Archive | April, 2010

How to Blog Infrequently

I’m cutting down on blogging.

It’s not that I don’t like you all, but my post quality is suffering from me trying to have a real life with family, friends, and a day job.  When I sit down to write, it’s usually after midnight and my eyes are weary from the day.  Competent, humorous thoughts just don’t exist in that state, with the exception of the weird things I do when half asleep, like eat cheerios with a fork or try to eat coffee grounds.

Most of the major blogs these days are posting one quality article a day.  The bigger ones, Gawker, Mashable an the like, post multiple times a day and have multiple authors.  The rest of us, we try and do the best we can and feel awful we can’t produce regular content like that.

Often, I see this intro by bloggers who can’t get to their blog every day like they want to:

Sorry I haven’t been here a while, but things have been so crazy!  My cat got into the toilet paper one night and I had family visiting from outer space and then my computer decided I wasn’t cool enough to blog until now.  Anyways…

Don’t blog that way.  Your schedule is your schedule, and if you aren’t paid to blog, we don’t expect you to be producing entertainment or news for us every day.  Your audience would rather read one focused, well-written article every two weeks than have to deal with a month of crap to read one half-way decent article.

When most of us blog every day, we lose sight of the goal of creating quality, insightful or entertaining posts.  It becomes a race to get traffic, to remind people you’re still there, and to keep whatever fleeting attention the masses retain on you.

That’s why I am cutting back.  I can’t do everything.  It’s the same reason why I don’t follow and friend a lot of people online.  I can’t pay attention to everything and write about it all everyday.  I want you to enjoy the best experience you can here.  Not whatever crap flushed out of my mind at one in the morning.

Infrequency is the way I am taking control of The Anti-Social Media.  The posts will remain as biting and crazy as always, but the post frequency won’t be, and shouldn’t be, what this or any blog is about.  The greatest blogs share ideas, make you think, or make you look at something in a new way.  The Anti-Social Media will be no different.

If you are joining me in this effort, make no apologies.  Your words speak for themselves, and we see the value behind your infrequency.

Stop saying I’m sorry for not blogging.

Say something meaningful.

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Come see me at Recruit Camp

Once again, the powers that be decided that I will speak to the masses about the Anti-Social Media Movement.  I’ll be heading down the street to the Quintiles World Headquarters to speak at #RecruitCamp.

When this opportunity crossed my plate, I immediately stopped, and started jumping up and down.  Granted, the people in the Wendy’s parking lot stared for a while and the man in the pink shirt bouncing around, but I don’t care what they tweet about me.

I had a lot of fun speaking at Ignite Raleigh, but I consider my abilities best in the one on one setting.  Individual contact reinforces the whole idea of having fewer, more valuable connections.  However, if anyone needs to know the value of knowing you online and knowing your connections, it’s someone who wants to hire you.

I hope to try and record my whole speech to put up here, both in rehearsal and live formats, that way you all can see me fail spectacularly.  In the meantime, look out for tidbits of my next presentation: Everything you Learn on the Internet is Wrong.

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How to Become Instantly RT-able

How to Become Instantly RT-able:

When articles like this come across my radar, a part of me dies on the inside.  Inspirational quotes?  Link to Mashable?  Be famous?  These ideas are so canned the spam in my e-mail gets more attention.

Be yourself.  Don’t worry about what others think, and tweet what’s important to you.  If you’re good enough, the RT’s will come.

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Networking Events

I’m heading off to Raleigh #MediaLeaders tonight.  I go to networking events because I feel the best way to connect with my readers is to meet them in person.  Sure we have a lot of fun here, but text only conveys a small portion of my insanity.  Also, I’m going to find new readers.  It’s a win win for everyone.

Social Media events are such weird happenings.  You inevitably know people because you have followed them for a while, but at the same time, you don’t know how crazy or depressing they are in person.  It can be a sad state of affairs when you find out a favorite blogger is actually a pervert that has bad breath.

Most often though, you find out the person behind the avatar is much more fun and engaging in person than they could ever be online.  When you go home, you have a better idea of the person, and your online interactions are strengthened because of it.

Readers, what do you like or hate about networking events?  Any series of events you love?

Also, if you’re at Raleigh #MediaLeaders, stop by and say “hi” to me!

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Anti-Social App – Tune Out

Anti-Social App - Tune Out

I don’t want to review iPhone, Android, or whatever apps come my way because there are a million other websites that review apps much better than I can.  That being said, Tune Out came my way advertising to “Ignore the Noise” and “Follow my Favorites.”  Ignore the Noise?  Follow my Favorites?  Count me in!

