All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter… Is It Always About Business?

At the very bottom I’m going to share a video interview I did with Holly Jahangiri of It’s A Matter Of Perspective recently, whom I previously interviewed for this blog. It was a fun interview on the topic of writing and we talked about a few other things as well; very entertaining and I hope you watch it.

flickr and facebook
Anssi Koskinen via Compfight

One of the things we talked about is all this noise we see these days where so many people are lambasting Facebook. There are some people who are doing it for privacy reasons but those don’t seem to be the people in the majority.

The majority of the people griping about it are those folks who were hoping to market there and, because of Facebook’s algorithm changes, can’t do it without paying for it, which makes no sense because so far it’s proven that just because one’s submission supposedly reaches more people doesn’t mean it will end up driving traffic anywhere.

Where am I seeing all of this? Mainly in two places; Twitter and Google Plus. As a matter of fact, G+ has become the business platform of choice, and if you believes everything I’m seeing, it’s better than Hershey’s chocolate on Byrne Dairy’s vanilla ice cream; now that’s just criminal!

Now, you’d think most of these folks would be talking about business things, even internet business things. Instead, they’re talking about… Facebook! Holly commented on it, saying that it’s like they can’t get it out of their brains. My thought is that it’s like the first girlfriend who’s left their life but in their quest to alter history it becomes the only thing they can think about.

Of course I lament the direction Facebook has gone, to the extent that I’ve seriously thought about ending my own business page there. But do I see myself leaving Facebook? Are you kidding?

You want to know the truth? After Twitter, I get most of my engagement on Facebook. I’m connected to many family members that I really didn’t get to see all that much as I was growing up, and being connected to the younger generation is pretty cool.

I’m connected to a lot of old friends and new friends there, and they revel in some of the short stories I can tell there and I get to enjoy what they share and we all have a pretty good time. I play two different versions of Scrabble there as well, and I have a group for Type II diabetics, something some of you know if personal for me.

Google Plus? I post enough stuff, share enough of other people’s stuff, and I get… almost nothing. If you read the previous post about liking stuff or whatever you want to call it I mentioned that I get almost nothing shared over there. And things I do get shared for the most part are by people I don’t know and don’t know if I’m connected to or not. Okay, I do know after a bit and most of them I’m not connected to.

I set up a community there and I get no engagement whatsoever. The same goes for my business page on Facebook but at least I know some people there are seeing it; I have no idea who sees what on Google Plug.

Now, I’m not hating on Google Plus, only stating a fact, and now another opinion. I find it incredible that all these marketers hate Facebook so much, to the extent that they’ll cancel their accounts because they can’t do business there. Really, is it all supposed to only be about business? Is it now a crime to have fun talking to people, something I try to do often there and on Facebook, and probably why most of my user experience on Google Plus isn’t great?

Cindi via Compfight

I asked one guy who stated that he’d killed his account if he missed not being able to see what was going on with his family members and friends. He said if they had something to say to him they could just call him on the phone. Let’s think about this for a minute. I have somewhere between 600 and 700 people I’m connected to on Facebook; do I really want all those people calling me all the time? How would I ever get anything done? Yes, there is a lamentation of not being able to be as close to some folks to the extent that I can talk to many of them on the phone, but there would be a limit to what I’d want to do; would you want all those people calling you?

As a point of comparison I took a look back to when I decided I was dropping Klout. It was November 16, 2011, and in my research I found that, not counting this post, I mentioned them again… never! That’s right; I kicked them to the curb and moved on with life.

So, for all you folks who have dropped Facebook because you can’t market there properly anymore, stop talking about it. We get it; you’re mad at them for killing your income. Move on, go back to talking about stuff you were talking about before.

For all you folks who dropped it for other reasons… mention it once, then go on about your business as well. Stop writing about it; we get it, you have better things to do with your time. Well, go do those things and stop talking about it. lol

And for those of you still hanging out on Facebook… well, if you’re reading this & we’re not connected there, look me up; I’m not hard to find. 😉

And now, the interview:
 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5sawgjnFQA&feature=share

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Liking Or Sharing Your Own Stuff With Others; Let’s Talk…

A couple of weeks ago the Hot Blog Tips Crew (without me these days…) did a video on the subject of what to share on Google Plus without, what Brian Hawkins of said Hot Blog Tips believes, is spamming. I thought it was a fairly interesting video, and since I’m not a part of it I’m just going to include the link to that video and tell you to check it out.

