Sunday Funday! The Social Media Guard

I wish I had thought of this.

Also, what’s up with this world where people’s arms are too weak to lift a phone up to eye level?

Should I use Paper.li?


If you’re a self-obsessed narcissist trying to build thought leadership, you may have looked at Paper.li as a way to automatically curate and share content.

I can’t say I blame you. There’s a whole internet of crap out there. Why should you, a thought leader, be bothered with finding quality content to share to people you’re trying to influence?

Paper.li takes all the humanity out of content curation. No longer will you need to carefully read articles to determine their quality and value. Paper.li will capture the most meaningless links from your social media connections and figure out which group of links make the least sense together. It then spits them back out as a daily digital newspaper.

A newspaper on the internet? How novel!

Even better, if you sync it with your Twitter account, it will automatically tweet using the user names of scraped content every. single. day. Talk about building relationships!

But should you use Paper.li?


No one in their right mind who cares about sharing great things and building genuine relationships with human beings should use Paper.li.

World Reeling After Killer Content Unleashed Online


The ACME Marketing Company accidentally released killer content yesterday, wiping out millions of internet users within mere minutes.

The content, a viral video developed in a decommissioned germ warfare lab, began its psychopathic bloodbath within moments of being uploaded to YouTube. It then quickly spread across Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, leaving a wake of carnage and destruction in its wake.

In a blood-scrawled statement, the CEO of the ACME Marketing Company posted the following to Instagram, “Our deepest sympathies go out to the millions of families we annihilated yesterday. How could we know this video would harbor genocidal tendencies? We’re so sorry. God forgive us.”

Though the video remains at large, comments on YouTube from survivors describe the video as “Kinda gay” and state “Only pussies get killed by this shit.”

How to Optimize for Facebook Paper

20140204-001018.jpgFacebook released a new app yesterday for iPhones called Paper.

Paper makes the newsfeed on Facebook prettier. But only if you have an iPhone. Now, when your uncle shares his crazy conspiracy theories, you at least have something nice to look at. But only if you have an iPhone.

Of course, now that every social media “expert” has had less than 24 hours to use the app, they all have opinions and best practices on the app based on their thorough understanding of consumer behavior. They’ll also tell you how it’s going fundamentally change show people use Facebook.

Because their iPhones tell them things the rest of us will never know.

Well, I’m going to beat them to the punch. Here are my tips for optimizing your Facebook posts for Paper:

  • Don’t optimize for Paper.

Paper is one day old. It’s only available on iPhones. The only people using it now are total nerds.

There’s likely to be lots of changes to how Paper serves content over the coming weeks and months if it catches on. And that’s a big if. 

You can wait a few weeks to see if Paper catches on. In the meantime:

  • Produce great content.
  • Tell meaningful stories.
  • Have honest conversations.

Those actions will always get attention, regardless of what a newsfeed looks like.

Why I hate social media curators

Social Media CuratorsThere is a new category of people I despise most in my social networks:


Curators are the people who don’t engage in conversations with people. Instead, they think that all people want from them is an endless stream of links, scheduled to spew out when some algorithm says is the most opportune point in the day.

These people border on the edge of robots.

Can you name a great curator? I can’t. Do you think most people said, “Gee, I want to be a great curator when I grow up.” Those who do probably end up in art museums.

But other than those curators, the rest are just taking social media space.

Here’s the biggest issues I have with curators:

  • Curation has little personality - Link curation makes sense when you have something to add. A viewpoint. An opinion. Something smarter than “Good read” or “Love this!” Otherwise, you seem bland and computerized.
  • You can’t always find something great to share - Look, not everything on the internet is worth reading and sharing. Take this blog for example. Or anything posted on Business Insider. A lot of the stuff posted online these days is just crap to get page views and advertising dollars.
  • People shared curated links at the weirdest times - The internet is 24/7, and not everyone is online at the same time. But do you really think sharing a post at 3 a.m. in the dead of night makes you look better?

Let me be clear: Curation has value. When you can add an informed opinion or a smart viewpoint, curation becomes a great way to start conversations. Link bloggers, like Jon Gruber of Daring Fireball, are the best examples of this.

But not all of us can be bloggers, YouTubers or Instagram selfie stars. That’s OK. Don’t hinge your online existence on sharing crappy links five times daily. Start your own conversations. Join in the conversations of others. But share things when they are worth sharing.

Don’t let your social media presence become a museum of the internet’s crappy link bait. No one wants to see that.

Merry Christmas from The Anti-Social Media


LinkedIn Profile Picture Tip


The other day I had a cat in a bow tie try to add me as a LinkedIn connection. I know some smart cats, but none smart enough to have a LinkedIn profile.

He was a handsome cat in the picture. But the profile was for a real person who choose to represent their professional life as a cat.

To that person and others like him, let me give you a tip:

Use a nice photo, professional of yourself on LinkedIn. Not your husband. Not your sister. Not your dog in a Halloween costume he hates. A photo of yourself.

If you don’t have a photo you feel comfortable with, don’t worry about it. That only means potential employers can’t discriminate against you based on your looks.

But whatever you do, don’t use a picture of your dog, cat or other pet. That’s animal cruelty.

Why I hate Bitstrips

I Will Dance on Bitstrips GraveI thought the future of communication would be infographics and PowerPoints.

Infographics were a cool way to communicate data visually. Then they just became ways to take a message and put some design on it. Every idiot with access to a graphic designer or Microsoft SmartArt has an infographic.

Powerpoint is the poor man’s infographic. The design is already done for you. You only need to drop in pictures you stole off Google Images. The funny thing is business folks put more thought into a handful of bullets, an Excel graph, and a table in a PowerPoint than any paragraph they write.

Maybe this is why they teach “Language Arts” now instead of English.

But move over infographics and PowerPoints! Here comes Bitstrips.

Take everything you hate about selfies, mass-produced content and people’s bad sense of humor and you get a perfect storm of social media shit.

Bitstrips is an app that allows you to make a cartoon version of yourself and your friends, drop them in a template, add some text and post it to Facebook. Bitstrips comics can even be made on your crappy smartphone.

The creators of Bitstrips are evil geniuses. They figured out a way to lets people express themselves creatively. They hijack the Facebook Newsfeed and its preference for image content. The comics are inherently social because they pull in your friends.

But for all the smart things with Bitstrips, there are so many things that are terribly wrong.

  • They’re generic. Bitstrips are templates. Sure, there are thousands of templates, but when you have a hundred friends sharing comics, you’re bound to see the same template over and over. It gets real repetitive real fast.
  • Bitstrips only make sense to a small group of people. When you have 700 friends, a majority of them don’t know everything about you.  Your crazy comic makes sense to one or two of you, at best. The rest of us are annoyed at another meaningless thing in the newsfeed.
  • People aren’t funny. The biggest issue with Bitstrips isn’t the app itself, but the people who use it. People like to think they’re funny. Most of us aren’t. As someone who has written humor pieces for years, take it from me. It’s hard to be consistently funny to a broad audience.

You can hide Bitstrips on Facebook easily by clicking the arrow on the top left of a Bitstrips Facebook post. But that doesn’t stop the people who cross post them to other social networks. I’m looking at you, Instagram “friends.”

I have seen the future, and it looks like a bunch of crappy single panel comics. You’ve been warned.