Archive | January, 2011


Should I Say Thanks for Retweets?

Thanks I think - The Anti-Social MediaYes. When you feel it’s appropriate, go for it.

No one likes an arrogant, self-absorbed, asshole (except people like me,oddly enough). Saying thanks is a quick, easy way to connect with new followers or people who enjoyed a post.

Some people think saying thanks for retweets clutters up the Twitter stream with noise. I disagree. Everything on Twitter is noise to someone, so if you bother them, they were probably angry to begin with.

Saying thanks, whether you do it publicly or privately, shows gratitude and humility. You aren’t any better than your fans, and without them reading your posts and clicking your share buttons, where would you be today?

Reading blogs takes time. Time people could spend with friends, reading books, or making the world a better place.  Appreciate the time they spent reading your blog. Shoot them an @ reply or a DM with your gratitude.

Anyone who doesn’t like you saying “Thank you” is a hater, and you didn’t need them anyways.


Three Simple Ways To Start Engaging Online

Why Nobody Listens - The Anti-Social MediaI can’t imagine getting started on the web these days. It’s big, crowded, and if it were real, it would probably smell like well-used port-o-potty. We don’t know how to behave and we all run around shouting millions of tiny, but seemingly important, messages at one another daily.

It’s overwhelming and intimidating. You’d probably prefer to get off your computer and go interact with the actual people around you. However, there are a lot of dead simple things you can do to make that beginning less awkward and socially painful.

  • Connect with people you really know - I know, you’re funnier than everyone else on Twitter, and you post the most relevant updates on LinkedIn, but no one seems to care.  Have you ever thought it might be because the five people you’re following don’t know you? Start with connecting to people you know and would hang out with or see in the real world. If you’re a working on behalf of a business, encourage your regular customers to connect with you. These are the people who give a crap about you and will actually pay attention to what you do.
  • Talk to other people - You may write the funniest jokes ever, but if you are just saying them to yourself, who cares? Relate to other people with replies, comments, and likes. Show some interest in the things they do and care about. Some people may never talk back to you, and some may never follow you back. But you’ll never know that they’re a cold hearted snake until you reach out to them and start talking.
  • Amuse and Educate - People go online for information and entertainment. If you’re not informing them, entertain them. If you’re not entertaining, inform. If you’re not doing either, what are you doing here? And if you’re doing both, you’ve probably nailed it.

Dream big, but start small. Overnight celebrity is unsustainable, and those first connections you make will be valuable for a long time to come.

What would you tell someone who is getting started? To engage? To run away? To stop being such a disappointment? Let’s give the newbies some tricks to cope with the social media madness before they turn into Facebook sociopaths.


Calling Out Bad Social Media

I see so much bad social media from the people I follow, which is sad, because I consider myself to be somewhat picky when it comes to who I follow and connect with on social networks.

Still, at least once a week, if not daily, I see something really horrible, such as:

  • People tweet ingphotos of things in the bathroom that did not need to be seen outside of the bathroom, let alone on the entire internet
  • Your ‘friends’ share updates and commentary that are cringeworthy at best, or at worst, leave you huddled in the shower, scrubbing endlessly to wash off that unclean feeling.
  • People publish every single action they are taking, whether by posting to Foursquare, Miso, or just updating every network as much as possible in some desperate attempt to appear to have a life.


You think people would learn the internet is public and will last nearly forever, or at least until the nuclear apocalypse.

When it gets that terrible,  I don’t want to be a better social media marketer. I just want to stand upon my mountain of Klout and do this:

You're Doing it Wrong - The Anti-Social Media

Damn. That would feel good.

But I’m too nice for that, so instead I cringe and sigh, hoping one day I’ll have followers who will know it’s not ok to tweet a photo of a public toilet after it was used.

What do you do when you see social media that makes you want to curl up and die? Do you notify the offender privately? Publicly shame them? Stealthily unfollow?

I need some tips here ladies and gentlemen, before I have to see another bad toilet pic.


My Quick and Dirty Secret of Personal Branding

The dirty secrets of personal branding - The Anti-Social MediaSo, you want a smart, sexy personal brand, and you want it fast.

You want to be known not only for your kick ass work, but also how ridiculously cool you are.

You want to be known as the one everyone loves, the one everyone wishes to be, and the one who has the coolest blog with the most traffic and the best audience.

You want to have a ridiculous Klout score and have so many recommendations on LinkedIn that recruiters are desperately contacting you so that you can leave your job for oodles of cash at any moment.

Well, I’m going to share with you my dirty, nasty secret to instant personal branding success.

There are no quick and dirty secrets of personal branding.

Reputations are built over time through hard work and trust. If you put shit into your presence, you will get shit in return. Laziness doesn’t build personal brands.

Imagine where you want to be a a year. What does that person look like? What does s/he do? How to people perceive you?

Start taking steps every day to become that person. That’s how you build your personal brand.

It’s slow. It’s tedious. It’s putting on a smile and putting in the extra hours when you’d rather be doing something fun.

But in one year, when you look back at where you were today, you’ll realize that no quick and easy solution could accomplish all you’ve done.