Sharing
ryancr via Compfight

One of the things he said in the video I totally disagreed with, and in thinking about that one particular thing it got me to thinking about some other things, hence I thought it was time to share some thoughts while asking y’all what you think of these same things.

There was another blog post I read a couple of months ago (from where I can’t remember) where the writer was saying that in today’s social media world sometimes you have to “like” your own submissions. He didn’t mean you have to like what you write as much as publicly affirm that you like what you write by clicking a Like button or a +1 button on those platforms that allow you to do it.

His reasoning was that often some of these items you share won’t get seen if no one ever clicks on them, even if they’ve viewed them, and he’d done a test where if he voted his own submissions upwards that they’d get more attention. He didn’t talk about YouTube so I doubt that was a part of his testing.

Frankly I think that kind of thing is dubious, yet if you create a Facebook business or fan page you actually have to like your own page to be able to access it properly, and the same goes for groups you might create. Thus, in an odd way you become the first person promoting you as an authority so that others can see what you like and potentially come by even before you invite anyone.

By the way, this isn’t the first time I’d seen such a thing. Another of my online friends had said the same thing over a year ago, but she was speculating without testing. I didn’t quite like it then and I don’t like it now, so I refuse to go that route.

However, Brian’s contention is that if someone shares something of yours on Twitter, G+ or Facebook and you give them a “like”, it means you’re suddenly spamming people because they probably have seen it already if you shared it. And, if other people share what you’ve posted and you like or acknowledge all of them, now you’re really spamming and people are going to hate you for it and possibly unsubscribe from you.

This is the concept I have a problem with, and I’m going to explain why. One of the things we all talk about is acknowledging people who share things of yours. It’s a nice thing to do and it encourages people who like what you do to share, knowing that you’ll appreciate it.

I think sharing should only be done if people have actually read the piece, which is another interesting topic of discussion because I know some people who share things from blogging sites or shared sites that they’ve never read to get rankings; that’s kind of smarmy, although if you do it you won’t see it that way. I never put my name on anything I haven’t read or looked at because I care about what I approve.

Anyway, if someone shares something of yours, how do you acknowledge it? Is there really a proper way? Maybe yes, maybe no; let’s look at it deeper.

Let’s look at Twitter. There you have two things you can do to thank people. You can retweet what they’ve shared and thank them or you can just thank them. Twitter moves fast; there’s tons of messages and still 24 hours to kill, and even if you share your blog articles 4 times it means you’ve missed 1,436 minutes where people might have missed it. Is it so bad to use the opportunity to share it again and let other people know why you’re thanking someone? Maybe if it’s been shared 20 times within an hour but if it’s shared 5 times total?

I think not.

Sharing
[Duncan] via Compfight

Let’s look at Google Plus and Facebook. You have two options there as well. You can +1 the article or “like” what’s being shared by someone else or you can comment on it.

Here’s what I’ve noticed on both. If you write something on those shares, people in your sphere of influence see it, whether you “like” it or +1 it or not. For that matter if someone comments on a YouTube video of yours and has it go to Google Plus, and then you comment on their comment it shows in both places, but on G+ others who weren’t connected to the original poster are now going to see it.

This means that if you decide you want to thank someone for sharing something of yours, it’s going to go out to the masses anyway. Are you spamming, or are you being courteous? Should you ignore people who share things you’ve put out or not?

One last point here.

Normally we think of spamming as more of an automated thing. I hate that stuff, and I notice on Twitter sometimes that some things pop up every 15 minutes or so. At some point if I get sick of it I’ll just unsubscribe from that person and get on with life because I know they’re not there and don’t really care.

To do the acknowledgements however, you have to be present. Truthfully, how many times for most of us does our stuff get shared? Maybe for someone like Ileane Smith or Adrienne Smith (no relation lol) they could get 20 to 25 shares per article, but that’s across all platforms.

Are any of us really upset when we see different people sharing their things and then seeing them being thanked for the honor?

Are we really that sensitive to seeing things more than once when most of the time, because of how fast the internet and social media moves, we’ve probably missed it not only the first time but every subsequent time as well?

All of this is both my question and my opinion. Now it’s time to ask you for yours. Is the option not to ever thank people for sharing your posts and videos and whatever as opposed to thanking as many people are you can recognize? If you thank one person and ignore everyone else how to you think they’d feel? And put yourself into both of these situations; how would you feel if it’s you?

Making you think on a Monday; I’m so wrong… 😉
 

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Multiple Page Articles; Oy!

