Blog Action Day – The Power Of “We”

Every year this group that calls itself Blog Action Day comes up with a topic that they hope bloggers around the world will write on. I’ve only participated twice as far as I know, and I did the same date on this blog and my business blog. This time around I’m only doing it on this blog, and this is that article. The previous articles were on the topic of poverty and food.

This year’s topic is on the power of “we“, which I find fascinating because not only was this a calendar year where the collective “we” changed history, but this is a presidential election year, and the “we” have a another chance to select either the current leader or a new leader. I’m going to touch upon the former then talk more about the latter.

In the last calendar year we saw the governments of Egypt and Libya overcome decades of dictatorship, and we almost saw the overthrow of Syria, not by military means but by the people joining together and deciding they wanted another way. To the credit of the military in the first two, they didn’t just do their “duty” and start slaughtering the populace, which they could have easily done. Syria showed that when one just “has” to stay in power, it will be by any means necessary.

We have seen the power of “we” used in other countries in the same fashion, sometimes to the detriment of the rest of the world in my opinion, but sometimes change has to happen before things can move forward, no matter what kind of change it is. And it’s hard to ignore the power of “we” in these instances.

So, what about our presidential election? Voting is a right that people in many countries would love to have. There’s almost no corruption and, when it concerns presidential politics, millions of people go to the polls to vote. This is the best way of using the power of “we” in our country.

Except it doesn’t quite work that way. Some of you might remember my post titled I’m Black where I talked about having people question my vote for current President Obama because of my skin color rather than using reasoned decision making. Truth be told, what really happened is that leaders in black communities across the country worked hard on getting the vote out, and it was a success.

But it wasn’t the first time there was such a push. Every year since Gore decided to run for president the same thing happened, and black voter registration has increased every year, thus more black people voted. The power of “we” was in evidence.

Was that what put President Obama over the top though? Not even close. What pushed him over the top was the other side of the power of “we”, that being white voters that decided they weren’t going to vote at all. There was a decrease on the other side of around 35% that decided not to even show up, even though they were registered. See, the power of “we” can be apathetic, and in their own way participate in the process by not participating.

In 2008, just over 57% of registered voters decided to exercise their constitutional rights to vote. It was the highest turnout since 1968 when just under 61% of the population voted. Compare this to the years from 1848 to 1900 when only once did the voting populace come under 70%, and it was still 69.6% in 1852. Three times in history we couldn’t even get 50% of registered voters to the polls; apathy are “we”.

Still, it all shows that the power of “we” is strong, both for positive and negative reasons. If people decide to band together for a cause, “we” is a powerful statement. When all is said and done, if we all want positive things to happen in society, it’s up to “we” to get it done. And we can do it.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Content Curation Faux Pas

This is a relatively short post that I wanted to get up to discuss one of the problems with the concept of content curation. I’m not necessarily a fan for many different reasons, and the link below is one of them.


This link is from CNN News, and it’s talking about the guy who set the record for skydiving from the highest point in space ever, more than 24,000 feet; ouch! It’s a great story, one I’ve actually been following for about a year since I first heard about it, and it all ended well.

Anyway, the story talks about how he got up there, how he jumped via balloon, how far he fell before deploying his parachute, speeds, and then the landing. It’s all fascinating stuff, and I wanted to read more about his feelings and what other people thought about him going through it.

There was, and probably still is, a lot of content in the story. However, after the first few paragraphs, it turns out to be all filler. And not just regular filler, but it’s all pre-event filler. In other words, it talked about potential dangers “before he jumps” when he’s already jumped. In essence, all the information and data that CNN had accumulated before he made the jump was posted again, and had probably been posted time and time again every time his guy was part of the story.

Thing is, that’s one of the problems I have with content curation. It’s a lazy way of reporting, and it makes you, the source, look stupid if you don’t update it in some fashion so that it looks current. If it had been written without time emphasis it might have worked better. But it wasn’t, and thus it’s disappointing reading and stuff that, for the most part, I’d already read. And if I hadn’t read it I’d still have been wondering why it was written in the past tense.

