All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Facebook Edgerank, Et Al

Facebook pages; how much fun are they? Truth be told, obviously some people aren’t having much fun at all because they don’t put much new content on it, if they put content on it at all. Two weeks ago I spent some time going through some of the pages I liked to see if they were doing anything, and those that weren’t I “unliked”; you know, when I was a kid that wasn’t even a word. lol

Facebook pages are an odd duck, if you will. We create them because everywhere we’ve gone to talking about them says they can help us with our business. I’m not all that sure, but I do believe that if done right they can at least help give you a presence. But who’s seeing that presence, and what can you do to increase your presence?

There was this article on Jeff Bullas’ blog titled 6 Ways to Increase the Marketing Effectiveness of your Facebook Page, which includes this very cool infographic. It talks a little bit about Edgerank, which is the name of the algorithm Facebook uses to decide just how many people who have liked your page will have the opportunity to see whatever you put on your page. It’s based on a few things; how often those people have come to your site, so they participate in any way, do they ever share, etc. Actually, they use the same algorithm in determining how many of your friends and which friends see your general posts If you’re connected with 1,000 people on Facebook, you can bet that if 100 people ever see any of it you can count yourself lucky, unless you’ve made yourself popular.

Why do they do that? They do it because people share way more long form information on Facebook than they do on Twitter. On Twitter, every person I’m following has the ability to have me see everything they post via a general column. I have the ability to select certain people and put them in segregated columns so I definitely see what certain people post as opposed to everyone, but if I decide to check the general column the skies the limit.

On Facebook people share pictures, blog posts, etc. Some folks write long form prose of some type. If Facebook showed you every single thing that everyone posted, you’d be overwhelmed. Yes, you do have the ability to segregate your audience on Facebook at all, something I’ll cover at another time, but it’s still a lot of stuff.

So now you know why you don’t see everything from all your friends and why everyone doesn’t see everything you put on your Facebook page. How can you improve the odds of getting more people to see your stuff? The link I provided above gives you 6 ways. The idea is that, at least for your business page, you want to add more content to it so people have more to see, and you want to add more images because it’s been proven that people react better to them, but what if you’re not a bit time photographer, or the images you have don’t quite fit what your business is about?

Now, you might want to know how it’s going for me, since I adopted the process I talk about in my link about 3 weeks ago. I mainly post links from my business site since, well, it’s my Facebook business page. lol I do post a link here and there from this blog, the motivational stuff, but not all that often.

For the full month period before the last 3 weeks Facebook was my 5th best source of traffic, and I only had 21 visits. In the last 3 weeks Facebook has moved up to #3 and I had 55 visits in that time. Not only that but I went from a page duration time of 1 minute and 4 seconds to a whopping 14 minutes and 39 seconds. Why anyone would stay on a page for that long I couldn’t tell you, but what could be happening is that people could be sticking around and looking at other pages. And one more thing; from Facebook it’s a lot of repeat visitors, as the rate of new visitors is only 29%, as opposed to 95% from Google and 79% from Twitter.

Not so shabby I’d say. Anyway, I’ve told you about Edgerank, shared a link to an infographic, and a link to my post about ways of finding things you can add to your Facebook business page to help raise the number of people who come by. What else would you like to know? 🙂 By the way, if you’d like to see my page look to the left and click on the link that will take you there; always happy to have more likes for that page.
 

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The Death Of Twitter Tools

It was a nice run, but I was finally pulled into the 21st century kicking and screaming, and I’m not all that happy about it. Since last Friday I’ve been lamenting the apparent death of one of my favorite plugins, Twitter Tools, and now I’m ready to write about it.

Into The Unknown
Sean Molin via Compfight

Truthfully, it was almost like that. I wondered why none of my posts for the day had automatically gone to Twitter, and I saw there was an update to Twitter Tools. Since the same thing popped up on all 5 of my blogs I decided to use my SEO blog to test it out. When I upgraded, it said something about having to add a plugin called Social to run the plugin. I was wondering why I had to use a different plugin to run a plugin.

I loaded Social and went to its settings, where it said I had to get an API to use it. I had an API already set up for Twitter Tools so that was disturbing. So I skipped that part and decided to see what I could do without it. Well, it seems that without that you can’t post-date your articles to go live, and the only way you can get your post up is to actually tweet it through the post itself. What the hey?

I went into Twitter Tools, where everything I’d set up before was still there, but there was no option now on a post, as I went to do a test post, where it had a place for you to tell it to automatically post to Twitter.

I was irked, as I’d used that bad boy for more than 2 years, and I’d even taken the time to write a tutorial here as to how to set it up to work on Twitter. It was one of my post popular posts. Now it’s gone, as well as a couple other posts about that plugin and every article that I’d linked to talking about it.

But I needed something new. I knew a couple of friends had me hooked up to auto-share my posts when they went live, so I asked both of them what they did. Enter Twitterfeed, which takes any RSS feed and, when something new pops up, posts it to either Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. I was hesitant at first but Holly convinced me to go through with it. I did, ran some tests, and it works pretty well. I haven’t been able to figure out how to get it to post as soon as my articles go live, but I do have it set to check every 30 minutes for something new, and I guess I can wait 30 minutes or so.

As I said, I’m coming into the world of having to use web-based services instead of controlling everything on my own kicking and screaming. I wonder what the next technological shock will be.
 

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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.
 

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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?
 

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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?
 

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