Social Media Marketers: We Can Do Better

Social Media Marketers - The Anti-Social MediaI hate social media marketers, including myself. For everything we do right, there’s so much more we can do better to help advocate for ourselves and for the clients, fans, and customers we interact with daily.

Thankfully, we’re slowly moving away from the trend of ninja-guru-warrior-master-expert-titles, but we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of building business credibility and building advocacy for the average person.

Without those thousands of average schmucks who are dumber than us, where would we be building our fan bases? Who would actually come ‘like’ that awesome Facebook page? We have unrivaled access to our consumers and the ability pass information to them. Their engagement and interaction is our lifeblood. Why don’t we do more to protect them?

My best guess is because it’s hard.

We shy away from discussing deeper issues and instead write and rewrite the same tips about getting your content shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever. Someone has already written those posts, they’ve probably written it better than you, and we all know you were just writing that to get more traffic for the day.

It’s easy to sit down and write a few tweets or a funny Facebook update, and sharing a link is as simple as copy and pasting. Education, on the other hand, takes hard work.

It’s like when you go home for Christmas and teach Mom and Dad about their new computer, but on steroids. No one wants to do educate beyond the quick fix of a tip, and you know in a you’re going to do it over and over again because of how crazy some people are online and their ability to ruin nice things. Still, when you get that lightbulb moment from someone else, for a moment it gets better.

Set up a user’s privacy setting and they use Facebook for a year. Then, they get a virus app that posts porn on all their friends’ walls and they give up on Facebook. Teach a user how to manage privacy settings and protect their account, and they stay engaged for a lifetime. Or at least until we get something better.

We have a responsibility to help protect and advocate for our users. Don’t let them down.


How Creepy do Facebook Apps Need to Be?

New Facebook App Access - The Anti-Social MediaEvery time I get comfortable with how creepy Facebook is, they go and do something to make it even creepier.

On Friday at 9pm EST, Facebook announced on their developer blog that they would allow applications to ask for permission to a user’s address and mobile phone number.

You know it’s really creepy news when they release access to your home and your phone on the Developer blog on a Friday evening.

Before you get too unsettled, Facebook apps can only access this information if you list it, and even then, you have to give permission to the app to do it. Also, it can’t access your friends’ addresses. Still, I think this is a permission that’s just slimy.

How many times does the average Facebook user install an app without even reading the terms of it? How many times a week do you see your “friends” who’ve been hacked by a malicious app post on hundreds of walls? What on earth will developers even use this for?

I’m sure there is some app someone has in mind that is practical, safe, and a completely cool way to use this information that is beneficial to users, but I can’t think of that. I think of all the users who plow through terms of service screens and prompts just to get to the thing they want. These are your friends who are constantly spreading crap and clicking any link. The last thing we need is for an app to give your home address to the horrible people out there who make spam and exploitation apps.  If you thought getting e-mails from the “Nigerian princes” was fun before, just wait until they can call your cell phone or show up at your doorstep. Yeah, that’s going to be really fun.

I’m sick of this type of sleazy, slimy behavior from Facebook. They preach about connecting the world into a huge, global community, but they don’t seem to care about protecting the people within their own system. They release this development on a weekend evening so it won’t be picked up as much and it won’t get discussed.

There are already a lot of horrible news stories online about what people do when they see things on Facebook. It’s only a matter of time before this makes the news for else that’s terrible.


Sunday Shout Out!

Thanks Suckers - The Anti-Social Media

Earlier this week, Social Media Examiner nominated The Anti-Social Media, along with 22 other outstanding blogs, as a finalist for the best social media blogs of 2011.

Wow.  Who knew drawing stick figures and complaining about Facebook and how people tweet on the toilet would make some of the best social media content in 2011?

The comments, tweets, e-mails and other messages from all of my readers, both new and old, is overwhelming and such a positive force. My little anti-social heart grew two sizes today.

So, while I’m still feeling humbled and grateful, I want to thank three of my readers who initially nominated this blog for this honor.

  • Angela Hall - I had the privilege of meeting Angela Hall back in December 2009. She recently left a job, and by using LinkedIn and her blog on SAS BI, landed a great job at the SAS Institute. I’m sure there’s more to it, but her story is practically a fairy tale of using social media to get a job. Angela has always proven to be extremely helpful, knowledgable, and an ever loyal fan.
  • Christine Choi - I’ve known Christine Choi for pretty much a decade now. We went to high school together, then went separate ways to college. When we both moved back into the Raleigh area, we’ve connected and collaborated on a a bunch of creative and fun projects. She’s a great photographer and all around awesome creative. Also, her dog Theo is much cuter than you.
  • Jennifer McClure - Jennifer McClure is someone who I consider to be a super woman. She extremely smart, talented, and friendly. She runs her own business. She plays a mean game of Words With Friends. I followed her on Twitter for years before getting the chance to meet her at #recruitcamp this year. I can always count on her to be in my corner.

Angela, Christine, and Jennifer - Thank you for believing in me.

Who has believed in you? Who are you thankful for online? Let’s get some recognition of awesome people going.


My Initial Analysis of Quora

So I  jumped on the Quora band wagon. I’m too much of a coward to ask or answer any questions yet, but I made a chart with my initial impressions.Quora VS Yahoo Answers - a Venn Diagram

Yeah. That about sums up my feelings for now.