About The Anti-Social Media

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Online Popularity Means Nothing

My friend Laurie once said, “I have 10,000 followers on Twitter, and they still screw up my order at Starbucks.”

If that doesn’t explain that online popularity means nothing, I don’t know what does. This past week my post Foursquare is F#*&ed was read over 13,000 times. In any other time if you had your article read 13,000 times you’d have some type of popularity and minor cult following.

I go out and most people have no idea who the hell I am. Don’t they know I can tweet about them snidely? That I can blast them in a Facebook status update? If they really bug me, I can go out of my way and blog about them and 13,000 people will read it?

That’ll show em. Nothing like an angry blog post to make someone feel really guilty about how they’ve wronged me. My followers will totally back me up.


Protecting the Stupid from Themselves

Earlier this week, the US National Labor Relations Board declared Facebook part of protected speech. Not being a lawyer of any kind, much less one focusing on employent law, the precise details make my brain ooze. Basically, if you say something negative about your boss on Facebook, and you are doing so with cworkers, you can’t get fired for that reason.

I want to protect people, but some people shouldn’t be protected from themselves.

There was a time when Facebook was a closed social network.  That was 2004.  Now we’re in 2010, when we have no shame in hiding anything because we all know the internet never forgets anything.  Even that time you wore MC Hammer pants.  You think we forgot, but Google remembers.

In the world of open online identity, ranting, whining, and bitching about real people is a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t care if you use code names or even just pronouns, it’s bound to bite you in the ass.

The best way to protect yourself is to use common sense. If you think someone can construe what you write as being negative about your work situation, don’t write it on the internet. Write it in a private journal. Talk to a friend. Complain to your cat. The internet can survive without your negativity for one day.  We already have YouTube comments.

And if you have to do something online, start searching for a new job.  It’s a much healthier way of dealing with the situation than just venting to all of us who’d rather share pictures of puppies and double rainbows.

So yeah, you may think you’re being protected, but it’s easer and better to just protect yourself by stopping and not venting online.  You’re career will thank me.


Stop Listening. Start Reading

I see posts every week about how it’s more important to listen in social media than it is to talk. Apparently, these authors also missed the point that it’s more important to say something unique rather than to regurgitate the same message endlessly.

I get it though. When we’re online, we often think too much about who, where, when, why and how we will say something rather than absorbing and reacting to the words of others. It’s one thing to share cool content on some campaign.  It’s another to obtain the wealth of information out there and use it.

But there’s a slight problem with all of this listening.

Unless the medium is a song, podcast, or video, you aren’t listening at all.  You’re reading, and reading is fundamentally different than listening.

Reading is terribly interpretive. This is why we have attorneys and English professors. They make their living deciphering meaning from coherent strings of words that often have multiple definitions and connotations based on their usage and the author’s background.

Reading really is as complex as that sentence. While we may think the words behind a sentence mean one thing and one thing only, they don’t necessarily. The trouble is we simply it, especially in the online context. People don’t read, they skim. See, you’re doing it now, you’re skimming ahead to the bolded part.

Listening, on the other hand, is much less subjective. Sure, the words still carry those multiple definitions, but the language is more nuanced by the subtleties of the human voice.  What was once flat rises to life with pitch, intonation, and tone beyond the words on the screen. It all becomes much less subjective.

Recognize the fallacies of reading.  We’re all imperfect when we read. You’re social media will be much happier when you realize this.


Why I’m joining Capstrat

A year ago I made few decisions that culminated into a blog called the Anti-Social Media. What a ride it’s been. In 11 months of blogging, I’ve written over 250 posts, had three speaking engagements, met lots of amazing people, and become a snarkier happier person.

That’s why I am humbled and honored to announce I’ll be joining Capstrat as a Social Media Associate.

At Capstrat, I’ll be able to put all of the stuff I’ve written about, and all of the stuff I haven’t written about, to work. I’m excited to be joining Angela Connor, Cord Silverstein, and the entire interactive team.

I wouldn’t be able to make this announcement without you, my readers. All of your comments, tweets, messages, and feedback are essential to keeping this blog alive. I value the time you take to read this blog, comment, and share it with your friends. It takes time and effort to do those things. Time you could be spending with your real friends who aren’t snarky and don’t make fun of websites. Your readership and dedication is an inspiration every day. Thank you.

You may be wondering if I am starting as a social media professional, if this is the end of the Anti-Social Media. Can someone who researches and develops strategies and campaigns go around saying “Foursquare is F#8&ed?”

