I don’t get it

I don’t get it, think maybe I really am doing it wrong.

The Numbers Game. The Site that Shant Be Named (nor included on a resume!); not because my ‘social credit score’ plummeted – as I expected what with the vacay and Great Algorithm Blasphemy of 2011. And no this isn’t just another rant, I just think Klout (said it) is the social media equivalent of the BCS. (Geaux Tigers!)

  • I see snooozzzfest posts get 100s of brainless RTs, but a handful of comments and zero trackbacks doesn’t speak ‘clout’ to me. I see crap lists of quotes, factoids and stats get reblogged and lauded across the webs by that tiny group who cares, while better fare sits undiscovered and sans ‘influence.’
  • I cling to the idea that my personal influence or lack thereof isn’t relevant or really, online. And my self-hosted business blog should be part of the equation.
  • I can truly engage – perhaps even influence others – until the cows come home, buy property, open an emporium of caffeinated beverages and overpriced baked goods, but that truly can’t be tracked, scored by some automated formula.

someecards.com - It would be much more enjoyable watching football with you if you didn't root for the wrong team Cult of Personalities. Really? Celebrities, sports stars, a TV show I can see how fandoms develop; been there, done that, have the secret profiles to prove it. In the business world, we all have our gurus and favorite leaders.

But when it turns fanatical? You ‘like’ this team, that show, just so you can mock fans, troll review posts to sling insults like the anonymous dickwad you are, all because they dare like whatever or whomever you don’t. That, I don’t get.

The social media in-crowd sometimes acted like a collection of Mean Girls. The real world didn’t notice or care.” – Forbes, on Social Media Lessons

See also when a smart blogger dares to challenge a ‘social media guru’ or marketing legend; hell hath no fury like fandoms irked when the wisdom of their ‘rock star’ is questioned. And FWIW I really ain’t sure if the ‘star’ status is anything more than a touch of echo chamber celebrity, cloaked in popularity, masked in a bestseller’s book jacket and next week’s speaking gig.

Paint by the Numbers, Social Media style. Someone said you should ‘do’ social media, so you bought the kit, the formula for what success should look like. You blog on schedule, create ‘content’ to drive traffic, have the obligatory Facebook page and are Twittering tweets. But it’s nothing more than token effort for appearances:

  • You barely engage anywhere – even your own blog.
  • Your company’s Facebook page is where crickets go to comment.
  • Your Twitter feed is a ‘Look at Me’ personal branding broadcast channel.

Frustration. That is something I get as I look back on 2011. I hit some goals, missed others (another post). I tried different curators, sources and searches, found more sameness. I ventured away from familiar waters looking for those biting fish.. and met mostly other fishermen and women.

Not walking away from social media or blogging anytime soon – too in love with the sound of my own typing for that. I don’t get what I’m doing wrong, except spending to much time ‘talking’ and not enough ‘doing’ – guess some changes are a comin’ for 2012.

Enough navel gazing. Your turn, go:

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20 thoughts on “I don’t get it

  1. Hey Davina!

    Sorry for the delay in commenting, and thanks to Judy Gombita for the name-drop 😉

    When I teach or write books on social media, I tell people it all has to be objective-driven. That’s why my 1st book on LinkedIn went through pain-staking detail to help the reader discover their “LinkedIn Objective.” Social media doesn’t have to be all about business as much as it doesn’t have to be about “influence.” But without an objective you’re probably wasting a LOT of time!

    Perceived influence, RTs, numbers of followers – these themselves are not objectives but means. But means to what? I see people with thousands or tens of thousands of followers, but something tells me that they are not all the more successful for it.

    Once you can reconfirm your objectives, the challenging part will be part of the recalibration that Judy hinted out – cut out activity (or expectations) that isn’t helping you reach those objectives. The problem, which really isn’t a problem, is that human beings are social animals, and thus we love to spend time socializing in social media. And that’s OK. Go into that knowing that, you might not have gotten a high Klout scores, but you’ve made friends, learned new things, and potentially generated some new business leads that are much more valuable than any score of influence.

    Finally, just a reminder that a lot of the people I see becoming CEOs and executives of social media software companies may have just joined Twitter or have not been active social participants. They’re qualified for what they do not because of how many followers they have, but because they understand business before social – and how social affects it.

    In other words, you don’t have to be an active participant in social to develop social business.

    Just something to ponder in 2012 as social continues to mature…

    Looking forward to your future blog posts!

    Neal Schaffer recently posted..10 New Features LinkedIn Introduced in 2011 to Better Leverage in 2012

    1. That’s something right there Neal, perception. I’m making assumptions about ‘success’ based on numbers, RTs, stats when truth be told … I don’t know the whole story, the other side.

      I’ve been losing the ‘social’ debate w/ F&F lately; so what if it’s online? It’s what I like to do, what I enjoy – discussing whatever I feel like discussing (work, play, sports, TV) with people I’ve met online, in ways I like doing so – online. It is very much OK. I’ve done everything you’ve said, made myself a better – if not more ‘successful’ – communications practitioner via my connections and social activities.

      It’s the ‘potential’ – I’ve been on the cusp, known it, felt it for so long. I’m just ready to be there already, getting impatient even though I know that it’s ongoing, a work in progress. Who knows, maybe 2012 will be the year? Here’s hoping for all of us.. and thanks. 🙂

  2. Davina,

    I really enjoyed your post. Especially the term dickwad, I hadn’t heard that for years. I share many of the same frustrations with Klout, and other aspects of Social Metrics. I discovered your blog from Jayme’s 50+ bloggers you should know. I’m glad I stopped by to check it out. I look forward to seeing more of your stuff.
    Derek Morton recently posted..It’s You

    1. Derek, I’m meeting a few people via Jayme’s post, will have to send her a TY note. AND make some time to visit a few more folks myself. Glad you liked the post and dickwad, well it’s a relatively mild term I can get away with while still being SFW. I hope 2012 is the year I either get past or over some of my frustrations, but probably will just have to let them go. Have a good weekend, thanks.

  3. Hi Davina

    So this is what I have been missing while I have been MIA for months!!! LOL you sure do make me laugh and yes you are a gifted writer. Some of us definitely appreciate your skills 🙂

    Not taking much notice of all these numbers and different scores sure keeps my blood pressure down. I hadn’t heard of Klout till recently and I don’t think my blog minds not having yet another thing to think about.

    Watching my Alexa ranking go in the wrong direction while I setting up a new site and revamping my blog was enough for me at the time.

    And at the end of the day; only bloggers seem to worry about these things! My marketing friends are so busy making sales, they sure don’t look at some of the stats that I was staring at till recently.

    Yes I am trying to ignore all these numbers and concentrate more on building my business at the moment. So I could just enjoy your rant … I mean well-written post and be glad I’m starting 2012 with renewed enthusiasm.

    All the best for your 2012 Davina.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia recently posted..Changes at Lavenderuses.com

    1. Thanks. Glad my writing style and rants amuse you, it is part of my evil plan. 😉 I’ve noticed several MIAs, been meaning to make a list and reach out to a few folks Patricia. Think I’ll make a point of that this year, get more organized with my following.

      I barely look at Alexa, seen too much advice on both sides. Think I have it set, it does its thing.. nothing else. The numbers that matter are calls, emails, sales, deals; like you said, that’s what others pay attention to – as they should. But when those in hiring positions start looking at meaningless stats – grr, argh! – some of this is too dangerous to ignore.

      Hope your 2012 is all that and more!

  4. Geoff Livingston always says, “If you can walk into the grocery store and not be recognized, you’re not famous. No matter who tells you so.” I keep that in mind when people make fun of me because I’m writing a book by saying, “Everyone has written a book.” No, that’s actually not true. You may feel like everyone on social media has written a book, but in the real world, that’s just not the case.

    So, when we look at Klout scores and RTs and mentions, we have to remember…they’re just numbers. Until we ALL figure out how to use those to drive real business results, we’ll keep having this same conversation.
    Gini Dietrich recently posted..The Art of Storytelling

    1. I guess I watch Klout as a cautionary tale as much as anything. The numbers are just that, meaningless data until someone with right know-how makes them make sense and work for a business.

      It’s one of the reasons my ‘resolutions’ post will be a tad late Gini, I don’t want to keep having the same discussions. Same topics, similar themes are fine, provided I can find a way to move the conversation forward in some meaningful way. Hopefully I can do more of that in 2012.

  5. Somebody told me to buy a magic kit once too…….

    I used to think I didn’t ‘get it’ with whose kissing whose ass, and for the 99% of us in here, ‘star’ status really is just echo chamber thinking; there are no ‘gurus’. Once I decided to just worry about my own stuff, put my head down and avoid the clutter, and stick with the ‘real’ people, it became a lot more sustainable for me.

    It is no different than real life; you just have access to a lot more people now. Common sense should still be your guide.

    Happy New Year to you; Geaux Tigers.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Did you ever grow up?

    1. That’s one of the best explanations for the pull of ‘the social’ – “access to a lot more people” – that I’ve read, thanks Bill. We’re no longer confinded by geography or limited by timezones; then again, neither is the ‘competition.’ It’s an open door but access is no guarantee of a connection. (Hmm.. there’s an idea.)

      I know I’m smart, hard-working, fairly creative and a pretty decent writer if I say so myself. I know I’ve done this right so far – my style, my way. I just don’t get how to get it to the next level.. but look out ’cause I’m working on it. 😉

      Happy 2012 to you too and G-E-A-U-X Tigers, all the way!

  6. I really appreciate this post, because i was beginning to think I was losing my mind. I started blogging because I love writing and wanted to help others.

    Then, along came the idea that I should use social media to help increase my viewership…and ever since my mind has been on the brink of exploding. Yes, there is a science to it, I keep reading. But when I see blogs that I think are lame have 80 comments per post, unimpressive giveaways go bonkers, and retweets of the same Carl Jung quote, I think I may be in the wrong business.

    I just want to help and inspire others while having fun along the way. Playing this Social Media game is exactly like you said – breaking into the cool crowd in high school! I’m too old for this…

    Looking forward to more fun articles from you in 2012!

    1. It’s some sort of self-fulfilling prophesy or something; the posts get RTs, the RTs then raise the ‘influence’ score, gets more followers, etc. IDK I don’t share or not share based on status or gaming my profile; I share what I’ve read that I think merits more discussion, or will benefit readers. I think this year, I’ll be on more of a mission to share some different finds, maybe shine a light in overlooked corners of the net. Thanks for stopping by, have a good 2012.

  7. Hey Lady!
    I too believe that Klout has something there. I also believe that it is way too soon to do anything but watch it develop, or not.
    I think Klout will surprise everyone as it surely is reacting to all of the negative stuff being said about it. You’d expect right?
    Anyway, and more so… I wish you a very prosperous year ahead, and maybe we will meet up this year. I’d like to do that. Billy
    billydelaney recently posted..What happens when the shell breaks in your social media experiences?

    1. That’s one thing I remind myself about Klout, Twitter, G+, even Triberr (which I just learned made changes).. these networks and services are living, growing, learning, adapting in the public eye. Nothing comes out of the box ready to roll, perfect for all. These growing pains are being played out publicly, in front of a large and vocal audience. It’s good for feedback, but also makes them targets. Not saying I buy into the sales pitch, just not ready to write them off just yet. Plus I have fun mocking it. 😉 HNY.

  8. Davina, in my December PR column on Windmill Networking, I indicated that I thought people’s general expectations of social media (and by extension, those who make use of the channels) is “recalibrating.”

    When Neal Schaffer first approached me about writing the column, we had a lot of discussion about uses and personalities, etc. (This column is firmly rooted in BUSINESS or enterprise applications for public relations and social media, not personal popularity contests and/or so-called individual influence.)

    Anyhow, it is the feeling of both Neal and I that some of the people you allude to in your post were simply in the right place, at the right point in time. Although they may keep all or most of their fan base down the road, I don’t think we are going to have the same kind of unquestioning and/or mass approval as per the past (despite the efforts of, ahem, some group-promotion platforms). In fact, I think that unless some of these “super stars” keep producing unique and relevant content, they are going to start fading somewhat.

    It’s also interesting how a few made their mark attached to a company or group concept, but have since left to strike out on their own…only to find that part of their popularity was actually the “halo” effect of the organization (formal or informal).

    At the end of the day I think we should all be our own judge as to the quality of the posts we are writing and/or the relevance and depth of the relationships we are forming. Just like high school, I suspect in four years we’re going to find the profile of the cast of characters we knew today has changed significantly.

    It was great getting to know YOU better in 2011! Thank you for your support of both PR Conversations and my newer gig over on Windmill Networking. And here’s to an even more thought-provoking 2012.
    Judy Gombita recently posted..PRoust Questionnaire: Estelle de Beer

    1. I’m recalibrating for sure Judy, that’s a good word for it. Taking a closer look at how I spend my time, why, what I want to accomplish for myself and my business. I’ve already trashed the TweetDeck columns, started anew – probably will do a serious Reader purge for 2012 as well.

      Because I’m less starstruck by status (as I like to think), I read some posts and honestly think ‘meh’ no matter who writes them. It’s not that I don’t get the ‘stardom’ or even their success, so much as some of the sophmoric spats and posturing of the audiences in support and/or criticism. And I think you’re right about the halo effect, and the need to keep producing unique content. There are just too many talented people out there who will find a way to get heard, even at the top levels.

      It’s been a tremendous blast getting to know you as well, so I’ll second your toast for an even better 2012. Thanks so much and have a Happy New Year.

  9. And FWIW I really ain’t sure if the ‘star’ status is anything more than a touch of echo chamber celebrity, cloaked in popularity, masked in a bestseller’s book jacket and next week’s speaking gig.

    This is the absolute best quote of the year, in my blue eyes! Well said. I absolutely love it when someone says what we are all thinking. I have tired to engage with some of these ‘birds’ and get the emptiness for my efforts. I wouldn’t go across the hallway in a Starbucks, that I don’t go into, to hear them order a drink!

    People like you, and others that I engage with are far more interesting, informed, funny, social and all the rigamarole of the social dance combined, and that is why I come here to play.

    Davina don’t think for a Southern Minute that you are on your own. Billy

    1. Thanks so much for that Billy. I had these ramblings in draft mode forever, but when I read that Forbes article I was like “yes, someone else gets the ‘inside baseball’ of it all.” I ain’t saying ‘they’ are always wrong, ‘we’ are always right – just that there are a lot of other smart voices out there.

      As for the rest, I don’t get the ‘pretend’ social presence, esp. from agencies who are in the business of selling these services; or the stock some put into social scoring. I’ve not opted out of Klout – yet – because there is some ‘there’ there, but it’s just one part of a whole that needs to be examined. Influence is about nuance, human interaction not just a score on a website.

      Wishing you a very good New Year and great success in 2012.

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