Category Archives: Social Media

Why Are Facebook Groups So Lame?

I’m a member of a local Chamber of Commerce. Once a month it has breakfast networking, usually at one of the Chamber member businesses. Once a month it has a lunch networking, moving around from a few different restaurants. Then every once in awhile it’s part of helping to host an after hours networking event, always at a Chamber members place, sometimes big, sometimes small.

I can’t say that I’m the master networker. I’m someone who won’t interrupt a conversation if there’s one going on, even if I know the people. If I don’t know them, I’m certainly not stepping into the middle of anything. Sometimes I know people who are there; something I don’t. It seems strange that there are times when I don’t know someone, especially since I’ve been a member 4 years now, and have been to enough of these things.

I’m starting to learn a few things, though. One, the breakfast networking events are, for the most part, useless. Yeah, every once in awhile I meet someone, but there’s no business I’m ever going to get out of it. Sometimes not very many people show up; that’s actually most of the time. The things officially start at 7:30, but people will trickle in until around 8:15 or so. I usually get to these things around 8AM; y’all know I don’t go to bed all that early. This doesn’t give much time for talking to anyone, but truthfully, I’m not much of a talker that early in the morning anyway.

Then it’s time for things to begin. The executive director talks for a bit, then everyone goes around saying their name and the name of their business. No one remembers anyone’s names; it’s kind of a waste if you ask me. Then the host gets at least 15 minutes to talk about themselves and their business; that’s fair. There’s always something to eat, but usually nothing I’ll eat, and something to drink, but nothing I’ll drink. I don’t think I’m going to any more of these.

The luncheons are pretty much the same. You get maybe 15 minutes to try to talk to someone before everything gets going. I’ve shown up early, only to realize that I might be alone because most people aren’t going to show up until around 15 minutes before the meal is served. Anyway, almost every lunch meeting, we end up going around the room introducing ourselves and the name of our business; no one remembers any of it. Then we have a presentation, and often it’s, well, a third class presentation. It’s not really anyone’s fault; not everyone is a professional speaker.

I also have a problem with most of the lunches. I can’t eat pasta or many carbs at lunch time because it puts me to sleep. I understand chicken is relatively inexpensive, but at every meal? I don’t eat the salad because there’s never a dressing I like. And dessert; rarely anything I’d eat (not that I’m supposed to be eating it, but if lunch is lousy at least have a good dessert). I’m considering not going to any more of these either; at $12 a shot, it seems like a terrible use of my time.

Where am I going with this as it relates to the title of this post? Facebook has tons of groups. If they don’t have at least 50,000 groups, I have no concept of how it works. There’s a group for almost anything your heart desires. Yet, for the most part, there’s no real conversation going on in any of them. I don’t always think it’s for a lack of trying; it’s just that people either want controversy, or they just want to lurk, or they join because they’re looking for something, not finding it, and moving on.

Right now I belong to 7 groups; two are groups I created. I used to belong to 13, but I killed the others. I’ve also joined groups, stayed a little while, then left. My reasoning is simple; no one was saying anything. And I don’t mean people were talking but saying nothing; I mean nothing at all.

Out of the groups I belong to now, there’s only one that has even a modicum of conversation, and it’s political. Almost everyone who’s joined the group believes in the same thing; that’s because those who don’t believe have been tossed out. It’s not that the group can’t handle people disagreeing; it’s that the group doesn’t want people coming in with an opposite point of view and suddenly going postal, which they have. They have their own group for that, so the moderator kicks them out. However, that leaves the rest of us without much to talk about all that often; that’s kind of a shame.

With my own groups, I have dismal participation. I’ve come up with enough discussion topics, but no one wants to say anything. I’ve posted links, and posted things on the wall, but without almost any response. It’s like I’m talking to myself; heck, I do that already in my own home, so I’m starting to think I don’t need to do that in public.

There’s this thing about some folks. They like to join stuff, but they don’t want to show themselves. It’s kind of like blogs. If you’re lucky, you have people who are reading your stuff on a consistent basis, but few of them write comments. But many people who don’t see any comments ever coming their way will stop writing entirely; that’s a shame, but it happens.

So, is it that the groups on Facebook are lame, the owners lame, the people who join lame, or am I just being unfair because I’m looking for something that’s just never going to happen? I do know this; I’m going to drop at least 3 groups I’m in now, and then we’ll see about the rest of them. Even my own groups; if no one’s really interested, then why keep it going?

