Category Archives: Social Media

Things that go bump in the night

Things that go Bump in the Night

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll know that I auto post blog posts from here / Brittany Beers and a few other places into my stream. I’ve been playing with various systems whether it’s our own RSS.Me / NetworkedBlogs (which I strongly disliked) or RSS Graffiti which I’m currently testing. What they do is take your blog post and post it to the various social media sites you’re on once you give them access to post.

NetworkedBlogs I dislike for a few very simple reasons.

  1. They require you to confirm your identity either by spamming or friends asking them to verify you own the blog or through other methods
    I’m sorry but this is spam to create new users. I did it once and I’m sorry I did
  2. They seem to post your posts randomly
  3. They have a hidious bar at the top when you click through to view a blog post. I’m sorry this is annoying and while some people may find it good I don’t.
  4. Removing their access seems like a bit of a chore ( Though I’ve removed access or so I thought things were still getting posted to my twitter account so I was required to go in via twitter and revoke access to the application)

Revoke Access to NetworkedBlogs

It’s not the best way it’s not even close.

RSS Graffiti seems to come with a lot more options. Allows you to choose when to scan your blog and post as well as the numbers of items you’ll like to post so I’m giving that a whirl until I end up going back to our own system when we’re out of Beta.

Now onto the reason for my blog post title. Yesterday I changed my URL structure on my main blog ( this one in case you’re wondering ) You might not even notice what has happened. I dropped the www prefix from the URLs sometimes I like to see it sometimes I don’t. In the case of my blog here I’m not www.jameslarkin.ie I’m just jameslarkin.ie (it makes sense in my head)

Of course RSS Graffiti handled things nicely and didn’t repost things ( at least I don’t think it did ) Facebook Notes however decided to go tits up as I was informed by Sarah.

Outraged Facebook Follower Speaks Out :P
Outraged Facebook Follower Speaks Out :P

So putting things mildly. Facebook with 750 Million users can’t seem to handle that minor change to my URL structure whereas RSS Graffiti can. Go figure.

Oh well hopefully it hadn’t pissed too many people or they can always choose to ignore me.

Ditch your Social Media Gurus …

I see a piece in yesterdays Telegraph entitled “Time to ditch the blood-sucking social media gurus“.

I find it funny … I created a website in erm was it October 2009 ? (not a website but a parody page / graphic) Donkey Fluff … love the phrase Social Media Guru :D

Of course I do think that social media has a place in things … its a bloody costly place that can be difficult at times to judge the effectiveness of but it has a place none the less.

Social Media For Dummies I

Social Media For Dummies

My name is James and I made the Greatest SEO Marketing Guru website ever I also made the theme for the site Social Media Expert

Like most people using “social media” I’m constantly amazed by the amount people seeking advice / how to’s and so on. I’m also heavily amazed by the amount of people offering their services to them. While I realise there is always a need to have some advice with new technology / ways of doing things the social media guru stud guy coaching type thing is a bit extreme no ?

So really what you’re wanting to ask is WTF is social media marketing ?

In a nutshell … its spamming the **** out of your friends initially in the hopes things will take off and you’ll get more people following you. This in turn will lead to every “tweet” / Post / Message you make getting read by an ever increasing number of people.

Wow you make it sound so great where do I sign up?
Well like most things I’d first advise you have a website to redriect your “fans” (people that follow / stalk you) to

This will help and who knows a few might even end up book marking your actual site instead of just seeing the off message from you. I’d also recommend you get and RSS feed onto your site. A what now ? .. ( an RSS feed is simply put … a list of the recent posts / activity on your site) People will see updates from you in an RSS reader of their choice if they use one. I actually being quite computer il… er … literate don’t use one. Why … again its down to time and how much time you have at the end of the day. There are so many posts to read things to check and so on it can be a bit overwhelming.

So you’ve got your site .. you’ve got something that you can drag people back onto your site with (RSS feed) .. what do I do next.