This is a minor rant, one I touched up a couple of months ago when I did a video rant; I’m including that below in case you want to see more things I griped about. lol

Idiot Box
Arti Sandhu via Compfight

About 2 years ago I wrote a long article on blogging. It was mainly for folks who were either new to blogging or had started blogging but found they were having some difficulties with it. My purpose was to write something known as a “pillar post”, where the intention is to highlight your expertise in something by putting a lot of information into one particular post. Search engines supposedly love pillar posts; I wouldn’t really know, but I was up for the challenge.

However, my post ended up being almost 5,900 words, and I thought that would be a bit much. Thus, I broke it into a 2-part series, starting with Better Blogging Part One and Better Blogging Part Deux. It seemed like a much smarter thing to do, breaking such a large post into two parts; I stand by that decision for the sake of the readers.

You know what we’re getting a lot of these days? These websites that will have something like The 20 Top Baseball Players Of All Time or 8 Actors Who Say They’ve Seen Ghosts or a host of posts like this. Sometimes it’s even stuff that’s good for you or knowledge you need, such as foods you shouldn’t eat or learning more about a pharmaceutical you might have to take.

And what to you get? You get the privilege of going through multiple pages to see them all; I mean, not even one page where you can see a list of all of them with any extra detail.

Now, if you’re going to give me 20 baseball players and you’re going to do a nice write up on each one, I could excuse you having 21 pages (the first page is the set up page). But having 21 pages with only the first page having any significant content… now I’m irked. I don’t know about everyone else but I don’t have the time to go through 21 pages for one article all the time. That mess got old really quick for me; I’m a curious kind of guy but my curiosity stops when someone is putting messy stuff in my way.

There are two reasons these sites do stuff like this.

One, because they know Google loves tons of pages, and even with the Panda and Penguin updates, and any other animals that might crop up here and there, these sites seem to be able to weather the ratings hit quite well.

Two, because of advertising. The sites rank high, which brings in lots of advertisers, and thus they can pack each page with a bunch of advertisers links and banner ads, knowing that an overwhelming majority of people are going to keep hitting those links to get to the next page.

A site that does a little something like this that I actually kind of like is called Cracked, which has very long and often quite detailed articles that they’ll break into 2 or 3 pages. In that instance you’re getting so much content that it makes a lot of sense breaking it up, and it’s quite entertaining stuff.

Some of you might be saying “hey, I never see any of those pages”… really? If you’d like to see an example go to CNN.com, click on any news story there, go to the end of the story you clicked on and look at the links to either more news stories or other goofy stuff. Ugh!

Now, it’s bad enough that websites are doing this, but now I’m seeing some blogs doing it. Most of them are blogs with lots of images, and what they’re doing is putting up a lot of pictures but making each picture a blog in and of itself, even if it’s a series concerning the same thing. These folks might write a paragraph about the picture if you’re lucky, but come on now… Sure, it’s building up your pages but it’s ridiculous to visitors and I’m doubting that all of these images are getting comments. The few I’ve seen have had very few comments; what’s the point right?

Maybe I’m being sensitive, so I thought I’d put it out as today’s question. Have you seen this phenomenon on websites and/or blogs, and if so what do you think about it? Does it irritate you or do you think it’s creative? Take your time in thinking about it while watching my rant video below lol:
 


 

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F. B. Purity For Facebook

One of the biggest gripes I hear or read from people about Facebook is seeing all this stuff that they don’t want to see. Political arguments, religious arguments, lots of other weird stuff that they just don’t want popping up in their stream. The problem is that people are people, and you never know what type of thing someone is going to be putting up that’ll pop up out of nowhere and drive you crazy.

Do I have a solution? Of course I do, but I only know that it works for Firefox.

FBPurity

It’s called F.B. Purity, and what it allows you to do is customize what your Facebook page looks like and a lot of what you’ll see. If you click on the image a couple of times until it’s larger you’ll see what I’m talking about. Actually, look at the image as it is; that’s the color of my Facebook page on my laptop. On my home computer the background is red.

Yes, you can change colors, fonts and font size. You can eliminate right or left sidebars if you wish, or you can pick and choose which of those boxes you don’t want to see on either side. For instance, I’m blocking sponsored stories, gifts, chat and chat box, game & app stories, and a host of other things. Do you want to see when people aren’t connected with you anymore? You have that as a choice also.

If you see the big image you’ll see that you have choices on the left side of the program where you can customize things you’re going to get anyway, such as do you want to see your news feed in real time or in the way Facebook gives it to you, deciding what it feels is more important to you? Do you want to eliminate certain types of stories from showing up in your stream? You can modify that.

