Help me help you

No, I am not going to show you the money, I didn’t mean that kind of help. However, I do want to be able to support my community in an effective, purposeful way. Unfortunately, even if my efforts were well intended, it appears I have either been a really crappy friend or just lazy……or both.

I was reading Triberr, Twitter & Blogging by my friend @TheJackB and he made a couple of statements that kind of knocked me upside the head. The first being ‘Twitter has turned into more of a broadcast channel than it used to be.’ The other about ‘not wanting to turn his Twitter stream into something that looks like I do nothing but broadcast.’

Yikes, have I become ‘that guy?’

How did you let that happen?

There is one school of thought that people think I am SO plugged into social, how could I possibly miss a single thing? The other school of thought, and it’s really the accurate one, other than the early days, you have probably never seen me break a sweat in here.

What I mean by that is I primarily exist in Twitter and the blogs. I might occasionally comment in Facebook, but rarely post anything there. If I go to your place, I will retweet your post and try to add a little ‘flair‘ with a pithy comment.

The other thing I will do is check my tribe mates in Triberr and retweet their posts; again with the pithy comment.

That’s it; that is all you have been getting from me.

On the surface you might think that doesn’t sound too bad; but in reality it is like I am puking up a comment stream of 20 tweets in a row so how in the world could anybody think to pick one out of this stream and visit?

You suck Dorman.

It sounded like a good idea

Trust me, I will look for the ‘easy button‘ and Triberr certainly allowed it to be easy for me to support my community. However, when Twitter becomes just a broadcast platform am I just adding to it with my lazy form of support? Would it be better not to even do it at all?

People have dropped me from LinkedIn because my ‘stream’ was overwhelming to them. That is probably pretty annoying when it appears 9 out of 10 posts seem to be coming from the same person, don’t you think? I have certainly dropped people from Twitter for exactly the same thing.

What I did do is un-link the two accounts. Unlike some, my MO is to be popular and I certainly don’t want to be known as ‘that guy.’

I have recently signed up with Buffer and it allows some spacing, but is there really any significant benefit of reweeting these days?

Twitter is still my platform of choice

My big question of the day is, am I doing you more harm by associating you with my ‘stream,’ you know, the green booger one? Would you be better off just promoting yourself?

Truthfully, it is rare I will open a link from a post on Twitter. I usually go to my Google Reader and work it from there. If I’m not opening tweets, I wonder how many people still do? I’m guessing analytics would probably give me this info, huh?

You seem to be lost

Not wanting to be ‘that guy’ prompted this post. However, I will close with this: Your life doesn’t have to be a reflection of what someone else thinks it should be. You can make it your own. You should define your own value system. Take the time to figure out what is important to you and put your heart into it. Make it your reason for living, even if the thing you live for seems unforgivably stupid to everyone else you know.

I have decided it does not matter as much as to what you do in life, but only that you do it well and continue to find satisfaction in it.

Margie Clayman’s post I’m online therefore I am,  made me think of this. The deeper you get in, how much does your social validation define you?


56 thoughts on “Help me help you

  1. Hi Bill,
    Good advice! “Define your own value system” online as off.I will go read Margie’s post – it sounds interesting. I think in the beginning this is true and sufficient. Do you think this changes, or should change as time goes on? Everything changes, right? What validates you in social media also changes over time. It seems we need to reevaluate regularly, but we don’t reevaluate our value system. I think it comes down to this: what brings you joy – what makes you feel alive. How do we determine that? 😮

    • If you wake up each day excited about the possibilities and eliminate or compartmentalize the baggage you are carrying and keep a smile on your face, that should help you determine that, don’t you think?

      Your core value system probably doesn’t change, but some of your other values may change over time I would imagine. By embracing change it allows for new and exciting opportunities and keeps it fresh.

      In social, whatever you thought was important by who stopped by or who mentioned you, might change once you realize that most of this is so fleeting it really doesn’t amount to much, then your validation measurement becomes more realistic.

      Pursue what brings you joy enthusiastically, right?

    • I got in because I wanted to see what this part of social was all about. Once I got in with the Gini crowd I could see a lot of people were using this as a business platform and I thought I should be able to do that too.

      Then I realized it was like taking on a second job and if I were to put the same amount of time and effort into my paying gig, it would produce some pretty satisfactory results.