Well you pretty much start telling people about what you do. Its social media … can you be social ? .. can you be social online ( its potentially a lot easier to be social online than in real life) and away you go. Follow people you find interesting .. interact with people … let people know whats happening … open up your “company” to the world and interact. O…. K … you say … erm really thats what its all about.

  1. Interact with people
  2. People may follow you back if you’ve something interesting to say
  3. You’ll follow them back
  4. Connections will be made .. you’ll say hey to them they’ll say hey back
  5. You’ll update info … people will see it .. some might like it and let their friends know
  6. Interact Interact Interact ….

So … erm … that sounds simple enough doesn’t it? This is what social media is about … you’ll have people telling you its all about the number of followers you’ve got following you. NO … this is pure BS for example … I could have 10 people following me who are my customers and who might like to see I’m available for work … or I’m interested in doing XYZ … and there’ll be some interaction … or I could have 10000 people trying to sell their services to me .. following me … me following back … cluttering up my stream ( twitter stream … updates from people ) … which is more useful … well to be honest the 10 people you’ll interact with. Of course if you’re huge and can hire a marketing department and get loads of people involved in your twitter account then go for it. If its just you .. then … erm forget about it … follow people have them follow back or not … and let things happen naturally so to speak.

All this said there are a few things you can do to speed up the interest in you / your product or service …

Special offers … ooooh wow 20% off and save now today only .. <-- you like the look of that no ? well why not make a few discounts available for people. What will it cost ... hopefully much .. you've probably got margins worked out on what earn >Things not to do:

  1. Don’t spam … don’t spam your product .. don’t spam messages …
  2. Don’t direct message people about your products
  3. Don’t auto message people saying thanks for following
  4. Forget about the .. you can earn $50,000 a day with my social media tool!!! click here to find out more … type offers. They are BS
  5. Don’t read posts online and think they are the number one way of doing things … Trial and error should be heavily involved in your process ( We all make mistakes .. I’ve made them others have made them .. we try and move on )

Do realise that all the social media interaction is free BUT its damn expensive …
1 Tweet – 20 – 30 seconds of your time … (thats nothing you say)
.. reading the tweets of others … add on another bit of time …

We’ve 5 minutes gone just there like that … what have we done .. posted one message read a few others tweets.

Lets speed up things … how? … erm … social media is about building up a following .. interaction … respect (respect is import .. if people like you or your product they’ll help you promote it .. if they don’t .. you’ll have pointless twitter accounts RT’ing (Re Tweeting .. sending one your message to people who follow them) .. all your messages .. end result you’ll pick up useless followers

You will come across the odd thing which takes on the Viral nature … you say something clever .. you write something clever and suddenly lots of people are linking to you RT’ing your message ad so on … GREAT … WOO HOO and I’m happy for you .. but generally you can’t force this to happen it just does and if it does congrats and well done

So this ends part I of maybe a one part article .. maybe I’ll write a bit more ( For most people reading its hopefully DUH! material .. for others hopefully its something of an eye opener to the magic that is Social Media) Let me know what you think

James

(PS: Please note I’ve been really using twitter as my social media tool of example here … similar would apply to facebook and so on)

My Twitter Introspective

oh my god no way

Twitter … hailed as the buzz buzz social media buzz buzz marketing tool buzz buzz

But what is it really … I’ve no doubt its a great tool, its full of interesting people … its full of useful tidbits of information its full of the mundane .. “Drinking a coffee” / “I need a coffee” … its full of live news updates “was that an earthquake ??? #galway” … its full of the fake “oh my god XYZ just died” …

Its full of advertising “Thank you XYZ your product C was great” .. promotions “use twitter1111 now and save 10%” … support “you’ll want to check the config file in your root folder”

For me … its all the above and its also a HUGE time drain.

