All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Why I Don’t Over-Automate On Twitter

Just thought I’d mention that if you see a post from me at 2 or 3 in the morning, I actually wrote it.” – Mitch Mitchell

I tend to stay up pretty late; yeah, I’m nuts. I get my energy around 9:30 or 10PM and then I start working really well. At a certain point I finish a project and unless I’m totally exhausted it’s a great time to go back and look at Twitter to see what has gone on either during the day or for at least a few hours.

Some people locally have commented on my late night tweets because they wake up and see a bunch of things from me. Actually, I never knew any of them paid much attention to anything I put out so that’s illuminating. However, like most people they tend to believe that everyone else is on the same time frame they’re on, and thus think that by the time I’m writing everyone else has gone to bed.

The world’s a big place, and as I’ve talked about on this blog, the majority of people that actually comment in my blogs don’t live in my area. So if I’m posting at 3 in the morning and someone’s still awake, they’re probably on the West Coast except for my friend that lives in Nebraska and works night, or they’re in Australia where it’s actually already well into their next day, or in Europe where it’s morning and they’re just getting started on their day.

One also sees a lot of other noise, if you will, when you stay up really late. There’s a ton of automation, the same messages over and over from people you know aren’t awake, messages I’ve seen many times during the day. Frankly it starts getting irritating, and one reason I actually write some of those folks early in the morning is to see if any of them respond. Of course I know that almost no one is going to respond, but I figure maybe they’ll respond in the morning when I’ve awakened.

Nope. Truth be told most people that do a lot of automation aren’t interested in what anyone else has to say for the most part. They haven’t quite learned the lesson that social media isn’t really only about “them”, but about everyone, communications, relationships, and networking.

I only do one little bit of automation. For almost every new blog post I publish I use Twitter Tools (discontinued 10/12) to put the notification out that I’ve written a new blog post. I do that because I tend to write a lot of posts all at once on all my blogs (remember I have 5 of my own and many that I write for others) in advance.

Often I’m actually sitting at the computer when a blog post goes out but I’m doing something else. However, I check to see if my blog posts are showing up usually within the hour if I’m not live on Twitter. Actually, every once in awhile I’m on Twitter when a post of mine shows up; that’s pretty neat.

If you see a blog post of mine in the afternoon or evening, you can be 99.8% sure that I’m posting it live. It’s either a repost of an earlier blog post or, if something’s hit me that I just have to talk about immediately, it’s brand new. Back in November I did an experiment testing 2-a-day blog posts with the second being advertisements for some of my products, and in that case those were written in advance. I haven’t done that since.

Here are my questions for you. How much automation are you doing on Twitter? How much actual engagement are you doing around the time messages are coming your way? Are you actually engaging people on Twitter at all? And how do you feel when you see messages from people that are almost all automation, since we know it when we see it?
 

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Spreading Influence In More Ways Than One Online

Yes, once again I’m talking about this topic of influence. It’s been an interesting last month or so and it just seems like it’s time to talk about it again because, believe it or not, it’s not all about me.

Of course having said that I’m still going to start with something that is about me, that being an interview I did with someone who comments here often, Carl, on his blog Webmaster’s Blog. It was a long interview and a lot of fun, and I hope y’all check it out and give him some love. Just so you know, it seems you have to have a Facebook account to leave a comment. I don’t normally go this route but in this instance, since I was the guy it was about, I made an exception. However, I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how or where it shows up on Facebook.

I’ve spoken about how I wanted to spread my influence more because I equate more influence with more opportunities for a great income, as well as the ability to potentially have a say in what goes on. Well, one doesn’t go places on their own. To whit, I’ve conducted some interviews on some of my blogs in the last couple of months that I think deserve way more attention than they’ve received. I’ve also put out a lot of offers to people here and there for interview spots on some of my blogs because, as I said, it’s not only about me. I think it’s a good thing when you can bring someone who deserves it to the attention of others.

I’ve also tried to go out of my way in the last month to retweet and talk to a lot of people I’ve never communicated with before. These are people in my Twitter stream, people who for the most part haven’t really reached out to me, but I don’t blame them because I hadn’t really reached out as much either. The best thing about using the cellphone for Twitter is that I can use it anywhere, and it’s relatively easy to go way back and zip through a bunch of messages.

In the movie The Secret they talked about this concept of giving to bring positive things in your life, and how giving when you may not have all that you want is sometimes the best giving of all. Just last night I went to the store and while there in line grabbed a ticket off the counter to donate $2 to feed children. I do that often, thinking that for a lousy two bucks I can help to feed someone or allow someone to have a place to say for one night. It’s a small thing but a big thing, and for the first time ever, the checkout clerk thanked me for my donation. I thought that was pretty special, and I thanked her for saying it.