      Yes, there is a way to blend the two and produce some pretty good results as well. However, I am not fully ready to embrace the business side and if my hearts not in it, I would be better served to still focus on what I do in my day job.

      I’m in it now to engage, share and write. By being allowed to ‘play’ in here I am learning every day from some pretty sharp people. That alone makes me better in many areas of my life.

      Until I have a definitive vision and purpose, pretty much what you see of me is what you get. I’m ok to see where it will take me……..

      • I like it! I was just a little concerned that you had gone soft……not a good visual….er, how’s that R-11 workin’ out? I shot a 93 the other day. Not bad for an old-timer, huh?

  2. Bill,

    Well said. ‘Twitter has turned into more of a broadcast channel than it used to be.’

    There are days I wonder where did all my friends on Twitter go? I swear they were there 2 years ago when I started to follow them and they would update their lives with a trickle of business. Now it seems I can’t find one person on my stream that doesn’t share a link with every tweet. They just don’t share their personal thoughts, ideas and lives there anymore. It has become a all business. And frankly, it is boring! It makes me want to not be on social. It’s all about conversions and “looking” like a real person.

    I try real hard to update my twitter with my daily or weekly life. Sure, you are not going to get the bad stuff because I’m not broadcasting that to 100’s of people. But you know that I am a Giants fan, I have kids and I go on vacations. I am a mom and real.

    Let’s make Twitter social again. Sure share your links because you are proud of what you do or really like what you have read, but can we see “you” also?


    • I drug my feet getting into twitter; and finally at the persuasion of some friends I finally jumped in. It took me awhile to ‘get it,’ but once I did I really enjoyed it. None of those friends are still around.

      I broadcast way too much; but I’m also hesitant to do the random tweet because it seems that just goes in a black hole as well. Maybe because I’ve numbed them up with the other stuff, huh?

      Here’s to making twitter social again, ok?

      Great game by the Giants; maybe that will rub off on the Rays, they need it.

  3. Hey Bill,
    “how much does your social validation define you?” That’s the real question isn’t it. In sales your income is linked to your social skills. With social media the need to be loved or to have a large following is more of an ego driven thing and it’s much harder to justify the effort to be big on the internet when there is no financial remuneration. At least that’s how I see it.

    • And you see it pretty clearly. However, if I ‘accidentally’ became the next big thing just through my efforts here, I would be ok with it. I’m realistic it’s probably not going to happen at this pace, but I’m ok with that too.

      It is ego and feelings are involved. I know firsthand how you can feel on top of the world and all the ‘right’ people ‘see’ you and then they just disappear. 99% of this is just so fleeting it’s best not to bank on it. Accept it for what it is, and just do what it takes to sustain you.

      In my world I expect to have a long term relationship with a customer; in social, it could change weekly but that’s just the way it is.

      I’ve met some great people so that’s worth something to me. Good to see you sir…

  4. Pithy? Really? I thought they were funny.

    Maybe I’m weird (okay, I am weird) but I do click on links in Twitter. A lot. I have discovered many articles through Twitter. I also use Zite and Triberr to find interesting information. Perhaps it’s because I have to keep up with Tech each day, but I really enjoy finding out new information. So I’m figuring that others do that too, discover articles through Twitter.

    But maybe not. I really enjoyed Jack’s article (and shared it with others on Twitter, lol) but it did get me thinking. How do people use Twitter?

    Twitter is different from Facebook. I follow one person on Twitter who uses it like Facebook. She checks in when she is at her son’s Little League game. That seems a bit off. Twitter to me seems more informational than relational.

    I’m not sure what the right answer is. I suppose it’s the expectations of your followers versus what you want Twitter to be.

    What do you want Twitter to be, Bill? More relational? Less informational? (Don’t worry, I won’t un-follow you either way!) 🙂

    • Because you are probably using it right. I don’t check my stream from my lists enough to know what is going on most of the time. Also, if I’m checking from my phone it’s a pain in the butt to open the link and read it. If I do happen to see something of interest I will ‘favorite’ it so I can come back.

      I’m ok with twitter as is; I would just like to find a way to make sure when I post something it is of value and somebody actually looks at it instead of getting lost in the stream. I liked the informational side, because when I first got in with the personalities and sports figures it was all one-sided (and boring) anyway.