I am @Forbairt on there I use it mainly to chat with I guess the web dev community of Ireland and not to mention some great people I’ve met at the BTW’s and other events. I can quickly ping my hosting company @blacknight

I enter the mundane I enter in useful bits of information … respond to code requests and generally pull the piss.

Time Clocks

I also realise that I have coming up on 15,000 tweets on there. WTF!!! How on earth did that happen … I’m on it now since erm the end of 2008 … (not one of the first … not one of the originals … a pretender to the throne)

15,000 tweets you say hmm… I type fast … 40 – 80 words a minute … I can’t be exact some words are bigger than others and hence take longer to type. A tweet is what 144 characters long .. so that’ll make up a good 20 – 30 words ? without the dreaded txtspk. so a tweet will take me a minute to write give or take.

15,000 x 1 minute … = an hour or two no doubt … 15,000 / 60 mins / hour = 250 hours .. wow ok not an hour or two … 250 hours … only a … hang on there are 24 hours in the day (though as a freelance web developer I try to cram a few more in to make it an even 30) … Hmm 10 days you say give or take … no .. 10 complete days gone in the last year and a couple of months … and thats just entering in the tweets. O … K

I also madly enough … read other peoples tweets. I like to think I’ve it done in a rather sensible way.

I’m using the wonderful tweetdeck. It allows me to have multiple accounts. It allows me to sync between computers and most importantly for me it allows me to setup groups / columns.

TweetDeck column breakdown

I’m following 568 people I’ve 961 following me if I had one big stream of info I’d never get to see what I want to see so I’ve those 568 people broken down into groupings.

My main column I’ve got Friends / Persons of Interest … next over I’ve my Others Group (I certainly am original with my naming conventions) In here I’ve got my hosting company a few high profile web devs I follow and a few clients. Over from that I’ve my RSS feeds group. I’ve the Irish Webmasters Forum listed in here along with all the Tutorial Sites / Sitepoint and so on. I gave up on using an RSS reader a long time ago truth be told I never really got into it. Beside my RSS I’ve what it tells me is All Friends (everyone I follow) and beside that I’ve got Direct Messages and then come the searches #dropped.ie (its my baby so I like to keep tabs on if its being talked about) and a few more searches.

My point is I’ve probably read a million tweets ? madness … probably not or probably more .. I’ve no idea .. but factor those into the equation of my 10 days of just writing the messages and erm .. *gulps* … have I just gone and lost a month of my time on twitter … oi WTF is that all about.

Life is passing me by one tweet at a time

What do I have to show for it ? well erm .. er … friendship is priceless isn’t it ? … they are my friends right ? .. ( actually a few are and I’ve gone for pints / meetups and its generally good craic) but what about the rest ? … erm. .. *gulps* … Has it brought me fame … power … WOMEN!!! … well if Tiffany69x is anything to go by then yes yes it has … If not then *gulps* … Has it brought me work. Well yes yes it has. It has not however brought me in 2 – 3 months of work and given my “overheads” again for want of better words … its a bit mad Ted!!.

la la la .. I’m not reading this anymore … la la la .. I’m not even writing it any more …. la la la.

I complain that I can’t write content … I complain that I lack the motivation to do content writing I seem to be capable of generating enough content right there. Again I’ll ask what have I to show for all this time on twitter. Well I’m now in charge of one of the biggest “Social Media Stud Guru Guy Coaching” Websites out there .. its had an immense impact on people. I mean look at Todd’s quote. Do I have an understanding of Social Media … Yes … do I need to step back … hell yes … I’ve just spoken about twitter here I’m also on boards.ie … various other forums .. Facebook

If I say I’ve spent 20 days on twitter … thats 20 x 24 hours … 8 working hours in a day … thats potentially 60 working days gone on twitter.

La La La … I step back … for now at least and try to work on a few projects for personal development / mental gain / monitary reward

Please note: figures quoted were exact at time of going to press / All calculations are rough and with no scientific basis