The big one for me is the box on the right where you can type in words you don’t want to show up in your stream. This works very well unless the words are in an image; nothing you can do about that unless you decide to type in the name of the site the person who shared it got it from. You can see some of the words I don’t want popping up in my stream; keeps me from getting mad and wanting to verbally attack people most of the time. lol My problem is that I don’t use bad language and that includes ever writing it, thus I haven’t been able to bring myself to type those words in so I won’t see them anymore. Maybe I should think about cutting and pasting. 🙂

As I said, it’s an add-on that works with Firefox, and it possibly works with Chrome as well, maybe even Opera; I don’t know. However, you have to add it independently, as you can’t go through the normal way of adding it. You can go to the F.B. Purity site and download it from there.

If you decide to download it, I want to tell you that they put the date in wrong for when the last update was. It was January 2014; they typed in 2013 by mistake. If you care take a look; I love it & highly recommend it.; oh yeah, it’s free! And Facebook hates that people use it because they feel we should just be subjected to a lot of nonsense; another good reason for using it. 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Your Comments Going Into Spam For No Reason? I’ve Got One…

I have a few consistent commenters on this blog. Most of them I’ve known for quite a few years and they’re pretty popular commenters on the blogosphere as well. And yet, some of them have an interesting problem.

~Balance~
Stuart Williams via Compfight

They’re comments have been showing up in my spam filter, and spam filters of other blogs they comment on. They didn’t do anything wrong as far as they knew, and as far as I knew either. One day their comments were showing up fine, the next day and every time after that they were going to spam.

Now, I do have some settings where some people are going to go to spam. One too many words in the name field, email addresses that begin with certain words… that’s where you’re heading. If I’ve named you as spam and added your IP address, you’re going to spam. But that’s not what was going on with these folks.

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to check something out. I was talking to Brian at Hot Blog Tips about it and I asked him to send a comment to me using his smartphone. He did and his comment showed up without going into the spam filter. He thought that maybe it was coming from a different IP address.

I then wrote our buddy Adrienne about it in the private message area of Facebook and asked her to try the same thing. It worked for her as well. However, when I looked at her IP address I noticed it was the same as her normal comments, and when I looked at Brian’s I noticed the same thing. So it wasn’t the IP address.

But I had the mind working well at this juncture. I asked Adrienne to pull up a different browser and send me a comment. She did and it went through; yippee! I told her it worked and asked her which browser she normally used, and she said Chrome.

I then reached out to Brian and asked him to try leaving a comment on my blog using a different browser. At the same time I asked Mitchell Allen if he’d try leaving a comment on this blog using a different browser as well. Both of them did & their comments came through just fine.

What browser were they all using? Chrome! In my mind, it was a pretty good experiment and possibly the reason so many people were ending up in spam filters around the world! Well, that might be dramatic, but one of my friends is in India and he always goes to spam, and I’m not sure which browser he uses.

Firefox cupcake
Mixy Lorenzo
via Compfight

Now, whenever I see something like this that looks like a pattern, I always go to Google to see if there’s anyone else mentioning it. There were lots of topics that looked like it, but they were all talking about something else. So maybe I get to scoop them all! 🙂

Meanwhile, Adrienne decided to try something else first. What she did was uninstall Chrome, reboot her computer, run her antivirus program, reload Chrome, and try again. This time her comment came through perfectly; problem solved.

The only question would be what’s in Chrome that could be affecting so many people? Well, there’s a second question, which is what if it’s not just Chrome users this is affecting? Anyone else who shows up in the spam filter isn’t a regular writer, at least yet, so I don’t know if the initial problem could happen with other browsers and could be solved by switching.

So, this is a twofold testing question for all of you. One, if you notice that your comments, or the comments of someone who comments on your blog often, seems to be going into the spam filter, ask them to try a different browser to see if their comment comes through fine. If it does, ask them what browser they originally used and let’s find out if it’s a Chrome thing (by the way, I’m a Firefox user). Tell them that if they want to continue using their regular browser to try uninstalling, then reinstalling to see if that takes care of things (running the virus program wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not sure if that’s a part of it or not).

If it doesn’t, then it’s possible they’re really on a blacklist, which is a totally different issue and one I’m not ready to address right now. Still, I know I’ve taken care of a couple of people who comment so far, and maybe we can help some other people as well. As an addition, I was talking to Adrienne about this and supposedly some people have found that if they leave everything off before the domain name that it seems to work for them & CommentLuv still works. So try domainname.com to see if that might cure your issue also.
 

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