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Archive | February, 2012

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Nobody Knows What Social Media Work Is

What Blogging Really Looks Like - The Anti-Social MediaEvery day, I hear or a read on a social media blog that someone needs to “start doing the work.” Hell, I told people the same thing yesterday.

But nobody actually knows what the fuck social media work is.

You think in the circle jerk of passionate, loving social media folks, we’d gladly support each other’s work because we all have been through it.

But no. We all bitch that everyone else needs to get off their ass and do the work.

It’s easy to criticize someone’s work when all you see is a handful of tweets, YouTube videos, and Facebook updates because these seem so insignificant. It seems like anyone can just hop on Twitter and start writing a bunch of promotional messages and gathering followers.

What you don’t see is the boatload of emails trying to get a 48 pixel avatar correct with the design team. The messages across the company trying to resolve a customer service issue. The stress of trying to cram a bunch of mandated information into a format that doesn’t support what the communications department is determined cram down your followers’ throats.

You don’t read the 25 page strategy and planning document that someone spent an entire month working on, only to have it rejected by a troll who hasn’t touched the internet.

So get off your high horse and stop complaining that other people don’t do social media work when they don’t tweet/blog/pinterest/Google+/Facebook like you do.

Just because you don’t see their work doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it.

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Why Isn’t Social Media Marketing Getting Better?

Why isn't social media marketing getting better - The Anti-Social MediaA year ago, I challenged social media marketers to do better. And guess what?

Social media marketing is getting worse. Much, much worse.

We have more networks. More tools. More apps. There’s more noise, more ads, and less meaning. I can’t name a memorable social media campaign from 2011.

But the blame isn’t only marketers fault:

  • The social networks are failing us – Constant refreshes aren’t making our lives easier. Mindless games prevent real conversations. Sponsored stories are diluting the organic conversations we’re fostering. As soon as people figure out what role they want these networks to play, the network is changes.
  • Our mentors suck – Social media advice on blogs has gone from bland to useless. We share overly generic case studies, anecdotes, and near meaningless advice in an attempt to build our miserable personal brands and one man social media agencies. Where we used to get a nugget of advice, now we get a half-baked idea.
  • We’re failing our customers – Instead of monitoring, asking questions, and anticipating our customers’ needs and desires from social media, we post mindlessly as usual, click share, and call it quits.
  • We’re failing ourselves – We all have grand plans for social media. Planning and creating a great idea to start conversations is easy. But carrying out those conversations, every day, twenty-four hours a day, is grueling. It takes a dedicated team of psychopaths to make awesome social media happen.

When you break it down that way, it’s depressing.

But there’s a bright side.

We get the chance to make it better every day. We’re in charge of making more meaningful conversations. We control how we use each network, what messages we send, and what standards we hold ourselves to.

No matter how awful the messages and networks get, we’re still in control.

So stop making excuses. Stop pushing a ton of crap into Buffer that no one will read. Quit telling people to be passionate and get them to do their damn job. And stop being concerned with what people wear when all we see is their damn avatar.

There’s real work to be done on social media. Get off your ass and do it.

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Social Media Pros – Only Your Avatar Matters

What You Actually Look Like Video blogging - The Anti-Social MediaYou may be hearing things like “Appearances matter” or “Don’t look like a slob” or “Bathing is important to your hygiene.”

These are all lies.

As a social media professional, you live on the internet, not the real world. This is a word where you are judged entirely on the look of your avatar.

This means for many of you, personal hygiene only needs to be minimum at best. As long as you look sharp in that avatar, you should be fine.

If you’re dealing with someone via Skype or some other video chat, then you need to clean yourself up a bit to look like your avatar. But, even then you’ll only need to clean yourself up as much as you’ll appear in the camera. This may need to involve washing your face with soap and water and combing your hair.

I know. It’s hard.

You’ll eventually have to meet someone in real life. They’ll probably want to “pick your brain.” This is as awful and horrifying as it sounds.

In this case, you will need to clean yourself up to look like your avatar. Get as much advance notice as possible so you can fully bath and dress appropriately. You may need to do laundry.

Thankfully, these instances are few and far between. As long as you’re able to look amazing in your avatar and give the illusion you aren’t a disgusting slob, then you’ll be fine.

So take a great photo, give it that photoshop sheen, and kick some ass.

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Ad Choices

You have no choice - The Anti-Social MediaOn every other banner ad, I see a tiny logo that says “Ad Choices.”

Like I have any choice but to ignore your crappy banner ad.

Ugh, ok, fine. You have to make money. I get that.

So I click the Ad Choices logo, and it pulls up a window that says, “Hey, we’re stalking you so we can make more money off of you. Click here to read our overly long and obscure privacy policy.”

Well that’s not happening.

