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Do You Know These 70 People? You Should: They’re Making Social Media More Social!

4 Dec

Photo by Kimson Doan on Unsplash

It’s one of the easiest click-bait tricks in the book: Declare that something popular is dead or dying.

Twitter’s been the victim of this “hack” for years: For example, in 2014, The Atlantic published a eulogy for “the beloved social publishing platform.” A year later, Umair Haque, the director of the London-based Havas Media Lab, published a blog post on Medium declaring its impending doom. And three weeks ago, Gareth Daine, founder of Content Sleuth, wondered aloud (or on LinkedIn, anyway): Is Twitter dead?

The reasons for these pronouncements have varied, but in that most recent case, the cause of death was “a distinct lack of engagement on the vast majority of posts I see.” Daine was specifically referencing posts by so-called “influencers” with substantial follower counts, which, in my opinion, was totally missing the point. Continue reading

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Double-Tap on This Picture-Perfect Movie

23 Aug

If you’ve spent any amount of time on Instagram lately, you’ve come across some of those people commonly known as “influencers.” You know who they are: They’re the good looking ones who always seem to be posing for photos in which they show off their awesome clothes, the awesome location they’re in, the awesome food they’re eating, their awesome spouse or partner, or some other aspect of their awesome life. They are truly #blessed.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say that the lifestyle they’re promoting can’t possibly be real. And often, it isn’t — as some are quick to tell you in a post where they still look fabulous.

That false modesty, that so-called “authenticity,” is what has helped many of those folks to attract thousands and thousands of fans who hang on their every photo, waiting to see what they’ll be wearing and where they’ll be going next. And who totally buy into the wish fulfillment fantasy, thinking they know these people intimately and that they’re actually a friend.

These model wannabes are people who take their ability to influence fans a bit too seriously, and who believe their own hype. Talk about a scenario that’s ripe for parody.

If you agree, then you’re going to love the new movie Ingrid Goes West, Matt Spicer’s pitch-black and very funny comedy about the dangers of getting too attached to minor online celebrities (a hit at Sundance earlier this year). Continue reading

These 65 People Are Top Influencers Who Bring Real Value to Twitter

12 Dec
Photo credit: William White/Unsplash.com

Photo credit: William White/Unsplash.com

The New York Times recently published a rather naïve opinion piece by a guy named Cal Newport that said you should quit social media because there’s no value there and it can only hurt your career.

This article followed one by Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine, in which he lamented his constant need to publish and post, and have a presence on social media, and how that was making him feel disconnected and inhuman.

Casual observers might have looked at these two articles and had their assumptions confirmed: Social media is a waste of time. But it’s not true. Continue reading

When Is a College Reunion Not a College Reunion?

5 Jun

brandeis_reunionSo, here’s the thing about college reunions. Mine, anyway.

Ten years out of school is a significant milestone. Which is probably why, at my 10-year reunion, there was great attendance — in addition to many members of our class, there were lots of spouses and kids in tow. And it very quickly turned into a disappointing, awfully superficial affair: Many people overdid it with the hyperbole (they had “the most wonderful husband” and “the best kids”) to show off how well they were doing, and made all kinds of excuses about why they hadn’t stayed in touch over the years. It was kind of like the old-fashioned cliché of reunions, complete with social anxiety and lots of one-upmanship. (Remember: This was in 2006, when most people weren’t using Facebook.)

Suffice it to say, as a single guy who was frustrated personally and professionally at the time, it really wasn’t my scene. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there were folks there I didn’t care to see (like, ever), who I went out of my way to avoid. So I didn’t enjoy that reunion very much. No surprise. And I skipped my 15-year reunion altogether.

This weekend, at my 20-year college reunion (a fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around), it was a very different scene. Continue reading

Want to Build Stronger Online Relationships? It’s Really Not That Hard. #CMAD

29 Jan

CMAD videoIf you didn’t know, this past Monday (January 25) was Community Manager Appreciation Day (or CMAD, for short). It was a chance for people and companies to celebrate folks like me — social media managers and others who work so hard every day to grow our businesses and organizations by building stronger relationships with customers, clients, and others using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social channels (and offline means as well). And to learn from each other as well.

As part of the day, a social media company called Zoomph reached out and asked me to share a quick tip for building stronger online relationships. I was happy to do so. That video is below. Continue reading

10 Thoughts About Blogging After 10 Years of Being a Blogger

1 Sep
Photo by Joey Gannon

Photo by Joey Gannon

Anybody who knows me knows that I can be a pretty lazy guy.

I’m not easily self-motivated, I don’t really work out at all (despite multiple attempts to start doing so), I go to the same places more often than I try new ones, I leave things till the last minute, and many nights, I’m happier to stay home rather than to put in the effort to go out.

All of which makes today a very important day. Continue reading

Sharing the Love: 50 Reasons Why Social Media Is Awesome

13 Feb

social-media-loveIt’s no exaggeration to say that using social media has changed my life.

It’s helped me to build my professional and personal networks (often blurring those lines); introduced me to new music, places, and foods; helped me score free stuff; and allowed me to be a louder advocate for the brands, sports teams, and people I like.

Heck, I’ve even scored a few dates.

So you shouldn’t be surprised when I say I love social media. That’s right, love.

Sure, like anything, social media isn’t perfect; there is plenty about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, et al that drives me nuts. But the truth is, as I’ve said before, if you don’t like social media, then you must not be using it.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a list of 50 reasons why social media is so lovable. Here they are, in no particular order. Continue reading