Archive | October, 2010


Comments are Bonus Points

Last week my friend Greg Ng and I were having a discussion on Twitter about whether bloggers need to allow comments on their blog. Greg was frustrated because he wanted to comment on a piece by Seth Godin, and there was no immediate way to react to Godin’s piece. Greg thought there needs to be some method of getting in touch with the original author or an article, as that’s part of how modern marketing works.

I’m not Seth Godin. I don’t have a crazy fan base of linchpins. I’d probably die under the traffic his blog gets in one day. But still, I can understand why he runs his blog the way he does.

Comments are not a necessary part of a blog. Comments are bonus points. They’re nice, and most audiences are great and will add to a discussion.

Still, some commentators will take away from the conversation. We call them trolls. They want their own internet fame and glory.  They are willing to build their own reputation by tearing you down. And if you’re a popular blogger who gets a good number of comments, then they will appear in droves.

Really, do you want your extra credit to be so bad it takes away from the actual work?

Bonus points only work if the audience lets them work well. Great articles and blog content will last beyond the content of the comments. Having comments just for the sake of being modern and interactive does not make your blog have any better conversation.

I don’t have time to deal with haters.  I doubt Seth Godin does either.  I also don’t have time to react to 1,000 comments.  Comment moderation and fan interaction take time, which is your most valuable resource online.

Are your bonus points worth that time?


Everyone’s Workweek Sucks

I’ve noticed a few people whose Twitter streams look something like this. Every. Single. Week.

  • Monday: “Ugh, it’s Monday :(“
  • Tuesday: “At least it’s not Monday”
  • Wednesday: “Happy Hump Day!”
  • Thursday: “It’s almost Friday”
  • Friday: “Happy Friday!”

Do we see the problem?

Tweeting (or Facebook-ing) this way strikes me as extremely unprofessional.  Writing updates like that week in, and week out makes me think you’re really unhappy with your work.

We all get cases of the Mondays, and sometimes we really can’t wait for the weekend because we are doing something really cool.  That’s ok to share every now and then. I’m human. I get that.

But don’t start narrating every week of work like it’s torture.  There are millions of people who would probably kill to have your stable job where you get paid and have time to be on a Twitter.

Or maybe you are writing those updates every week to get fired.  People have done weirder things.

Spare me the drama though.  Stop greeting each day like it’s a chore and get through the work week like the rest of us do without complaining so much. Who knows, maybe if you complain less you’ll feel better about things. (You won’t)


Why I support The Career Summit

If you come to the Anti-Social Media a lot (and you should), you probably noticed that I put a small banner ad for The Career Summit (afflitate Link, yo).

Last April, I had the honor and priviledge of speaking at #recruitcamp, and with that chance I made great connections with some of the top minds in recruiting and human resources. These poor souls are the ones who do their best to try and make sure we all get the awesome jobs we deserve and take all the flak when things don’t work out. Regardless of that, they are constantly learning, blogging, and sharing what they know to help you get your foot in the door, help you find a good job, or just get your name out there.

If there was any section of bloggers doing real work that mattered, it would be the people taking on these issues.

The Career Summit gives you access to the best of these people, their best ideas, and practical advice that will help you kick ass in your current job or your next one.

Want to know more why I think the career summit kicks ass?

  • People need jobs - If there’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place, it is to get people jobs. While I’m sure it would be nice to get them to stop tweet stupid crap, let’s focus on getting everyone gainfully employed first.
  • The speakers kick ass - I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of these speakers, interacting with some online, and just lurking in the background with a few others. They’re smart, they’re funny, and they know what they are talking about.
  • It’s worth the money - $200 is a lot of money.  If you’re paying for advice, you’d better get a lot of it, and it better be useful. With the Career Summit, you can stay in bed, listen to a session, and still feel like you did something awesome with your day.  And you can go back and listen again at any time.  How many other career coaches will repeat stuff for free?

I know my audience comes here for entertainment. I know they don’t come here for immediate answers to solve all their social media woes with my rants. But if I can offer one link that might make your career and life better, it would be for The Career Summit (affliate link, again). Laurie and Mark have made an awesome product, and you’d be a fool to not check it out at least.


Live Blogging - The McDonald’s of Blogging

Tuesday of this week I had a realization as two live blog events were going on simultaneously.  In one corner I was watching as all the major tech blogs covered the Apple “Back to the Mac” event which revealed a whole slew of Apple products to make fanboys like me wet themselves in glee.  In another corner I was watching my friends at the Triangle AMA Analytics Camp live blog and tweet all of the information they were learning from that event.