So, I’m presented with a list of eleven companies collecting my data. Eleven companies are collecting my data just from one crappy banner ad. And that’s not counting whatever other crap is stalking me that I don’t know about.

What’s even worse? Three of those eleven companies don’t allow me to opt out.

Fuckers.

Who decided that you could track my browsing habits just because your crappy banner ad was served on a blog I read? I can see how this went down:

Advertiser 1: We need more information about people who ignore our banner ads. What can we do?

Advertiser 2: What if we put a cookie in the banner ad to track every site a person goes to without their knowledge?

Advertiser 1: Isn’t that a bit creepy?

Advertiser 2: Nah. We’ll just call it “Ad Choices” to give people the illusion that they have a choice. But then we won’t allow them to opt out.

 Motherfuckers.

I get it that advertisers need to make money. I get it that they’re probably going to be stalking me anyways. But seriously, what idiot decided to call it Ad Choices? If I don’t have a choice to opt out, there is no choice.

Why don’t you just be honest and call them Targeted Ads or Stalking Ads or whatever that actually makes sense and doesn’t lie to people?

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New Social Networks

You're Doing it Wrong - The Anti-Social MediaI get a lot of press releases about new social networks.

Apparently, PR people think a guy who writes about how much he despises social media with every fiber of his very being wants to try out new social networks for fun and then write about them.

Right.

So, I read through these press releases, and almost always, I’m curious about how bad these social networks are. And almost always, they’re appallingly bad.

We added the ability to dislike things!  You can only have 25 friends! You have a better illusion about the ability to control your data!

Yes, those are the features that people are just dying to share with all their friends. Because everyone loves it when a friend tells them they are disliked.

Social networks aren’t built on one feature alone. It takes a set of complex features tied together to a network of people who produce enough interesting content to make me stay on the site. And that’s really damn hard to build.

I’m certainly willing to try a new social network, but give me a more compelling reason than one dumb feature.

And don’t send me an entire press release. I don’t have time to read all of that BS.

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Social Media Made Me Fat

Social Media Made Me Fat - The Anti-Social Media

The more my life involves social media, including this blog, the lazier I get. And the lazier I get, the fatter I get.

These days, my clothes are tighter in the wrong places. I don’t feel as good when I look in the mirror. And woman don’t look at me the same way.

Well, women never looked at me that way.

Social media promotes physical inactivity. It asks us to spend more of our time living our lives together on the screen instead of together the real world.

In a perfect world, everyone would exercise appropriately and eat foods that aren’t pumped full of artificial crap. But our world is imperfect. We spend out days sitting on our ass and we eat our weight in high fructose corn syrup.

Social media is just one more distraction that keeps people out of the gym or from cooking a dinner that is full of wholesome nutrients. It’s no more of a distraction than video games, television, or any other modern electronic amusement. But I really didn’t need one more.

So I started taking care of myself. Instead of spending my whole life trying to create the perfect digital persona, I went to the gym. I made healthier meals. I took time to get my emotions in check.

You’re not missing anything by stepping away from Twitter for an hour to take care of yourself. Facebook can wait while you go to the gym. And if you think you are missing something, then just look at what’s trending to see how little you’re actually missing.

When you come back, we’ll all be jealous of your tight abs, firm butt, and rippling pectorals.

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Social Media Burnout

I have nothing to blog about - The Anti-Social MediaYou know what really sucks?

Well, besides Facebook, but we all knew that.

Burnout.

I burned out hard on blogging. Everything else seemed more interesting. And I mean everything. That includes exercise and watching all nine season of Roseanne.

Who knew it would be impossible to sustain a comical rage for over two years?

So I took an unexpected break. A break that took way too long. Here’s a few things I did while on my break.

  • Watch all the seasons of a lot of crappy television from the 90s.
  • Worked at my job that pays the bills.
  • Started exercising.
  • Discovered that my kitty likes to sleep under the covers.
  • Gave up caffeine.
  • Started sleeping like a normal person.
  • Complained that I had nothing to do.

And once I started complaining that I had nothing to do, I knew something was wrong.

Then I went to an event. An event where I was the snarky jerk in the corner with my friends, complaining about every last detail. When they laughed, I remembered what I needed to do.

If someone doesn’t call out how perverted our socially connect internet is, then we’ve already lost.

I’m still not there 100% yet. There are things I’d rather be doing, like eating pizza, playing video games, and cuddling my kitty. Hell, I’d even prefer to exercise.

I’d rather be living my life off the screen, rather than playing up my every moment as another reason thousands of loosely connected people need to know why I am more awesome than you. I dot want to create digital memories that will be lost in a sea of data for some marketer to sell me some crap that was made in a Chinese sweatshop.

But, I’ve still got a bone to pick. And a cat video to upload. And a wedding to plan on Pinterest.