Better uses of time; isn’t that what we all strive for?
 

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Lots Of Blather On Twitter

I know what some of you are thinking; another post on Twitter!

Well, I can’t help it. Twitter is growing fast, and it keeps popping up in the news. Last week there was an attack on Twitter and Facebook aimed at one individual in particular, and I didn’t write about that. This one, though, needs some conversation.

Tweet tweet!
id-iom via Compfight

There was a study done stating that over 40% of all Twitter statements are “pointless babble;” their words, not mine. What the study did was examine 2,000 tweets over a two week period for these categories: News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Conversational, Pass-Along Value, Pointless Babble. Babble won, shockingly, because I’d have thought spam would have been the big winner here.

What’s also weird to think about is how they were able to select only 2,000 tweets out of a two-week period when there are probably tens of thousands of tweets every minute of the day. No, they don’t tell us this, which, along with the number that were examined, makes the study kind of suspect. Yeah, I know that’s how science supposedly does stuff, but that doesn’t mean these particular numbers are all that valid.

Since I’m on Twitter a lot, and see way more than 2,000 tweets a day (man, I feel silly writing that, but so be it), is following more than 1,300 people, and has almost 2,000 people following me, let me give my opinion on the topics above.

The majority of Twitter messages are spam. Everyone is selling something, or so it seems. Many of them are selling ways of making money on Twitter, which includes getting more followers on Twitter. That’s the biggest message that keeps going by, how to get more followers on Twitter.

Next is self promotion, and I’m a part of that one. Many people with blogs have links to their most recent blog posts showing up on Twitter. Many people also advertise their businesses or services in some fashion. Some overdo it; I’m not one of those.

Conversational and Pass-Along on Twitter value are pretty equal. Whereas there are many messages that get multiple retweets, conversations have to take place first. Probably every 10th message gets retweeted at least 5 to 10 times; there’s your equality.

Twitter Babble comes in fifth, but it’s odd. This is that 94% of people who join Twitter, talk a little bit, can’t figure out what to do, then leave. By sheer numbers I could see how the poll would think these people would put out more posts, but the average number of posts for this 94% is only 10 posts, ever. So, the overall numbers don’t quite fit.

News is last, but with a caveat. When there’s something breaking, news is everywhere. Otherwise, it’s almost nonexistent. I tend to post a lot of news stories because, well, stuff is out there that I want to share, but not as many other people do it.

Percentages? My best guess would be:

* Spam, 30%;
* Self Promotion 25%;
* Conversational 15%;
* Pass-Along 15%;
* Babble 10%;
* News 5%.

Anyway, that’s how I see it; how are you seeing it?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Are You Twitter Selfish?

Twitter’s really been getting a lot more attention lately. When I did the interview on Sunday, we talked a lot about Twitter, and the habits, or lack thereof, for some people who are there in some capacity.

When I wrote my post back in February on why I don’t follow some twitter people, I highlighted some thing that were bothering me about how some people were using it at the time. It never crossed my mind then that I’d have some more gripes about how some people are using it, but I do, and, thus, this post.

I’ll ask the question directly of you; are you Twitter selfish? Some of you are, and I’m not calling anyone out. There are different degrees of selfish, some that are really irritating, some that are what they are. But they will probably tie in with the link to why I won’t follow some people on Twitter.

To start with, I get lots of people following me. I think I’m up around 1,650 at this juncture, give or take a few. Last week Twitter went through and cleaned out a lot of spam accounts, which dropped a lot of people from main Twitter users; I’m not sure how much I got hit, but mine is still pretty big.

What many of those people are hoping is that I’ll follow them; heck, at some point almost everyone wants to be followed. Almost, that is. One of my wife’s friends was over here two weekends ago and asked me about it. When I went to her account, she was stunned to see that messages she wrote to her son were visible. I told her everyone who followed her could see every message she writes to everyone unless she protected her updates. Instead, she went gonzo and deleted her entire account; so be it.