Caught between these two events, I learned there’s a big difference is spreading information that is meant to be announcement, and sharing information learned from a keynote or other session. Still, it’s all like McDonald’s.  Quick, greasy, and to the point.

McDonald’s ok for a bit.  When you need something and you need it quickly, it’s there.  It’s not the best source of nutrition, but sometimes we all have to make sacrifices to get through the day. It’s why watching a live blog of an Apple event is palatable.  It’s all basic, short bits of information that keep you up to date.  You don’t have to think about what your putting in your mouth brain.

But there’s only so much you can actually digest quickly.  This is why live tweeting educational speeches and events gets into the realm of disgusting for me.  People are absorbing a lot information quickly and then turning it out without a second thought about what the greater meaning and ways it could benefit the audience.

It’s like the scene from Super Size Me, where the director and star, Morgan Spurlock, eats a Super Size Meal in fifteen minutes and immediately throws it up. Do you really think you have thought about all the implications of what you’re hearing and make it useful for your audience if your posting your notes immediately online?

That’s not to say any blogging, whether live or not live, is better.  It’s all fast food in one form or another, some of it is thought out more and presented a little better.  Every post in another chicken nugget of wisdom, hoping to be picked up, dusted off, and prove to be made of gold rather than separated meat.  But you can take the information and find ways for it to become useful for your audience beyond just posting every single thing you learned.

What do you think?  Is live blogging useful? Or is it like trying to cram a big mac and supersize fries into your mouth in 10 minutes?


Make Your Social Media Awareness Campaign Matter

We will use social media to make real and meaningful change.

Yesterday, Oct. 20, 2010, was Spirit Day, a day where people were encouraged to wear purple to raise awareness and support for teens who took their lives because of anti-LGBT bullying.

As a gay man, I support the cause, and I support the ideas and drives behind the movement.  What saddens me is that GLAAD and other LGBT organizations aren’t capitalizing on the momentum built from this one day and turning the positivity and activism into movements beyond YouTube videos, changing your avatar color, and getting people to pick out a particular shirt color for the day.

Bullies, jerks, and assholes don’t give a shit if you change the background color of your Twitter page or make your avatar so purple you look like Grimace.  Real awareness isn’t raised because a single tweet with the hashtag of the day is floating by at the moment.

Awareness comes through sharing news and stories, not just a status update. Activism comes through action and sacrifice, not you sitting in front of your webcam at home and saying it gets better. We use social media to sell more crap than ever before. Can’t someone can figure out how to use it to make the world better beyond having a bunch of people retweet the same message mindlessly?

If you’re going to make a social media awareness campaign, go for it. Just give me something I can do to make the world a better place beyond changing the color of a few pixels on my computer screen. It’s the least you can do to make your campaign effective in the real world.


Friends don’t let “friends” post crap on their…

Friends don’t let “friends” post crap on their wall.

You can hide it, and you can block it, but that doesn’t mean your “friends” aren’t smearing a stinking pile of crap all over your otherwise nice and pristine wall.


This is not social media news, Mashable. There’s now an…

This is not social media news, Mashable.

There’s now an article about a vacuum on the world’s most popular social media blog. I guess it’s their way of saying social media sucks.

This is why we can’t have nice websites and focused topics. Someone goes and ruins it with some poorly disguised ad copy about a vacuum.


People Don’t Think Online

How many times do you go online and think, “I’m going to use the internet to change the world today.”

If you thought zero, don’t beat yourself up too much.

People don’t go online to think.  People go online for two things, information and entertainment.  Entertainment is pretty self explanatory.  It’s how we end up with David after Dentist.

By information, I don’t mean well thought out positions.  I mean the raw facts and data to solve an asnwer quickly.  It’s why Wikipedia and IMDB are popular.  They answer questions instantaneously and decisively.  They settle arguments and meaningless questions.  They don’t make you answer something deeper than “Who played Jason in Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan” (Answer: Kane Hodder)

If people wanted to think deeply on the internet, we wouldn’t have such things as trolls and flame wars.  People don’t have nuanced discussions online.  We’d rather share pictures of lolcats and retweet funny hashtags.

This is probably you need some rudimentary social media or content strategy.  If not to figure out how to engage users, but how to beat an idea into their head so throughly they actually begin to think about it beyond the level of skimming.

Figure out how to get people obsessed with one idea, one concept, and one method of thinking. Then you can get them to think deeply beyond the four sentences in your writing they actually read in your whole blog post.