So, just for a recap, I’d love to reissue some links that I’d love you to check out that highlight others on this blog and other blogs; hey, it’s a great way to start a Monday:

Interview – Yasmin Shiraz

29 Black Social Media Influencers

Interview – Issac Bidwell

21 Black Social Media Influencers

Interview – Marelisa Fabrega

Interview – Still Eye Rise Media

Interview – Issac Bidwell (different interview than above)
 

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G+ Activity Seems To Be Dwindling

Have you lost your love or enthusiasm for Google+ yet? When I wrote my post last month titled The Fuss About Google it was really new, not even a month old yet, and I talked about some of the things there that I felt people should know about.


by Shadow Byrd via Flickr

Since that day Google+ has jumped in members, to the point that there’s now at least 25 million people over there. That’s just phenomenal growth, no matter how you look at it. Then again it’s Google, a very well known technology company, and it was easy to promote and hype so it should have shown tremendous growth.

However, at this juncture it seems that the initial enthusiasm is starting to wane for a lot of users. Sure, there are all these articles out there on how to get a lot of Google+ followers and how it’s going to be an important social media tool, but right now, I almost hate to say it this way, but it’s boring.

Yup, there you have it; boring. Even the people who started out posting links like gangbusters, which I found really irritating, have slowed down. There are fewer images being put up, which pleases me because of all those moving .gif files that I kept having to mute.

What’s the problem? In a weird way the problem is the same complaint people have had about Twitter and Facebook; no real engagement. I have 8 circles set up and I’m starting to see maybe 3 or 4 new posts a day on most of those circles. The circles where I only have 6 or 8 people I can understand, but one of my circles has 30 people in it; one would think more of them would have something to say.

Many do have something to share, but you don’t see any real proof that anyone’s paying attention. Yeah, here and there you see that someone has given a 1+ thumbs up, but it’s a rare thing to see someone actually commenting on something, and then it’s even more rare to see that person get a response.

Frankly, with that kind of engagement I’d rather be on Twitter, where every once in awhile when you retweet something or respond to something someone wrote or posted you might get a response back. Actually, the same goes for Facebook; you at least will get 2 or 3 people, if not more, commenting on something you put up.

Not to say we haven’t had some conversations going on, but for the most part it’s just not something you see. Well, the A-listers are seeing conversations, but they’re not all that participatory, which is a gripe some people have about them on their blogs. Hey, you can only talk to so many people and still get work done, right?

But maybe I’m not being fair, so I’ll throw it out to you. Who think Google+ is the greatest thing since chocolate cake (I know you were wondering why I had a picture of chocolate cake lol)? If not, what do you think it needs to make it better or exciting?
 

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Yasmin Shiraz – Writer, Filmmaker, Social Media Star

Yasmin Shiraz does everything I mentioned above and more. Yes, she’s made movies, and she’s written books. She does speaking engagements. And she’s helped to spread both her message and her reputation through social media. I met her on Twitter and to me she’s proof of the good people on Twitter who need to be better known by the masses. She’s also one of the people I highlighted in my post on 21 of the Top Black Social Media Influencers. One of these days I’m going to be in one of her films (okay, she didn’t say that, but who knows right 🙂 ).

1. Can you tell people all that you’ve done and do?

I’ve written 7 books that have been published — a couple of best sellers, an award winner, and even a critically acclaimed book that was taken from my teenage diaries.

The Blueprint for My Girls: How to Build A Life Full of Courage, Determination & Self Love; Retaliation: A Novel, The Blueprint for My Girls in Love: 99 Rules for Dating, Relationships & Intimacyicon; Exclusive: A Novel; Privacy: A Novel; Teens, Handle Your Business: 24 Tools for Motivation & Success; and The Blueprint Guide to Success & Motivation: Identify, Focus On, & Achieve Your Goals.

I’ve written, directed and produced 2 films – one a 4x award winner – Can She Be Saved? is my documentary film about teen girl fights. It won several awards including Best Documentary at the NC Black Film Festival. They Call Me Dae is a short film that explores the life of a teen bully.

I’ve keynoted and conducted speeches for the Essence Music Festival, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, Congressional Black Caucus, and at least 60 colleges throughout the US.

I’ve owned several businesses including a hip hop magazine, Mad Rhythms. I’ve interviewed more celebrities than I care to recall – though Johnnie Cochran and Martin Lawrence are among my favorites. I’ve been to Diddy’s house in the Hamptons and Jay-Z once threatened to throw me out of his dressing room. (He has a wicked sense of humor.)

2. Where did you get the passion to do all these things?

I love LIFE. I love doing things that I enjoy. I love music. I love being creative. Every day I push myself to enjoy myself through work. I feel that if I’m alive, I should use my life to enjoy myself and be happy.

3. What’s it like putting a movie together?

Wow! Putting together a movie is fun, creative, grueling, exhilarating. It pushes you to your limit. Just when you think you have nothing left, a film lifts you up and you feel satisfied that you didn’t give up on yourself. Its one of the best experiences of my life.

4. Your stuff is so edgy and real; do you ever worry that people will stereotype minorities because of it?

No. I don’t worry about stereotypes. My goal is to educate and give a voice to the voiceless. I want young people’s pain to be heard, seen and felt. If you look at one of my films and are not more in tuned with a young person’s experiences then you have missed the message.

5. You’ve written seven books, even winning awards. What awards have you won, and how did you get your first book published?