      I find the relationships through the posts; I just want to maximize my twitter existence instead of being a green booger.

  5. I just wish there was a magic door that we could walk through from online to real life! It’s all about real people with real feelings, thoughts, and needs.
    Sometimes I connect with really great people through a tweeted link. It’s all good. I can’t keep up…and there are days when I have no energy to try.
    Thanks, Bill.
    P.S. Pithy is good.

    • It is all about people with feelings whether it is online or off. Some peeps think being online gives them carte blanche to be a boor. My challenge is to just ‘be.’ I’m afraid some of my actions are truly invisible and I hate that when I’m trying to support friends.

      People are probably checking out the tweeted links a lot more than I think I suppose.

      Good to see you.

  6. I do the same thing, and I actually like it when I see others do the same: they’re supporting their “tribe” (formal or informal as it may be), and so am I. That said, there are some avatars I scroll on past, and others I usually stop and pay attention to when I see them. Yours is one of them. Most of the links I find, I find through Twitter and through people like you.

    It may be a broadcast channel, but frankly, that’s what it’s always been meant to be. Some people like different kinds of broadcasts, or a certain variety, others can’t wait to see what just one or two particular people will say next. We grow into friends and grow out of them, our moods change, and our life’s direction, and we decide we want something new or change our minds about something we hated. And the people around us will notice and hear about it. It’s a natural part of being social.

    Anyway, keep calm and carry on.

    • Thanks for the words of wisdom ma’am; keep calm is good advice indeed.

      My challenge was, I felt putting 20 tweets in a row out there diluted the effectiveness. However, if I can only get to Triberr once or twice a day, is getting it out there all at once better than nothing?

      So good to see you and thanks so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts; very much appreciated.

      I hope your day went well.

  7. I think the first step is figuring out what you want to get out of all this and then making a plan to get there.

    It took me a bit of time to get it all sorted out but I think that I have it and now I am working on adjusting things so that they work better for me.

  8. Hi Bill, I promise I will not be too talkative today, if I could puke rainbows, I would probably never stop.

    Call me naive if you want, I like and enjoy your tweets, they are funny and personal. With everything changing at lightning speed, we have a hell of a job to adapt and adopt new ways.

    I agree with Lori: “what brings you joy – what makes you feel alive” and Jack: “I think the first step is figuring out what you want to get out of all this and then making a plan to get there” – combine the two and we should all be happy, no?

    • We should be happy, yes!

      I have to remember there are still new people coming in and reading tweets and opening links might be the only thing they know. I just hope I’m not invisible in their stream.

      Thanks for stopping by; it was good talking with you yesterday. I hope your day went well.

      • Thank you, Bill, I enjoyed talking to you yesterday, it opened up new perspectives: discussing European and American policies and economical challenges made me so aware of how much we can learn from each other, get a personal first hand feeling for each other’s country. I had a good day, busy preparing for the market on Saturday. And the weather forecast looks promising, might even be wearing some short sleeves … just saying!
        Have a good Friday and I know you will always be minding everybody coming your way on- or offline.

  9. Bill,

    I would ask the same question regarding a blog: What are you going to do with that little blog of yours? Why are you in this realm and what do you want to get out of it?

    Twitter? It’s my social network of choice, but I’m not using it nearly as effectively as I could, plus I’m spending a bit more time on Google Plus and unlike many out there, actually like it.

    But I think you’re very creative with your Tweets, especially the smart ass ones.

    I do need to give Triberr another chance. Dino is a really cool guy and it seems like a great platform, but I’ve been using Buffer mainly, when I get the chance, that is.

    • I like Triberr, but because I’m not in control of who’s in other tribes I’m in I’m quite particular about what I’ll promote. For the most part, it’s been a good thing and I do appreciate the community aspect of it!

      • I’m in 4 tribes, but for the most part only two of my tribes tweets show up. Fortunately, I know most of the people in those tribes. Why the others don’t show up, I have no idea.

        It does make it easy to promote; I probably just need to be a little ‘smarter’ about it.

        Good to see you ma’am.