Anyway, I get notification of every person who’s newly following me; most people do. I go in and check out their Twitter page. I look at the messages to see if they actually ever talk to someone. Twitter gives you the first 20 initially; I’ll go through at least 60 messages to see if that person is engaging others in some fashion. If not, I’m not following them, plain and simple. Yes, it’s possible they’re putting out stuff I might be interested in. But if I can’t drop them a quick message and know that there’s a chance they might respond to me, I’d rather not have to deal with it.

I won’t follow someone who doesn’t show they’re participating in the Twitter experience at all. I can’t figure out why any legitimate person wants to follow so many people, yet never says anything to anyone. They’ve been on Twitter two months and have only written 2 or 3 messages, or possibly have never written anything at all. Nope; I’m not following them. They may continue to follow me, but I won’t reciprocate. Thing is, if they ever did write me, which wouldn’t be part of their pattern, I’d see it, and then I’d think about it. But until then, I’m not doing it.

Of course, last time I talked about this land grab for followers and how I didn’t support it, and that’s continuing. More and more people are sending out links saying “get 100 Twitter followers a day”. What the heck are most people going to do with that many followers a day?

Now, I’m not against lots of followers. I want lots of followers also, just like I want more RSS subscribers (and if you’re not following, I hope you do; easy, just look to the top right). But I have lots of things I want to share with people, from three blogs and two business websites. I actually like to talk to people on Twitter, which I do every day. I like to share things I find, and that others find, with those who are following me but not necessarily anyone else I’m either following or who’s following me. I like to be sociable.

And, really, that’s the crux of things. Twitter is called “social media”, and it is. But sociability isn’t a one way street. It’s not supposed to be about “me”, but about “we”. And, unless you’re a news service that I know isn’t a one person operation, that’s keeping me informed about what’s going on, I expect interaction of some sort, even if it’s not always with me. If that’s not going to occur, then I can learn about you in other ways. Heck, someone else is probably going to share your link, and I’ll see it that way if I’m interested. I don’t like selfish, and I’m an only child!

And there you go. What’s this, post #35 about Twitter? I’m sure there will be many more coming; Twitter doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.


 Think You Can't Afford Quality Health Insurance?

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Thoughts On Facebook – The Followup

At this point, I’ve been on Facebook about 18 months. I realize that I’ve talked less about it specifically, as this is only my third post about them, than about Twitter, whom I’ve talked about more than 30 times; wow!

The last point I wrote about Facebook had to do with what I considered bloat, as in all those applications and games and the like that seem to proliferate there. And it continues to grow, as well as the little odd stuff, and even Facebook’s advertising. But this post is kind of a follow up to a post I wrote last year in May called, oddly enough, Thoughts About Facebook.

Back then, I was saying how I was slightly dismayed because there doesn’t seem to be much conversation going on there, even though they have literally thousands of groups. That still seems to be the case now. I have noticed that the users of Facebook seemed to have figured out that they have some kind of power, because groups can spring up out of nowhere about something that someone dislikes, and within a week can have well over 50,000 people who are mad about the same thing; how come no one ever creates one of those groups where everyone is happy?

I also talked about a group that I’d set up at the time, and even though it seemed to be a needed topic, I had less than 25 people who had joined. Well, I never have reached 50 people, and the people who have joined almost never talk; actually, most of them have never said a word. I’m an only child and know how to talk to myself, but I’m not going to publicly keep doing it if I’m not sure if anyone else really cares.

I will give Facebook some credit for this one, though. In the last few months I have connected, albeit briefly, with people that I haven’t seen in years. And I’m not talking 2 or 3 years. I connected with a guy who was one of my first roommates in college over 30 years ago. I only saw him the one semester, then never saw him again, and he found me on Facebook. Then about two weeks later, someone who was supposed to be my roommate for my junior year showed up and reached out to me; that’s just under 30 years. I’ve connected with a few other people I hadn’t talked to in many, many years, or rather they found me, and that’s always a nice thing because, well, that used to be me, searching for everyone, then at one point I thought “hey, they don’t care, so I’ll stop”, and then they’re suddenly anew in my life.

And, just as suddenly, they’re gone. And it’s that thing that’s disappointing about Facebook. People may have great intentions, but there’s so many distractions on Facebook that they just can’t stay focused, and they either get caught up in all that noise oro they leave because it’s all too confusing. People rarely talk, and that’s bothersome to someone like me. And what was Facebook’s solution to that? They added a Twitter stream to the site so people can see Twitter messages there; what does that say about Twitter? And are they going to get me to talk about Twitter here now?