Maybe I’m being sensitive so I’ll ask you. Based on this story and the way they’ve used content they’ve previously curated, should they have updated it, not used it at all since it’s past its usefulness, or am I way off my rocker?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Do Other People Know Who You Are On Social Media?

This might seem like a strange question, but it’s an important one; do people know who you are in all the social media circles you’re in? If you think it’s a strange question I’ll explain why it’s not.


Raquel & Me

Back in March 2011 I wrote a post here titled Why I’m Now Mitch Mitchell. In that post, I basically talked about changing my name in this blog from just Mitch to my full name. Sure, I still compete with the guy who was the drummer for Jimi Hendrix and a particular reporter in Dallas – Fort Worth, but I’m being found. It also worked out well for me, as you saw in my post about Google Authorship.

On every site I go to, that’s the name I use. I link back to my site, as many as possible in as many places as possible. I usually have some kind of bio filled in so people can see what it is I do in all these different circles. My intention, as I’ve stated often, is to grow my influence, as I believe that’s one way to increase income possibilities since I provide services more than products. I’m all over the place online; people might not always remember my name but I know I’m being seen. I can say that because it seems I’m #19 on the list of leaders talking about leadership. Not bad, eh? 🙂

What’s got me talking about this subject then? A few days ago I came across someone I’m connected with on Twitter who I talked to once on a Twitter chat. I decided to see if I could find out more about her. The only link she had on her Twitter page was to one of those About.me sites.

I’m not necessarily a fan of those sites, although I can see the possibilities. It actually gives people a chance to list all the places where they can be found on social media as well as having a bio page where people can learn something about them. It saves on the cost of having to have a website, and if used properly it could work wonders.

However, most people aren’t using it all that well. Some have only an email address on there; how helpful is that? Some might have only a few words here and there; once again, not all that helpful.

In her case she actually has a lot of words on the page. And they tell a lot about her. Only none of it means anything. For instance, favorite colors, favorite flavors of ice cream, what makes you smile… okay, in the context of a blog post that might be interesting, but on an About.me page what is that telling anyone? She does mention where she works; that’s something. But you’d be hard pressed to find her on the website that she links to; once again, tells us nothing.

She has multiple social media pages also; now we’re getting somewhere. Uhhh, nope. Has a blog but no blog posts. Has a Pinterest page but no words and nothing about her at all. Had an Instagram page but, once again, no words and all the Instagram pictures have been moved to her About.me page; pretty young lady but no information. Has accounts in at least 6 other social media sites, but no information on any of them.

You might remember when I took a position on my post regarding whether to follow people as a social media strategy and having no other purpose was worth anyone’s time. I ask the same question here; what’s the point of being on social media sites if you’re not going to participate on any of them? It’s even hard to say you’re wasting your time because you’re not doing anything with them; it’s more that you’re wasting everyone else’s time because you link to these things but none of them mean anything.

She’s not alone by the way. I had the same lament in looking at many of the accounts on Empire Avenue, where people link to blogs they haven’t written in 3 years and other sites that are empty and vacuous because there’s nothing there.

What is the purpose of this type of thing? Any of you doing this, and if so what’s your strategic purpose? What do you think of this type of thing in general?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Posting Times – The Experiment

Back near the end of August I wrote a post titled Posting Times On Social Media. It was based on an article that I linked to on that post that highlighted the premium times to post blogs or articles based on patterns they had observed of how people interact on social media. I said I would experiment and show the results of that experiment; this is that post.

21-06-10 Cause I'd Rather Pretend I'll Still Be There At The End ~ Explored #1
Βethan via Compfight

I decided to compare the periods from August 1st through August 31st with September 4th through October 4th. There’s actually a one day difference, but I figured it wouldn’t make all that much difference overall if the numbers were drastically different. I was also using Twitter as the tool of choice in trying to see if more traffic came from there during the new times.

The results… well, certainly not what I was expecting, but still interesting in their own right. I used Google Analytics as my tool; who doesn’t?

The period from August 1st through August 31st had 2,799 visits, 8,819 page views, at an average of 2 minutes and 27 seconds per visit.

The period from September 4th through October 4th had 2,841 visits, 9,037 page views, at an average of 1 minute and 58 seconds per visit.