    • See my answer to Ralph; I first got in to learn social and the blog was an afterthought. It ends up out of all of this I probably enjoy the blog the most. Will that take me anywhere; will I be the next big thing; who knows? I don’t think I’m being presumptuous saying if that is was my burning desire; I could make a run at it and have some level of success. A lot of this is just persistence and being able to hang in there long enough don’t you think? Just because some of our more ‘successful’ friends are very approachable and helpful, they certainly didn’t get to their level overnight. I don’t have that ‘clear’ vision yet (and may never get it) but I’m not in a position I have to force anything either.

      Twitter is just a platform for me; I’m probably using it very poorly but it is my platform of choice.

      I guess at least w/in most of my community I’m probably on some list or another where you might see me when I send a barrage of tweets out, huh?

      Glad you made it back to sunny Seattle from NY; I’m guessing we will see some posts from the trip?

      Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I do the opposite in that I stopped going to my Google reader at all and get all my good reads from FB and Twitter! I like the stream of good stuff flowing my way and will often RT it myself. But I do also try to comment and engage, rather than just broadcast. I think I do a better job of that on FB, simply because that’s been homebase a helluva lot longer.

    Like Jack, I keep stirring the pot to see what boils up. Mostly though, it’s a pretty tasty stew 😉

    • Everybody probably has one platform they are more comfortable with than another. Facebook started out as my ‘personal’ platform with people I actually knew in real life. Twitter allowed me to be creative and stretch my wings in more of a semi-anonymous but acceptable way. That is probably why I hang in Twitter more.

      Thanks for stopping by, your kind words and thoughts. Always a pleasure to see you.

  11. Hey Bill!

    Long time no see…I know. Anyway, Twitter is where I first met many of the contacts I have today–and I don’t just mean business contacts. I believe that’s where I found you:) I always enjoyed going there to meet people and see what they were sharing. I’ve found some great blogs to follow that way. I’ve subscribed to many of them so I can just get their goodies in my inbox now but I still visit people on Twitter to see what they’re up to. I also received quite a few of my clients through Twitter so I still find it very valuable.

    PS: I haven’t been here since your little blog facelift. I like it:)

    • Twitter was my doorway into what social can be all about. The people I have met in Twitter cover pretty much all the bases, throughout the world. How cool is that? I would have never met those people on Facebook.

      The blogs were secondary at first, but that is where you really get to know the people.

      The good thing about Twitter is that all those opportunities are still there.

      I did change it around a little bit; it was the least I could do……….:).

      I hope all is well; so good to see you.

  12. I’m in agreement with you Bill.

    Different strokes for different folks. Participate on the social web with the tools and platforms that make it productive, easy and enjoyable to get things done. The rest don’t matter.

    • It really boils down to finding out what works for you and then making that work the best it can. There are certain areas, even with Twitter that I am behind the times, but I’m at a good, functional place for me right now.

      Where I am gives me a ticket to the game and allows me to see what is going on and what works for some; what I do with it is up to me and that’s all I can ask, right?

      Good to see you sir Mark; hope you have been well.

  13. Frankly, I look for any tool that provides a shortcut but where quality won’t suffer. I’ve definitely defaulted to a heavy preponderance of link tweets when time time has gotten extra-lean, but I still think the real value in Twitter are the quick conversations and interactions.

    • Typically if I send a ‘specific’ tweet, to you for instance; you will see it. If I just post some random tweet, I am much less likely to get a response. That’s fine with me though; it just cuts down on the random tweets I will send.

      Good to see you; good doctor story at your place.

  14. I was getting worried because i hadn’t seen a post from you for a coupla days. I was getting ready to rattle your chain and then FINALLY I saw this come through.

    I get worried about the broadcast aspect too. That’s why I live on my @ page on Twitter. Even while I’m reading and sharing posts, I look for people who are responding to what I’ve already posted. I like to break up my sharing with actual conversational tweets so that people know a) I’m there and b) I’m not just a radio tower.

    This is why I don’t automate anything, by the way 🙂

    Thanks for the shout (and I enjoy your comments, for what it’s worth!)

    • For the record, I like to post on Monday and Thursday whether I need to or not. Not that it makes a big difference at my place, but I think the consistency helps for whoever might be trying to find me.

      As I mentioned to Adam, if I do a ‘random’ tweet w/ no one linked, it is pretty likely it will not get a reply. If you attach someone to it; then at least some of the time you will get something back. I do most of my talking in the blogs anyway and that works just fine for me.

