site.

I have a couple of people that auto tweet my post, I know because it pops up way to quickly, and to be quite honest with you I prefer it a whole lot more when I get tweets from people who have actually read the post.
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October 21st, 2012 | 1:48 AM

I’m with you Sire. I appreciate those folks who trust my content enough to auto-post it but also hope they’ll come by, have a read, and have their say.

October 21st, 2012 | 10:02 AM