So, the shorter period did have more views and page views, but nothing extraordinary. During the second period, all posts went out between 11:30 and 4:45 EST in the afternoon, whereas all the posts in the earlier period went out between 9 and 10AM EST. So traffic did increase; did that prove anything?

Actually, not in the least. I then decided to check times that articles were viewed, and things took a strange turn. For the earlier period, most people looked at the blog posts around 10AM, 5PM, 9PM and 2AM; the latter is probably because I’m often up and will repost my articles then. For the later period, the views were noon, 8PM, 11PM and 3AM most of the time. There were some sporadic views earlier in the afternoon, but the peak times articles were viewed weren’t the times I expected.

As I said, that was strange. What did it mean though? Well, one more statistic to check, which is Twitter traffic itself. For the early period, Twitter was my 10th highest referrer. The the second period, Twitter was my 8th highest referrer. On the surface it looks like the second was better, but it wasn’t because the 1st brought 38 visitors while the second brought 31 visitors. Even with the extra day the math shows that the early period would have brought more visitors.

What does this tell me? It basically says that, at least for me, time meant nothing. Since search engines and email subscriptions brought the most traffic to the blog, time turns out not to be much of a factor for me. A better test might be Facebook if I posted most of my posts here on Facebook, but it’s rare that I do that.

Does time really mean anything in the long run? I have to truthfully say I don’t know. It doesn’t mean anything for me, but that doesn’t mean it might not mean something to everyone else. By the way, I also ran the same test on my finance blog during this period. The strange statistic on this one is that traffic did indeed go up almost 500 visitors in the second period, but page views dropped; what the hey?

I will be going back to my normal posting times pretty soon because I’d rather have an idea what time my posts are going live rather than having them going at random times and my trying to remember when something’s coming out on which blog. Way easier to plan it otherwise.

Has anyone else decided to try this, and if so, what were your results like?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Google Authorship – Pretty Cool!

Last week on our Hot Blog Tips newsletter, Brian Hawkins talked a little bit about the new Google Authorship program and how, with a Google Plus account, you can how have your image show up next to your content in Google search, along with some other cool stuff. I wanted to show you what some of it look like and just how cool it really is.

First, check out the image below:

That’s what comes up on Google when someone is lucky enough (lol) to put in a search term that brings up my blog, in this case my business blog. You notice how it not only brought up the post along with my image, but it brought up more links from my site highlighting the same post in different ways. It also brought up some of the other posts that I linked to, but I didn’t want the image to go on and on. Truthfully, this is really cool, and to make sure it wasn’t a fluke because I was signed in on my Firefox browser I pulled up the same search terms on 3 other browsers on my computer and the same thing came up, with my picture, in the same order. Trust me, that’s pretty cool.

There’s the thing though. Because I have to many different blogs I wondered if it would pull up my picture for those blogs as well under my name. Below is one of the topics for this blog:

I posted the same link on Google Plus some days later and this comes up:

I’m not mad at that. But there’s one more thing that I thought was pretty cool. By having that Google Plus account, it also accessed my YouTube channel and pulled this up for one of my more recent videos:

I don’t know about you but I’m uber impressed and think this is the coolest thing. Two of my other blogs have images as well, and only my local blog won’t show the images. Why?

The only way G+ will do this is if you’ve verified the email addresses associated with those blogs. I have all the email addresses on my G+ profile except that one because I didn’t create a separate email address for it, using my personal email address that I subscribe to newsletters and the like instead. I don’t want that one out into the public so it only comes up if I have to write someone from that blog, which to date I never have. But I can live with that.

In our never ending quest to be better known, I have to say this works great for me, and the thing is that if someone just put in my name and a topic I might be associated with, it works out as well, as the example below shows what came up when I typed Mitch Mitchell Leadership, no quotation marks:

It listed a bunch more articles as well because, well, I have written lots of articles on leadership on my business blog.

Anyway, I wanted to share that with you in case you want to think about doing it for yourself. By the way, if you’re wondering why Google looks like this for me, check out an old blog post I wrote about Stylish.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell