We’ve been down this road before. You signed up for Twitter after years of hearing all your friends talking about tweeting this and tweeting that. You open Twitter.com and are completely and utterly lost. What do you say? What do you read? How do you get more followers? Who do you follow?
If I had a dime for every person who said to me “Twitter is dumb. I don’t get it and will never join.” or “Google+ is a ghost town, I don’t need another social network and no one is there anyway” or “Facebook is of no value to me or my business”, I would be a very wealthy individual.
Like many of my posts, this topic may be obvious to some, but unfortunately, based on the literally tens of messages I have personally received this week alone, it is far from obvious to others. Ask yourself why you are using social media. Why are you on Twitter? (You’re not? Then you have other problems you need to work out.) Why have you started using Google+? (You haven’t? See above.) Pinterest? Instagram? Foursquare? Why do you use any of these platforms? Really, ask yourself that question.
Before I begin, let me just clarify something. I have never launched a startup. There, I said it. I have insane amounts of respect for someone who can have an idea, execute on that idea, deal with all the struggles involved in that execution, and last all those years not sleeping, barely eating, until that idea becomes a success.
I am a huge believer in content. Seriously, no matter what you are trying to accomplish, writing or generating good content for people to consume is generally a good strategy. I am of the opinion that there are very few exceptions to the rule that every human being should have a blog!
Over the years, I have ranted quite a bit about different types of behavior that annoy me on the social web. Things like group tagging on Facebook or Twitter, begging for likes or retweets, and others. It was time for another addition to the “Please don’t ever do this on social media. Ever” list.
Someone had to say it so I figure why not me. Not a day goes by in which I don’t see a so-called marketing expert overuse and even worse, misuse hashtags on the Web. It happens most often on Twitter but recently, both Facebook and Google+ started using hashtags as well, so the same principles apply there.
Over the years of blogging, there have been a few defining moments. Not many, but each was pretty significant to me. The decision to leverage my personal blog to interview some of the most amazing people with whom I have connected was such a moment. People like Alyssa Milano, Guy Kawasaki, Walt Mossberg, David Pogue, and many more.
Blogging is serious business. At least that is what many bloggers would have you believe. The truth is, everyone just needs to chill out a bit. That is why I am a huge fan of Jay Yarow of Business Insider. In fact, that is why I am a huge fan of Business Insider, in general. While the site has been recognized as a very serious publication for years, Jay doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Along with the advancements we have made in tech, believe it or not, come some responsibilities. Yes, we are all more accessible thanks to the mobile phone and the social Web but that does not mean you should be calling me in the middle of the day to pitch me about your startup, does it? Does it?! In fact, one can make the claim that because of all this new tech, privacy needs to be honored and respected even more than before.
It has been over 6 years since I picked up my virtual pen to start my first blog post. Throughout those years, there has been a small group of elite journalists who have served as a role model and inspired me to keep writing. This group includes names like David Pogue, MG Siegler, Joshua Topolsky, and Robin Wauters. I have been following Robin for years and I believe I first encountered his work when he was just getting started at TechCrunch.