Nope; the links I’ve put in are sufficient. Still, I have to say that, though I’m kind of disappointed, I’m staying on Facebook. Just having the opportunity to find long lost friends and acquaintances, and get to play all these different versions of Scrabble (I’d play Scrabble, but the folks who created it messed it up, and it moves too slowly), is enough to keep me visiting. But I rarely stay long, and if Facebook is going to hope to make money off itself, it’s going to have to figure out how to keep people still long enough to get their attention. Then again, in my affiliate marketing attempts, I guess I need to figure out the same thing, eh?

That’s how I see it, though; what about you?


Is Social Media Hurting Your Online Business?

As all of you know by now, we had a presidential election this year. It was a major event that, for the first time that I can remember, got more social media attention than at any other time in history, mainly because of sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

Because I’m an independent consultant, I knew that I wanted to protect my overall business by not going too far in saying things one way or the other. And I did just that sort of thing until, near the day of the election, I came across this racist video of a small town in Ohio that literally set me off. Even then, I kept my anger in check by only discussing the issue that the video has brought up and nothing else; I couldn’t be faulted for confronting racism when I see it.

During the last few weeks leading up to the election, I saw some things on Twitter that really blew my mind. There were many hateful things said about both candidates, and as long as things stayed on political topics, I didn’t mind. However, when it got personal and racist and downright insulting, that’s where I drew the line. Instead of participating in the hate, for the most part, I just stopped following certain people. The thing is, some of those people were pretty big names, people whose blogs I read and who’s sites I’d visited; one of them I’d even bought a product from. But it was over; I’d lost respect, and it wasn’t coming back.

Facebook is a different animal from Twitter, and yet it’s still social media. There are people who will “friend” you, and sometimes you decide to go ahead and allow it to happen, even if you’re not sure. Most of the time it turns out to be fine, but sometimes, you see people exhibiting behavior that just drives you nuts. People put pictures of themselves on Facebook, which can be fun, but there’s certain behavior that will get people thinking of you in negative ways. I’ve heard the arguments that people should be able to do whatever they want on their own time, and that those “few” acts of indiscretion shouldn’t count against you.

Well, trust me, they do. I remember years ago going to a local networking event and meeting a woman who obviously had too much to drink, and continued drinking, even after her husband showed up. Her spitting in my face and constant touching me certainly didn’t make me a fan of her or her organization, which is one of the largest local bank chains in my area, and I knew that I would never go into her branch again; truthfully, I’ve never ended up going to any of the branches of her chain except one, and that’s only because a friend of mine works there, and I sometimes meet her for lunch.

On Facebook, it might not only be pictures. People will badger you with stupid stuff over and over, and to get away from it you finally just drop them and move on. Luckily, Facebook allows you to drop people without notifying them. Twitter is the same way, although some people have gotten around that by signing up for something, the name of which I can’t remember, but it tells people who’ve stopped following them. Why anyone would want to know when people drop them is beyond me, since there’s nothing they can do about it anyway.

It prompts me to wonder whether many people are cognizant of things they may be doing that may be hurting their business in some way. For instance, going back to Twitter, there was one lady who probably wrote at least 200 posts on Twitter a day, many times one after the other, and I finally had to drop her because it was taking away my enjoyment of the site. She’s actually quite popular, but knowing the type of person she really is has made me decide not to deal with her in any form anymore. There was someone else whose blog I used to enjoy reading, but then he decided to go after someone on Twitter over the course of a few days, and that turned me off and made me go in another direction.

As you look at your websites, and your blogs, do you think there are things there that might be turning off the wrong people? I know a few people have complained about the advertising on my blog, for instance, but this is an internet marketing blog, my intentions have always been well known as far as my intention on trying to make money with this blog, and I talk about all the things that one eventually sees on this blog, so it’s also a testing site. Yet, the majority of my visitors know what I’m doing, are interested in the same types of things, and y’all keep coming back for more (and don’t think I don’t appreciate it either; thanks folks).

But the one thing no one can say about me is that they saw me say anything inappropriate, or show or do anything inappropriate, on a social media site. I tend to be very cognizant of my image; not everyone is. Ask yourself this question today; are you hurting yourself publicly in ways you’re not intending to?


Super Bowl

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