We Know Everything Now

Hearing and reading a lot more conversations that pertain to leaving social media, or at least lessening the habitual checking-in. The magnetic pull of “likes,” as well as the “fear of missing out” on something that happened 12 seconds ago.

“Is the never-ending psychic tinnitus of social media worth suffering through in the ever-dwindling hope that you’ll be exposed to something enriching, thanks to algorithms that favor paid advertising and “growth hacking?” The answer–for me, at least–is increasingly no.”
Escaping the Social Media Morass and Rediscovering Delight,’ by Tenebrous Kate

There is still value in “getting the word out,” of course, for both projects and worthy causes, but the problem is noise. Everyone is getting the word out. Everyone knows someone who has a GoFundMe. Every town has some asshole that got caught doing horrible things.

In 1998 or so I remember this interaction with a friend. I started telling a story, and before I got too far along they said, “yeah, I know, I read your Xanga.”

Now in 2018, 20 years later, we know what our friends are eating in real time. Or we can watch a video from the show they’re at right this second. That immediacy can be overwhelming at times.

What do we do with that information? We take in the videos, the cute filters, the badly lit and even worse sounding concert footage, and then… then what?

We know so much now, and yet we know so little.

Just Keep Copying

Tweet via Austin Kleon

I’ve been telling people over the years that they better start an email list. Social media is on a collision course for the sun (or a Nazi takeover, whichever happens first), so better to get ahead of that disaster with an exit plan. To me, that’s an email list.

Everyone has an email address. If everyone has social media, they had to use an email address to sign up for the account. Every. Has. An. Email. Address.

That doesn’t mean everyone has a tidy email inbox, but that’s their own fault. They probably follow 234234 social media accounts, too. Lost souls.

When discussing email lists, after the initial “ewwww, how boring” faces, the subject turns to “well, what would I even send out?”

Well, copy somebody’s style, even if you’re not copying their emails. What do the cool brands bands and labels send out to their social media feeds? Ummm, cool photos. Some quirky copy. Probably mentions of places they’ll be, or things they have to sell. Congrats, you’re now an email marketer.

Now, the first email you send out will suck compared to the tenth, but you have to start at number one, so just get it over with. Sign up for a Mailchimp account, make some mistakes, and before you know it you’ll have your own style.

Twitter Actually Made Money

The social media sewage pool that I call Twitter actually turned a profit, its first since 2006.

It may not grow into an advertising behemoth like Facebook, but at least it’s no longer sinking. And if it can keep turning a modest profit, that’s something—except for lingering problems of abuse and hatred on the platform, and the rampant bot problem that may or may not have affected the 2016 US election and the UK Brexit vote.

If you’re trying to get noticed on Twitter, good luck. They are not in the business of sending you free traffic, and I’m guessing soon we’ll see more throttling of traffic from feeds that just send out link after link, begging for a click.

Here Until It Isn’t

Good morning, friends. May this day be filled with firecrackers and assorted jabs to the fragile jaws of your airborne enemies.

Okay, so this wasn’t really written on this blog in 2013, but it’s something I posted to Twitter, which someday won’t exist. If I don’t pay my hosting bill, this will go away. I don’t have much say about the future of Twitter, but MySpace, AOL Music, and RDIO all came and went.