I can safely say this is not the end of the Anti-Social Media.  As long as Facebook continues to try and have you make more meaningless friends and people tweet while using the toilet, there will be an Anti-Social Media. The need for meaningful online relationships is greater than ever, and I’m excited to get to work on that.


Foursquare is F#*&ed

R.I.P Foursquare 2009-2010

Facebook, the 500 million member gorilla the room, announced its deals feature for places last week. After I spent a shopping trip using and loving enjoying this feature, I predict Foursquare, Gowalla, and their like will not last too much longer.

When I went shopping this weekend, I remembered I heard something about a deal when you checked into the GAP on Facebook. Let me be clear: I hate Facebook, and I hate checking into places. But if I know checking in will save me a few bucks, I will totally go for it because it provides me value.

I loaded up Facebook, and suddenly I’ve got a list of stores in the mall, some with little golden tickets offering me deals when I check in. I load of the venues and I can see what the deal is before I check in. I planned the rest of my shopping trip around Facebook’s little golden tickets.

Then, when I used a coupon, Facebook posts on my wall that I got a deal. Now my friends can see that there are savings to be had, and then they’ll want them too. Pure. Fucking. Genius.

This is game, set and match. My massive list of Facebook friends just saw I saved 20% at Macy’s and H&M and are free to like and comment on that. Facebook Deals are moving to national brands quickly, something Foursquare has struggled with. Mom and Pop Stores on Foursquare or the like are probably already on Facebook, and it’s easy as hell to set up a deal. If you’ve got 500 Facebook fans, and only 40 Foursquare users, where are you going to go?

Any location based service that wants to stay alive needs to do something big, bold, and exciting. No more meaningless virtual badges. No more check-in deal guessing games. Provide real value to people. Otherwise, the foot of Mark Zuckerberg will crush every other service that tries.


One Login to Rule Them All

One for Zuckerberg on his throne.
In the Land of Palo Alto where the Dot Coms lie.
One Login to rule them all, One Login to find them,
One Login to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Palo Alto where the Dot Coms lie.

Facebook announced yesterday that that it will be introducing it’s login for multiple sites into the mobile app space as well.

If you don’t believe Facebook has plans to slowly take over the internet, stop kidding yourself. Facebook sees itself adding a “social layer” to all aspects of the online experience. While this would make logins incredibly easy, it also makes them incredibly insecure.

Facebook has never proven to be a bastion of protecting your data, and has recently come under attack for how insecure their login actually is. So now, instead of your data only being vulnerable on your computer, it will also be vulnerable from your phone.

This is another feature that adds to the bloat of the social network. Facebook: stop trying to take over the entire internet, and get to work making it more fun to friends to connect.

Don’t make me send Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, and Ian McKellan after you.


This is not social media news, Mashable. I’m going to keep…

This is not social media news, Mashable.

I’m going to keep this one simple: Until you can deliver and share scents through the internet, it’s not social media news.

And no one wants to smell like pubescent boy.


Tweets I Hate - Politics Edition

An election happened in America yesterday. I’m glad the election is over, so I can go back to my normal stable of commercials for fiber supplements and prescription medications I need to ask my doctor about.

However, politics brings out the absolute worst in human beings.  Whether it’s outright lies, blatant attacks, or pure corruption, there’s something that absolutely disgusts me as a voter about how we have our civic discourse and allow our politicians and media outlets to talk to us.  We’re smarter and better than that.

Still, some people use Twitter and other social media to spread divisive crap.  I’ve written before how I think politics divides people online easily.  This is the crap I noticed, over, and over again this past cycle.  Let’s put this to an end, sit down nicely, and make real changes.

  1. Anything about Sarah Palin - Sarah Palin divides people.  Period. I wanted to start this with the sentence, “Wherever you stand on Sarah Palin,” but that just proved my point that she does not bring people together. Let Sarah Palin do her own politicking.
  2. Characters Tweets about Politics - I don’t care what Drunk Hulk or General Grievous think of American politics. They aren’t real. Give me real information.
  3. What the F*@# has Obama Done? - Democrats, if you want to spread online campaign materials, try to do so BEFORE the day of the election.
  4. Witchcraft and Masturbation - I’m glad that as Americans, our politics are based entirely on someone’s religion and their stance on what people do in the bedroom. I’m also glad that people can’t fuck up as kids and change for the better.  EVER.

I have to admit, there were some tweets I loved this election cycle.

  1. The encouragement to vote - Regardless of people’s personal politics and who they would vote for, I saw a lot of people encouraging others to get out and vote. This is awesome. Peer pressuring people to vote is the best thing we can do.

What did you see that you hated? Surely something got under your skin.  I want to know about it.