So, after the splash screen, you get another screen asking to load your Facebook account.  This seems great, because I get most of my “noise” from all the crazies I’m “friends” with on Facebook.

However, this screen is a lie.  By other accounts “like Twitter.”  Tune Out means only Twitter.  Also, you can’t screen by Twitter accounts individually, you have to be Facebook friends with that person and link their Twitter account to their Facebook.  It’s very annoying, and very useless.  Personally,  have many friends on Twitter I am not friends with on Facebook.  I don’t want to have to tie it all together and friend more people I don’t really know.  This could easily be improved, and doesn’t need to be deceptive and crappy.

Otherwise, the interface is pretty clean and self explanatory.  You add friends to your grid from your Facebook friend list, and then it gives you the selected few’s updates in the latest feed, or you can just look and their profile. You can search for friends, or just scroll in your giant friend list until you find the people you want to find.  To remove someone, you go back to the list and remove them.  Pretty simple.

I had some issues with the app pulling the most recent updates, as the second time I loaded it, it still had the same “Latest” updates from Friday.  Also, I had several crashes.  I’ve never had the Facebook app hang or crash in anyway, so this is inexcusable for an app trying to emulate part of that experience.

You don’t need this app.  A decent Twitter app like Tweetie 2 or Tweetdeck and the Facebook app do their job very well.  Using Twitter Lists and Facebook’s Privacy and Newsfeed features will do a much better job than Tune Out can.

On a final note:  Altoids, why?  How and why should app make me want to buy breath mints?  If anything, the people who buy Altoids are social people who want other people to stay near them because their breath doesn’t stink.  Maybe you should rethink where you are spending your advertising and marketing dollars instead of churning out half-baked, crappy apps.

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Social Media Will Not Save Your Business

I hate to say it, but it’s true.  Social Media, whether it’s your hip new Twitter account, your Facebook fan page, or your sweet Foursquare Check in deal, isn’t going to save your business.

Here’s the stickler.

Social media takes work.  Real work.  It’s not something that just happens because you put yourself on whatever network you’ve just heard about.  You have to put out consistently good information that people want to read.  You have to be constantly searching for new sources of inspiration for tweets and blog posts.  You need to respond to all the whiny customers who love or hate you.  You have to want to make it all work, even when your brain is tired and your kid is crying and you haven’t really slept in two weeks.

For most of us, we don’t get paid to take time out of our lives to use these tools.  We take another valuable minute where we could be working or relaxing to see what’s happening and what people are saying about us.

Your time is valuable.  You could be spending that time perfecting a recipe, fixing the flaws in your product, or maybe just taking a breather from the chaos.  Spending another minute trying to generate buzz about something that isn’t there isn’t going to help.

Focus on the fundamentals.  Is your product or service awesome?  If not, why?  Can you make it more awesome?  Once your basics are perfected, then move to social media.  Social media won’t help if your service is crappy.  People will just tell the whole internet it’s crappy.  And you don’t want the whole internet thinking poorly of you, do you?

Think of your business as a ladder.  Your basics, such as making consistent profits, are the first few rungs you cover.  Once you can climb those first rungs blindfolded, then you can move to making a social media presence.

Start too soon though, and you might just fall off the ladder to a horrific and painful death.

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I sold out.

I did it.  I sold out.

I’m proud to announce that Mashable will be acquiring The Anti-Social Media.  Three months of hard work, collecting the oddball stories not about social media on Mashable have lead to this blog being bought by Mashable.  Quite a turn around, I know.

Speaking on the acquisition, Pete Cashmore said:

We’re very excited to begin working with Jay.  His talent, experience, and eye for relevant social media journalism will be a benefit to the entire Mashable team.  We’re excited to be working with someone who can produce his own original content, rather than outsourcing to guest posts.  Overall, I think this acquisition will help legitimize Mashable as a true social media guide.

As part of the acquisition, The Anti-Social Media will transition into a recurring Mashable series, The Social Media, a hard-hitting look at social media journalism.  I promise, it will be the only legitimate series on Mashable, and won’t talk about the iPad.

The Anti-Social Media will remain here, but will mostly just be a place for me to bitch about how much I hate the ways people behave online, why my Facebook page doesn’t have more fans, and why you keep making awkward Foursquare check-ins.

It will be business as usual, but now I’ll have oodles of cash from blogging. 

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