      If Triberr is considered automation, then that is all I do. But I do try to add a comment instead of just sending it out ‘as is.’

      You do good work; I enjoy coming to your place even if you are fickle……….:).

  15. I get what you’re saying Bill but Twitter is my #1 source of referral traffic to my blog so all those retweets definitely are paying off for me. But, I do get on Twitter several times throughout the day and thank those who shared my posts and chat some with my friends. Had a fun chat last night with a new follower too.

    I think like most have commented here you just have to ask yourself why are you here and what do you want to accomplish. Make a plan and then stick with that and you’ll do fine.

    Hey, have a great day Bill and a fun weekend.


    • I’m here for global domination, right? I like the writing and engagement part; when people actually read and comment on my posts then that is a bonus and makes it much easier to keep plugging away.

      I mentioned above; I use Twitter & blogging as my doorway into social. It allows me to observe and emulate should I so choose. If I ever do have that blinding flash of the obvious that I need to be going down a certain road, then I feel like I am well versed in what I need to do.

      Good to see you too; looks like you are really cranking it up at your place; good luck.

  16. Hey Bill,

    Very interesting questions and I have been thinking about the same lately. Well, not exactly the same. My questions was more related to time and that it’s very hard to keep up with everything and everyone during the few hours of the day, and when it’s hard, we tend to take some shortcuts (like to use Triberr).

    I actually like shortcuts, but I also like to combine them with true conversations with people and I have as many conversations as possible, and mostly with people I already know (like you). But it’s really hard to keep up with being social when we should be creating content as well 🙂

    • It is a fine line indeed; my dilemma however, by taking the shortcut am I shortchanging the people I’m trying to support. If I’m just regurgitating one long stream and nobody is looking at it, will be people tend to avoid me because it’s too much?

      There is a happy medium in there somewhere; and for some reason the tribe I got in with you, you are the only posts that comes out of there. I never see Jack for instance. If I had that to deal with too, it would be a lot of tweets….

      Some shortcuts are necessary, but keeping the real engagement is what is important to me.

      I guess a lot depends on what you focus is, right?

  17. I’m sorry to say that I agree with the feeling that Twitter seems to be more about broadcasting now than when I first joined in 2009. Sorry because I think that one of the original intents of this powerful tool was to create authenticity, credibility and engagement. That said, I too, “broadcast” occasionally…especially for my fellow Tribe members. I always take the time to read their posts first and then I TRY to make some relevant comment in the RT post that I send out there (I could only HOPE to be as pithy as you 😉 I have always tried to follow the “rule of thumb” that I heard when I first signed on to Twitter…for every one “self promotion” tweet sent out, there should be 4-5 engagement, social tweets sent. With “broadcasting” RT’s for others, this is sometimes a hard rule of thumb to follow. Twitter for me still is “social” …I hope others continue to feel the same way!
    Great post Bill….I always have fun here at BDdotME

    • Hey Claudia, thanks for the visit and comments.

      Most of my tweets are from Triberr unless I’m responding to being mentioned. That is probably not as social as I need to be, but I usually find the ‘social’ and purpose of twitter in the blogs if that makes any sense. It doesn’t do much for my ‘numbers’ so I guess it’s a good thing measurement isn’t my gig right now, huh?

      I hope you have been well and people are still streaming in from the grand opening; always a pleasure to see you.

  18. Very thought provoking. I am still getting used to scheduling posts because it makes sense and avoids the 20-in-a-row-puke….Much like watching out for your baggage at the airport in the moving conveyor belt….a cursory glance at everything and ticking them off because we have eyes only for ours. In social, the “ours” is those whose tweets we enjoy. (looks like social = twitter here, right?)

    I do think it is nice to limit oneself. At least for me, being social all day would mean no bread, butter and flavored cheese, much as I love both.

    • One of my challenges with social is that is still has the tendency to pull me in a little deeper than I need to be at times. I have identified my platform and purpose for now and need to stick with the game plan. I know I could be doing much more, but at what cost and what benefit? For now, sustainability is good….

      Social I can do and that is why I like being in ‘social.’

      I had noticed you were MIA for a few days there; thought maybe they cut your power and internet. That could certainly put a damper on things, huh?

      Good to see you, thanks for stopping by.

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