My first young adult fiction book, Retaliation won the Top Ten Reluctant Readers Award from the American Library Association in 2009. It was a major moment for me. My Blueprint books have been on various bestseller lists. After numerous agents rejected my manuscript, I wrote The Blueprint for My Girls and published it myself. 6 months after I published it, Simon & Schuster offered me a book deal.

6. You’ve written both fiction and nonfiction. I find fiction difficult; how have you broken through in your mind to be able to write both?

I love writing. I don’t overanalyze it. But, I love writing. I love expression. If I have an idea that I need to express in a non-fiction format then I work it in that medium. If I decide that the message will be better expressed in a fiction medium, then I go with it. I never limit myself or my writing. I’ve written poetry, raps, biographies, screenplays, interviews etc. You name it, I’ve written it. Most writers who truly love writing, love it in all forms. I am a writer’s writer.

7. Which social media outlets do you use and how have you seen it help you?

I use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn… I love the concept of social media and so I’m always game to try it on.

Twitter has helped me reach new people and meet new people. I love it. Facebook has helped me to show people in a sorta intimate way what I really do. It has made me more familiar to people. LinkedIn has brought me new business customers.

8. You also do speaking engagements; do you enjoy that as much as I do?

I don’t know how much you enjoy it, but I am thrilled with it. I love writing speeches and delivering them knowing that I can capture a phrase, or a word in such a way that it punctuates the moment. I love how speeches allow me to be part comedian, part actress, part activist, part showman. I get to do it all when I’m speaking.

9. You do a lot; how do you script your time?

I keep to-do lists and every day I make sure I “to-do” what’s important. (LOL)

10. You’ve already done it all; what’s left?

Getting really paid for it. LOL. But also, I love to continue to stretch myself. Who knows what tomorrow brings? So, I push myself to see if I can make tomorrow a little bit different from today.

To follow Yasmin on Twitter: @yasminshiraz
To Visit her site: www.yasminshiraz.net
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yasmin-Shirazs-Still-Eye-Rise-Friends-Fans/139699712763511

 

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Post #1,100; What’s Next?

Wow, I’ve reached post #1,100; I guess I have shown that I can continue writing stuff after all. 🙂 And since I changed up how I talk about these milestones last time, I’ll continue with some changes, but no video this time around.

Let’s talk about the past almost 5 months. This is the longest it’s taken me to get through 100 posts. I have to admit that I did it on purpose after thinking a little bit.

In the days just before that 1,000th post I had written my pillar post on Better Blogging, which I turned into 2 posts, and decided to give it a little bit of space since each of them was pretty long. I started thinking that I often write some fairly long posts, and that it might take people a day or two to get through them, if they read them at all. Then I started thinking that it wouldn’t hurt every once in awhile to put some space between posts as compared to writing something every single day.

So I started doing that, and initially my visit numbers dropped. But eventually those numbers started to increase as folks realized they now had time to comment on more than one post because they weren’t being bombarded by too many posts at once. Still, since it didn’t take me 180 days to write 100 posts, it means that I still had enough posts that came daily. But the mix is better and truthfully, the pressure’s off in having to have a daily post here.

And there were some outside things as well. My finance blog has started generating income, and that’s not a bad thing. But it takes management time, and though I accept guest posts on that blog, I have my own personal rule that says I won’t have 2 guest posts in a row. I’ve also worked on upping the frequency of my business blog, which I felt was important because I write a lot of posts on leadership topics and one can’t be a leader if one isn’t visible.

Overall I’ve stayed true to my supposed mission here. I wrote 23 posts within the category of blogging, 23, and social media, 13. The rest were a nice mixture of topics, and that’s what I have always hoped to do. With some of those social media posts moving to the new blog, that might decline, but you never know. My main goal for this blog has always been about entertaining and educating folks whenever I can.

It’s never really been about making money here, even though I have my books that I’m promoting and a couple of banners here and there. I’ve removed most of them, though, but I’m not promising I won’t have advertisements on this page, as I was contacted by someone recently that wanted to advertise here; I just didn’t think what they wanted to advertise really fit this blog. However, I’m not above making money; y’all know that. 🙂

A couple more things about the last 100 posts. It was gratifying to see that my post highlighting 21 Top Black Social Media Influencers was in the top 5 of my posts for visitors during this period. It was the only post written during the period that made the top 10, and only 3 posts during the period made the top 20, with the other two being Why’s It Hard To Trust People and Finish Line Steals My Money Then Cancels My Account; yeah, I busted on some affiliates this past period and it’s left me wondering about the state of affiliate marketing.

What’s my expectation in the next 100 posts? I’ll probably continue writing the same types of things I’ve been writing about for the most part. I will be trying to drive more traffic to my other websites, though, and I will be trying to generate more income. I will probably talk more about the concepts of blogging and money, but this won’t become a “make money” blog because I don’t believe anyone can really write about that subject unless they’re making money at it, and I mean more than the little bit I’m making now. I will continue calling things as I see them and motivating folks to be the best they can be. And I will add more videos, since some of you asked for them and I realized I only had one in the last 100 posts; shame on me.

I hope you continue visiting this blog, I hope you visit my other blogs,and I hope we all make it to the top together. Thanks for reading.
 

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